David, as I remember, was nearly 18 when he finished his last Eagle requirement. He’d been very active in the troop at one time but had been temporarily sidetracked by those two deadly fumes (perfume and gas fumes) that affect so many teenage boys. Nonetheless, he pulled himself together and became an Eagle Scout.
At his court of honor, David was asked to talk for a few minutes about what becoming an Eagle Scout meant to him. He talked about the fun he’d had, the things he learned, and then, without warning, he began sobbing almost uncontrollably. Struggling to regain his composure, he said simply, “I didn’t realize until right now what this meant to me.”
It was a powerful moment—far more powerful than anything we could have scripted. And I can assure you that David was not the only person with tears in his eyes that evening.
In The Eagle Court of Honor Book, I recommend that every ceremony include a brief summary of the honoree’s Scouting career. While this could be done by an adult leader or parent, sometimes it might be best to have the Scout himself tell his story.
Most Scouts, I must admit, will only scratch the surface. But every now and then, the process of sifting through the past will create the sort of epiphany that David experienced—and that we all shared—at his Eagle court of honor.