Our Boy Scout troop’s Court of Honor ceremonies take place a few times a year and provide an opportunity for the young men of the troop to receive their earned merit badges and be recognized for their advancements.
It is always a day of celebration as we gather with other families to celebrate to journey we are all on as we help our boys grow into men.
During these ceremonies we also get a peek into the behind-the-scenes of life for the Boy Scout leaders as they prep, plan, prepare and praise these young men from immature boys into men of honor. We are blessed with exceptional leadership in our scout troop and I have no doubt the God brought together this mix of boys, leaders, and families at this time because they all needed each other to become who God is molding them to be.
This particular Court of Honor ceremony was extra special as it was also Nate’s Eagle Recognition ceremony. Earning the rank of Eagle Scout is a notable achievement that only 4% of Boy Scouts ever achieve.
“Periodically, we read about a young man becoming an Eagle Scout and we know we should be impressed – but why?
If you have never journeyed through the life of a BSA Boy Scout you most likely only have a general idea of what is required to earn the coveted Eagle Scout Award. Furthermore, you are not versed in the detailed intricacies, and at times, the all-consuming day-to-day Boy Scout experience. A young man does not become an Eagle Scout within a few months; it takes years.
Advancement through the seven required ranks of Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle is not something one can teach in a short amount of time. Each rank is broken down into increments requiring the scout to master the skills of personal care and safety for one’s self, indoor sustainability, outdoor survival, and the ability to work with others; whether as a team or as their leader. Until the scout displays proficiency for what is required within each rank he is not able to advance.
The 21 required merit badges – 13 Eagle specific – are also challenging. Have you ever hiked 20 miles, listed the six functions of government as noted in the Preamble to the Constitution, or made a timeline of the history of environmental science in America? The Eagle Scout has. He had to accomplish tasks and learn large amounts of information to complete his Eagle required merit badges. These badges cover the spectrum of physical fitness – within the individual’s capabilities – to knowledge necessary for any college bound student.
Extensive service hours and service projects, along with living by the Scout Law: Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, reverent….
This is the life of a Boy Scout.
So the next time you read of a boy who has just received their Eagle Scout Award – be impressed. This award was not handed to him, he earned it. It will not be one of those items packed away with the other trophies of his youth, but instead will be displayed in his daily actions and its quintessence will forever live in his heart.”-Chicago Tribune
The truthfulness of this statement has been proven time and time again in the character and actions of many notable Eagle Scouts:
“As a prisoner of war in Vietnam, Eagle Scout George Coker refused to write a statement denouncing America. And so he was forced to stand against a wall, arms over his head, for 13-hour stretches, day after day after day.
Coker tried everything to survive those long hours: praying, counting to himself, thinking about his family. By the end of two months, however, he could barely remember his own name.
But he remembered the Scout Oath. “The very last thing I could consciously hold onto was the Scout Oath,” he said. “By the end, I could only get out the first verse: ‘On my honor I will do my best.’ That forced my brain to function and say, ‘I will do this again. I will not do what they want me to do.’ ” – Legacy of Honor: The Values and Influences of America’s Eagle Scouts.”
And this day we celebrated as another good scout earned the rank of Eagle.
They say it takes a village to raise a child…
I would argue that it takes a troop to raise a man.