The Sound and the Fury of Eagle Courts of Honor

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One of the most famous lines from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is this: “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

That line inspired William Faulkner’s masterpiece, The Sound and the Fury. It also describes many an Eagle court of honor. Not the “idiot part”–don’t take offense!–but the “signifying nothing” part. The audience hears lots of sound and maybe a little fury (when speakers go off-script, for example), but they don’t catch the significance of the honoree’s growth from new Scout to Eagle Scout.

I thought about that situation this past weekend at a court of honor that did focus on significance. Whether it was planned or not, the speakers clearly drew a picture of how the honoree had grown and matured since his time in Cub Scouting. At one point, for example, a speaker talked about how the Scout had once been so shy that he’d let his dad be his spokesman in meetings. Then, near the end of the ceremony, we got to hear from the Scout himself. He was perhaps the most poised and confident speaker of the afternoon, and we could clearly see the maturity that had been lacking before.

As you plan your next Eagle court of honor, think about the one area where the honoree has shown the most growth and use that growth as a theme. Then your ceremony will mean something and be worthy of the Scout it seeks to honor.

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