Re: An eagle court question
WAYNE STOGNER (stognerw@TIDALWAVE.NET)
Tue, 16 Jun 1998 23:23:00 -0100
Jim Beyer wrote:
> In our council there are some volunteers who are exercised because the
> majority of eagle courts are not attended by many or any of the
> professionals. I am of several minds about this and am interested in
> your opinions. My thoughts in random order
> Most courts take place on Sunday. Remembering that for the
> professional this is a job, don't they get a day off?
> It is the volunteers who spend their time with the boys.
> When I see professionals the eagles are typically camp staff or
> otherwise involved with the council staff. My elder son's court for
> instance was attended by a number of professionals. Drew had two
> years on camp staff -- he worked with and for these folks.
> Big Bad Bears C-6-94
> DO YOU YAHOO!?
> Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com
I guess it's all a matter of perspective. My troop is large with more
than 100 registered boys and 50 registered adults. We organize and put
on our own Eagle Courts of Honor (ECOH) and in MHO, they are very good.
In 25-30 of them over the last 11 years, I don't think I have ever seen
a professional scouter at one of them. We don't even go through the
motions of sending them an invitation. We are not hostile to
professional scouters and we send a courtesy invitation to our DE for
our Spring Recognition Dinner (not a COH) and we have had them attend on
occasion when schedules permitted.
The ECOH is the Eagle's big day and it is critically important that it
be shared with the people he knows, friends, family, fellow scouts,
scout leaders. I would be suprised if a single boy in my troop knew
what a DE or professional scouter is, much less could name one. The
meaningful leaders to us are the adults who have been with the kids day
in and day out, campouts, weekly meetings, hikes, football games,
parades, summer camp, high adventure, etc. These are the people that
have set the example for him, guided him, corrected him, laughed with
him, etc. It is the presence of these people who have shared the path of
the Eagle trail with the boy that makes the COH meaningful and special
to the boy. Part of every one of our ECOH ceremony is the boy's
scouting history. We tell stories of things he has seen and done as a
scout with the troop. We solict letters from prominent politicians from
the President of the US to County officials. You can have as many as you
want, all you have to do is ask for them in advance. We present a flag
that has actually flown over the US Congress.
With all that, how could anyone feel the day less than an overwhelming
success simply because someone the Eagle candidate doesn't even know was
too busy with his or her own life to attend the ceremony. If a
professional scouter is available and can attend, that's fine. But, if
the adults allow their concern about the presence or absence of a
professional scouter at an ECOH to blemish a boy's ECOH, I would suggest
they need to re-examine their own values.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City