What’s in Your Court of Honor?

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As I blogged last spring, one of the topics I taught at the Philmont Training Center was Generation Z. That’s the generation that takes in basically all the Scouts we’re serving today.

Young people in this generation are also called screenagers and netolescents due to their dependence on electronic devices. One cool video about Gen Z I used in my conference says these young people don’t consume on two screens, they consume on five. You and I could quibble about that number and whether it’s good thing or not–okay, maybe we couldn’t quibble about that last part–but the fact remains that screens are standard operating procedure for today’s teens. (Or maybe I should say HD operating procedure since standard definition seems as old-fashioned to them as black-and-white TV!)

My question, to paraphrase Samuel L. Jackson: “What’s in your court of honor?” If it features nothing but speeches, if it could be done as a radio play without affecting comprehension, if it’s black-and-white boring, it’s probably not going to be very interesting to today’s Scouts.

I’m not saying you need to go overboard, but I think you should figure out ways to add visual interest to every court of honor. Here are a few ideas:

  • Play a slideshow, set to contemporary music, of the honoree’s journey from Tiger Cub to Eagle Scout
  • Run a slideshow used as a backdrop for the ceremony, with the photos changing every minute or two
  • Show a Scout-produced video about the honoree’s Eagle project
  • Live-tweet the court of honor on a screen beside the stage.
  • Use Skype or FaceTime to bring in an out-of-town guest, such as a former senior patrol leader who’s away at college
  • Show a Scout-produced video takeoff on a popular late night sketch like James’ Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke.”
  • Create a backdrop using a meditative nature video from YouTube.

Those are just a few ideas. I’m sure the screenagers in your troop could come up with more.

What do you think? I’d love to hear about your experiences. Post them in the comment section below; if possible, include a video link.


Did you buy The Eagle Court of Honor Book on Amazon? If so, please consider posting a review at https://www.amazon.com/Eagle-Court-Honor-Book/dp/0965120740. It’s easy to do, and you can even post a court of honor photo. Best of all, I’ll send the first five new reviewers a free Eagle Mountain Certificate! (Just send me a message after your review goes live.)

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