Re: Eagle CoH
golden cliff (c60clg1@CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU)
Mon, 10 Feb 1997 12:54:27 -0600
I have tremendous respect for Hugh and enjoy reading his posts. However I
have to respectfully disagree with him on this occasion.
I won't go through the whole, just a few points.
On Sat, 8 Feb 1997, J. Hugh Sullivan wrote:
> Very few have cake, punch and dignitaries for a Scout receiving tenderfoot.
> Before age 18 Eagle is the highest rank in BSA - after 18 it is the only
> rank. Even then it might get the job for you but it will not hold it.
Actually we have had cake, punch, and dignitaries at non-Eagle Courts of
Honor. A Court of Honor is a time to recognize all the boys for all
their accomplishments. Why should proper recognition be reserved only
for Eagle presentations.
> >That is why I am a firm believer, like Cliff Golden and some others on this
> >list, that the best time and place for an Eagle COH is as the culminating
> >presentation of a troop COH.
> ...when everyone has fallen asleep or did most get there 1 hour late?
I've never seen anyone fall asleep at the most exciting part of an
evening, no matter whether the climax was an Eagle presentation, Silver
Beaver, or other. I have yet to see groups of people arriving one hour
late either. Neither of these situations have been my experience.
> To use your illustration, they don't present the Nobel after the Oscars
> and diplomas are not awarded at halftime.
As for illustrations about the Oscars, it is important to remember the
Oscar for "Best Picture" does not have it's own night, it is awarded with
all the others from "Best Special Effects" to "Best Editing". They all go
into the creation of that "Best Picture". Just as Tenderfoot rank, etc.,
all went into creating that Eagle Scout.
Eagle is not a destination, it is a journey. When someone asks me how
many of my Scouts are currently working on Eagle, I answer "all of them".
Some may be Tenderfoot while others Life, but they are all traveling down
the same Eagle trail. That is why I feel it very appropriate to award all
ranks at the same Court of Honor, they all belong there. You can see the
progression the Eagle went through as you watch the youngest excited Scout
recieiving his first award, then later in the evening watch an older
excited Scout recieving Scouting highest award, Eagle.
We are a troop. We don't have exclusive activities or meetings for Eagles
alone. The troop belongs to all the boys. Our Courts of Honor are done
with that in mind, they belong to all the boys. The Eagles will occupy
the brightest spotlight and consume the greatest glory, but they share
the night with those younger boys struggling to follow in their
footsteps. I think that's part of what Scouting is all about.
Eagle is the highest award we can honor a Scout with. We make that
abundantly clear at our Courts of Honor. I don't think we take anything
way from that.
> Fortunately I believe we can all have it our way - before, after, separate,
> multiple - it's up to us. But, I happen to believe that life awards winners
> more than participants.
Your conclusion wasn't supported very well by the body of your post. You
attacked the idea of a Troop Court of Honor by suggesting it would put
people to sleep, they'd come late, or by unrealistic comparisons.
I don't attack individual Courts, I prefer troop Courts, for the reasons
I've stated. There are many troops with established traditions of
separate, troop, multiple, etc. As long as that Eagle Scout feels on top
of the world by the end of the presentation, whatever the style, the
primary mission has been accomplished. I don't feel that units doing it
differently from mine are wrong. I am just defending what we do.
I feel as the Eagle stands there in his accomplishment, I would like as many
younger scouts there also basking in his glory as they dream of their own.
They hike together, camp together, and grow together. It seems only
appropriate to me that they all recieve recognition together, as a troop.
As a final note, these have been the thoughts of my PLC. If I ever
change my mind it will be from those young men, not other adult leaders.
So far it has been a tradition they have embraced. We will continue that
that tradition until they tell me differently. I work for them.
YIS, Cliff Golden
Scoutmaster Troop 33; DeKalb, Illinois
Three Fires Council BSA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City