I was skimming a book of Sunday school lessons a few years back and came across one with an interesting title: “But Enough About Me … What Do You Think of Me?” I thought the title might have been a misprint until I saw that the theme of the lesson was self-centeredness—certainly an apt topic for youth today.
About the same time, I heard about an Eagle Scout who decided not to wear his Eagle badge until he’d given another Scout the sort of help he’d received on the Scouting trail. When he finally put the badge on, he was 37 years old!
What do these two anecdotes have to do with Eagle courts of honor? If we’re not carefully, a court of honor can turn into the sort of self-congratulatory love fest that Sunday school lesson frowns on. On the other hand, if we shine the spotlight on the Eagle Scout’s service to others, we can add a level of meaning to the event that no amount of applause can provide.
That doesn’t mean you should withhold an honoree’s Eagle badge for the next two decades, of course. But you should think of ways to celebrate both the honoree and the meaning of his accomplishment. If his Eagle project supported a local community center, hold the ceremony there. If he volunteers regularly at a food pantry, ask everyone to bring a can of food to the court of honor. And above all, emphasize in the ceremony that the honoree is really at the beginning of the Eagle trail, not at the end.
That’s a Sunday school lesson he and all your other Scouts can benefit from.
For more great ideas on planning Eagle courts of honor, check out ShowTime!: 45 Top Tips from EagleBook.com and The Eagle Court of Honor Book. It’s just $2.99 and available for immediate download.