Guest Author - Erik Moeller
This must be the time of year when Eagle Scouts are completing their requirements and projects. Time to finish before the spring activities begin.
In the last week or so I have had two requests to provide direction in locating sites that provide information to be used in Eagle Courts of Honor. One was looking for the location of the poem “It’ Only a Pin.” The second was a request for inspirational thought that could be used in a court of honor. Links to both sites and an earlier article about courts of honor are included below.
Attaining the Eagle rank is a great accomplishment, but it is not the end. It is the beginning of teaching others and focusing on the next life goal. I tried to find a vehicle that would recognize their accomplishment and help them focus on the future. I found what I was looking for while attending an Advancement training session at Philmont. Two guys from Tennessee were talking about their ceremony and were kind enough to include me in the discussions.
The concept is pretty simple; the process is a little more complicated. I worked with a close associate who was well connected in the community. By sharing tasks and responsibilities, we were able to put together a program that was both rewarding and challenging. I have outlined or program below:
1. Develop a list of all the Scouts earning their Eagle in our district
2. Send out a letter to each of these Scouts asking about his intentions for going to college, jobs or career fields they were interested in, etc.
3. Once we had responses, we contacted someone in the community who was associated with the Scout’s area of interest. This Sponsor would spend a day with this Scout, showing him the ins and outs of this career area from a functional viewpoint.
4. We also created a special District Eagle neckerchief that Scouts received only if they had a Sponsor in the community and attended the recognition dinner.
5. The Sponsor agreed to pay for the cost of the recognition dinner for himself and the Eagle he was sponsoring.
6. We also had a photographer who took a picture of the Eagle and his Sponsor that we gave to them at the end of the dinner.
7. The Eagle was called forward to receive his neckerchief. We also had a memento for the Sponsor.
8. A slide show was done by a third member of my team that incorporated one or two slides of each Eagle, usually involving his Eagle project or Court of Honor.
9. Recognition could be done at a special Eagle recognition dinner or at the district dinner.
We had terrific response from the community. Sponsors were fire fighters, veterinarians, and teachers. Military officers and electricians. Physicians and community leaders. One gentleman was so committed to the program that he sponsored Scouts not related to his field when other sponsors could not afford to cover the costs.
This was one of the most rewarding programs I have ever been involved in. If you would like more details about the program, send me an email. If we have enough interest we can discuss some issues on the forum.