eaglescout100-0

They earned Eagle but still haven’t scheduled their court of honor

eaglepatchIt’s kind of like finishing a marathon but heading straight for your car instead of stopping to pick up your medal.

A Scouter from the St. Louis area — I’ll call him “Tim” — emailed me last week with a problem: Three Scouts in Tim’s troop finished all the requirements for the Eagle Scout award, but when Tim called the boys to help them plan an Eagle Scout court of honor, none seemed interested in even having a ceremony.

Here’s Tim’s full email explaining this sticky situation: 

I am the assistant Scoutmaster and advancement chairman for my Scout troop. I have worked with lots of boys in my troop and am proud of the fact that we have more than the national average of boys who made it to Eagle.

So many times, I have sat in the waiting room during a boy’s Eagle board of review, most times celebrating with the boy and his parents that he passed the board of review.

Several years ago, three boys who were very close to their 18th birthday successfully passed their Eagle Scout board of review. Our troop sent their application and records off to the local council and then to National. Shortly thereafter, the approved applications arrived along with the Eagle badge, certificate, and patch.

After receiving the packet from National, I immediately contacted the boys and encouraged them to arrange and coordinate their own Eagle ceremony. I printed off pages from the Internet about ceremonies and offered to help review their work.

Not one of these boys carried through with their ceremony. Although I have kept in contact with them, they do not seem to be interested in planning a ceremony. I even suggested that we could have a short ceremony during a Cub Scouts Blue and Gold banquet. No interest.

I still have these boys’ Eagle packets at home. The badge, patch, and certificate rightfully belong to the boy. Should I bundle them up and mail them to the boy or parents? What should I do?

My initial reaction is bewilderment. It shocks me to see a boy work so hard to earn Eagle and then not share that special achievement with the friends and family who helped get him there. And I’m equally shocked that teenagers would pass up the chance to eat cookies and cake.

In reality, an Eagle Scout court of honor celebrates more than just the Scout’s hard work. It’s a chance to recognize the supporting cast along the way, without whom the Scout wouldn’t have made it to the finish line. I’m talking about Scoutmasters and fellow Scouts, of course, but also the boy’s parents, grandparents, and siblings.

But just as you can’t force a boy to finish his work toward earning the Eagle Scout award, you can’t force him to have a ceremony after he earns it.

As sad as it makes me to say this, it appears Tim’s only option is to mail the Eagle materials to the boys’ parents, perhaps including with it a congratulatory, hand-written letter that challenges the Scout to take what he learned on the Eagle trail and apply it to the next chapters of life.

But that’s just my opinion. What advice would you give to Tim? Leave a thought below, and I’ll make sure Tim sees it. 

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127 thoughts on “They earned Eagle but still haven’t scheduled their court of honor

  1. I read over the comments and several ideas came to mind that were not covered. The thought did come to mind that perhaps the boys didn’t want to earn the Eagle Rank to begin with. Perhaps the parents wanted it more than the scouts did. Hence, why is does not deserve a ceremony.
    This sort of situation is odd to me though. It is like working at a job, turning in your time card, getting paid, but not cashing your paycheck. There has to be some sort of reasoning behind it.
    I have also seen in troops that have a higher than the national level of Eagles coming out of a troop fall into two groups. One a troop is doing a great job and these boys are excelling and earning their Eagle Rank or the troop is not doing a great job and it is an eagle mill. I would hope it is the first scenario. Poor parents and scouters. For years, the expect a ceremony for their son and they don’t have one. I bet some parents are shedding some tears over this. I imagine that some scouters are not too happy about it either. I still think the boys wishes should be honored.
    I can sort of understand the boys though. I graduated college and I did not want a graduation party. I was sick of being poor and just wanted to get back to work. My wife, my mom, and my mother in law MADE me have the party. But my Eagle Rank, Heck yeah I wanted a ceremony. I earned it! I also hope to one day be part of my son’s Eagle Ceremony and , yes, he will be having one!

  2. Been there done that. My son I really had to drag through Scouts to get him to Eagle. It was EVERYTHING I had to get him there, kicking and screaming about how much he wasn’t interested after about age 15. The usual reasons; being a Boy Scout is for geeks and nerds that will never have a girl friend or play sports.

    Stuff that Scouts DO is cool, but being a Scout isn’t. So that’s why I became a scuba instructor, just to keep him in Scouts long enough for someone (other than me) to grab him by the collar and push him through his Eagle Project. It was his HS coach, rather than one of the troop dads.

    So, he finishes the project, and I have to push him to do the write-up of course. By the time that was all done, then I scheduled the BoR. That’s done, and so was he, never to attend another Scout function..

    .He had 29 merit badges, and waited over 17 months to do his SM conference and BoR for his bronze palm,the day before his 18th b’day. He had already dropped out of the troop, but I paid a registation fee to enroll him in my Sea Scout Ship (I’m the Skipper), on the off chance that he MIGHT change his mind for the palm. Kids in their late teens are selfish, and self-focused. Just the way it works. Or, at least mine is.

    So, yes, I WAS able to get him to have a stand-alone ECoH, but he really didn’t want to have anything to do with the other kids in his patrol that also achieved Eagle (7 of them) and had a joint ECoH for the other 6 of them.

    • I have read your post over a couple of times, no disrespect intended but
      “My son I really had to drag through Scouts to get him to Eagle. It was EVERYTHING I had to get him there, kicking and screaming about how much he wasn’t interested after about age 15.”
      Makes it sound like you wanted to have an Eagle Scout made of your son. He has to earn it himself and want it for it to mean anything to him.

  3. I know of some boys who were put through endless hoops and hurdles (read: extra requirements) to “prove” they are “worthy”. I think that some of them have felt let down by adults, and don’t want to get their hopes up again, just to let those same adults bring down the mood and meaning of their ECOH.

    But more often than not, boys that earn it their senior year of high school usuaully don’t have their ceremony right away. It usually gets put off until they are off on a college break after their first college year.

  4. The real shame here, in my opinion, is that did not allow themselves to be role models for the younger boys. There something special for a scout to see these men receive the award that one day they too hope to receive.

    I have known boys who did not really want the ECOH but went through it anyway, out of respect for their mothers. If anything, they should have had the ECOH out of respect for the troop.

    If the troop has not had a ECOH since these boys, I would make sure that that younger scouts get a chance to go to a near by troop’s ECOH as a way to honor scouting and to help nip any precedents in the bud.

  5. I must ask, what else is there to the story. It seems like something is missing. I also have to wonder whether these kids really were working their Eagle for themselves or for their parents. My son was in Scouting. He never got his Eagle. I think Scouting for him was just a way for him to do things with me. I happened to be a leader in his Cub Scout pack and Troop and was a founding leader in the Venturing Crew he was in. I never forced him to advance although I would encourage him. He excelled in Music and it was and is his first love. I encouraged him to do his best in whatever he did.
    It gets me to thinking that maybe these boys were being pushed into getting their Eagle and they pushed back in the end. They may not have felt that the rank was theirs.

  6. Like “Tim” I’ve had two Scouts in my troop who have chosen not to have a Court of Honor. I don’t understand it, but if they refuse, then I’m not going to push it. And this post reminded me — I have an Eagle packet that I need to mail off to the most recent Eagle Scout who chose to bypass the ECoH, but I won’t be sending along the Eagle belt buckle that our troop typically presents.

  7. I know of a scout who is waiting for his brother to return from Afghanistan before he has his ECOH. We need to let the scouts have the ECOH on their terms. This award/rank belongs to the scout. No matter how much we adults want them to do things on our schedule, this like all the awards and ranks belongs to the scouts themselves. They have to earn these for themselves for them to mean anything to them. We are there to guide them, mentor them, counsel them, encourage them, and support them. Otherwise we are not preparing them for the challenges of the life they have ahead.

  8. I’m a Committee leader for Cub Scouts and my heart saddens to hear this. I would advise Tim to have contacted the parents to arrange for a small private ceremony. I am assuming that there is peer pressure here. Why else would one not one to have a ceremony for their Eagle Rank!
    Another suggestion, I would have contacted community leaders, the mayor, etc. to encourage these boys to accept their Eagle rank. Just my thoughts.

  9. I don’t think this is all that uncommon. We have seen it twice in our troop. We do not give the boy the award without a ceremony. So the awards set on a scout shelf in the scout room. One boy went off to college and a couple years later came back and we had a ceremony for him. We have another setting there still. In both cases they earned the award without being pushed, they just had un-involved parents.

  10. I see this as a problem with the adults involved. Being proud that you have more than the average number of Eagle Scouts, sounds more like the boys were pushed into it.
    I have seen this weird adult logic that says a boy shouldn’t be an eagle scout until they are “blank” age. Inevitably, once the boy gets to that age he doesn’t want to work on the requirements.
    We did have several boys on the Eagle out at 18 plan. They didn’t see value in having a ceremony. We finally told them that they would be recognized at the regular Court of Honor. Their mother’s made sure that they attended.
    In the end they had to admit that it was a pretty good idea to have a ceremony.

  11. My son earned his Eagle in August of 2012 and was super excited to have his Court of Honor. That’s when we found out that that the only input his Troop would have was to purchase his Eagle neckerchief, slide and award. They wouldn’t have anything else to do with his Court of Honor. He decided he didn’t want one.
    A friend of his had his Court of Honor earlier in the year and none of the adults from the Troop even showed up. They were all invited.
    I have finally talked my son into having a Court of Honor. I told him it was for him and we would invite his family and friends.
    I can understand why some boys don’t want to have a Court of Honor. They are busy. My son was only involved in Scouting. When boys have athletics and scouts it’s difficult to find the time.

  12. I have been Scoutmaster for 38 years, and have had 50 Eagles. Out of those 50, I had your case only once, and in that case, after 2 years of waiting, I boxed up his stuff and mailed it to him. As leaders, we can only do so much, and if the Scout is not interested in a ceremony, then why worry about it, or bother with it. I know veterans who earned the Purple Heart who didn’t even go to receive it. Some are just not in to the ‘pomp & circumstance’ of awards. If however this starts, or is a common occurance in your Troop, you might need to review/change your methods/policies.

  13. There must be a deeper problem 3 make eagle and don’t want it is your ceremony lame? It there dislike of the leaders. We make ours sweet and to the the point.
    The one thing we do is let the Eagle leads the entire thing and mostly writes there own court of honor. Yep its there party and your just there to celebrate it.

  14. I am the Committee Chairperson for a Troop of 22 boys. We hava had an incredible run of at least 1 boy every year get their Eagle Rank. It has become a “tradition” with our Unit, that in order for the Scout to finish the “process” strong -that he, with the help of his Troop and parents, have a Troop Court-of-Honor celebration. To me, this is very important for the younger boys see and hear the Eagle Scouts demonstrate, and talk about their “road to success” in achieving such a prestigious honor!!
    We have built it in as a tradition whereas its assumed by all and understood by the Scout getting Eagle that this is technically his last “duty” to the Troop. The Scout actually has just about everything done FOR him in planning this “party” – I have to admit. BUT,
    He does have to show up, give a 5 minute speech-(min.), and receive his awards. The troop gives him misc. items to go along with his patch, pin, and certificate. As Committee Chair, I make it happen with the help of Adv. Coord. And the boys patents!!

  15. I wonder if the noted Eagles were urged to participate in other Eagle Scout projects and other Eagle’s Courts of Honor as they worked their way toward Eagle?

    In our Troop we make a big deal of all Courts of Honor. from Scout all the way up. It is necessary, I believe, to tell (show) Scouts that this is a part of the Scout Spirit- which should be discussed at every Scoutmaster’s conference and every Board of Review.

    Do you have some sort of Eagle Scout Honor Roll with names posted. Do Eagle’s get their photo’s and an article in local papers? In my time in Scouting, in the 1950′s and ’60′s there were many articles about Boy Scouts, Courts of Honor, summer camp, events, etc.–have we taken a route of “ducking” and not doing more PR with our Scouts?

    I think some blame is due leaders and parents for not assisting with the serious urging and planning for the Eagle Courts of Honor. (note: I know we all want to hurry and shorten things — but spell it out, not COH but Court of Honor!)–it has to start early!

  16. I don’t think this is a “blame” situation. Some people like to be in the limelight some don’t. This is the Eagle Scout’s accomplishment. If he doesn’t want a ceremony. That’s his right. Especially, and as the story related, since they are over the age of 18. I’ve been a Scoutmaster for almost three decades and it just depends on the Scout. If you really feel strong about it, have a “Scoutmaster Conference” with the Eagle Scout and help them understand not only is the Eagle Court of Honor for the Scout but it’s an opportunity for the Scout to thank all of those (Parents, ASM’s, Older Scouts, etc) that helped them reach that point.

  17. I completely understand the boys. I graduated university, and had no interest whatsoever in the ceremony. Send their packets to them, and be done with it. Seems that more people care than they do.

  18. They earned their Eagle Rank and should be given the hardware they earned. Maybe send each an invite to a troop meeting that says if they choose not to show at that meeting then the symbols of their Eagle Rank achievement will be mailed following the designated meeting. Make an informal presentation at the meeting in front if the troop if they should choose to show. Seems like earning the rank may not have meant much too them ir they would be more excited about honoring their achievement; totally unjustified comment I’ve made but I do have to wonder if there is more to this story that Tim isn’t sharing or doesn’t know?

  19. Looks like a multitude of scenarios. I think the Scout should plan his own ECOH in order to receive his Eagle AS A RULE. However there are always exceptions, and the rule should not be absolute, but it should not be easy to get around the rule. Our troop has had several in this category. Some have had elaborate ceremonies with receptions not unlike those for a wedding. I think, sometimes, a Scout and the Scout’s parents may be intimidated by those and are reluctant to put on a less elaborate ceremony. Probably more prevalent for our troop is that frequently we have Scouts who rock along and only make the final push to Eage RIGHT BEFORE their 18th birthday. Once that happens, by the time of the BOR and return of Eagle package the Scout may have graduated and already left for college, military service, or employment at summer camp or elsewhere. For Scouts who wait that long, frequently, there are not many Scouts left in the troop whom they know or associate with. There is also the inertia factor, and the longer they wait, the less interest they have in having a ceremony. All understandable. If we make it TOO easy, we will lose the benefits of the ceremony to the troop more often, so I think the rule is good. After a while, we notify the Scout it can presented at a regurlar COH. If not then, we sometimes have an anniversary or alumni dinner.at which we might schedule the presentation. If the Scout no-shows, then we would probably mail it. We are still “sitting on” several, but generally, we have been able to cajole some kind of ceremony.

  20. Hey Char!!

    You wrote “To me it has all the signs of boys who probably never should have got their Eagle as this is now Eagle behavior. I would quit wasting my time putting more energy into it…”

    First, it is THEIR CEREMONY. They get to decide HOW they are getting their Eagle Award presented to them.

    Second, as I wrote above, they have *no real choice* to getting the Award presented, if they want to be recognized and awarded the Eagle Award. The BSA awards the Eagle on action and on behalf of the National Court of Honor — this isn’t something that the Troop can say “oh well, he doesn’t want it presented to him…”

    What they DO have choices on is how “Big” or “Little” the Court of Honor is and where and under what circumstances they have the ceremony.

    It COULD be in their cases, that they’ve *never seen the Eagle awarded anywhere* and therefore to them, it’s like when they got awarded Life. You know “here’s the badge, congrats, keep going and how many more merit badges do you have now toward Eagle?”

    On the other hand, they may have went to someone’s Eagle Court of Honor and as I stated earlier, became so overwhelmed with all of the “trappings” and “things” and “oaths” and STUFF…that “there’s NO WAY I’m GONNA DO THIS!! Just gimme the badge and stuff and shake my hand like when I earned Life, and let me go…”

    This isn’t a matter of whether or not they are “Eagle material.” This is simply a matter of education and advisement and allowing that new Eagle to receive his award in the way they desire — keeping in mind that the Eagle isn’t just “sent in the mail and hope you get it…” Eagle is a NATIONAL COUNCIL AWARD and deserved at least a short presentation ceremony.

  21. I have had this happen. My first Eagle as CC moved out of state just after he submitted his paperwork. He and his parents both said they did not want an ECOH and ‘could I please mail them the award.’ We offered to contact their new unit he would be joining or even wait a month for when they would be back to visit. ‘No, thank you,’ was their polite reply. They are a very private family, though.

    There may be a variety of reasons a boy or his family choose not to: timing, as above; perhaps knowing he earned it is enough and not wanting the extra attention; even cost can be a factor – ECOH’s need not be expensive but they can be and sometimes there is pressure to spend more than is needed.

    I agree, it is their choice, and like a wedding, it doesn’t matter one bit if they have a big ECOH or just receive the official paperwork in the mail that matters – only that they earned it and take what they’ve learned and make a bright future for themselves with it.

  22. There is a REASON the parents stand up there with the boys. the dads lead, and te mothers keep them from falling behind. Out of the 145 Eagles in our troop since 1960, about 144 of them made Eagle because their parents were involved and supportive in one way or another. My father got his Eagle in 1947, and his father his Eagle in 1917, my uncle in 1941, and brothers in 1977, and 1983. They counted their Eagle awards as among the 10 most significant accomplishments in their lives.

    The ECoH is for OTHERS to celebrate their part in the boy’s accomplishment, almost as much as the boy himself.

    That said, I too would have been just as happy to get my beads through the mail, so I understand the sentiment.

  23. There are plenty of reasons for this, many have been covered in the comments, but one that I’ve seen mentioned but not truly discussed is the cost of the ECOH.

    Money is tight, the BSA is NOT cheap to get a boy to Eagle by any means, and I’ve seen many a person see their boy get to this point and then feel like they are being a disappointment to their son as they can not afford all the bells whistles and trimmings the BSA pushes out. Napkins, Stationary, bulletins, cakes, cookies, drinks, gifts for the Eagle, some times full meals are expected, new uniform parts, this that and the other thing, and the cost keeps going up and up and up and up and what was a celebration suddenly turns into a day of stress due to finances.

    Yes the Scouter can tell the family all that stuff isn’t needed, but really? Are you going to be the parent who steps into the ECOH and doesn’t have anything that all the other boys you have seen go through this have? Does anyone really want to be “that” parent? Does any Son really want to be the cause of THAT stress?

    I can speak first hand of all of my own children, they do not want to burden the family budget and we would not be classified as the family’s I have listed above. They simply understand our family budget and if they saw how much we spend a year on Scouting alone they would be abhorred, if they know how much doing the typical ECOH cost in all it’s pomp and circumstance they would be just like the boys in the article. There are so many reasons one may not want this honor. The fact that the boys are no longer involved in the troop also states a lot. Either they aged out or they were ready to be done. Either way they have walked away and really is that what we are trying to accomplish?

    I want all the boys in my troop to get Eagle, but I would rather see them become good men who still love scouting and have a desire to continue on with it later in life. I don’t want to see them walk out with an Eagle to be done with it forever.

    I personally never had to deal with this as I was unaware of the lone scout program so when we moved into an area without scouts my scout career ended at Star. But in reality if I had made Eagle I would have been one of those boys. There is nothing the Scoutmaster could have said to me that would have made me want to do that ceremony at that point in my life.

  24. Personally, I don’t hold separate courts of honor for Eagles in high regard. Eagle is a rank, just like Tenderfoot and all the other ranks in-between. It deserves to be acknowledged, certainly, but right along with other ranks, merit badges, and so forth. Too many times, I’ve seen these special Eagle-only courts of honor turned into nothing less than mini-coronations, and that’s not what Scouting’s all about. Moreover, when only one Scout is being recognized, it’s really pretty much a drag for all the other Scouts in the troop who are subjected to being a “personal audience” without ever once taking center stage themselves.

    A Boy Scout attains the rank of Eagle Scout on conclusion of his Board of Review for the rank. That’s the actual date. It’s the date that will appear on his Eagle Scout rank certificate from the BSA National Office. So, if the Board of Review has taken place successfully, this young man is ALREADY an Eagle! Consequently, if he’d like to be given the medal, etc. without the usual pomp and circumstance, that’s certainly his right. But, that said, it’s the very rare Scout who attains the rank of Eagle without the involvement, support, and encouragement of others–including his Scoutmaster, his parents, those who helped him with his Eagle Project, and surely others, too. Since a great part of the “message” of Scouting is “service to others,” he may want to consider that these people would enjoy and appreciate seeing closure to their efforts on his behalf over the years. The presentation of the Eagle medal need not be a “big deal”–it can be a small, intimate deal, even done in his home or back yard (weather permitting) or as a special presentation at a regular troop Court of Honor. I encourage Scouts to do this, not because they “owe” these people but because it’s simply the Scout-like thing to do.

    For decade after decade, courts of honor included Eagles right along with all the other Boy Scout ranks. In many, many troops, this is still done today, without hesitation. But somewhere along the way, in the past bunch o’ years, these Eagle-only “coronations” have become popular (and least among some parents) and so have happened separate from the rest of the troop. However, if we stick with fundamentals, that the purpose of a court of honor is to recognize the advancements of all Scouts in the troop since the last such event, then of course new Eagles will be recognized, right along with new Life scouts, new Star Scouts, and so on. It’s the most natural thing in the world, to start a court of honor with Tenderfoot and finish with the highest rank achieved.

    • Andy wrote in part a truism which needed to be fully explained; he wrote in part:

      “A Boy Scout attains the rank of Eagle Scout on conclusion of his Board of Review for the rank. That’s the actual date. It’s the date that will appear on his Eagle Scout rank certificate from the BSA National Office. So, if the Board of Review has taken place successfully, this young man is ALREADY an Eagle!”

      Not so fast. While that “date of rank” appear on those documents, which is absolutely true; the Eagle Scout rank is NOT AWARDED OR RECOGNIZED until AFTER the local Council has been notified that the Eagle rank has been approved by the *National Court of Honor*.

      It’s NOT a “slam dunk”, a “sure thing” or “one and done.”

      That is the part that everyone keeps forgetting. There is a process and the LOCAL COUNCIL doesn’t approve Eagle Awards — the National office does. The Local Council makes a recommendation based on the results of the Eagle Board of Review to the National Court of Honor. There, a separate review of the Eagle’s service, registration and advancement is done and the Eagle is either approved or the application materials are returned to the local Council to further verify and or resolve any issues. And there’s been a lot of applications which unfortuantely are returned not approved.

      This is why the BSA and your local Council is cagey about planning for Eagle Courts of Honor until AFTER the advancement has been approved and your Council’s Scout Executive is notified.

  25. We’ve had some Scouts put on Great ceremonies and even joint ceremonies but I’ve only had one I had to finally make arrangements with the parents to deliver the award. (I thought it was worth my dressing up in a full uniform to deliver, though). But the bottom line is that it is the Scout’s award. If he or his parents don’t want a ceremony, it’s up to them.(and it’s possible they may be having financial problems and can’t or don’t feel like they can afford to do it them selves. You can encourage them just like you can encourage them to complete the program, but you can’t make them do either.

  26. Sadly in the 14 years I have been involved in Boy Scouts,it is something I have seen more than once. What we usually do is ask the boy and his family to show up to pick up the award in uniform. We take a photo of the boy receiving it from the scout master. And than a few with the parents. And than they are on their way home. Some day you can only hope they look back and realize what an achievement it is,and appreciate the folks that helpd aong the way. The best case would be if the boy becomes a leader. :)

  27. Age. For many boys. it is a more of an achievement and honor to gain the rank of Eagle Scout in the eighth grade or freshman year in high school, rather than get it when they are graduating from high school or having to come back from college/military service for the ECoH. It is better for a Scout to get their Eagle, then serve the younger Scouts in the Troop, Nova/SuperNova, work on Palms, participate in Venture/Explorer programs, or (if they want) move on to other interests in high school with _good_ memories of their Scouting days (and skills they have learned).
    Don’t make the ECoH the “graduating from Scouting” ceremony, please.

  28. “Tim” has been reading your comments and appreciates the feedback. Let me share the text of his follow-up email to me. Feel free to respond to his concerns as you see fit. Thanks, fellow Scouters.

    The boys clearly didn’t want to make the little effort of picking the day, the place, and sending the invites. As the Advancement Chairman I busted my butt for these boys, imploring them to finish their projects (just ahead of their 18th birthday), reviewing their writeups, and showing up at the Eagle board of review just in case there was something that went wrong. All three boys were excited to get their Eagle, but didn’t want to carry through on the cerermony.

    “What should I do with their packets? Admit to them and the rest of the troop that the ceremony isn’t a big deal, and send them their packets? Or return the packets to National so that the Eagle badge can be used by another boy who really wants to put it on his uniform?

    • Just send them their packets, they earned it. No ceremony required. I know the best moment of my Eagle journey was looking up at the night sky and realizing I am an Eagle Scout. I didn’t need a court of honor for that. Some people don’t value the big fuss as much as others, but we should not judge how much they value the award they earned.

    • Going back to my earlier comments, Bryan, I still say that a meeting is needed with each Scout and his family. I would meet with them and just lay it on the line: “Look, the BSA says this is their highest Boy Scout honor, and it needs to be actually presented to you…not mailed to you like school grades. We can do this very informally — I’ve got a sheet with more or less a ten minute ceremony. Or we can go the “hog wild” kind of event — it is really up to you. But I’m NOT mailing this stuff to you…you’ve worked really hard at this, OUR TROOP has worked really hard at this. The very least we can do is the ten minute deal. You don’t have to say a word.
      You don’t have to raise your hand in the Scout Sign or do anything else. We meet, the letter from the BSA is read, the medal’s pinned on your uniform by your Mom, and you’re given the certificate and card and shake hands. That’s it. No song…”

      See if that works!

        • Bryan, Tim should explain this to the boys and their parents and then leave it to them to decide. He also should be sensitive to any situation that he may come upon as well. We don’t really know the whole story here.

  29. One suggestion would be that ‘it is a tradition of the troop to celebrate and provide the recognition for the Rank’. If the scout for some reason doesn’t want the fuss or the family lacks the resources or the understanding of the traditions? The Troop just does an event.
    In most families, although the scout might be shy and not want to create a spectacle , the parents want to coordinate an event involving friends, family and the Troop that the Scout will remember with great fondness for the rest of their lives. At 18 they don’t yet understand the personal significance or perhaps they think the attention is not desirable. Some young men are just wired that way (shy and modest) and it is up to us as adults to just push them along— ask that they be good sports and go with the flow. For the most part it isn’t that they really didn’t want the rank, they just don’t have a coping mechanism for the recognition at such a young age- our culture doesn’t teach it. A troop should plan on it and say- this is plan A, unless you want to do something different – to the scout and his family.

  30. This year in our Sea Scout Ship we’re going to have the first Quartermaster in the Council since 1960. To my mind, that is the rarest rank achieved in Scouting, and, the most difficult. It’s no coincidence that the boy is the son of the Area Commmodore, and is the Area Bos’n. They’re both very in to it, and the advancement thing, but that is quite rare in Venturing. Whole BSA says they’re equivalent ranks, they’re really not. Seeing that he is 19, and will be 20 this year, I will expect his service project to be a big step up from what he did for his Eagle one.

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