This Ain’t Coronation

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A few months ago I published a post entitled “This Ain’t Graduation.” The idea was to emphasize that an Eagle court of honor is not the same thing as a graduation ceremony. Whether the honoree has just turned 13 or just turned 18, becoming an Eagle Scout shouldn’t be the last thing he does in Scouting. And the court of honor should help point him toward what his next thing in Scouting is.

But that’s not the only area of confusion I often hear about. Many Scouters and parents inadvertently turn courts of honor into coronations, placing honorees on so high a pedestal that they’re likely to get nosebleeds. While it’s important to celebrate the accomplishments of new Eagle Scouts–after all, only five percent of Scouts make it this far–the ceremony should be more of a commissioning than a coronation, pointing as much toward the future as it does toward the past.

Besides sending the wrong message, “coronations of honor” can be off-putting to many honorees. A Scout who’s naturally introverted or who has bought into the concept of servant leadership may feel quite uncomfortable being the center of attention–even to the point of not wanting to have a court of honor at all.

So celebrate your Scout’s accomplishments and give him lots of accolades. Just don’t give him a crown.

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