I had an interesting conversation with an Eagle Scout mom a few years back. We were planning her son’s court of honor, and she started off by saying that the family (and presumably the Scout!) would prefer that people not bring gifts to the court of honor. She wanted to know if that would be okay. (Gifts aren’t generally expected at courts of honor, but many people do bring them.)
I told her that of course it would and that they should simply say “No gifts please” in their invitations. A few people will probably “cheat,” but most people comply with such requests, just as they do at weddings and other events.
Then, she had an idea that I liked even better: in lieu of gifts, why not ask people to make a donation to the charity the Scout’s Eagle project helped? This particular Scout’s project was a blood drive for the American Red Cross, and I thought it would be really neat if people gave blood in his honor prior to the court of honor.
Your next Eagle doesn’t have to go without gifts, of course, but he doesn’t have to take them either. And tying the “no gifts please” request in with a donation to his favorite charity only serves to emphasize the meaning behind the badge.