Not long ago, I had a conversation with the mother of a new Eagle Scout. When I asked her about plans for her son’s court of honor, she said he wasn’t going to have one. He’d earned his rank not long before his 18th birthday, had left for college before a ceremony could be planned, and had now shifted more or less into grownup mode. Having the sort of ceremony he’d often seen as a Scout simply didn’t interest him.
Now, there’s no rule that a Scout has to have a court of honor, but there’s also no reason that a Scout in that situation shouldn’t be recognized for his achievement. Which brings us to the winter break every college student will soon be enjoying.
Yes, I know the weeks between now and the start of spring semester are crazy busy. But I also know those young men–and perhaps you–will have some downtime after the Christmas presents are unwrapped, the Hanukkah menorah is put away, Kwanzaa and Festivus have been celebrated and Cousin Eddie and his family have driven off into the sunset in their tenement on wheels.
The trick is to think a little differently–okay, a lot differently–than you may be used to. Instead of spending weeks planning an elaborate ceremony, sending out invitations, printing programs, etc., pare the ceremony down to its basics. Find a time that you, the Scout, his family and a few of his close Scouting friends are available. Gather at a convenient location–his home, your meeting place, or even a local restaurant. Share stories about his time in Scouting, then go through an informal version of the formal presentation outlined in The Eagle Court of Honor Book, which includes the honoree’s Scouting history, a personal statement from him the Eagle charge, and the presentation of his badge and other tokens.
The whole event might take half an hour, but it would definitely be time well spent. And it might be the first time he realizes that being an Eagle Scout and being in grownup mode are not incompatible.
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.