By Maloree Anderson
Mar 07, 2018

How to Do a Successful Eagle Court of Honor

Eagle ScoutOnce an Eagle Scout successfully completes his Board of Review, he can begin planning and preparing for his Eagle Court of Honor. Courts of Honor can be as casual or formal as the Eagle Scout would like. For example, any where from a backyard BBQ to a dressy ceremony, the Eagle Court of Honor should reflect the uniqueness of the Scout. Just as long as you implement the three main reasons why you do an Eagle Court of Honor:

  1. Recognize the Eagle Scout (and his achievements)
  2. Recognize the Mentor
  3. Inspire Other Boys

Now that you know the why, let’s work on the how. Hosting an Eagle Court of Honor can be a daunting task but, that shouldn’t hinder you from having an amazing Eagle Court of Honor. Following these easy steps can make planning a breeze:

Decide a Date

As you’re deciding a date for the Eagle Court of Honor, you must remember that it can only be held AFTER the Board of Review. Note that the Eagle Board of Review date will be the date the Scout will use for the date he achieved Eagle Rank.

Find a Venue

As mentioned above, this can basically be any where the Scout wants it. Typically, Eagle Courts of Honor are held in a church meeting house but not required.

Invite a Council Representative

Because the Eagle Award is earned through the Boy Scouts of America, it is asked that a representative is invited to “preside” over the ceremony. A Council representative can be the District Advancement Chair or a member of the Stake Young Men’s Presidency.

Plan the Ceremony

When planning the ceremony, remember the three why’s, 1) Recognize the Eagle Scout, 2) Recognize the Mentor, 3) Inspire other Scouts. With that in mind, the Eagle Court of Honor is a special ceremony that should be planned accordingly for the Eagle Scout and his guests. A great tool in preparing is following the guidelines of planning ceremonies.

An Eagle Court of Honor will be a bit more lengthy than other Scouting ceremonies so it’s vital that the Master of Ceremonies and all those participating in the ceremony have rehearsed. The organization and pacing of the event’s agenda can make for an exciting, heart-felt ceremony that is sure to inspire those in attendance. Below is a simple, standard agenda of an Eagle Court of Honor, (Note: The new Eagle Scout should be the one to ask and assign people to parts of the agenda such as the Master of Ceremonies, invocation, benediction, etc):

  • Greeting by the Master of Ceremonies (MC) – This can be the Senior Patrol Leader, Scoutmaster, or a special person to the Eagle Scout.
  • Invocation
  • Opening Ceremony – Pledge of Allegiance (this can also include the Scout Oath and Law)

  • Eagle Scout Ceremony
  • Presentation of Scouting’s Highest Rank (Eagle Scout)
    • The Eagle Story – A video that helps the audience understand the rank of Eagle Scout
  • Recognizing the New Eagle Scout Presentation
  • Presentation of Eagle Scout Badge
  • Presentation of Parent’s Pins by New Eagle Scout
  • Presentation of Mentor Pin(s) by New Eagle Scout
  • The Eagle Scout Charge – Conducted by an Eagle Scout with all Eagle Scouts present participating
  • Words by New Eagle Scout
  • Thank You to attendees by the MC
  • Benediction
  • Closing Ceremony
  • Refreshments

The key to a successful Eagle Court of Honor is the execution of the ceremony. The Eagle Scout should be leading the preparation and planning of the event with the guidance of his parents and leaders. It should be unique and magnify the accomplishments of the boy. When you keep it personable and have a smooth flow, you can inspire those in attendance.

 

Had a successful Eagle Court of Honor? We want to hear about your great ideas!

Maloree Anderson

 

Author: Maloree Anderson | is a photographer, graphic designer, mom of one, friend of Scouting and Marketing Specialist with the Utah National Parks Council, Boy Scouts of America.

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2 thoughts on “How to Do a Successful Eagle Court of Honor

  1. George Weight

    We often have a delicate balance between the “Adult Association” and “Leadership Development” methods. Leadership Development is expressed in terms of “letting the boys lead.” In any Court of Honor, especially an Eagle Court, we should look for opportunities to enhance both. Here’s a few points to insure that balance is achieved:
    (1) The unit leader–usually a scoutmaster–and the advancement committee chair should mentor the boy and his parents on planning sessions well in advance of the actual Court of Honor date so that all are on board with how the ceremony is to function. In Eagle Courts, leaders should keep in mind that it is the boy’s Court of Honor, but that he and his parents should respect the integrity of the Boy Scouts of America and follow accepted guidelines.
    (2) To further enhance the “adult association” method, I’ve found it helpful in an Eagle Court to ask all adults who have an Eagle Scout son, or who have been recognized as an Eagle mentor, or who have the Silver Beaver or an equivalent adult award, to stand briefly to be recognized.* This should ONLY be done with a statement to young scouts that they should be aware of adults who are interested in and working for the benefit of scouts as they mature into adulthood. Emphasis should be on “adult association” over “adult recognition.”
    (2) That being said, and remembering from my youth, it is important that all Scouters come dressed in full, “Class A” uniforms. Scouters should have earned square knots sewn on their shirts.* Wood badge regalia could be worn, as well as Silver Beaver ribbons/medallions and Order of the Arrow sashes. These can enhance the “adult association” method.
    (3) Pre-planning and training should include the Senior Patrol Leader or other Youth Leader who is going to conduct–again, WELL IN ADVANCE of the Court of Honor and not half-an-hour before it begins. Conducting should ALWAYS be done by a well-prepared, trained youth leader. This should be done for any Court of Honor, even regular ones.
    (4) When an “Eagle’s Nest” is formed, an observation that the adults in the nest achieved the rank as Scouts may be made if it will enhance the “adult association” method and/or promote the desire to earn the Eagle Rank.
    (5) Some of the more meaningful Courts I’ve witnessed that have enhanced the “adult association” model have been those where the Scoutmaster or another adult has offered a direct tribute to the boy in terms of recollection of the boy’s learning and achievement as he earns a new rank. This practice is good for any Court of Honor, and could be extended for an Eagle Court.
    (6) IMO, one should be careful to properly recognize adult district or council representatives without any indication that they are “presiding”. “Representing” is the better term, especially in LDS units, where the Chartered Organization head–the Bishop–is present. That may be true in other Chartered Organizations as well.
    *Recognition of adults must always enhance the “adult association” method. When square knots are placed on the adult uniform, the opportunity is present to explain to Scouts in casual settings the level of service to boys that is required for each knot. Normally, discussion of them need not be formally done in any Court of Honor. “Time” and “place” considerations, when properly done, may enhance the “adult association” method.

    Reply
  2. Ryan

    Can you please change the pronoun “he” to “they”? Since the US is finally catching up to the rest of the world and treating young women equally?

    Reply

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