Steve Harvey salutes Eagle Scout, gets honorary merit badge

He’s already won two Daytime Emmys, but now Steve Harvey has another award for his mantel: Moviemaking merit badge.

OK, so the host of the self-titled talk show is a few decades too old to actually earn a merit badge. So on the Oct. 13 episode of his show, Scouts and Scouters presented Harvey with an honorary version instead.

Moviemaking merit badge (previously known as Cinematography merit badge) is the perfect choice for Harvey, whose professional success hasn’t been limited to television. The movies Think Like a Man and Think Like a Man Too, based on Harvey’s book, earned a combined $160 million at the box office.

The honorary merit badge presentation was only a part of the pro-Scouting portion of Harvey’s show. The host also honored James Hightower III, a new Eagle Scout in the Three Harbors Council of Milwaukee.

Scout Executive Ed Brandon presented James with his Eagle Scout award, noting that the 13-year-old “demonstrated leadership, character, pride and achievement, teamwork, and self-reliance.”

And the best part is James isn’t done. He wants to remain in Scouting and earn additional merit badges. Then he has his sights on Harvard University, where he dreams of becoming a lawyer.

He’s off to a great start. Read more about James and see his selfie with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, also an Eagle Scout, over at Scouting Newsroom.

And watch the clip from Steve Harvey below.

15 Comments

  1. While Mr. Harvey has contributed to the movie making industry was it right to present an “honorary’ merit badge? How does that influence or impact the efforts of the youth that had to work and meet those requirements? Whom ever approved this really needs to think about their actions and the broader implications

    • It’s no different than when a university presents an honorary degree. That doesn’t diminish the work of the students, and nobody confuses and honorary degree with an actual one. For my money, any chance to get the Scouting movement in a positive spotlight is a welcome one.

  2. A lovely clip – the idea of an honorary merit badge is a great one: sharing the feeling of being given something special has the effect of making you feel great, and warming someone else’s day too. I overlooked the fact Steve didn’t remember one of the foundings of Scouting – shaking hands with the *left* hand…guess it’s been a while, huh? 😀

    • Mark

      How is 13 too young to be earning Eagle? The average age for earning Eagle in the 1970’s was right around 13.9 years of age. Now the average age is right around 17.1. Personally, I’d rather have the 13 year old Eagle than the 17 year old Eagle because it is highly likely that the 13 year old will stay and help make a better Troop. The 17 year old on the other hand is probably going to quit Scouting and just move on without serving his troop and encouraging more Scouts to get involved.

      • Actually, it’s been my experience to see the kids that get their Eagle younger leave the troop when they reach mid-high school – either to join a Venture Crew or leave scouting entirely. At least with that 17 year old, they’ve been a member of the troop the whole time. You don’t have to have the Eagle award to serve your troop and encourage others to get involved….

  3. Mr. Harvey has done many things…..Annual Mentoring Camp for troubled youth which as turned into a huge success….Disney’s Dreamer’s Academy…..Annual Turkey Giveaways…there’s so many things……

  4. if YOU SAW THE SHOW THE SCOUT DIDN’T DO ALL THE REQUIREMENTS AS REQUIRED. THE BOY COULDN’T HAVE EARN ALL THOSE MERIT BADGES IN LESS THAN TWO YEARS. I BELIVE HE WAS GIVEN ALOT OF THEM BECAUSE SOME TAKE MORE TIME THAN OTHERS. HE IS ONLY 12 YEARS FOLKS

    • It is entirely possible. There are 2 scouts in our troop with very late summer birthdays. They both joined the troop at 10 years old with their Arrow of Light, got to First Class within 10 months. One hit Life two weeks after his 12th birthday, the other shortly after. While I certainly don’t recommend blazing through that fast, it is entirely possible.

  5. As I think it’s wonderful any and all PRO Scouting articles…..the only thing I could focus on is the ’13 year old Eagle Scout’. Considering that young man has been a boy scout for less than 2 years, how in the world did he get through the ranks of Scout, Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, 1st Class, Star and Life in such a short time? The requirements for 1st, Star and Life require holding leadership positions for a minimum of a 14 months alone. Besides the 21 Eagle required Merit Badges. Why on earth would a Scout Master allow him to rush through the Scouting experience so?

    • I saw the show and the scout said he was only 12 years old and he didn’t pass all five requirements for the finger printing merit badge either. He has over 125 merit badges some of which longer others to complete. I agree how can he been approved without the correct amount of waiting periods between his ranks. Check is leadership roles, it was reported he serve only one leadership role. Was the Council Chief Ext. a merit badge council for the finger printing merit badge? This my second time I have similar things happen.

      • Pops

        The Eagle Certification Process that the Local Council must do before the application is handed off the the appropriate Eagle Board of Review Coordinator (usually the District Advancement Chair) is as follows:
        (A) Deliver the Following Documents to Council Office (Council Service Center): [1] Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook [2] Life Goals Statement [3] Scoutmaster Letter of Recommendation [4] Parent Letter of Recommendation [5] Religious Leader Letter of Recommendation [4] Community Member 1 Letter of Recommendation (Advised to come from employer if Scout is currently working [5] Community Member 2 Letter of Recommendation NOTE: Number of recommendations and letters does vary from Local Council to Local Council
        (B) Date Scout Joined Scouting is verified in ScoutNET
        (C) Date Tenderfoot Rank was recorded in ScoutNET is verified
        (D) Date First Class Rank was Recorded in ScoutNET is verified
        (E) Date Star Rank was Recorded in ScoutNET is verified
        (F) Date Life Rank was Recorded in ScoutNET is verified
        (G) Number of months between date when First Class Rank and Star Rank was earned is verified as being at least 4 months in length.
        (H) Number of months between date when Star Rank and Life Rank was earned is verified as being at least 6 months in length.
        (I) Number of months between date when Life Rank was earned and the date of the Scoutmaster Conference for Eagle was completed is verified as being at least 6 months in length.
        (J) Date Camping Merit Badge was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (K) Date Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (L) Date Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (M) Date Citizenship in the World Merit Badge was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (N) Date Communication Merit Badge was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (O) Date Cooking Merit Badge was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (P) Either Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge or Lifesaving Merit Badge must be recorded in ScoutNET
        (Q) Date Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge (if selected) was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (R) Date Lifesaving Merit Badge (if selected) was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (S) Either Environmental Science Merit Badge or Sustainability Merit Badge must be recorded in ScoutNET
        (T) Date Environmental Science Merit Badge (if selected) was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (U) Date Sustainability Merit Badge (if selected) was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (V) Date First Aid Merit Badge was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (W) Either Cycling Merit Badge or Hiking Merit Badge or Swimming Merit Badge must be recorded in ScoutNET
        (X) Date Cycling Merit Badge (if selected) was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (Y) Date Hiking Merit Badge (if selected) was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (Z) Date Swimming Merit Badge (if selected) was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (AA) Date Personal Management Merit Badge was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (AB) Date Personal Fitness Merit Badge was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (AC) Date Family Life Merit Badge was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (AD) Date Elective Merit Badge #1 was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (AE) Date Elective Merit Badge #2 was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (AF) Date Elective Merit Badge #3 was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (AG) Date Elective Merit Badge #4 was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (AH) Date Elective Merit Badge #5 was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (AI) Date Elective Merit Badge #6 was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (AJ) Date Elective Merit Badge #7 was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (AK) Date Elective Merit Badge #8 was earned is verified in ScoutNET
        (AL) Before Date Star Rank was earned it is verified as having at least earned 4 Eagle Required Merit Badges and 2 Elective Merit Badges
        (AM) Before date Life Rank was earned it is verified as having at least earned 3 Eagle Required Merit Badges and 2 Elective Merit Badges that have not already been used for Star Rank.
        (AN) Before date Eagle Scoutmaster Conference was completed it is verified as having that least 6 Eagle Required and 4 Elective Merit Badges that have not already been used for Star Rank or Life Rank. Total number of Merit Badges earned must 21.
        That is just a brief overview of the process I was taught to complete the Eagle Scout Application certification process required prior to the Board of Review.

      • Earning Eagle early can be acheived by earning the highest rank in cub scouts and crossing over into Boy Scouts before 11 years old. If that Boy then becomes a Den Chief and completes all requirements and sticks with it that fullfills his leadership requirements. Add all Eagle required merit badges, an Eagle project and you have a 12 year old Boy that can be an Eagle Scout!

    • Lisa this ever obsessive focus on Rank and advancement and awards and Merit Badges is what is turning boys away from the program. We must NOT only focus on advancement if we are to ever stem the tide on the ever decreasing number of members. I will say this Scouts don’t stay in Scouting:
      (1) For advancement, awards, or merit badges
      (2) For adults to be pleased
      (3) Because of adults that force participation
      (4) Because of citizenship and leadership skills
      (5) Because of character development
      (6) Because of Duty to God and Country, Duty to Others, or Duty to Self
      They stay because:
      (1) Scouting occurs in the outdoors
      (2) Scouting is an adventure waiting to happen
      (3) Scouting is engaging and relevant to boys
      (4) Scouting offers opportunities to do things others won’t have the chance to
      (5) Scouting is rewarding and fun
      (6) Scouting gives boys the opportunity to do things boys like best.

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