Eagle Courts of Honor
Eagle courts of honor are fully developed celebrations recognizing Scouts who have attained Scouting’s highest rank. They often feature a variety of very special ceremonies commensurate with the high honor being bestowed upon outstanding young men. Video: Video: Sample Eagle Court of Honor Opening Ceremony
In addition to the troop’s Scouts and their families, often in attendance are a variety of special guests, including members of the local district and council, public officials, troop alumni, and adults who have had an impact on the life of the new Eagle Scout. Commensurate with this special gathering, the Eagle court of honor needs to be setup in a dignified location. The facility should be laid out in an appropriate manner, assuring that everybody in attendance can appreciate what’s being presented.
The Eagle court of honor has been referred to as Scouting’s greatest moment. It should be an event that will long be remembered fondly by the young man being honored. As every young man is different and unique, so should each Eagle court of honor reflect what is special about the individual Scout. Throughout the event’s agenda, there should be plenty of provision for personalizing the presentation. For example, many a successful Eagle celebration features an entertaining slide show with photos that capture the new Eagle’s personality, taken during his Scouting adventures. A creative narration can serve to share many things with the guests as well as add some levity. Including presentations of short accounts that are both revealing and entertaining, by those in Scouting that know the honoree, can also add a personal touch to the proceedings.
There are many Eagle court of honor ceremonies with set scripts that have been impressively presented. But, as is the key to any successful ceremony, especially those presented on such a rare occasion, it’s more important than ever to follow the guidelines for planning ceremonies. The agenda for an Eagle court of honor is bound to be more lengthy and elaborate than those for other Scout gatherings, so it is vital to manage everything as much as possible from an entertainment perspective. The master of ceremonies, and everyone participating needs to be thoroughly prepared. With all the Scouts, families, and special guests who have come together to be a part of this celebration, pacing and organization are vital.
Sample Eagle Scout Court of Honor Agenda
- Greeting by the Master of Ceremonies (Scoutmaster, Senior Patrol Leader, or specially assigned individual)
- Invocation by the Chaplain’s Aid, or specially assigned individual
- Opening Ceremony with Pledge of Allegiance (can include Scout Oath and Law)
- Specially Prepared Eagle Scout Ceremony (Presented by Members of the Troop or specially assigned Scouts)
- Informative Presentation about Scouting’s Highest Rank (specially assigned individual)
- Light-hearted Presentation(s) Regarding the Honoree (Scoutmaster, and/or specially assigned individuals)
- Presentation of the Eagle Scout Badge (Scoutmaster or specially assigned individual)
- Presentation of Parent’s Pins by the New Eagle Scout
- Presentation of Mentor Pin(s) by the New Eagle Scout
- The Eagle Scout Charge Conducted by an Eagle Scout with all Eagle Scouts present participating
- A Selection of Special Letters Read Aloud
- Presentation of Special Gifts by Public Officials
- Words by New Eagle Scout
- Thank You to all Attendees by Master of Ceremonies
- Benediction by the Chaplain’s Aid, or specially assigned individual
- Closing Ceremony
A regular feature of an Eagle court of honor is the recitation of an Eagle Scout promise, pledge, charge, or challenge directed to all Eagles Scouts in attendance. This court of honor segment is customarily conducted by an individual who is also an Eagle Scout.
“I reaffirm my allegiance … to the three promises of the Scout Oath … I thoughtfully recognize … and take upon myself … the obligations and responsibilities … of an Eagle Scout. … On my honor, I will do my best … to make my training an example … and my status and my influence … count strongly for better Scouting … and for better citizenship … in my troop, … in my community, … and in my contacts with other people. … To this I pledge my sacred honor. …”
I, (states name)… believe in the Boy Scouts of America … as a movement which has as its aim and purpose, … character building and citizenship training. … I believe it to be a movement … that helps a Scout become master of his own powers, … helps him get along with other people, … and helps him find a worthy use for his powers. … I therefore believe it is my duty to do my best … to obey the Scout Oath and Law. … I hereby renew my faith in Scouting … and promise to do what I can … in service to other Scouts … who have not come thus far along the Eagle trail. …
Eagle Challenge 2
This challenge is read out to the new Eagle Scout without any repetitions.
– The Boy Scouts of America constitute one of the most wholesome and significant movements in history, and you (Scout’s name), have been counted worthy of this highest rank in its membership. All who know you rejoice in your achievement.
– Your position, as you well know, is one of honor and responsibility. You are a marked man. As an Eagle Scout, you have assumed a solemn obligation to do your duty to God, to Country, to your fellow Scouts, and to all of mankind. This is a great undertaking. As you live up to your obligations, you bring honor to yourself and to your brother Scouts.
– America has many good things to give you and your children after you. But, these good things depend on the qualities she instills in her citizens. As an Eagle Scout, you are prepared to help America in all that she needs most. She has a great past, and you are here to make her future even greater.
– I charge you to undertake your citizenship with a solemn dedication. Be a leader, but lead only toward the best. Lift up every task you do and every office you hold to the high level of service to God and your fellow men. We have too many who use their strength and their intellect to exploit others for selfish gains. I charge you to be among those who dedicate their skills and ability to the common good.
– Build America on the solid foundations of clean living, honest work, unselfish citizenship and reverence for God. Whatever others may do, I charge you to leave behind you a record of which every citizen may be proud.
Charge for the Common Good
This charge is effective as a preface to presenting the Reaffirmation Charge or the Eagle Pledge.
– I charge you to undertake your citizenship with a solemn dedication. Be a leader, but lead only toward the best. Lift up every task you do and every office you hold to the high level of service to God and to your fellowman. So live and serve that those who know you will be inspired to finer living. We have too many who use their strength and their brains to exploit others and to gain selfish ends. I charge you, to be among those who dedicate their skills and ability to the common good. Build America on the solid foundation of clean living, honest work, unselfish citizenship, and reverence for God; and, whatever others may do, you will leave behind a record of which every other Scout may be justly proud.
After the award has been presented, this welcome is delivered by an Eagle Scout from the new Eagle’s council.
– (New Eagle Scout’s name), as a representative of the Eagle Scouts of the _____________ Council, I welcome you to the brotherhood of Eagle Scouts. Barely more than 4 percent of the boys who enter Scouting achieve what you have been recognized for tonight. The requirements are demanding, but fair, requiring perseverance and ability.
– I am not here to talk of your past accomplishments, which are great, but of your future opportunities. I received my Eagle Award, more than ______ years ago, and in those years it has continually enriched my life. It is now yours. When you attend a Scouting function, Scouters will recognized you as a doer, and you will be standing as an equal among leaders.
– Your Eagle Award will go far beyond Scouting itself. When you apply to a college or apply for a good job, Eagle Scout on your application helps. I know, because it helped me.
– More than that, the things you have done, the leadership and character you have developed, will stand you in better than a certificate and a piece of ribbon in a frame. You will have opportunities to be of service to others, through your school, your work, and through Scouting, because you know what you can accomplish.
– In the years to come, you will casually meet men who are Eagles, too. There will be an instant bond of comradeship. For you have each shared a common experience. You each know the other can be trusted, as a friend and as a brother Scout. The comradeship among Eagles extends throughout the nation, yes even around the world. For the rest of your life (Scout’s name) you travel as a marked man, an Eagle Scout!!