Guest Author - Erik Moeller
The trek to Eagle is completed. Your son has earned his 21+ merit badges, completed his service project, served as a leader in his troop and passed his Board of Review. This is really a good feeling. A time for you and him to be proud. Fewer than 4% of the boys that join the Scouting program achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.
As you prepare for the Court of Honor take a few minutes to decide what is important to you and how you want to remember this day. A great many people incorporate a slide show into the program. This is especially nice for friends and family members from out of town who have not gotten a chance to follow your son’s Scouting career. Watching him grow and change through the years is great. Remember, just because you have 500 slides of this process does not mean you have to show all 500 slides. Keep your audience’s attention span in mind.
For many families they have attended a number of these Eagle Courts and know what they like and how they want to conduct theirs. For others, this is a new experience. There are a number of good sources for Eagle Court formats. One follows the trail of the Eagle and highlights accomplishments at each rank. There is the voice of the Eagle format which is a bit different. In the Ceremonies section of the website are several links to good sites for setting up your Eagle Court. There is no “approved” format. Use what you like from a number of ceremonies to create a unique ceremony for yourself.
Over the years I have attended numerous Eagle Courts. I have found a poem that I really like because it represents a lot of what the Eagle is all about. It is on a number of sites and the author is unknown. If printed and framed, it makes a nice gift to give a new Eagle. I have included the words for the poem below. If you want it set up in a format that you can frame, go to the Forms and Images section of the site and you can download it as a Word document. You can customize the Scouts name, date of the Court and your name at the bottom.
It's Only a Pin
Two fond parents watch their boy where he stands,
Apart from his comrades tonight,
And see placed on his camp-battered tunic, a badge...
An Eagle... the emblem of right.
It seems just a few short months have passed
Since he joined with the youngsters next door...
How proud they were of their Tenderfoot pin
As they told of the message it bore.
But the years have gone as he struggled along
To learn what the Scout Law's about;
He practiced them daily, the Oath and the Law,
Until now he is an Eagle Scout.
You may smile in your worldly wisdom at this
And say, "Why it's only a pin."
But I'll tell you, no honors he'll gain as a man
Will mean quite as much to him.
The red, white and blue of the ribbon you see
Are the symbols of honor and truth.
He has learned how to value these fine attributes
In the glorious days of his youth.
And the out-flinging wings of the Eagle that rests
On the breast of this knight of today
Are the wings which will lift him above petty deeds,
And guide him along the right way.
Yes, it's only a pin, just an Eagle Scout badge,
But the heart beneath it beats true,
And will throb to the last for the things that are good;
A lesson for me... and for you.