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How can an Eagle Scout best thank the troopmates who helped get him there?

At an Eagle Scout Court of Honor, Mom, Dad and other key Scouting mentors get recognized for their role in helping a young man reach the Eagle Scout rank. As they should.

But what about the young man’s troopmates? Didn’t they have a part in helping him get to Boy Scouting’s summit?

That’s just what a soon-to-be Eagle Scout from New Jersey wondered in a conversation with his mom this week. He wants to present the boys of Troop 100 with a little token of his appreciation for their role in his journey, she told me in an email.

There’s a special Eagle Scout Mentor pin, but that isn’t appropriate for this young man’s troopmates who were more teammates than mentors. So what should he give them?

Perhaps the best gift this Eagle Scout could give is his continued involvement with the troop, helping to inspire and guide the next wave of Eagle Scouts behind him. Or maybe he could sponsor a lower-income first-year Scout, offering financial and moral support on his journey to First Class.

But you have to appreciate this Eagle-to-be’s desire to give his troopmates something tangible — a certificate, an award, a plaque or something else that’ll be around when he’s aged out of the troop. And this is where you come in. Read the letter from his mother below, and please share your ideas.

Good afternoon!

First I would like to say what a well-written article you did about gifts for an Eagle Scout.

That said, I have a question for you that my son, who is soon to have his Eagle Board of Review, asked of me last night. He would like to present the troop — the boys of the Troop that is — something for helping him attain his Eagle rank.

He understands the mentor pins and already has his adults picked out for this. However, he asked about awarding the whole troop a pin to be displayed in the display case. I don’t feel that the mentor pin is quite the “appropriate” thing he is looking for.

Is there any other “award” he could give to the Troop of boys? Would it be appropriate, if there is no such award, for him to make up a certificate or plaque that shows what he would like to do?

Thanks for your time,

Christine S., Griggstown, N.J.

Thanks, Christine, for writing. So what say you? Leave a comment below with your ideas for Christine and her son.

50 Comments on How can an Eagle Scout best thank the troopmates who helped get him there?

  1. Gary Holewinski // October 11, 2013 at 10:26 am // Reply

    I think a picture, possibly of the troop at camp or at some function, showing the Scouts together having fun might be a great memento.

    • Oh, this is a nice idea. And Thrifty, too.

    • Deaf Scouter // October 11, 2013 at 11:41 am // Reply

      Add in a personalized note of thanks too when framing it.

  2. John Kavanaugh // October 11, 2013 at 10:34 am // Reply

    The simple answer is help the younger Scouts achieve their goals.

  3. Patrick Provart // October 11, 2013 at 10:37 am // Reply

    An Eagle and outstanding SPL in my former troop used some of his own money to purchase a copy of the then-current Junior Leader Training curriculum.

  4. In our ‘Cub Pack’ way back when, our outgoing Webelo Dens would leave something behind, to ‘improve’ the Pack. Items included BBQ’s, new flags, flag stands, flag bags, etc. All had names inscribed of the boys involved.

    Your son might consider such an addition / donation to the Troop. Make sure it is something that will last.

    • This is something that we started a few years back. Several of the dens have been incorporating this into their project for the craftsman and other activity pins. The year my den crossed over we built a crossover bridge and several other things used in the crossover ceremony, and left them behind for future use. The Webelos den this year is working on several projects related to our pinewood derby. Including building a pit and case for the track, among other things.

  5. All these are great ideas but it seems he was specifically interested in a pin or plaque of some kind. The council centers and scoutstuff.org both have plaques which can be customized. He can make his own plaque to be displayed in their case for all to enjoy. Here is a great example:
    http://www.scoutstuff.org/bsa/gifts-gift-cards/awards/plaques/laser-engraved-universal-emblem-plaque.html

  6. In our troop the Eagles give something to the troop for the camping trailer, like a bag full of balls, a new smaller dinning canopy for the small camp outs, a dutch oven and the like.

  7. This was important to my son as well. He found some pins (ebay) with one of the Scout Laws on each pin. He presented these at his COH to those that he felt had been the best example to him of that particular tenet. Since it’s a smaller Troop there were less than 12 boys & so that worked out to not have anyone feel left out & he also included a few adults. He also chose 3 adults to honor in regards to the Scout Oath. (Do My Best, Duty to God, Duty to Country). He spoke briefly (less than 30 seconds) about each of the 15. I see those pins on jackets and hats of the kids and parents who received them.

    • Christine S. // March 4, 2014 at 12:03 pm // Reply

      Sharon
      I would like to thank you for this suggestion. While my son Travis loved every idea he saw here, this is the one he chose. As we have 13 current Scouts in the troop (we await an incoming Webelos group that will almost double our troop), the pins worked out perfectly – 12 points of Law, 12 Scouts. He took a lot of time choosing the pins for each of the boys and carefully wrote a short bit for each of them. It was almost as moving as the rest of the ceremony.
      There were many compliments given to him for how he chose to ‘honor’ his fellow Scouts.
      Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for helping to make his special day even more special.
      Christine S.

  8. Christine S. // October 11, 2013 at 11:01 am // Reply

    Thank you all so far! What fabulous ideas. I am sure there are many more to come. And, just as an aside, his ‘plan’ is to remain with the Troop until he ages out. He would like to remain as an Assistant Scoutmaster depending upon where he ends up for college next fall. And thank you, John – I did tell him that he is already showing his appreciation by the work he has done with our younger Scouts. <3

    • Deaf Scouter // October 11, 2013 at 11:46 am // Reply

      Out of curiosity Christine, what was your son’s Eagle project? Knowing this might generate more ideas tying in the two concept as Carla’s son did below.

      • Christine S. // October 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm // Reply

        Travis’ project was to refurbish a blacktop playground at a local elementary school as well as their picnic tables. He had his crew build flower boxes for a new deck that was placed at the trailer classrooms as well as having one of our Scouts do his Star project within his Eagle – building patios for the courtyard picnic tables so that the staff could take their students ‘out for lunch’.
        I am going to give him all of these ideas and let him come up with his own idea!!

  9. Christine S. // October 11, 2013 at 11:03 am // Reply

    My goodness…more great ideas! He will have much to think about over the upcoming weeks.

  10. My son gave everyone who helped with his project a hammer ($5). Since the project was a construction project for a Catholic retreat house, they were also symbolic of that famous carpenter in the bible . . .

  11. How about having a custom patch made to symbolize his time with his troop

    • I am currently the Advancement Chairperson where I have 5 of the 9 seniors started in my den as tigers. I think the patch is a terrific idea and our troop already designs it’s own patrol patches.

  12. I think a photo of the Scouts at the finished project would be a great idea. You can put a personalized saying on i. Something like You helped this Eagle fly high by being the wind that helped him get there.

  13. Cindie Van Tassel // October 11, 2013 at 12:04 pm // Reply

    For both of my son’s Eagle Court of honor, they gave the boys in the troop the scouting key chain (myscoutingstuff.org). Each of the boys have keys of some sort (house, car, etc.). You can get many great ides buy looking at your local scout store or online. With that they did a personal thank you. Since then I wished we would have given the troop members a copy of their speech. Because in the speech, they related to something that made that other scout an important part of them obtaining the Eagle rank and the good times they had with the troop.

  14. Maybe he can give his troop a print from Norman Rockwell. There is a painting from him called Scoutmaster that would be a great gift. Maybe he can get the whole troop to sign it so it would be more meaningful.

    • Bob Basement // October 12, 2013 at 11:46 am // Reply

      So explain to me exactly what the troop is going to do with a Rockwell print. Our unit is not permitted to hang anything on our CO’s walls.

      • H. David Pendleton // October 14, 2013 at 11:35 am // Reply

        Our troop is not allowed to hang anything on our walls because other church groups meet in the same room. Visited another troop yesterday. They had lots of Scout related stuff hanging up on the walls of the room where they met. It does appear that some COs are different than others regarding keeping the walls bare.

  15. Of course, his continued support is the biggest gift. You also want to be mindful to not start a tradition other scouts might feel they have to keep up.

    With that in mind, remember that guys go nuts over the stupidest stuff.

    For example if they are all at camp one evening, pull out a bag of candy or jerky and say “guys, this is my thank-you for helping on the project.” They will love him for life.

    Not sure how big your troop is, but you also might want to consider a custom-made patch, maybe of a drawing of the project.

    Challenge coins are also neat.

  16. My son is planning on doing something, but has not found anything he liked yet. They were such an important part of his project and he want to thank them in a special way.

  17. David Hocker // October 11, 2013 at 12:47 pm // Reply

    Several ideas come to mind. An enlargement of a group photograph of the guys “doing” the Eagle Project together with a personalized “Thank You” written on it. Maybe a memento from the project e.g. a painted hatchet, shovel, etc. with a personal note painted on it. Other personal ideas include an individual picture “taken with” the Eagle Scout at the Court of Honor returned with a thank you note to that scout. More importantly is to stay “invested” in the troop, and in particular make sure that the Eagle Scout comes back to help some of the Star and Life Scouts make it up the trail to Eagle; there is always a need for “volunteer” labor for the project.

  18. Last year at Wood Badge, we received engraved wooden pens. I quickly found a site where you could get engraved pens or pencils for under $6/ea. My thought would be to have the Scout Motto “Be Prepared” on them… it’s something nice they wouldn’t normally have, it’s functional (they always need a pen with their handbook!), and it lives up to the motto engraved on it. link: http://goo.gl/uthJwg

    If you did a second line, you could put your son’s name, Eagle, and the COH date.

    Be Prepared
    Scott Brown, Eagle, 11/30/2013

    • Check ebay for suppliers as well… some prices a little lower.
      http://goo.gl/xJIsfr

      • Bob Basement // October 12, 2013 at 11:45 am // Reply

        Yes the arms race of gifting at woodbadge courses.

        The patrols gifting the Troop Guides….then the Staff Gifting the Course Director and the SPL. By the end of the course the participants were asked for $20 each so the CD could be given the James West knot.

  19. bob basement // October 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm // Reply

    Why not remain a member and provide mentorship for those who follow him. Or how about staying in the program instead of leaving.

    That would be worth more than any babble picture or material gift a boy give.

    • Bob, if you read the post you’ll see I suggested that very same approach. But sometimes having a physical reminder is nice, too. Not instead of but in addition to.

      • bob Basement // October 11, 2013 at 2:45 pm // Reply

        I see I received a thumbs down already…

        Sorry folks but how many of your boys will Eagle then leave very shortly after that. Most of them.

        The best gift if staying and being active in the troop. And better yet how about helping out with the Eagle projects of those behind you or helped you.

        • H. David Pendleton // October 11, 2013 at 4:09 pm //

          Bob: We agree again. Pay it forward by staying with the Troop, teaching the young Scouts, mentoring the Star & Life Scouts, & paying back those Scouts that helped him make Eagle.

        • Christine S. // October 13, 2013 at 9:47 pm //

          As stated above, he already plans on staying with the Troop until he ages out. His words “I have more I want to do with the members of my troop; more to teach them and more to learn myself”. He is looking for something in addition to this. I completely understand your sentiment, however.

  20. Also, son also should think that his service project itself was a gift to the boys. Maybe some of them needed those hours for the next rank, but beyond that a scout is always on the lookout for ways to help. Without Eagles finding unique projects for them to work on, lots of great opportunities would be missed.

    Another idea: was there any scrap material left over from the project? Anything a fella could make a few neckerchief slides out of? Paint for flourescent tent pegs? You get where I’m going with this. Have the gift be a piece of the project!

  21. We always find it nice at our Troop Eagle Court of Honor that the new Eagle Scout sents up a display table showing his history in the Pack and the Troop and including lots of pictures of all his fellow scouts along the way. The scouts in the troop get a kick out of the time line and I feel that it shows them they have all been part of the journey.
    Have extras of the pictures for those who would like a copy. Good Luck.

    • Christine S. // October 13, 2013 at 9:49 pm // Reply

      Thanks, Rhonda. Each of our Eagles, in recent years, has had a dvd put together of their time in the Troop – pictures of their time with all the Scouts; usually includes their time in the Pack, too.

  22. My father-in-law is an artist and for the local Boy Scouts here in Taiwan, he made bookmarks with a cartoon Scout on it and either the Scout Oath or Scout Law. The local Boy Scouts give them out at various events. It’s a simple idea and if you can get someone to do the art, not expensive. Another idea would be a coin. We use these in the Far East Council – I have both Scoutmaster coins and Council VP coins that I can give out. A coin which is engraved with your son’s Eagle COH details could be fun. My son thanked everyone by asking them to participate in his COH. We had dozens of cast members and each boy felt great about being asked. Candle ceremonies, Eagle Mountain story, rotating MCs, flag details, honor guards – the whole Troop can be involved. The younger Scouts particularly appreciated being asked to participate. But I agree that the best way for your son to thank them is to continue giving back, as both a JASM and an ASM.

  23. There are many nice craft projects that the boy can make. Maybe some macrame or macraoni art. If you have a copy of the Cub Scout Leader How-To book there are lots of ideas in there suitable to what you have in mind.

  24. Andrew Kosmowski // October 13, 2013 at 7:18 pm // Reply

    Perhaps a “plaque” which the scout makes. I am thinking like a cut of a substantial branch or log with handwritten thanks on it.

  25. Shake his hand and wish him “Good Scouting”.

  26. Bobby Trosclair // October 14, 2013 at 11:42 am // Reply

    1. He could take everyone out for pizza, or bring pizzas for everyone. Most boys would be very happy with that.

    2. If he wants to give everyone a tangible memento, challenge coins are popular with the military, law enforcement, etc., but can be fairly pricey and probably not within your son’s budget (but if interested, google “custom challenge coins” for some suppliers). He could make up some custom-made wooden nickels with an appropriate thank you and expression of gratitude, and they can even scan on your scout’s photo. We had a bunch of these made for our troop with the troop name and location, and we give them out as thank you’s to people who donate goods, let us camp for free, etc. A nice low-cost memento that people often pass on to their kids, who may get involved in scouting. We use a company in Texas that’s been around forever: http://www.wooden-nickel.net/ but there’s others around.

    3. He could get some shirts silk-screened at a local supplier or use one of those Class-B t-shirt suppliers that advertise in Scouter Magazine’s back pages (got to figure everyone’s sizes, though!)

  27. Allen Schneider // October 14, 2013 at 2:14 pm // Reply

    It has become tradition in our Troop for the Eagle Scouts to present a certificate of appreciation at their Eagle Court of Honor to every scout in the Troop who assisted him on his Eagle project. It is a very simple thing and the Scouts really appreciate being recognized during the event for helping the Eagle to reach his goal of being awarded the eagle rank. One of the side benefits is that over the years you develop a nice collection of certificates for your scrap book that shows which Scouts you assisted through the ranks during your time as a scout.

  28. My son purchases 2013 Eagle Scout coins from the NESA tent, wrote 35 hand written thank you notes, and provided each person who helped him along the way a coin, handshake, and a personal note.

    Granted it was expensive to do this but it was more then well received. To his mentors and mother he gave three coin sets and one to the benefiting organization who allowed his project.

  29. I really like wood-burning on wood slices, followed by a few coats of tung oil, Mod p
    Podge, or varnish. Sketching first on the wood can provide a good quality picture or lettering. I bet your son has friends who are good artists if he isn’t. Or simply
    Mod Podge over some scout appropriate pictures, logos, or wording onto the wood slices. Slices can be purchased from hobby shops, although I prefer slices from raw wood. If you take your time, these can be very nice quality and very personal. They can be plaques, bolo ties, neckerchief slides, camp signs…any number of useful or thoughtful items.

  30. Our scouts give little pins that relate to their Eagle Service Project to all who helped with the project and the scouts pin them to their berets which is our troop wears as part of their uniform. So, if a scout does something where he built something, he will give a small hammer, a landscaping project would give wheel barrel, a bike safety rodeo would give a small bike, blood drive, a blood drop. If searched online these pins can be found for a small price per pin.

  31. A personalized letter thanking the scouts and his troop, that way he can use it as a reference for a job or college

  32. We have a plaque with all the names of our eagle scouts on individual brass plates on the plaque. When prospective new members see that we are active and supportive of our Scouts advancement dreams they typically want to “join that list” It gives me great pride to have those names and dates up there as well as helps to promote our recruiting effort. The boys individual continued participation in the program, ours or others.

  33. Survival bracelets are very popular. Also, any new gear items that help fill out the 10 essentials would be appreciated. My son is in the process of figuring out the same thing right now. There are some really cool small misting bottles at dollar general right now. They would easily hang from a walking staff or a belt clip. Since we will be departing for resident camp right after the court of honor he is leaning strongly towards getting everyone one.

  34. The mosquitoes were thick at my son’s Eagle project. We found a mosquito hunter joke merit badge online and gave one to everyone who participated. Made everyone laugh and was a memento of a good time.
    The guys are friends. They know what to give.

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