Avoiding a Thank You Thicket at Eagle Courts of Honor

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Although many Scout leaders helped your honoree reach the pinnacle of Scouting, one or two of them may have been especially important to him. It’s appropriate to recognize these special individuals at the court of honor, but doing so can cause a couple of problems you need to be aware of.

First, it’s easy for the focus to shift from the star of the show to one of the supporting actors. Second, you run the risk of snubbing some leaders by highlighting the contributions of others.

To solve the first problem, any recognition of adults—and other Scouts, for that matter—should take place before the badge presentation begins. If you follow the outline in The Eagle Court of Honor Book, that means making these recognitions a part of the Scout’s personal statement at the beginning of the presentation phase.

Solving the second problem is a little more difficult. In his personal statement, the honoree should be sure to thank all his Scout leaders before singling out one or two for special recognition. He should also be sure to thank by name each of the people who has served as Scoutmaster during his tenure.

At times, it may also be more appropriate (and more meaningful) to personally thank key leaders outside the court of honor. Especially at an Eagle court of honor, many leaders would prefer to stay in the background.

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