Budding journalists are taught to ask five W questions–who, what, when, where, and why–and one solitary H question–how–every time they report a story.
Those questions are also important when you’re planning an Eagle court of honor, but four of them are especially important at the outset. In fact, asking them is essential to starting the planning process and can make the different between a great event and a yawner.
As soon as possible after the Scout has passed board of review, the key players–the Scout, his parent(s), and the troop leader in charge of the event–should meet to discuss when, where, who, and what. Here’s a look at these questions and the sorts of answers you should be looking for.
- When and where. Until you set a date and confirm a location, you really can’t do anything else, like recruit presenters or prepare invitations. Find a date and time that fits both the family and troop calendars and then pick a location that’s available on that date. This may well be the place you usually hold courts of honor, such as your chartered organization’s auditorium, but it doesn’t have to be. (See my post on the destination court of honor for more ideas.)
- Who and what. Once you’ve confirmed the when and the where, talk about the who. In other words, who should be a part of the ceremony? The Scoutmaster and family will obviously play a role, but who else does the Scout want to include? Does he want to include the grandfather who was the family’s first Eagle Scout? What about the now-retired Scoutmaster who started the honoree on the trail to Eagle? Make a list of those presenters and solicit their involvement. (See my post on very important presenters for more on the who question.) Next, think about what elements the ceremony should include. What has the Scout seen at previous courts of honor that he really liked? What ceremony parts in The Eagle Court of Honor Book speak to him? Again, make a list. With your who and what lists in hand, you can begin crafting a unique script, one designed to honor a unique Eagle Scout.
So what about why and how? Those questions are also important, of course. The introduction to The Eagle Court of Honor Book covers why, and the rest of the book will show you how.
By asking–and answering–the right questions, you can ensure a great court of honor for your next Eagle Scout.
For more great ideas, check out my ebook, Showtime: 45 Top Tips from EagleBook.com and The Eagle Court of Honor Book; it costs just $2.99 and is available for immediate download from both EagleBook.com and Amazon.com.