Giving Thanks at (and After) Eagle Courts of Honor

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Several years ago, my troop’s newest Eagle Scout stopped by my house. He and his girlfriend (who said only jocks get the girls?) came by to thank me for my help with his court of honor and to hand me a thank-you gift.

The gift was nice, but the sentiment was even nicer. Rather than saying impersonal thank-yous during his court of honor, he’d chosen to make personal visits to the people who’d played a key role in his ceremony–and who’d helped him get there in the first place.

This approach let him do more than just show his sincere gratitude, however. It also let him stay focused in a couple of important ways:

First, he was able to focus on those leaders, past and present, who’d really impacted his Scouting career. There was no pressure, for example, to present gifts to those adults who had joined the troop since his involvement had more or less shifted over to our Venturing crew.

Second, and much more importantly, he was able to spend time during his ceremony thanking just one assistant Scoutmaster–his father–who had been involved at every step along the trail to Eagle. It was a truly emotional moment when he gave his dad an Eagle Scout mentor pin, and it would have been a real shame to dilute that moment by going through a litany of other, lesser thank-yous at that time.

As you plan your next court of honor, I hope you’ll encourage your new Eagle Scout to plan his thank-yous carefully. He and the people he thanks will be glad you did.

 

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3 thoughts on “Giving Thanks at (and After) Eagle Courts of Honor

  1. wstuart2015

    Mark – I always enjoy your articles. Informative and motivating! Quick question on this article. Near the end, you mention that the Scout gave his father, who is an ASM, with a mentor pin. My understanding is that it is not appropriate to give a mentor pin to a parent. Parents receive the mother’s pin and father’s pin to recognize their support of the Scout during his Scouting career. Am I mistaken in my understanding? . . .In my troop, we’ve discouraged Scouts from giving mentor pins to a parent and have encouraged Scouts to really limit how many they give out (one or two) so that they have meaning. We had one Scout a few years ago who gave a third mentor pin to his grandmother to recognize her for sewing patches on his uniform!

    • Thanks for the kind words. You’re right about the mentor pin not being intended for parents. The Guide to Advancement specifically says it is intended for a “non-parent who was instrumental in the Scout earning his Eagle.” I personally wouldn’t make a big deal of it if a Scout wanted to give one to his mom or dad–especially if it was well-deserved–but the important thing is that he recognize the parent’s contribution, not that the parent receive any extra bit of hardware.

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