Eagle Scout Court of Honor
Now that you have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, there’s one more thing to plan; your Eagle Scout Court of Honor. This is the ceremony where you are recognized in front of your family, friends, and Troop for all your hard work and achievements. There are lots of scripts and plans available online for conducting and Eagle Scout Court of Honor. They can range from a large, elaborate, catered dinner, to a simple reception at the end of a regular Troop Court of Honor. The choice is up to you and your family.
Like your Eagle Scout Project, make sure the ceremony is one that has meaning for you. This is your day. But don’t forget your mom! She is most likely one of your biggest supporters; helping you, driving you around town for meetings and supplies, answering questions, and even nagging you when you needed it. The Court of Honor is often something moms really want to help plan. They are so very proud of you and the work you’ve done, and they want to celebrate you.
Now with that being said, let’s take a quick look at what makes up and Eagle Scout Court of Honor. There are five parts of the ceremony; Opening, Scouting Segment, Eagle Scout Segment, Presentation of the Eagle Badge, Closing. The Opening consists of a welcome & introductions, prayer, and flag ceremony. The Scouting segment is a presentation about the purpose of Scouting in general. The Eagle Scout is a presentation specifically about what it means to be Eagle Scout. The presentation of the Eagle Scout Badge is often the most meaningful part of the ceremony. It is here that someone, usually the Scoutmaster, speaks about the Eagle Scout’s personal scouting experiences. The Eagle Charge and Eagle Scout Promise are read. The Eagle Scout receives his neckerchief and Eagle Medal, and he presents his parents with their Eagle Mom/Dad Pins. The Eagle Scout can also thank those that helped him along the Trail to Eagle and present one or more Eagle Mentor Pins. Finally, the Closing is just that, a final benediction and the retirement of the flags.
Location and Date
The Eagle Scout Court of Honor can be held just about anywhere: at St. Catherine of Siena Church where we have our meetings, in your own church’s community center, a picnic shelter at local park, or even your own backyard. If you are interested in having your own Court of Honor, not one at the end of a regular Troop COH, at St. Catherine’s, contact the folks in the Church office. There you’ll be asked to fill in a request form so that they can check their availability. If you decide to host it in your backyard, remember, the Troop owns lots of things you can borrow: canopies, pop-up trashcans, water coolers, tables.
As for when to hold the Court of Honor, it’s probably best to pick a few dates that work for you, then double check with the Scoutmaster and/or the calendar on the Troop website to be sure that there isn’t a conflict.
Invitations, Programs, Decorations, Memorabilia
The Scout Shop has some very simple, print-from-home invitations and programs available for purchase at reasonable prices. Fourth of July and Memorial Day decorations in red, white, and blue double nicely as possible decorations for your Court of Honor venue. And don’t forget to consider having a memorabilia table set up. This is where you have a chance to showcase all you’ve done through your years in Scouting. Display the patches you have collected over the years. (The BSA sure likes its patches!) Bring out your old Cub Scout uniform. (Were you ever really that little?!?) Dig out all your Pinewood Derby cars and brush off the dust. Did any of them win a trophy? Add that to the table as well. And finally, ask your folks to go through their photos and put together a slideshow of your Scouting activities from the beginning. Don’t forget to include photos of your Eagle Scout Project.
Eagle Scout Badge, Medal, etc.
About a month after your Eagle Scout Board of Review, you can expect an email from Tiffany Adams at the Council Office letting you know that your Eagle Packet is available for you to pick up. She is the same one to whom you had submitted your final Eagle Scout packet (Eagle Scout Rank Application, Life Purpose Statement, Eagle Scout Project Workbook). In this packet are the following: official Eagle Scout Certificate from the BSA, Eagle Badge, Eagle Medal, Eagle Mom pin, Eagle Dad pin, and one Eagle Mentor pin. While at the Council Office, stop by the Scout Shop and pick up the other items you may need: Eagle Scout neckerchief and slide, Eagle Scout Grandparent pin (if desired), additional Eagle Scout Mentor pins (if desired).
Resources for Ceremony Scripts
Here are several scripts compiled by the National Eagle Scout Association:
In my research for this page, I came across an old website from the former Viking Council Web Site (Viking and Indianhead Councils merged to become Northern Star Council) . The site is no longer maintained, but it has some terrific information and downloads still available. I think this one, the “Eagle Court of Honor Workbook” does a great job explaining the significance of the Eagle Court of Honor, and it includes several complete scripts.
The BSA maintains a site full of program resources, including a planning guide for Eagle Court of Honor, ceremony scripts, and even some videos. The videos may be helpful for those of you who have never attended an Eagle COH before.
Finally, there is a great book, written by Mark A. Ray called “The Eagle Court of Honor Book”. It can be found at the Scout Shop and on Amazon. It also fully explains the different segments of the Eagle Court of Honor and contains full scripts.