Re: 17 Eagles, one COH
golden cliff (c60clg1@CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU)
Fri, 7 Feb 1997 02:00:47 -0600
Quite a story about that super-troop. There are advantages and
disadvantages of super troops. My troop is considered large, but not a
super troop (we have about 55 boys). We have 4 Courts of Honor each year.
We might have as many as 100 awards to give out at some, less at others.
We try to honor the boys, it's their night. We rarely ever have a meal, we
prefer to concentrate on recognition rather than digestion. But many
troops have an annual dinner and I think it's a fine idea. (We keep
toying with the idea of an annual dinner)
The super troop's gala Court of Honor you described was a pretty unique
situation not repeated by many units. I don't think that would be the
sort of thing I would want to be involved in, but it must apparently work
for them. I wonder if some of the fundamentals of Scouting doesn't
sometimes get lost in these grandiose elaborate gestures.
> However, to the idea of
> presenting the Eagle as the high point of a regular court of honor as a
> means of having the whole troop there for inspiration, I wonder if the same
> effect might not be achieved in such a way as to make it a more singular
> honor for the Eagle, by having a strictly Eagle court of honor in which the
> younger members of the troop have participatory parts to play in the
> ceremony, as color guard, honor guard for the Eagle, etc., which would
> require their presence. They might be even more impressed and inspired by a
> court of honor that was solely for the purpose of honoring one boy. Just a
Of course it can be.
I have seen this done several times in our area and I think it is an
excellent idea if you have only a single Eagle or two. The more special
you make the event, the stronger the impression you give to your younger
Scouts. I surely agree with that.
However, I think it would get very old if you did it 17 times, or even 3
or 4 or 5 times within a few months.
The discussion didn't focus on Eagle presentations, but multiple Eagle
If you have the "Eagle of the Month" Court of Honor, on top of all the
other troop activities, plus regular Courts of Honor, I think those events
would lose their novelty and stop being special.
Having boys present for their awards at a troop COH, highlighted by an
impressive Eagle ceremony is still the way we'll do it, unless the boys
tell me differently. That can still be a rare and special occasion.
I would avoid the situation you described with the super troop. That
sounded like a Scouting dynasty where the adults were the honorees and the
Eagles were being exhibited as their trophies.
Of course there is no absolute wrong or right way to do it. I've seen it
done as a separate event, and as a regular COH, both very effective and
impressive. The separate event Eagle Courts of Honor I've attended were
usually with smaller troops where Eagles were fairly rare. The regular
troop COH where the Eagle presentation was the highlight event tended to
be with larger troops that had a number of Eagles each year.
That is only my experience.
You want the Eagle presentation to be a very special time for the young
man receiving it. Whether at a single Eagle Court, or as part of a troop
COH, it should have a special meaning that will stand out as a highlight
of his Scouting career. I think we can all agree on that. How to achieve
that, well that's open for discussion and surely there is more than one
valid point of view on that subject.
YIS, Cliff Golden
Scoutmaster Troop 33; DeKalb, Illinois
Three Fires Council BSA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City