Photo perfectly captures a Cub Scout’s aspirations to become an Eagle Scout

Not all Cub Scouts attend Eagle Scout courts of honor, but maybe more should.

You may agree with that sentiment when you hear the story of Robert.

Robert is a Cub Scout in Tennessee. His Pack 82 meets at the same place as Troop 82 — Harrison United Methodist Church in Harrison, Tenn.

After a recent Eagle Scout court of honor there, Robert was spotted looking at the troop’s Eagle Scout plaque. He was studying it intently, looking for names he recognized. Perhaps he was picturing his own name up there some day.

The keynote speaker at the court of honor had referenced that plaque in his speech. He said that there are no astronauts on the Troop 82 Eagle Scout plaque. No professional athletes or movie stars, either.

But like others of its kind, this Eagle plaque is full of inspiring men who have become great fathers, husbands and leaders. Becoming an Eagle Scout helped them get there.

Robert was in the crowd, hanging on every word. After the ceremony, Robert was getting in his parents’ car to leave when he asked to go back inside and read the names on the plaque.

Because of close multigenerational ties between the church and its pack and troop, several names on the plaque had meaning to the young man.

“His mom snapped this pic,” writes Kevin Martin, who sent me the photo. “The Cub looking up at the Eagle plaque aspirationally, with the Eagle program on the table, makes for a moving image. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.”

15 Comments

  1. The photo has the feel of a Norman Rockwell illustration. Except it is missing the little dog in the background. Nice shot! This is a good example of Visual Storytelling. If we were to write an inspiring caption, what would it say?

  2. Let’s have a follow up post in about 5-6 years with pictures of HIS Eagle COH! There’s no doubt in my mind he’ll be a brother Eagle one day!

  3. I agree that Cubs should attend Eagle CoH. My oldest son attended his cousin’s Eagle Court when he was 9 or 10 and on the way home, he announced he was going to be an Eagle Scout. He earned Eagle a month after his 15th birthday and also earned 7 palms. His younger brother, who grew up attending Eagle ceremonies earned his Eagle a month before his 17 birthday and will receive his 2nd Palm tonight. He has time and enough MBs for 2 more before he ages out.

  4. My youngest son attended his first Eagle CoH when he was about 9 years old. At the end of the ceremony, I gestured toward the new Eagle Scout and said to my son, “Some day that will be you.” He burst into tears and said, “I’ll never be an Eagle.” He thought it was more than he could ever achieve. He made Eagle at age 16, just two years after his brother. I’m very proud of both my sons. Cub Scouts should attend Eagle Courts of Honor whenever possible so that they can see what they can achieve.

  5. Neither I nor my sons attended Eagle CoH’s as cubs. We still got our birds.

    But … regarding plaques on walls, our CO let us put up one much like the one pictured.

    One day, a former parishioner — after a half century of life on the other side of the country — returned to visit his home town and asked if scouts still met here. He was put in touch with our SM who recognized him immediately. His name was the first on the plaque! Next night he was invited to the troop meeting, introduced as the CO’s “first Eagle”, and the boys gave him the floor to discuss his memories as a scout. Lots of questions, and good fellowship, ensued.

  6. Thanks for the kind words. As Robert’s dad, I am proud of his dream and glad he has strong scouting mentors. We took him to the ceremony as we are close friends of the family of the young Eagle. I was pleasantly surprised by the impact on him. He knows it won’t be easy, but he is determined to get there.

  7. I have a photo of a small Tiger Cub Scout standing in front of & literally looking up to my tall Life (now Eagle) Scout son. I wish I knew how to share the photo online. The look on both their faces is of pure admiration & respect. We don’t have an impressive Eagle Wall of Honor but In our small Troop during the last 2 years ALL 8 of our Eagle Scouts have remained very active in the Troop. Either as adult leaders, a Jr Assistant SM, or as Troop Guides helping the younger Scouts achieve their goals. They all say they are enjoying Scouting even more now they are Eagles.

  8. My oldest son’s first experience of an Eagle Court of Honor was for an older cousin, and was asked to participate in the ceremony even though he was a brand new Tiger scout! That experience really stuck with him and helped drive him to make it to Eagle himself. He passed his Boars of review for Eagle at the age of 14. He was glad that he stayed the course and worked hard to complete it as a young teenager since he was also a 3 sport kid (football, wrestling and track) and realized that it would have been very easy to get caught up with his other passions and possibly not have finished. He was lucky to have run into a football coach his freshman year that stressed the point that finishing his Eagle Rank was way more important to his future than football ever would be!

  9. I love this picture. Like Robert, I also live in Tennessee. Harrison, TN is in the Chattanooga area. I live in Knoxville. I am retired from the United Methodist Church. Our church sponsored Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Brownie Scouts. It was always an honor to meet these scouts. I did the setup for events like the Blue and Gold Banquet, Derby races, sleepovers in the gym, etc. I salute Robert and all the other scouts. They are a wonderful group of young people.

  10. My eldest son wanted to quit cub scouts multiple times as a Wolf & Bear.. then something clicked with him… by the time he became a first year Webelos he turned to me and said he was going to continue scouting and become an Eagle Scout (all in one breath). He and two of his buddies did just that. They’ve been in the same Den & Patrol since Tiger cubs and just this past year all 3 obtained the rank of Eagle (it was one heck of a CoH for all three of them together). They’re all almost (or just turned) 16 at this point and have a few years to give back to the Troop and they’re already doing a great job of that.

    Additionally, in the Troop we just had a 17 year old scout who had done great things earlier in his tenure as boy scout work hard to complete his Eagle project and earn his final merit badges. His Eagle application was turned in just days before his 18th birthday and his district Board of Review about two months later. His inspiration? His youngest brother is now a Lion in his old Cub scout pack and he wants to be there to help lead without having to explain that he’s “Life for Life”. He’s now a proud Eagle scout already with aspirations of giving back to scouting.

Join the conversation