The most important moment of any Eagle Scout court of honor is, of course, when the badge is finally presented—that moment that represents the culmination of three or four or seven years of hard work.
But there’s a second part that I think is nearly as important. And that’s the part where someone—typically a troop leader—reviews the honoree’s Scouting journey. This part is important because it personalizes the honoree, crystallizes his experience into a few hundred words, and explains to the audience why exactly this event is so special. (It may also help the honoree put his Scouting experience into context.)
Many troops use a fill-in-the-blank description of the honoree’s Scouting history or stick to meaningless facts and figures: joined the troop on X date, became a First Class Scout on Y date, etc. In other troops, speakers ramble on and on, offering disjointed anecdotes that may or may not help the audience get to know the honoree. With a little extra work, however, you can do a whole lot better than that.
Perhaps an example will suffice. Below is a lightly edited version of a bio we used in my troop several years back (with the Scout’s name changed to protect his privacy). In just 235 words, you’ll learn about the honoree’s Scouting accomplishments, Eagle project, and outside achievements. Mostly, however, you’ll learn what makes him special—and what makes him an Eagle Scout:
Chris Smith has participated in Scouting at all levels. He’s been a member of Pack 317, Troop 317, and Explorer Post 517, an engineering post chartered to the Metropolitan Sewer District. As a Cub Scout, he earned the Arrow of Light; as a Boy Scout, he served as librarian, assistant patrol leader, patrol leader, and assistant senior patrol leader; and as an Explorer, he served as post treasurer.
Chris has also been active outside Scouting. He is active in the church’s high school choir, handbell choir, and praise band. He also plays J.V. soccer and maintains a 3.9 GPA at duPont Manual High School.
Among Chris’s fondest memories of Scouting is participating in Project COPE at Camp Daniel Boone three summers ago along with several other troop members. As Chris said at the time, “The COPE program has you doing things you never thought you could do. But with teamwork and a lot of trial and error, you’re able to complete the seemingly impossible tasks.”
That experience probably helped Chris last year when, for his Eagle project, he cataloged and reorganized more than a thousand books and audio cassettes in the church’s teacher resource room. Chris originally planned two, maybe three workdays but ended up spending 12 days on the project, amassing 165 volunteer hours. Chris has also continued his commitment to that project by requesting donations for the resource room in lieu of gifts today.
So what should the audience hear about 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.