CAMP FOSTER, Japan (11/29/2012) - The evening "Retreat"
bugle sounds on a brisk and breezy evening at Camp Foster as
10 boys quickly position themselves at attention and render
their two-finger salute as they observe the American and
Japanese flags being lowered.
Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, parents and volunteers salute the
flag during a recent evening colors ceremony at building 1 on Camp
Foster on November 6, 2012. The boys attended the ceremony to learn
the history of the American flag and the significance of evening
colors. The class is a part of the Boy Scouts' progression from Wolf
Cubs to Bear Cubs. Photo by Lance Cpl. Adam B. Miller
Boy Scouts and Cub
Scouts were privileged with the opportunity to participate
in an evening colors ceremony recently to learn about the
“It goes more in-depth
than just the flag,” explained Jakel. “It is more about
teaching the boys about national pride.”
“The Boy Scouts and Cub
Scouts came here to learn a little bit of history about the
flag, build up pride for their country, and help them
understand that this is why their parents are here,” said
Sgt. Jeremy J. Jakel, the den leader for Troop 098 and a
field wireman with Marine Wing Communications Squadron 18,
Marine Air Control Group 18, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III
Marine Expeditionary Force.
The mission of the Boy
Scouts of America is to prepare young boys to make ethical
and moral choices throughout their lifetime by instilling in
them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. The Cub Scouts
are part of the Boy Scouts of America.
from the rank of Wolf Cub to Bear Cub, the Cubs are required
to learn Cub Scouting's 12 core values, bringing them one
step closer to becoming a Boy Scout, according to Jakel.
The core value being learned at this evening colors
ceremony was citizenship, or contributing service and
showing responsibility to local, state and national
communities. The Cub Scouts learned to properly fold a flag,
the symbolism behind the 12 folds, and the history and
traditions behind the flag.
like these rely heavily on the support of the community and
the boys' parents, and Jakel routinely asks for volunteers
to lead classes or discussions.
“I wanted to teach
them about the importance of the flag and why we observe
evening colors,” said Sgt. Jimmy W. Wadkins, a volunteer
instructor for the citizenship core value class and a
military policeman for the Provost Marshal's Office,
Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp
Butler, Marine Corps Installations Pacific.
taught the history and details behind the evening colors
flag ceremony, answered the boys' questions about the flag's
history, and allowed them to assist with folding the flag.
“The lesson focused on the history of the American flag
and the details of the evening colors ceremony, including
why the flag is folded and what the folds mean,” explained
Wadkins. “The Cub Scouts came to understand why the flag is
not allowed to fall onto the ground.”
As the Boy
Scouts and Cub Scouts folded, Wadkins recited what each fold
represented. He concluded the hands-on demonstration by
explaining the flag is folded into a triangle, with only the
blue field and white stars showing. This is done so it
resembles hats worn by those who fought in the Revolutionary
War alongside Gen. George Washington.
Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts fold an
American flag after evening colors at building 1 on Camp Foster
on November 6, 2012. The boys were instructed on the importance of proper flag
etiquette, the history of the flag and the symbolism behind the 12
folds on the flag. Photo by Lance Cpl. Adam B. Miller
While it is
interesting to learn about the symbolism each fold
represents, the real point is to give the scouts a sense of
honor and pride when they see the American flag, according
Despite the chilly breeze, the scouts were
inquisitive, eager and overall excited about the evening's
“I enjoyed learning how to fold the flag and
learning about its history and what it all means,” said
Graham W. McMillan, a Wolf Cub Scout with the troop. “My
favorite part was when I got to help fold the flag into a
triangle with my friends.”
Seeing the flag nearly
everywhere and the daily occurrence of raising and lowering
it can lead some people to take the flag for granted.
Volunteers and parents involved with the program go
through such efforts to instill in their children the values
and traditions on which the United States was founded, so
when these boys grow up, they might also recognize and
remember the importance of citizenship.
By USMC Lance Cpl. Adam B. Miller
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