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Origin of the Eagle Pledge and Eagle Charges

ceremony eagle script

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#21 CalicoPenn

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 06:44 PM

Introduction of Candidates?  What Candidate?  This isn't the Order of the Arrow - its a Court of Honor to formally present to an Eagle Scout the awards he's already earned - he isn't a candidate - he's an Eagle Scout.

 

My best friend had his Eagle Scout ceremony in 1978 - his Troop put together the ceremony using the suggestions from NESA (It was scheduled a couple of months in advance so that his grandparents from England could come to the ceremony).  They did an Eagle Charge and an Eagle Pledge.  The ceremony took place in a church and took about an hour.  At least the Troop paid for the ceremony and simple reception afterwards.

 

My ceremony was in 1979.  It took place at a regularly scheduled Court of Honor of my Explorer Post's sister Troop (at the time, I was no longer a member of the Troop - I left the Troop when I was 16 in favor of my Post - I had to give one of them up and the Post was more of what I was looking for - most of the members of the Post were current or former members of the Troop anyway) - I earned my Eagle Scout as an Explorer Scout - within my Post - but my brothers were still involved in the Troop and we did some activities together.   At the end of the Troop's awards, the SPL turned the ceremony over to the President of my Post.  He called for an Eagle Scout to escort me to the front  - my best friend, who was neither part of my Troop or Post, did the honors.   After introducing me, the President asked that my parents be escorted up - they were brought up by my younger brothers who were in the Troop.  The Pres invited my former Scoutmaster up (the one I grew up in the Troop with) to tell a story - he, of course, had to go with the story of waking up to see a fox sitting on my chest licking the salt off my forehead on a backpacking trip in Isle Royale.  Then my Post Advisor was called up to give my parents their "parent pins" and to give my mother the medal to pin to my shirt.  That was it - took less than 10 minutes.  There was no Eagle Charge, no Eagle Pledge, no long recitations of letters or congratulations - no fancy candle lighting ceremony - just congratulations and handshakes and hugs all around.  My best friend told me he wished his ceremony could have been that simple.


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#22 clemlaw

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 10:16 PM

Introduction of Candidates?  What Candidate?  This isn't the Order of the Arrow - its a Court of Honor to formally present to an Eagle Scout the awards he's already earned - he isn't a candidate - he's an Eagle Scout.

I was the candidate.  If you have objections to the terminology, you'll have to take that up with the Mothers' Club of my old troop, which I assume probably printed them.  I'm merely quoting.  And everybody knew who they meant, especially after we were introduced.  :)


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#23 The Latin Scot

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 11:23 PM

Thanks for the report. Were the ceremonies you attended at the same troop or different units?

 

The National Eagle Scout Association promotes these in some of their sample scripts for ECoHs. There's a book (maybe two?) specifically on ECoH ceremonies. So clearly your people have either never seen them. Or, they saw them and said "Meh, who needs it?"

Two were in the same troop, the others in different units. The ones I attended were basically glorified Courts of Honor featuring only one or two Scouts. The basic format was almost always:

 

- Opening ceremonies (Flag Ceremony, Invocation, Scout Oath and Law)

 

- Invitation to the "Eagle's Nest" (where they invite anybody in the audience who has earned the rank of Eagle to sit in some chairs that have been put in a front corner of the hall (does anybody else do this?))

 

- A brief and often diluted review of the Eagle Requirements

 

- "An "introduction" of the Eagle Scout (he's not a candidate anymore, is he? once he has passed his Eagle Board of review, from that moment he is an Eagle Scout - isn't that right?) that basically goes "Filiberto, come up here. Filiberto is a great kid; I've known him a long time and ... we're real proud of him." And that's about it.

 

- A long and drawn out powerpoint slide show with loud and cheesy music telling his entire life story which takes around 15 - 20 minutes

 

- A "guest speaker" (usually just somebody from the chartered Organization assigned to offer some words)

 

- Another sappy powerpoint with various pictures of eagles and flags and random 'inspiring images' of ... well, of anything really, from Boy Scouts to firemen to teachers to puppies ... I am never sure what their purpose is

 

- The presentation of the award (as in, they call up the Scout and his parents to more or less say "congratulations Billy!" He then gives his parents their pins, pictures are taken, and that's basically it)

 

- A closing Scoutmaster's Minute (if that)

 

- The colors are retrieved, there is a benediction, and then lots of refreshments

 

I will be honest, they can be pretty dry affairs. I know mine was not very fancy either, although I must also add that as a kid I was never eager for undue attention, so I preferred something more understated, although it was certainly more dignified that these long multi-media powerpoint selfie-festivals we get nowadays. I don't know; I feel they shouldn't be overdone either, but at the same time they should feel ... special. It's a hard balance to find I imagine. I agree that simplicity has more gravitas and dignity than the birthday party/wedding reception type events I have sometimes encountered, but we still want them to feel like they have earned something to remember. I would love to attend one that is really well-done someday. I know I make sure my Webelos Scouts get a really nice Arrow of Light Ceremony; I wish I could give the Eagle Scouts something similar, but for now they are not under my stewardship.


Edited by The Latin Scot, 28 September 2016 - 11:28 PM.

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#24 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 29 September 2016 - 05:36 PM

Introduction of Candidates?  What Candidate?  This isn't the Order of the Arrow - its a Court of Honor to formally present to an Eagle Scout the awards he's already earned - he isn't a candidate - he's an Eagle Scout.

 

Some troop are old school. While you may have passed your BOR, until you received your rank at the COH, you were considers a "candidate." And not just for Eagle, but for all ranks. Awards were only handed out at COHs.


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#25 fred johnson

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 08:26 AM

Some troop are old school. While you may have passed your BOR, until you received your rank at the COH, you were considers a "candidate." And not just for Eagle, but for all ranks. Awards were only handed out at COHs.

 

Agreed.  That was old school "tradition".  Requirements and the advancement program were never structured that way.  


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#26 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 08:48 AM

Grant you, the term "candidate" may be tradition and not structured that way, until the 1989 changes to BSA program, i.e. doing away with Skill Awards and time requirements for T-2-1 ranks; introduction of NSPs and venture crews now called venture patrols, etc program materials showed that you got your rank and MBs at COHs. In fact I heard one reason why they got rid of Skill Awards was because the immediate recognition was no longer needed since Scouts are suppose to get their ranks as soon as possible after completing the BOR.

 

One reason why COHs are supposed to be scheduled quarterly is because originally Scouts had to wait until the COH to get their rank. But most troops I know about nowadays only do semiannual COHs because they see no need to hold them more often with the Scouts getting their ranks as soon as they complete their BORs. Heck I know a few troops keep a "war chest" of ranks and MBs so that they can issue the rank the same night the Scout completes his BOR!


Edited by Eagle94-A1, 03 October 2016 - 08:50 AM.

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#27 fred johnson

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 09:29 AM

Grant you, the term "candidate" may be tradition and not structured that way, until the 1989 changes to BSA program, i.e. doing away with Skill Awards and time requirements for T-2-1 ranks; introduction of NSPs and venture crews now called venture patrols, etc program materials showed that you got your rank and MBs at COHs. In fact I heard one reason why they got rid of Skill Awards was because the immediate recognition was no longer needed since Scouts are suppose to get their ranks as soon as possible after completing the BOR.

 

One reason why COHs are supposed to be scheduled quarterly is because originally Scouts had to wait until the COH to get their rank. But most troops I know about nowadays only do semiannual COHs because they see no need to hold them more often with the Scouts getting their ranks as soon as they complete their BORs. Heck I know a few troops keep a "war chest" of ranks and MBs so that they can issue the rank the same night the Scout completes his BOR!

 

I would not mind semi-annual COHs.  Seems like quarterly COHs often have not much to recognize and often seem like a COH to have a COH.

 

I like the idea of having a supply chest of ranks and MBs so that scouts can be uniformed correctly.  Have the COH recognize the progress, but have the scouts uniformed correctly.  


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#28 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 10:50 AM

I would not mind semi-annual COHs.  Seems like quarterly COHs often have not much to recognize and often seem like a COH to have a COH.

 

I like the idea of having a supply chest of ranks and MBs so that scouts can be uniformed correctly.  Have the COH recognize the progress, but have the scouts uniformed correctly.  

 

Exactly. Our Scouts even view the semi-annual COHS as a COH to have one.

 

As for the "war chest" many have come about because councils and scout shops run out of stuff when needed. It was funny, no matter how many MBs we would order for the rush after summer camp, we would still run out of them.


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