I recently participated in a court of honor for two Eagle Scouts, one from my troop and one from another troop. While it’s unusual to have a two-troop court of honor, this one worked really well, with planning and leadership more or less evenly divided between the two units.
But it also got me thinking about something I discuss in The Eagle Court of Honor Book, which is what makes multi-Scout courts of honor work and what can make them fail. The key, I think, is compatibility. The more two or three Scouts have in common, the more likely a joint court of honor will effective.
There are plenty of ways the Scouts could be compatible, but these three are probably the most important:
- Age: Are the Scouts about the same age? A ceremony featuring a 13-year-old eighth-grader and an 18-year-old who’s home from college for spring break would seem strange.
- Scouting involvement and commitment: Are the honorees all hard-core Scouts, or did they barely cross the finish line? Either option works better than having a court of honor where two honorees have done the bare minimum and the third has earned 50 merit badges, gone to three high adventure bases, and served as the senior patrol leader for your council’s NYLT course.
- Guest lists: At a joint court of honor, would you basically have two or three audiences of widely varying sizes? Or would both sides of the auditorium be equally full.(Of course, assuming all the honorees are from the same troop, you’ll have plenty of overlap among the guest lists, which is a good thing.)
So what’s been your experience with multi-Scout courts of honor? Feel free to post your comments below.
For more ideas, see my post on sending invitations for multi-Scout courts of honor. And for a slew of other 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.