In the past few weeks, I’ve had a couple of conversations about bad timing and the Eagle Scout Award. The first was with an adult Eagle Scout (for an upcoming Eagles’ Call profile) whose father passed away unexpectedly before the Scout could complete his last requirements. He still feels guilty that he procrastinated, mistakenly thinking he had all the time in the world to finish. The second conversation was with a friend whose troop had long insisted that Scouts wait in line to have their Eagle courts of honor. Since this troop only held courts of honor twice a year and only gave out one Eagle badge at each, that meant some Scouts were will into their college careers before they received their badges.(Fortunately, this Scouter changed that tradition when he became Scoutmaster.)
A wiser person than me once said, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” That mystery part is right, which is one reason why we owe it to our Scouts to recognize them promptly when they become Eagle Scouts–not long after the fact.
In The Eagle Court of Honor Book, I recommended scheduling a court of honor about eight weeks after the board of review. While there are sometimes good reasons for taking longer–planning travel for out-of-town family, for example–convenience and tradition don’t cut it.