This past Sunday was Easter Sunday, a day when my church (like most churches across America) saw triple the usual number of worshipers. For the past few years, our church has made a special effort to be welcoming to visitors and to look at the worship experience through their eyes. A big part of that is assuming nothing, including where to find the bathrooms and where to find the hymnals. We post greeters at every entrance to the building, and we create self-contained worship bulletins that don’t require looking anything up in a hymnal.
So what’s the connection with Eagle courts of honor? Many of the guests at a court of honor will be first-time visitors to your troop and your meeting location. They’ll need to know where the ceremony will be held, where the bathrooms are, and what’s expected of them during the ceremony. If former Scouts will be asked to join the recitation of the Scout Oath and Scout Law, print the words in the program. (Yes, they may have forgotten whether courteous comes before kind.) If Eagle Scouts in the audience will be asked to form an “Eagles’ nest” on stage, give them a heads up at the beginning of the ceremony–especially if they’ll be asked to introduce themselves and tell when and where they became Eagle Scouts. (Yes, they may need to do some mental math to come up with the year.)
In short, treat your guests as, well, guests, not just as the usual suspects. If you do, perhaps you’ll see them again before next Christmas!