People sometimes ask what led me to write the first edition of The Eagle Court of Honor Book way back in 1996. (By the way, the book is now in its third edition, so if you’re still using the first edition, sell it on eBay and buy a new copy!)
The main impetus was a string of courts of honor I visited when I was a district executive in Florida. There’s something about attending an event in someone else’s troop that accentuates the positives–and the negatives.
Two particular courts of honor stood out–each of which featured two honorees.
At the first, twin brothers were being recognized and, for some reason, they were required to stand at attention through the whole ceremony–until they inadvertently locked their knees and passed out. I can still remember the look on the second brother’s face as he watched his brother keel over and then realized he too was going down. Lesson learned: don’t make your honoree stand at attention for no reason.
At the second, an adult read every word of every congratulatory letter the first honoree had received, including the part where Senator So-and-So apologized that his busy schedule in Washington prevented him from attending the ceremony. Then, the adult read every word of every congratulatory letter the second honoree had received–the only variations being the salutations. Lesson learned: with multi-Eagle ceremonies, do common elements like letter readings once.
What lessons have you learned from court of honor successes and failures? Post your ideas in the comments section, and you could win a free copy of The Eagle Court of Honor Book or The Scoutmaster’s Other Handbook.