Over the years, I’ve been to several courts of honor where I didn’t know the honoree before I arrived. On a few occasions, I still didn’t know him after I left.
When people use canned scripts plucked off the internet, they often personalize the ceremony by reciting the honoree’s Scouting résumé—he joined the troop on this date, he served in these leadership positions, he earned this many merit badges, etc. But those facts and figures don’t tell the audience much about the honoree or why he is an Eagle Scout.
At one six-Scout Eagle court of honor, our troop remedied that situation in a surprising way: by dropping a “Tonight Show”-style segment into the middle of the ceremony.
In one corner of the stage we placed a desk and couch, reminiscent of a late-night TV show. The emcee (a fairly new Eagle Scout who was then in college) interviewed each honoree for a few minutes, asking about his Eagle project, his most embarrassing or memorable moments, the pranks he’d played on a popular adult leader, and his future plans. Each interview took just a few minutes, but the audience got to know far more about the honorees than they would have learned from hearing the recitation of a TroopMaster report. (The script for that ceremony eventually became the Late Night script in the third edition of The Eagle Court of Honor Book.)
How have you added personality to the Eagle ceremonies you’ve planned? Post your ideas in the comments section, and you could win a copy of The Eagle Court of Honor Book.