Eagle Scout Ceremonies

Each Boy Scout, by meeting specific requirements, advances through ranks called Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class. A First Class Scout may earn merit badges and demonstrate leadership to qualify as a Star Scout, a Life Scout, and eventually, after leading a project which serves the community, an Eagle Scout. Eagle palms are given for merit badges earned beyond the Eagle requirements. The Eagle Rank is the highest rank a boy can attain in Scouting.

Elements of an Eagle ceremony

The following are elements that have appeared in various Eagle ceremonies in our District. Your District may have many additional elements. These are presented as ideas upon which to build.

Sample Ceremony Outline

  • Call to Order - Frequently done by the Committee Chairman or the Senior Patrol Leader.
  • Presentation of the Colors and Pledge of Allegiance - This is carried out by Scouts.
  • Welcome & Introduction of Honored Guests - The Scoutmaster or Committee Chairman.
  • Invocation - An opening prayer by a member of the clergy.
  • The Scout Oath and Law - This is a candle lighting ceremony.
  • Opening of the Court of Honor - Introduction of the person who will be the emcee.
  • A combination of the other elements - Try to hold it to about an hour. Try to involve any Scoutmasters the Eagle had and others who were significant if providing guidance and encouragement. This could include the:
  • The Eagle Charge
  • Eagle Presentation - Usually the presentation is by the Eagle's Scoutmaster with the parents assisting.
  • Congratulatory Messages and Letters - Try to get the names and association of all presenters before the ceremony starts so they can be introduced from the podium. Avoid reading more than a couple letters from those not in attendance, just announce their name and show the item. After the ceremony, collect all of the letters in a souvenir notebook and present to the Eagle.
  • Eagle's Response - The usual "I want to thank my parents, my leaders, my Troop, my clergy, the recipient of the Eagle project, the merit badge counselors, the camp staff, my family and even my little brother or sister."
  • Benediction - A closing prayer by a member of the clergy.
  • Reception - This optional element varies from snacks or desert and non-alcoholic beverages to something resembling a wedding reception, but still non-alcoholic. It varies considerably from Troop to Troop and from community to community. It is usually hosted by the Eagles family but local tradition may handle it differently. If the Eagle's family hosts a reception, then anything in good taste they deem appropriate is appropriate. Sometimes this is open to all, and other times this is a closed family event.

The Scout Oath and Law

[This involves lighting 16 candles, the gold Spirit of Scouting candle; the red, white and blue Scout Oath candles and the 12 white Scout Law candles. Also you need Scout(s) to light the candles.]

[Scoutmaster:] Before you stands a single, lighted candle. It represents the spirit of Scouting. The law of this troop is the Scout Law. Scouts also live by another code, which is the Scout Oath or Promise. The Scout Oath describes three duties that every Scout must accept-duty to God and country, duty to others, and duty to self. Repeat with me this Oath as I light the three candles representing these duties.

[The Scoutmaster uses the Spirit of Scouting candle to light the three Oath candles as the Oath is spoken. When the Oath is finished, a Scout steps forward and reads first Scout Law and the first paragraph written about each point in The Meaning of the Scout Law on pages 47-54 of the Boy Scout Handbook and lights the first Scout Law candle. You can have the first Scout do all of the Scout Laws or have several Scouts participate. The other Scouts follow the same procedure, in order Each Scout uses the Spirit of Scouting candle to light the candle for each Scout Law. After the twelfth point of the Law, the Scoutmaster and Scout(s) return to their seats.] [return to top]


Trail the Eagle

[This has become traditional at most of the Eagle ceremonies in our district. It is led by the Scoutmaster and requires seven Scouts holding posters of the ranks from Scout to Eagle. This can be made more meaningful by adding actual details of humorous or meaningful events that helped shape the boy on each step of his path. When a boy has had several Scoutmasters, each may lead the portion he was responsible for.]

Will Eagle Candidate(s)_____________________________________please come forward?

Now, far away, loom the hazy outline of the Eagle Summit, flanked by the lesser ranks that represent Star and Life. To the newcomer, they are a long way off, but they will come a lot closer as the light from the spirit of Scouting continues to spread.

Do you remember when you were the new Scout and the thought of becoming an Eagle seemed a long way off or even an impossible goal to achieve.

Look back at the experience you have encountered in your striving to reach this high achievement. These experience should not be forgotten. You should profit by making sure the adverse ones do not occur again. Experience is a valuable teacher if you will heed its lessons.

All the while you were on the trail, we watched you study and we saw you learn by doing. First, you were only a Scout.

[A Scout steps out holding poster of the Scout badge and reads this message taped to the back:] I am the Scout. My badge represents the international brotherhood of Scouting which I have joined.

Do you remember when you took your first step upon the trail to become an Eagle. With that first step you began to grow physically, mentally, and morally. You started living the Scout Oath and Law. Soon you had attained the Tenderfoot Rank.

[Tenderfoot steps out holding poster of the Tenderfoot badge and reads this message taped to the back:] I am the Tenderfoot. My three points stand for the three points of the Scout Oath: Duty to God and to country, duty to other people, and duty to yourself. You will find me on the mariner's compass, forever pointing the way to the North Star and a safe journey in life. On my face are two stars representing truth and knowledge. The shield is an emblem of a nation molded together in justice, and an eagle guards the freedom of my land.

Once inspired by the Spirit of Scouting, you will not stay a Tenderfoot for long. Putting a simple achievements behind you, you quickly climb to the rank of Second Class Scout.

[Second Class Scout steps out and joins Tenderfoot Scout and reads:] I am the Second Class. The ends of my scroll are turned up in the willing smile of a Scout. On my face is the motto, "Be Prepared," and suspended from me is the knot, tied to remind you of the slogan of the Boy Scouts of America, "Do a good turn daily."

Some, like you, were stopping to catch their breath before continuing along the trail. You began to study more, you worked harder, and almost before you knew it you topped the first summit on the Trail to Eagle when you receive the First Class Badge.

[First Class Scout steps out and takes his place:] I am the First Class. I was a Tenderfoot and laid my course by the stars of truth and knowledge, and girded myself with the righteousness of justice and freedom. I added a smile that I might be a friend to all and bound myself together with the knot of duty to others.

There you found a tempting green meadow by a crystal-clear stream bathed in the sun. Here you were tempted to remain. Yes, you could have remained there to live the First Class glory, but your ambition stirred you on. We remember your advancement to Star Scout.

[Star Scout steps out and takes his place:] I am the Star. Now that I can stand alone, I have the right to improve on my own. To me goes the honor of choosing my field. Before me lies a horizon of endless opportunities.

The trail from First Class to Star rank was not as difficult as it had seemed. This spurred you on, and again you climbed farther. The trail was steeper and less worn. Fewer Scouts seemed to be headed in your direction. You looked down and saw the crowds below you. You looked up and saw a few above you and, with the same determination with which you started your climb, you continued up the trail. Gaining the next summit was not easy. Much leadership, service and hard work had to be done. Soon, you earned the badge of Life rank.

[Life Scout steps out and takes his place:] I am the Life. I have shown the whole world that scouting is in my heart. I have mastered the knowledge of subjects that will benefit my country and my fellow man. I am ready to reach for my wings to fly.

While the Life Scout is a much-coveted position and deserves much credit, the Eagle Trail does not stop there. It still leads on to the summit. Its pathway narrows and steepens considerably as it winds its way along the narrow ledge. It becomes tougher and more trying. Many things have to be done in order to conquer these last miles. Additional merit badges were earned. Your leadership and service to others were tested through your Eagle Service Project. Only those with the greatest amount of persistence and courage are able to gain this thrill of victory. You were on your way to Eagle.

[Eagle Scout steps out and takes his place:] I am the Eagle . . . Since the beginning of time, man has used my brothers and me as a symbol of Royalty, Power, Victory and Valor. My strength and courage has inspired men throughout the ages.

Yes, we have watched your character unfold and become manlier. We have watched your leadership expand into a valuable asset. We have watched your mind develop and your wisdom increase. We have watched all these things in you and now that you are on the threshold of your goal we welcome you, for you have done your climbing in a true Scout-like manner. [return to top]

Sources:

Pages 79-98, ´Troop Ceremonies´, Copyright 1957, Boy Scouts of America, New Brunswick, NJ, BSA publication No. 3085.

Pages 612-625, ´Woods Wisdom Troop Program Features´, Copyright 1989, Boy Scouts of America, Irving, TX, ISBN 0-8395-7262-X, BSA publication No. 7262A.

Pages 83-89, ´Troop Program Resources´, Copyright 1999, Boy Scouts of America, Irving, TX, ISBN 0-8395-3588-0, BSA Publication No. 33588. [return to top]


Voice of the Eagle

© Judy McGorray 1996

I am the Eagle.

I am prepared to stand for the virtues
    of freedom, strength, and pride.

I am the Eagle.

I am prepared to serve my God
    my country and other people.

I am the Eagle.

I am prepared to stand for honesty
    truth and integrity.

I am the Eagle.

I am prepared to lead others
    to accomplish set tasks
    to the best of my ability.

I am the Eagle.

I am prepared to defend
    what makes America great...
    for all people.

I am the Eagle.

I am prepared to cross all lines
    of race, creed and nationality.

I am the Eagle.

I am prepared to be self-reliant
    and resourceful.

I am the Eagle.

I am prepared.

© Judy McGorray 1996

This is original poem by Judy McGorray is posted with the permission of Judy McGorray. It was published in her book "Cookbook for Planning an Eagle Scout Court of Honor" which is published by JayMac Communications, 9532 Jessica Dr., Windsor, CA 95492-8896, (707) 838-7520. All profits benefit the Boy Scouts of America.

[return to top]


The Call of the Eagle

I am the voice of the Eagle. I speak for The Eagles whose summit you have struggled so hard to reach. We remember well when you first came to the base of our mountain, and how you looked up with ambition and determination.

Pause for a moment, and look back over the trail you have climbed: Look back at the adventures you have encountered on your ascent. These experiences are a valuable teacher if you but heed them. We remember when you took your first steps upon the Boy Scout trail.

With your first step you began to start living the Scout Oath and Law. You began to build yourself, physically, mentally, and morally. Your brother Scouts then called you a Tenderfoot -- and they were right, for you were indeed a tenderfoot.

But not for long. For as you climbed, you soon reached a turning in the trail, and you were greeted by a large group of friendly Second Class Scouts.

Some, like yourself, were stopping to catch their breath, before continuing along the trail. But you studied more, you worked harder, you continued your climb, and soon came to another turning, the place where First Class Scouts dwell. There you found a green, flowered meadow close by a crystal clear stream, sparkling in sunshine. Many other Scouts rested beside the murmuring waters. You were tempted to remain. But your ambition spurred you, and you continued your upward venture.

We next remember your progress when you turned the trail to become a Star Scout. You found the trail from First Class had been an optical illusion, not so difficult as it had first seemed. This inspired you to push onward, to climb higher. But now the trail was steeper, and less traveled. Fewer Scouts seemed headed in your direction. You looked back and saw crowds below you. You looked up, and saw very few above. Yet, with the same determination as you started your climb, now enhanced by experience and firm resolve, you continued to push up the trail.

Soon you turned another corner on the trail and the heart shaped badge of the Life Scout was placed on your uniform. You will always recall the thoughts in your heart at this moment, it has been experienced by all Scouts reaching the ledge of Life: "Now I am close to the Eagle, I will carry on".

But the trail now grows tougher and fainter, many seem to falter along the way. The original simple principles of the Scout Oath and Law take on a fuller meaning, as your understanding grows greater.

We have watched your character unfold and become manlier. We have watched your leadership ability expand into a valuable asset. We have watched your mind develop and your wisdom increase. Yes, we have watched all these things in you.

And now, that you are standing at the summit of the trail, in the glory of sunshine and wind and cloud at the threshold of your goal, we applaud you and welcome you, for you have done your climbing in a true Scout-like manner. [return to top]

Sources:

Pages 79-98, ´Troop Ceremonies´, Copyright 1957, Boy Scouts of America, New Brunswick, NJ, BSA publication No. 3085.

Pages 612-625, 'Woods Wisdom Troop Program Features', Copyright 1989, Boy Scouts of America, Irving, TX, ISBN 0-8395-7262-X, BSA publication No. 7262A.

Pages 83-89, ´Troop Program Resources´, Copyright 1999, Boy Scouts of America, Irving, TX, ISBN 0-8395-3588-0, BSA Publication No. 33588. [return to top]


Eagle Scout Challenge

The foremost responsibility of an Eagle Scout is to live with honor. To an Eagle Scout, honor is the foundation of all character. He knows that "A Scout is trustworthy" is the very first point of the Scout Law for a good reason. An Eagle Scout lives honorably, not only because honor is important to him but also because of the vital significance of the example he sets for other Scouts. Living honorably reflects credit on his home, his church, his troop, and his community. May the white of the Eagle badge remind you to always live with honor.

The second obligation of an Eagle Scout is Loyalty. A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation. His loyalty to his troop and brother Scouts makes him pitch in and carry his share of the load. All of these help to build the loyalty that means devotion to community, to country, to one's own ideals, and to God. Let the Blue of the Eagle badge always inspire your loyalty.

The third obligation of an Eagle Scout is to be courageous. Courage has always been a quality by which men measure themselves and others. To a Scout, bravery means not only the courage to face physical danger, but also the determination to stand up for the right. Trusting in God. With faith in his fellow man. He looks forward to each day, seeking his share of the world's work to do. Let the red of the Eagle badge remind you always of courage.

The fourth obligation of an Eagle Scout is to be cheerful. To remind the Eagle Scout to always wear a smile. The red, white, and blue ribbon is attached to the scroll of the Second Class Scout award, which has its ends turned up in a smile.

The final responsibility of an Eagle Scout is service. The Eagle Scout extends a helping hand to those who still toil up Scouting's trail, just as others helped him in his climb to the Eagle. The performance of the daily Good Turn takes on a new meaning when enters a more adult life of continuing service to others. The Eagle stands a protector of the weak and helpless. He aids and comforts the unfortunate and oppressed. He holds the right of others while defending his own. He will always "Be Prepared" to put forth his best.

You deserve much credit for having achieved Scouting's highest award. But wear your award with humility, ever mindful the Eagle Scout is looked up to as an example. May the Scout Oath and the Scout Law be your guide for tomorrow and onward. [return to top]

Sources:

Pages 79-98, ´Troop Ceremonies´, Copyright 1957, Boy Scouts of America, New Brunswick, NJ, BSA publications No. 3085.

Pages 612-625, ´Woods Wisdom Troop Program Features´, Copyright 1989, Boy Scouts of America, Irving, TX, ISBN 0-8395-7262-X, BSA publication No. 7262A.

Pages 83-89, ´Troop Program Resources´, Copyright 1999, Boy Scouts of America, Irving, TX, ISBN 0-8395-3588-0, BSA Publication No. 33588. [return to top]


Its Only A Pin

A fond mother watches her boy where he stands
    Apart from his comrades tonight,
As they place on his camp-battered tunic, a badge...
    An Eagle, the emblem of right.

It seems just a few short months have passed
    Since he joined with the youngster next door...
How proud he was then of his Tenderfoot Pin
    As they told of the message it bore.

But the years have gone as he struggled along
    To learn what the Scout law's about;
He practiced them daily, the Oath and the law
    Until now, he's an Eagle Scout.

You may smile in your worldly old wisdom at this
    And say, "Why, it's only a pin."
But I tell you no honors he'll gain as a man
    Will mean quite as much to him.

The Red, White and Blue of the ribbon you see
    Are the symbols of honor and truth.
He has learned how to value these fine attributes
    In the glorious days of youth.

And the outflinging winds of the eagle that rests
    On the breast of this Knight of Today,
Are the things which will lift him above petty deeds
    And guide him along the right way...

Yes, it's only a pin, just an Eagle Scout Badge,
    But the heart that's beneath it beats true
And will throb to the last for the things which are good,
    A lesson for me.. and for you.

*S. Kurtz Hingley, wrote the first version of this poem for his son's COH. In 1930 it was published in the Quaker City Scout, the newsletter of the Philadelphia Council. In 1931, it was published in the May issue of Scouting Magazine, page 20, (a BSA publication). Then in 1955, it was published in the BSA pamphlet entitled "Troop Ceremonies" on pages 86 and 87 in a slightly revised form which appears here. In 1977, Sumner G. Oesterle changed 3 words in this revised version and copywrote the entire poem. The only changes he made was to make the first line read: "Two fond parents watch their ...". [return to top]


One Hundred Scouts

[This has been around quite a while. The number of Scouts who make Eagle changes periodically. The number listed was reported as accurate in 1998. Probably some of the other statistics have changed also, but the impact is still the same.]

Of any one hundred boys who become Scouts, it must be confessed that thirty will drop out in their first year. Perhaps this may be regarded as a failure, but later in life, all of these will remember that they had been in Scouting and will speak well of the program.

Of the one hundred, only rarely will one ever appear before a juvenile court judge. Twelve of the one hundred will be from families that belong to no church. Through Scouting, these twelve and many of their families will be brought into contact with a church and will continue to be active all their lives. Six of the one hundred will become pastors.

Each of the one hundred will learn something from Scouting, and all will develop hobbies that will add interest throughout the rest of their lives. Approximately one-half will serve in the military, and in varying degrees, profit from their Scout training. At least one will use it to save another person's life, and many may credit it for saving their own.

Four of the one hundred will reach Eagle rank, and at least one will later say that he valued his Eagle above his college degree. Many will find their future vocation through merit badge work and Scouting contacts. Seventeen of the one hundred boys will become adult leaders and will give leadership to thousands of additional boys.

One in four boys in America will become Scouts, but it is interesting to know that of the leaders of this nation in business, religion and politics, three out of four were Scouts.

This story will never end. Like the 'Golden Pebble' of service dropped into the human sea, it will continue to radiate in ever-widening circles, influencing the characters of men through unending time."

Author Unknown and statistics are unverified for the most part. [return to top]


I Am The Eagle

[Sometimes this is read by a person who is out of site for dramatic effect.]

I am the Eagle.

Since the beginning of time, man has used my brothers and me as a symbol of royalty, power, victory, authority, and valor. My strength and courage has inspired men throughout the ages.

In the golden days of Greece, I was a symbol of victory and supreme spiritual energy. I was the sacred bird of Zeus, the ruler of all gods. The Greeks represented me with wings outstretched, holding a serpent in my claws. Thus I represented the triumph of good over evil.

In Rome, I was the symbol of Jupiter, the supreme Roman god. The Romans saw me as the symbol of victory. As the Roman legions conquered the World, they marched under the standard of the Eagle, with outstretched wings. The silver Eagle was the symbol of the Republic and the Roman Empire used the Golden Eagle as its symbol. I became the personal emblem of the Caesars, thus representing supreme authority.

The rise of Christianity brought me still more honor. To the early Christians, the Eagle was the symbol of Ascension. This was due to the strong flight of the Eagle with its gaze fixed upon the sun. In early icons, I was known as the symbol of Saint John the Evangelist.

On June 20, 1782, I became the symbol of a new country. Because of my courage and beauty, I was chosen to symbolize the new United States of America. The eagle became a prominent feature of the Seal of State of the new republic.

From this early beginning, I have been used in many ways to symbolize the ideals of this country. Several states have the eagle on their state flags. You can find me on the coins of America from the beginning to the present day.

I have a prominent place in America, as in ancient Rome, as a symbol of power and authority. The emblem of the President, Vice-President, several members of the President's Cabinet, and most branches of the military center on the Eagle.

From the symbol of the Caesars to the emblem of this country, it was thus fitting that the Eagle should have a part in the most momentous achievement of man. The Apollo Eleven crew chose Eagle as the name for the Lunar Module which was to make history... and with the words of Eagle Scout Neil Armstrong... "Houston, Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed."... Man was on the Moon.

In 1911, following the traditions as old as man himself, the Boy Scouts of America chose the Eagle to symbolize the very highest in achievement. Through all of history, I have been the symbol of man's best; now I am the symbol of Scouting's best. [return to top]

† Sources:

Pages 79-98, ´Troop Ceremonies´, Copyright 1957, Boy Scouts of America, New Brunswick, NJ, BSA publication No. 3085.

Pages 612-625, ´Woods Wisdom Troop Program Features´, Copyright 1989, Boy Scouts of America, Irving, TX, ISBN 0-8395-7262-X, BSA publication No. 7262A.

Pages 83-89, ´Troop Program Resources´, Copyright 1999, Boy Scouts of America, Irving, TX, ISBN 0-8395-3588-0, BSA Publication No. 33588. [return to top]


Eagle Charge

[Usually all Eagle Scouts in attendance are asked to stand and join the Scout being honored when the Eagle Charge is administered.]

I have the honor of giving you the Eagle Scout charge on the occasion of the elevation to the highest award in Scouting.

The Scouts of all nations constitute one of the most meaningful and significant movements in the world's history. You have been judged by the Boy Scouts of America as being worthy of this honor. All who know you rejoice in your achievement.

Your position, as you well know, is one of honor and responsibility. You are a marked man. As an Eagle Scout, you have assumed a solemn obligation to do your duty to God, to country, to your fellow Scouts, and to mankind in general. This is a great undertaking. As you live up to your obligations, you bring honor to yourself and to your brother Scouts.

America has many good things to give you and your children after you; but these good things depend for the most part on the quality of her citizens. Our country has had a great past. You can help make the future even greater.

I charge you to undertake your citizenship with solemn dedication. Be a leader, but lead only toward the best. Lift up every task you do and every office your hold to the highest level of service to God and to your fellow man. So live and serve that those who know you will be inspired to finer living. We have too many who use their strength and their brains to exploit others and to gain selfish ends. I charge you to be among those who dedicate their skills and ability to the common good.

Build American on the solid foundation of clean living, honest work, unselfish citizenship, and reverence for God; and, whatever others may do, you will leave behind you record of which every other Scout my be justly proud.

I will now ask you to make the Scout sign and repeat alter me;

"I realize my obligation -
to my fellow men, my home -
my country, and my God, -
I will at all times do my best -
to assist others -
to live with honor, loyalty, -
courage and service -
and to be a living example -
of the Scout Oath and Law -
to the best of my ability."
[Two.]

Your conduct along the trail has been excellent. But one more thing is important- your future.

As an Eagle Scout, you become a guide to other Scouts. You become an example in your community. Remember that your actions are now a little more conspicuous and people will expect more of you. To falter in your responsibility would reflect no only on you, but on your fellow Eagles and all of Scouting. The torch you carry is not only yours, but is also ours. [return to top]

Sources:

Pages 79-98, ´Troop Ceremonies´, Copyright 1957, Boy Scouts of America, New Brunswick, NJ, BSA publication No. 3085.

Pages 612-625, ´Woods Wisdom Troop Program Features´, Copyright 1989, Boy Scouts of America, Irving, TX, ISBN 0-8395-7262-X, BSA publication No. 7262A.

Pages 83-89, ´Troop Program Resources´, Copyright 1999, Boy Scouts of America, Irving, TX, ISBN 0-8395-3588-0, BSA Publication No. 33588. [return to top]


The Eagle Presentation

[This is usually led by the Scoutmaster]

Before the Eagle Award is bestowed upon you, I am going to ask the Honor Guard to escort your parents to your side.

By now you probably think we will never get around to presenting your badge. Well you are wrong. The time has finally come and the honor of pinning your Eagle on your uniform rightfully falls to the persons most responsible for your being here, your parents.

Life Scout _____________, we are finally at that point you have been waiting for. It is now time to formally present this high badge of accomplishment.

By the authority vested in me by the National Court of Honor of the Boy Scouts of America, it is my privilege and pleasure to pronounce you an Eagle Scout.

Your mother has undoubtedly been your greatest source of inspiration in your quest for the Eagle Award. I am going to ask that she pin your Eagle award on your left pocket.

[Give the Eagle's mother the Eagle award to pin on Eagle.]

In recognition of fatherly advice and guidance along the trail to Eagle, I will ask this Eagle Scout's father now to present to his son the Eagle Scout certificate and personal letter of commendation from the Chief Scout Executive, Boy Scouts of America.

[Hand the certificate and Chief Scout Executive's letter to the Eagle's father for presenting. Scoutmaster or father should read the letter before presenting.]

As the symbol of what his mother has made possible, the court will now ask this Eagle to present his mother with this Eagle Mother's pin.

[Son pins miniature Eagle pin on his mother.]

As the symbol of what his father has made possible, the court will now ask this Eagle to present his father with this Eagle tie tack.

[Son presents his father with the tie tack.]

[When all the insignia have been presented, speaker gives the new Eagle Scout the Scout handclasp with the left hand. Right handshake should be used for each of the parents.]

May I congratulate you again, and may I remind you that Scouting should now become an even greater tie between the son and parents, binding you even more closely as a family. To you, Eagle Scout _____________, I express confidence that you will honor Scouting with your life and service as today Scouting honors you. .

Honor Guard, please escort _____________'s parents to their seats." [return to top]

Sources:

Pages 79-98, ´Troop Ceremonies´, Copyright 1957, Boy Scouts of America, New Brunswick, NJ, BSA publication No. 3085.

Pages 612-625, ´Woods Wisdom Troop Program Features´, Copyright 1989, Boy Scouts of America, Irving, TX, ISBN 0-8395-7262-X, BSA publication No. 7262A.

Pages 83-89, ´Troop Program Resources´, Copyright 1999, Boy Scouts of America, Irving, TX, ISBN 0-8395-3588-0, BSA Publication No. 33588. [return to top]


The Legend of the Rose

from Troop 893, Richmond, VA

[This is a nice touch. It can be read by another Eagle's mother and then the Eagle recipient presents his mother with 7 red roses.]

Throughout Scouting's history, the rose has been associated with the presentation of the Eagle.

The path of a boy from Scout To Eagle is long and often times hard. He does not travel the "Trail To Eagle" alone. Many people have been involved with him in his process.

There is one person in particular that is honored in addition to the Eagle Scout, that person is his mother.

From that first overnight camp-out to the pinning on of his Eagle, she has shared the adventures of Scouting with her son in a special way.

With her guidance and encouragement, she has helped her son achieve a goal many fail to reach.

She has watched her son mature from a young boy to a young man with a purpose to his life.

She has been there to share his excitement of camping and hiking with his brother scouts. She has washed load after load of duty clothes brought home from camping trips. Most important of all, she has been there for her son when the going got rough and spirits low, as only a mother can. Her love has been an important ingredient in her son's achievement.

We honor her today with the presentation of seven red roses, each rose a symbol of rank in the seven ranks of Scouting.

[This Legend of the Rose is courtesy of Troop 893, Richmond, Virginia.] [return to top]


The Boy Scout's Mother Asked

F. Darnall Daley, Jr.
Council Commissioner, Hawk Mountain Council, Reading, PA

"Where has my little baby gone?"
The Cub Scout's Mother asked,
"He went by here awhile ago.
Did you not see him pass?"

He'd gone to be a Tiger Cub
And then a Wolf was he.
He learned to carve the pinewood car,
And sing the songs with glee.

And after that he was a Bear,
And then a Webelos Scout.
He learned the Boy Scout Oath and Law,
And fun in full amount.

Crossed over to be a Boy Scout,
And shown what kindness meant.
His best is what he'd have to be,
Everywhere he went.

"Where has my baby boy gone?"
The Boy Scout's Mother asked,
"He went by here awhile ago.
Did you not see him pass?"

To hike the trails and pitch a tent,
To swim the lakes and streams,
To kindle a fire under the stars,
These were his every day dreams.

Down the long trail to Eagle,
He smilingly went his way.
The many adventures that he had,
Shaped the man we see today.

Learned to be a citizen,
A helping hand to lend.
He learned what cheerful service means,
And how to be a friend.

"Where has my baby boy gone?"
The Boy Scout's Mother asked,
"He went to be a Boy Scout,
And he grew to be a man."

Published with permission of F. Darnall Daly and Hawk Mountain Council [return to top]


God Bless The USA

by Lee Greenwood

If tomorrow all the things were gone I worked for all my life
and I had to start again with just my children and my wife
I thank my lucky stars to be living here today
cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can't take that away

and I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free
and I won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me
and I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today
cause there ain't no doubt I love this land, God Bless the USA

from the lakes of Minnesota to the hills of Tennessee
cross the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea
from Detroit down to Houston and New York to LA
well there's pride in every American heart
and it's time that we stand and say that

and I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free
and I won't forget the men how died who gave that right to me
and I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today
cause there ain't no doubt I love this land, God Bless the USA

and I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free
and I won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me
and I gladly stand up... next to you... and defend her still today
cause there ain't no doubt I love this land, God Bless the USA

God Bless The U.S.A. Words and Music by Lee Greenwood
© Copyright 1984 by MUSIC CORPORATION OF AMERICA, INC. &
SONGS OF POLYGRAM INTERNATIONAL, INC.[return to top]


Ballad of an Eagle Scout

by Mike Reichart

[The following poem, based on the song, "Ballad of the Green Beret," by Sgt. Barry Sadler, was written by Mike Reichart, Hawk Mountain Council, and is intended to be sung to the same tune. It captures the true spirit of Scouting.]

Ballad of an Eagle Scout

Hiking Scouts go marching by,
Cheerful boys who laugh and cry,
Boys who mean just what they say,
Make them Eagles all some day.
 
Silver wings upon their chests,
These are boys, America's best,
One hundred boys will join the troop,
But only three in the Eagle group.
 
Trained to live off nature's land,
Taught to build, and lend a hand,
Boys who learn by nature's call,
Courage from the Oath and Law.
 
Silver wings upon their chests,
These are boys, America's best,
One hundred boys will join the troop,
But only three in the Eagle group.
 
Back at home a young mom waits,
Her Scout is set to review his fate,
He has just to pass this test,
Leaving her this one request:
 
Put silver wings on my son's chest,
Make him one of America's best,
He'll be a man they'll test him out,
Have him be an Eagle Scout.

Published with permission of Mike Reichart and Hawk Mountain Council [return to top]

The Eagle And The Hawk

Words and Music by John Denver and Mike Taylor

I am the eagle, I live in high country
In rocky cathedrals that reach to the sky
I am the hawk and there's blood on my feathers
But time is still turning they soon will be dry
And all those who see me and all who believe in me
Share in the freedom I feel when I fly

Come dance with the west wind and touch on the mountain tops
Sail o'er the canyons and up to the stars
And reach for the heavens and hope for the future
And all that we "can" be, not what we are.

Copyright 1971 by Cherry Lane Music

Congratulatory Messages & Letters

Many Eagle Ceremonies end with the presentation of congratulatory wishes and the reading of some congratulatory letters. Many prominent individuals and organizations are more than happy to either come in person or prepare a congratulatory letter for an Eagle Scout. Perhaps the most tactful way is to send an invitation but provide information on where to send a congratulatory message if they can't come. It is also good to identify the Eagle's connection with the person being sent the letter even if it is just that the Eagle has always admired or respected them or is a fan. Be sure to include the following information:

  • the Eagle's full name
  • his Troop number and council name
  • a brief description of his Eagle project and perhaps the number of merit badges earned
  • the date of the ceremony
  • and either an invitation to attend and/or the address of where to send a congratulatory message.

A request must be sent for each congratulatory letter. Usually an adult leader in the troop or the Eagle's parents make the requests. In any case, the Eagle doesn't. It is best to request such a letter well in advance of the ceremony. For example, the NRA requests 3 months advance notice. Some councils will provide a list of groups that are known to provide congratulatory wishes. Congratulatory wishes can be requested from many different sources:

  • president and vice president
  • senators and representatives
  • judges and justices
  • members of the president's cabinet
  • heads of the branches of the armed forces
  • various government agencies
  • military academies
  • governors and lieutenant governors
  • state senators and state representatives, they often bring a legislative citation
  • head of the state national guard
  • county officials
  • municipal officials
  • service clubs
  • religious leaders
  • former officials
  • teachers and principals
  • clergy and counselors
  • TV and radio personalities

and other prominent people such as:

  • astronauts and military leaders
  • athletes and coaches
  • film makers
  • actors, musicians and music groups
  • famous Eagle Scouts

You won't always get a response. Some people have been inundated with requests and politely stopped responding. It is no minor task for prominent people to answer these requests. You are much more likely to get a response if you address the request to a specific person. The U.S. Scouting Service Project has compiled lists of names and addresses of many people who have provided congratulatory letters in the past. Also contact local patriotic organizations and service clubs. The most meaningful letters are those from people who know the Eagle. Everyone knows they really mean it. But the others are a lot of fun and provide stature to the Rank of Eagle.

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Sources:

Pages 79-98, ´Troop Ceremonies´, Copyright 1957, Boy Scouts of America, New Brunswick, NJ, BSA publications No. 3085.

Pages 612-625, ´Woods Wisdom Troop Program Features´, Copyright 1989, Boy Scouts of America, Irving, TX, ISBN 0-8395-7262-X, BSA publication No. 7262A.

Pages 83-89, ´Troop Program Resources´, Copyright 1999, Boy Scouts of America, Irving, TX, ISBN 0-8395-3588-0, BSA Publication No. 33588.

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