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.