Boy Scout Troop Life to Eagle
The Eagle Scout Court of Honor
The Eagle Scout Award represents many years of dedicated effort. It is a firm demonstration of how people, working together through the years, can truly help mold a young man with a solid sense of leadership, citizenship, and responsibility.
The Eagle Scout Court of Honor is a very personal event in both the life of the Eagle Scout and the lives of his family and friends. Thus, in situations where many Eagles are to be presented, it is essential that adequate recognition be given to each individual young man. Far too often there are so many boys receiving awards at a given Court of Honor that the individual scout is lost in the shuffle. It is a tremendously important moment for the Eagle when he receives his badge, and attention should be focused solely on him when the big moment arrives.
Appropriate planning can insure a memorable Eagle recognition ceremony and award presentation, one that will not soon be forgotten by key participants. This portion of the information has been prepared to assist Scoutmasters, troop committee chairmen, advancement committeemen, and others in their planning. Helpful comments are given regarding general prearrangements, features of a good Eagle award ceremony, and the Eagle charge. On behalf of all Eagles yet to be, it is hoped that your award presentations will always be performed with the sensitivity, care and dignity which the occasion deserves.
As soon as the Eagle Scout Presentation Kit arrives, if not before, the Scoutmaster or troop committee chairman should begin serious preparations for the Eagle Scout Court of Honor. The Eagle candidate and his family should be invited to designate an award presenter who should then be contacted and his participation firmed up. If a hall or other facility is to be used for the ceremony, the necessary arrangements should be made with the owners or other responsible group as soon as possible.
In order to obtain letters of recognition and congratulations from government officials, the requests must be mailed a minimum of four weeks prior to the ceremony.
When the who, what, when, and where have been established, those who will actually plan the Court of Honor should be brought together. This group will usually include representatives from the troop committee, the patrol leaders council, and the troop ladies auxiliary (if the troop has one). Coordination should be established concerning such details as
As the day of the ceremony draws near, those who will participate should be well prepared. They should know precisely how the entire Court of Honor is to take place. In summary, all participants should understand where and why they fit in.
Features of a Good Eagle Ceremony
Small Pitfalls to Avoid
In Eagle ceremonies, as in so many other areas of life, it is often the small things that cause the problems and ruin the big things. The following are small items that are often overlooked:
Other General Thoughts
A guest book which can be signed by everyone who attends the Eagle Court of Honor makes a wonderful memento of the occasion for the new Eagle Scout.
Some Eagle Court of Honor ceremonies include the presentation of a membership in the National Eagle Scout Association. Such a presentation can be added to any ceremony. Consider presenting a NESA membership to the new Eagle Scout. Whether you present the membership or not, invite a representative of NESA to attend the ceremony and to say a few words as part of the ceremony.
Most Eagle Court of Honor ceremonies assume that the Eagle Scout comes from the "traditional family:" one mother and one father. This is not necessarily true. Be prepared to handle the exceptions by modifying the ceremony, as appropriate. Some Eagle Scouts will be part of a single parent family while others will involve multiple sets of parents. Be sensitive to individual situations.
Finally, a word of advice to the family of the Eagle Scout: enjoy the ceremony. Let someone else do the work of providing refreshments and decorating the hall. This day belongs to the new Eagle Scout and to you; make it a day that you will remember fondly.