So I went to Pinterest, like every boy scout leader does, right?
I looked at different ideas and of course there were many less for boy scouts than there were for girl scouts, but hey, I will take what I can get. Some did themed Blue and Gold banquets for the boys. Some were more elaborate than others. We just wanted ideas at this point.
So, after spending a while, I saw and put together some pins and wrote this post for my assistant leaders to help steer us where we wanted to go with the Blue and Gold. I really wanted to go with the theme, "Shoot for the moon, if you miss you will land among the stars". That has always been one of my favourite quotes and was so appropriate for this cross over.
One of the ideas, which the guys were impressed with was the plaques from Naag Tag. They were very very reasonable in price, $20 a piece, where as most places charge by far, way more than that. So this was a win already!
When I contacted them because I was browsing their site, (here is the product link) I had this radical idea.
What if I could surprise the boys and the parents with something special that they can take home?
And yes, this meant even hiding it from my own son. This was not a small feat to do especially since I home school him. I am genuinely surprised he didn't find out before the Blue and Gold. It wasn't until we were at the Blue and Gold Banquet and I was trying to lay them down before the boys came that some of them got a glimpse of it.
The looks on the guys faces were priceless when I told them indeed that I would be doing a blog review in exchange for the plaques. It was not only priceless, it made me feel so proud that I could contribute (more than just the 5 years of time to the boys) to their crossover in way that would be able to surprise everyone. My parents would not have to pay a dime of the cost because I wanted this to truly be a gift from me to them. Like what an auntie would give their nephews when they cross over. Especially since I do see these boys as much nephews since we have invested so much time into seeing them succeed over the last 5 years and will continue to do so as they make their way to Eagle.
So after contacting Naag Tag, I was very happy to be able to work with them! They were quick to respond and get the process started for me. They were matter-of-fact and to-the-point with a caring heart about getting this going for these boys.
Working with Andrew Wilkins from Naag Tag was a breeze! It was a few simple emails, that included my proposal and approval for the review. Then it was the actual nitty gritty of the plaque information.
The nitty gritty was important in this situation because I had a few boys on the roster who would not make Arrow of Light, so instead, to be fair to them and honour the hard work of those that did cross over with their Arrow of Light, I had them put "Cub Scouts" instead of Arrow of Light.
Then there was the simple fact that I like to honour and surprise my assistant leaders because of how awesome they are. They have been a tremendous help to me and they have been like brothers in scouting to me. Without them, the 5 years would not have been the same. Colin, Bryan, Lee and Jonathan- thank you for being my assistants and being amazing!
And it so happened that as we crossed over to boy scouts, our cub master, Scott Ward, was going to pass the baton onto Lee Howard for the role of cub master. I wanted to honour that the entire time we have been with the pack, Scott has been an amazing cub master and our pack has grown tremendously in great ways due to his leadership. Lee as cub master, Jonathan (one of my assistants) and I will be (two of) Lee's assistant cub masters. I also had to acknowledge my official assistant, Bryan who has been amazing. Colin, though, I rightfully acknowledged more as my right hand because he has been incredibly amazing (and very humble about it).
This is probably one of the easier reviews I have done and one of the easiest companies I have worked with. They were to the point, on top of it, fixed mistakes when they were found and got the product to me two weeks before the Blue and Gold. When there was another mistake, after the Blue and Gold, they were on top of it, and were amazing in making sure it was taken care of.
As a leader, I can't recommend them enough for the all around experience for getting something special for your leaders and scouts!
For the Plaques Themselves!
The names on the plaques are etched into real wood, then each of them were wrapped carefully before being shipped.
The back of the plaque has the space for you to be able to hang up on the wall with not just a nail but a thumb tack. And because of how light it is, you can easier do a thumb tack with no worries. My son did.
In fact, my son was so stoked about it that he ran to his room as soon as we got home and put the thumb tack into the wall and hung his up over his bunk bed where he slept. Definitely means it's not only a mum win, it's a leader win!
When I showed my assistant leader on the way to boy scout training, he was really impressed by the look, the feel, and the professionalism of how well done the plaques were.
The parents did not know either that the plaques were going to be gifted so a few made comments on them (in a positive way).
One of the best moments crossing over is when the parents walked with their sons of telling me "Thank you for everything." Those words are so meaningful and one reason I do this.
Now, a post on here wouldn't be complete with out a giveaway or two for my readers. So here is how it is going to work.
We will run two different giveaways for this post!
One giveaway will an Arrow of Light Plaque for you!
The other giveaway will be for an Eagle Scout Plaque!
Giveaway Rules: (Worth $40)
* You may enter and win in both
* If you win, you have to pick which one you want. Arrow of Light or Eagle
* You can come back daily to enter
* If you win, you have 24 hours to get back to me so I can get you your prize
* Once I give your information to the company, shared for only the winning purpose of getting your personalised plaque, you will deal directly with the company at that point (who is great!).
* I received the plaques from Naag Tag in exchange for my honest review *
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