A-ten-SHUN!

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knee_xray

My friends who’ve served in the military say that you learn quickly not to lock your knees while standing at attention. Otherwise, you’re likely to pass out on the parade ground.

Two Eagle Scouts learned that lesson the hard way at a court of honor I attended several years ago. Throughout a fairly long ceremony, the twin Eagle Scouts stood at attention on stage, their knees locked. Then, within a split second, they both fainted on stage. Fortunately, neither was hurt, and the ceremony continued—with the Scouts seated this time.

The lesson here is not that we should teach our Eagle Scouts how to stand at attention for long periods of time, however. The lesson is that we shouldn’t put our honorees in an uncomfortable position in the first place. In most of the scripts in The Eagle Court of Honor Book, for example, I leave the honoree in the front row of the audience until just before the presentation of the Eagle badge. This is his moment, and he should be able to enjoy it, not worry about playing statue on stage.

 

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