An Eagle Scout Gift That Will Hang Around

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Troops and families present all sorts of gifts at Eagle Scout courts of honor, including neckerchiefs, belt buckles, statuettes, memberships in the National Eagle Scout Association, savings bonds, and the Eagle Mountain Certificate I sell on my website.

If you’re on a tight budget, a great option is to give your new Eagle Scout a framed photo of a bald eagle. While you can pay a lot of money for a professional photo, you can also download a free, decent-quality photo from a stock site like www.freeimages.com or www.rgbstock.com. These sites feature images from photographers who make their work freely available, often with no restrictions except a ban on redistribution.

All you need to do once you find the image you like is to check the licensing terms and make sure the image has high enough resolution for the print size you’ve chosen, as shown in this chart:

Print Size Minimum Pixel Size
8 x 10 900 x 720 pixels
11 x 14 1260 x 990 pixels
12 x 18 1620 x 1080 pixels
16 x 20 1800 x 1440 pixels
20 x 30 2700 x 1800 pixels

You can then send the download image to your favorite photo processor for printing. Walgreens, for example, does 8 x 10 prints for $3.99 and 11 x 14 prints for $10.99, although discount coupons are often available. Add an inexpensive frame and perhaps a precut mat, and you’ve created a nice gift for under $20 that your new Eagle Scout will be proud to hang in his bedroom or dorm room. (An 8 x 10 photo looks great in an 11 x 14 frame with a precut mat, which costs just a few dollars at a craft store like Michael’s.)

And you can greatly increase your gift’s value by taking one more step. At the court of honor, encourage guests to write congratulatory messages on the back (or on a mat if you include one). That way, whether your honoree looks at the front or the back, he’ll remember the Eagle Scout trail and the friends who accompanied him on his journey.

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