There’s a wealth of useful content in the numerous ceremony scripts that are available online and in hard copy publications. Troops can and do benefit when using them as resources. Bearing in mind though, if these scripts, and many more like them, were to be read verbatim, it would be difficult to keep the presentation flowing and expressive. Scouting ceremonies sometimes consist of presenters reading word for word, and when this is done, there should be ample preparation so the ceremony proceeds smoothly. A preferred approach is to use index cards serving as cues, and less obtrusive points of reference, during the presentation. (Please review Planning Ceremonies.) It’s suggested, the following scripted ceremonies can serve troops best, when they are adapted, and delivered from the heart.
TRAIL OF THE EAGLE View Video
– Review the Eagle Scout candidate’s Scouting history, from induction all the way to the Eagle Scout rank, stressing their growth in the ideals of Scouting. As this is being read, the candidate walks from the back of the room to the front where they are to receive their Eagle Scout badge.
VOICE OF THE EAGLE CEREMONY WITH FULL COURT OF HONOR PRESENTATION
– Senior Patrol Leader: Please stand for the presentation of colors. Advance the colors.
– Color Guard Leader: (They come forward and let the color guard reach its position, then addresses the audience.) Please join us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Scouts, salute. (The troop flag is dipped. The color guard leader leads the Pledge of Allegiance.) Two! Post the colors. Color guard, retreat. (They return to their seats.) The audience may be seated. (The color guard leader returns to their seat.)
– Senior Patrol Leader: I would like to welcome you to the Troop (No.) Eagle Scout court of honor. It is my pleasure to introduce Eagle Scout (name) who is master of ceremonies of this court of honor. (The senior patrol leader returns to their seat.)
– MC: I would like to invite all Eagle Scouts, including adults, to stand at this time. (Pause.) Thank you; you may be seated. It is my pleasure to introduce (name), who will lead us in our invocation. (invocation)
– The voice of the Eagle is played by a narrator who can expressively read the lines from behind the scenes, using a microphone, as appropriate.
Narrator: Scout candidate(s) (name[s]), please come forward. (Eagle candidate(s) proceed to the front of the room and face the audience.) This is the voice of the Eagle, the Eagle whose heights you have struggled hard to reach. We remember well when you first came to the base of the cliff, and how you looked up with ambition and determination. Look back for a moment; look down the cliff you have climbed; look at the experiences you have encountered in your ascent. These experiences should not be forgotten. You should profit by making sure adverse experiences do not occur again. Experience is a valuable teacher, if you heed its teachings.
– We remember when you took your first step upon the trail that leads upward. With that first step you began to grow physically, mentally, and morally. You started living the Scout Oath and Law. All the while you were on the trail, we watched you study and we saw you learn by doing. Upon joining, you were only a Scout. (A Scout steps out and takes their designated place on the stage.) At that time, you began working hard on your requirements to reach the Tenderfoot rank, the first ledge on the trail to Eagle. Before long, your brother Scouts were calling you a Tenderfoot, and they were right. You were indeed a Tenderfoot Scout. (A Tenderfoot Scout steps out and takes their place next to the first Scout.)
– Soon you reached the second ledge, and there you were greeted by a large group of Second Class Scouts. (A Second Class Scout steps out and joins the Scout and Tenderfoot Scout.) Some, like you, stopped to catch their breath before continuing along the trail. You began to study more, you worked harder, and almost before you knew it, you came to another ledge—the ledge where the First Class Scouts dwell. (A First Class Scout steps out and takes their place.)
There you found a tempting green meadow by a crystal-clear stream bathed in the sun. There you were tempted to remain. Yes, you could have remained there to live the First Class Scout glory, but your ambition spurred you on. We remember your advancement to Star Scout. (A Star Scout steps out and takes their place.)
– The trail from First Class to Star rank was not as difficult as it had seemed. This spurred you on, and again you climbed higher. 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. Soon, you earned the badge of Life rank. (A Life Scout steps out and takes their place.) The heart badge was then placed on your uniform. You will never forget your thoughts at that moment. This feeling has been experienced by all Scouts on reaching the ledge of Life Scout.
– Life Scout: Now I am close to the Eagle. I will carry on.
– Narrator: The trail became tougher, but more interesting. The original principles—the Scout Oath and Law—now had a fuller meaning. Your understanding of them was deeper. Yes, we have watched your character unfold and become more manly. 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 at the threshold of your goal we welcome you, for you have done your climbing in a true Scoutlike manner. This is the voice of the Eagle. (The master of ceremonies steps forward. The Scouts are seated.)
– MC: The presentation of the Eagle Scout badge is an important and serious event, the climax and the goal for which a Scout works many years, an occasion for pride and joy, a time for serious contemplation. It is the culmination of efforts of the various leaders of this (these) Scout(s). The Eagle Scout Award is the highest and most coveted rank in Scouting—the last major step in the advancement program. Fewer than 4 percent of all Scouts in the United States reach the Eagle Scout rank. At this point, we trust you have achieved our purpose in the building of character, training of leadership, and the practice of serving.
– The requirements for the Eagle Scout rank are as follows:
1. Be active in your troop and patrol for at least six months as a Life Scout.
2. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath and Law in your everyday life.
3. Earn 21 merit badges, including the 13 that are required—First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communication, Cooking, Personal Fitness, Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving, Environmental Science or Sustainability, Personal Management, Swimming or Hiking or Cycling, Camping, and Family Life.
4. Serve actively in an approved position of responsibility for a period of six months after becoming a Life Scout.
5. Plan, develop, and lead others in carrying out a service project worthy of an Eagle Scout.
6. Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.
7. Appear before a board of review of prominent persons, and satisfy them that you have done your best to understand and live up to the Scout Oath and Law and, in all ways, qualify for the Eagle Scout Award.
– Scoutmaster or Advancement Chairperson: Careful examination has been made by the court as to the qualifications of this (these) applicant(s) for the Eagle Scout Award. Proficiency in the various crafts and skills prescribed for the Eagle Scout rank has been checked, and the records of merit badges earned by the Scout(s) have been approved and certified by the counselors appointed by the court.
– Scout candidate(s) (name[s]) has (have) demonstrated their capacity and willingness to exert leadership in activities that are constructive and worthwhile in this community. The record has been checked in troop leadership, school affairs, and in other fields of work and service. They have demonstrated loyalty and duty to God and country. We believe that they are qualified to receive the rank of Eagle Scout.
– Narrator: (from behind the scenes) This is the voice of the Eagle. I speak for the Eagle Scouts of this council. We challenge this (these) Scout(s) to accept the responsibilities as well as the honor of the Eagle Scout Award. These responsibilities are as follows: An Eagle Scout is to live with honor. Their honor is sacred; it is the foundation of all character. An Eagle Scout will live so that they reflect credit upon their home, place of worship, school, friends, and self. May the white of your badge remind you to live with honor.
– An Eagle Scout is to be loyal . “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” Neither pain nor profit, pride nor personal loss shall sway their loyalty. The blue on your badge is the emblem of loyalty.
– An Eagle Scout is to be courageous. Courage gives all character force and strength. With trust in God and faith in their fellowman, they face each day unafraid and seeks their share of the world’s work to do. Let the red of your badge remind you of courage.
– Finally, an Eagle Scout is service oriented. Extend a helping hand to those who toil along the Scouting trail you have completed, just as others have aided you. The daily Good Turn must take on a new meaning and better the life pattern of service. Protect and defend the weak and helpless; comfort the unfortunate and oppressed. Uphold the rights of others as well as your own. Remember, real leadership is founded upon real service.
– MC: In recognition of these obligations, I ask you to reaffirm the Scout Oath or Promise. (They give the Scout Oath.)
– Eagle Scout applicant(s), please escort your parents to the front. Fellow Eagle Scout(s), we now proclaim to all the world your accomplishments. The symbol of your success is the Eagle Scout badge and neckerchief, which will now be presented to your parents by (name). Your parents will, in turn, pin the badge over your heart and place the neckerchief around your neck. (The badge[s] is [are] presented.) Eagle Scout(s), in recognition of the wisdom and guidance given to you by your father(s), please present to them this Eagle tie bar, which they will be proud to wear in your honor. (Pause.) And now, also in recognition of the many hours of patient guidance given by her in your efforts, will you pin the Eagle mother’s pin over your mother’s heart? (Pause.) Eagle Scout(s), please escort your parents back to their seats, then return to the front. I would like to read the following letters. (Any congratulatory letters, are read.) I now have the honor to present to you this gift (if any) from Troop (No.) in recognition of your outstanding service to this troop and of becoming an Eagle Scout. I would like to introduce (name), who will now give the Eagle Scout charge.
– Speaker: (invites all Eagle Scouts in attendance to come forward) I have the honor of giving you the Eagle Scout charge on the occasion of your elevation to the highest rank in Scouting. (The speaker presents a selected Eagle Scout charge.)
– MC: (closing remarks as desired) You are invited to remain for the reception for Eagle Scout(s) ___________(name[s]), following our benediction by (name). (The benediction is given.) This Eagle Scout court of honor stands adjourned.
EAGLE SCOUT OBLIGATIONS CEREMONY
Each of the following obligations can be presented by a different individual.
– The foremost responsibility of an Eagle Scout is to live with honor. To an Eagle Scout, honor is the foundation of all character. They know that “A Scout is trustworthy” is the very first point of the Scout Law for a good reason.
1. The first obligation of the Eagle Scout is to live honorably, not only because honor is important to them, but because of the vital significance of the example they set for other Scouts. Living honorably reflects credit on their home, their place of worship, their troop, and their community. May the white of the Eagle badge remind you to always live with honor.
2. The second obligation of an Eagle Scout is loyalty. A Scout is true to their family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation. Their loyalty to their troop and brother Scouts makes them pitch in and carry their share of the load. All of these help to build the loyalty which 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.
3. 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 the determination to stand up for the right. Trusting in God, with faith in their fellowman, they look forward to each day, seeking their share of the world’s work to do. Let the red of the Eagle badge remind you always of courage.
4. 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.
5. The final obligation 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 them in their climb to the Eagle. The performance of the daily Good Turn takes on a new meaning when they enter a more adult life of continuing service to others. The Eagle stands as protector of the weak and helpless. They aid and comfort the unfortunate and the oppressed. They uphold the rights of others while defending their own. They will always “Be Prepared” to put forth their best.
– You deserve much credit for having achieved Scouting’s highest award. But, wear your award with humility, ever mindful that 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. (At this time, the Scout Oath and Law may be recited by all Scouts.)
EAGLE PLEDGE SCRIPT
– Scoutmaster or other Leader: Awarding the Eagle is an important and serious matter. It is the climax and goal toward which (name of honoree) has been working for several years. It is the culmination of the efforts of their parents and leaders. It is an occasion for pride and for joy, but, it is also a time for serious contemplation. Eagle is the highest and most coveted award in all Scouting, and it is the last major step in the advancement program. These thoughts, which are in effect the basic code of Scouting, are well summed up in a pledge which is taken by every Scout in the council upon advancement to Eagle rank. I will read the pledge to you so that you will know that which you are about to promise.
– “I, (states name) believe in the Boy Scouts of America as a movement which has as its aim and purpose, character building and citizenship training, I believe it to be a movement that helps a Scout become master of their own powers, helps them get along with other people, and helps them find a worthy use for their powers. I therefore believe it is my duty to do my best to obey the Scout Oath and Law. I hereby renew my faith in Scouting and promise to do what I can in service to other Scouts who have not come thus far along the Eagle trail.”
– Before you repeat this pledge, will all Eagle Scouts in attendance please come forward and repeat the pledge with us.
– I, (states name)… believe in the Boy Scouts of America … as a movement which has as its aim and purpose, … character building and citizenship training. … I believe it to be a movement … that helps a Scout become master of their own powers, … helps them get along with other people, … and helps them find a worthy use for their powers. … I therefore believe it is my duty to do my best … to obey the Scout Oath and Law. … I hereby renew my faith in Scouting … and promise to do what I can … in service to other Scouts … who have not come thus far along the Eagle trail. …
– MC: We come now to that part of our court of honor where we are to give recognition to our candidate for the rank of Eagle Scout.
– Aid: (from the audience) Sir, I have the honor to present Life Scout (name of candidate) for the award of Eagle Scout. (escorts candidate to the front)
– MC: Awarding the Eagle is an important and serious matter. It is the climax and goal toward which this Scout has been working for several years. It is the culmination of the efforts of the parents and leaders of this Scout. It is an occasion for pride and for joy, but, it is also a time for serious contemplation. Eagle is the highest and most coveted award in all Scouting, and it is the last major step in the advancement program. If, at this point, Scouting has not achieved its purpose in the building of character, in the training for leadership, in the practice of service, then it probably never shall. These thoughts, which are in effect the basic code of Scouting, are well summed up in a pledge which is taken by every Scout in the council upon advancement to Eagle rank. (to candidate) I will read the pledge to you so that you will know that which you are about to promise, and then I will ask you to repeat it after me.
– I, (states name) believe in the Boy Scouts of America as a movement which has as its aim and purpose, character building and citizenship training, I believe it to be a movement that helps a Scout become master of their own powers, helps them get along with other people, and helps them find a worthy use for their powers. I therefore believe it is my duty to do my best to obey the Scout Oath and Law. I hereby renew my faith in Scouting and promise to do what I can in service to other Scouts who have not come thus far along the Eagle trail. Having heard the Eagle pledge, are you willing to adopt it?
– Candidate: I am.
– MC: Raise your hand in the Scout sign and repeat after me. (At this point, Life Scout interrupts)
– Life Scout: (from the audience) Stop! I challenge the right of this Scout to be awarded the rank of Eagle!
– MC: Who are you and by what right do you challenge?
– Life Scout: I am a Life Scout, and my esteem for the Eagle rank gives me the right to so challenge.
– MC: On what grounds do you challenge?
– Life Scout: Has this Scout achieved the requirements in Scoutcraft and life interest?
– MC: Their application has been verified and indicates that they have satisfactorily completed the required 21 merit badges in the various fields of endeavor. Are you now satisfied?
– Life Scout: I am.
– First Class Scout: (from the audience) I, too, challenge the right of this Scout to be awarded the rank of Eagle.
– MC: Who are you and by what right do you challenge?
– First Class Scout: I am a First Class Scout, and the respect that I have for the uniform which I wear gives me the right to so challenge.
– MC: On what grounds do you challenge?
– First Class Scout: Does their Scoutmaster certify that this Scout has actively participated in Scouting in their troop, demonstrated leadership, and done their best to help in their home, school, church, and community?
– Scoutmaster: As Scoutmaster of Troop (number) I certify that for more than six months since attaining the Life rank, this Scout has held leadership positions in their troop, and has been active in school, church, and community activities.
– MC: Are you now satisfied?
– First Class Scout: I am.
– Eagle #1: (from the audience) I, too challenge the right of this Scout to be awarded the rank of Eagle.
– Chairman: Who are you and by what right do you challenge?
– Eagle #1: I am an Eagle Scout. The pride I have in this badge, which I wear over my heart, gives me the right to so challenge.
– MC: On what grounds do you challenge?
– Eagle #1: Has this Scout, now nearing the end of the Eagle trail, demonstrated their willingness and ability to live and act in accordance with the ideals of Scouting, as exemplified by the Scout Oath, Law, motto, and slogan?
– Eagle #2: (from audience, recites the Scout Oath)
– Eagle #3: (from audience, recites Scout Law)
– Eagle #4: (from the audience) Be Prepared.
– Eagle #5: (from the audience) Do a Good Turn Daily.
– Board of Review Chairman: As a chairman of the board which reviewed this Scout, I certify that, after investigation interview and examination, the board is of the opinion that this Scout has demonstrated that they have held to the spirit of Scouting in their daily living. The board recommends their advancement to Eagle.
– MC: Are you now satisfied?
– Eagle #1: Still I am not satisfied. I believe that this candidate should understand that the Eagle is a responsibility as well as an honor, and I respectfully ask that this candidate be informed of the responsibilities of an Eagle Scout before continuing further.
– MC: Thank you, Eagle Scout. I agree with your feelings and suggest that none are more qualified to impart this than those who wear the Eagle. I invite you and your fellow Eagles to the platform.
– Eagle #2: The first responsibility of an Eagle Scout is to live with honor, which to an Eagle is sacred. Honor is the foundation of character. Character is what a man really is down inside, not what someone may think they are. An Eagle will live so as to reflect credit upon their home, their place of worship, theirs school, their friends, upon Scouting, and upon themselves. May the white of your Eagle badge always remind you to live with honor.
– Eagle #3: The second obligation of an Eagle Scout is loyalty, without loyalty, all character lacks direction. An Eagle is loyal to their ideals. May the blue of your Eagle badge always remind you to be loyal.
– Eagle #4: The third obligation of an Eagle Scout is courage. Courage gives all character force and strength. Trusting in God and with faith in their fellowman, the Eagle faces each day unafraid, and seeks their share of the world’s work to do. May the red of your Eagle badge always remind you of courage.
– Eagle #5: The final obligation of an Eagle Scout is service. They extend a helping hand to those who toil up the Scouting trail they have completed, just as others helped them in their achievement of the Eagle rank. The habit of the daily Good Turn must take on new meaning and blossom forth into a life of service. The Eagle protects and defends the weak and the helpless. They aid and comfort the oppressed and the unfortunate. They uphold the rights of others while defending their own. Their code of honor is based upon the belief that real leadership must be founded upon real service.
Eagle #1: Mr. Chairman, if this candidate is willing and eager to accept the mantle of responsibility as well as the honor of the badge, then I will be satisfied and request that you proceed to administer the Eagle pledge.
– MC: (to candidate) Are you ready and willing to accept these responsibilities and to adopt the Eagle pledge which I read to you at the beginning of this ceremony?
Candidate: I am.
– MC: Raise your hand in the Scout sign and repeat after me. (Repeats the Eagle pledge, line by line)
– MC: Now, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America, I hereby award the rank of Eagle Scout to you. Since the parents of this Scout and their Scoutmaster have been so instrumental in their attaining the Eagle rank, I will ask that they come to the platform. (Proceed with presentation of award, certificate, and parents pins.)
THE FOUR WINDS – ORDER OF THE ARROW EAGLE CEREMONY View Video
If the candidate is a member of the Order of the Arrow, this ceremony could be most appropriate.
It requires a total of six members of the Order, in ceremonial dress; a ceremonial campfire could be used as a backdrop, also. OA members enter either from backstage, if a stage is used, or from the rear of the audience, if no stage is available. They would form with the four winds on one side, Allowat in the center of the the stage area, and Kichkinet off to the side near the candidate.
– Allowat: I have led my braves to the summit of this mountain in a long journey from our camp to show you the rewards of your climb along the trail. When you began this trip as a Boy Scout on the trail many years ago, you had this mountain top as your goal. You now have reached the summit, the realm of the Eagles. But before admitting you to this honored membership, we must first hear the story of your long climb along the trail.
– Kitchkinet: This Scout, after reaching the First Class rank, has worked diligently and has sought experts who gave them valuable counsel on many subjects. They have been given advice and encouragement along the trail by capable leaders.
– Allowat: Before admitting this Scout to the realm of the Eagle, I would like to have assurance that they have been faithful in serving their troop, in giving leadership to younger Scouts, and that they are entitled to wear the wings of the Eagle. Scoutmaster _____________, has your Scout met these qualifications?
– Scoutmaster: Yes, they have.
– Allowat: Scout ______________, you have worked to the point where you are about to become an Eagle. But, listen first to the wisdom of the winds.
– East Wind: I am the spirit of the East Wind. I represent the common law, your duty to God and to country. Trustworthy, loyal, and helpful, are the qualities which a man must possess who lives by the laws and rules of this land. See that we do not lose this great blessing of a lawful land.
– West Wind: As the spirit of the West Wind, I represent the law of equity, your duty to country and to others. Friendly, courteous, and kind are the laws that breathe of conscience. They create the atmosphere that comes from within your heart. They bring the desire for you always to be a friend to those of all ages, young and old alike. They tell you to be courteous to those who pass along your trail. Cast away the harmful spirits of unfriendliness and selfishness.
– South Wind: I am the spirit of the South Wind. I represent the civil law, your duty to others and to self. Obedience, cheerfulness, and thrift are the characteristics of civility. A life of cheerful obedience is necessary for the development of a true citizen. Obedience is something everyone has to learn—to take orders and carry them out cheerfully. Real thrift means earning, spending wisely and saving, and sharing with those less fortunate.
– North Wind: I am the spirit of the North Wind, the most powerful of all. I represent the divine law: brave, clean, and reverent. To be brave is to be unselfish. To be clean in body and mind is to be pure in heart. Cast from your mind and body any evil spirit that tries to weaken or destroy the divine law. Live a life of reverence. Be brave and clean.
– Allowat: Through all the climb up the Scouting trail, the badges have changed as your abilities grew. But one pledge remained unchanged, the Scout Oath. Is there any reason why you as a new Eagle cannot renew this promise which you first made as a new Scout.
– Candidate: No.
– Allowat: Then you will make the Scout sign and state the Scout Oath slowly and clearly.
– Candidate: (Repeats the Scout Oath slowly.)
– Allowat: Scouting has been a great influence in your life. It has supplemented the effect of your home, your place of worship, and your school. You climbed through the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class.
– Kitchkinet: Then additional merit badges allowed you to be a Star, while still more and harder ones found you wearing the heart of a Life Scout. More time and much harder requirements found you adding to your qualifications until now you have reached the highest rank in Scouting achievement, the Eagle.
– Allowat: Without the love and guidance of understanding parents, a boy is severely handicapped. Your mother has watched you grow and develop. She has worked for you in health, nursed you in sickness, guided your thoughts and actions, and helped you in untold ways. Your father has been a strength to lean on, someone to turn to in times of trouble and for help. Your home influence will last you throughout your life. I ask your parents to stand beside you as a symbol that they will continue to help the young Eagle to grow in the qualities of leadership and citizenship which a true Eagle must have. (The four winds escort the parents to the side of the candidate.)
– Kitchkinet: As a token of your willingness to continue your help for this young Eagle, I ask you, Mrs. ______________, to pin the Eagle badge on your son. (She does so.) Scout, you have seen how your mother plans to stand by you in the future. Do you now promise to do your best as an Eagle Scout?
– Candidate: Yes.
– Kitchkinet: Then you now have the honor to pin a miniature Eagle pin on your mother. (They do so.)
– Kitchkinet: In recognition of the wisdom and encouragement which your father has given you along the trail, I ask you to present this Eagle Dad tie tack to him. (They do so.)
Mr. ______________, please read the letter to your Scout from the Chief Scout Executive and present them with the Eagle certificate and letter. (They do so.)
– Kitchkinet: As Ceremonial Chief, I now call upon Mr. ______________ to give the new Eagle the charge.
(Any of the forms of the charge may be used here. When the charge is finished, the four winds step, one at a time, to the new Eagle, and each puts their right hand on the Eagle’s right shoulder as they state the following:)
– East Wind: Remember the common law: trustworthy, loyal, helpful.
– West Wind: Remember the law of equity: friendly, courteous, kind.
– South Wind: Remember the civil law: obedient, cheerful, thrifty.
– North Wind: Remember the divine law, the most powerful of all: brave, clean, reverent.
– Allowat: I now welcome you, new Eagle, to the summit of your trail. The Eagle is strong and powerful, and flies unblinking into the face of the sun. It soars high and builds on a pinnacle. You must not swerve from your duties as an Eagle.
– Kitchkinet: (Hands upraised) We now call upon the Great Spirit of all, for His blessing on this young man. May they ever strive to attain the noblest and highest ideals of life. Be their strength and their Guide. Cause them to follow a straight trail and to never be a reason for other Scouts to waver from the path. Protect them for many moons to come. May the Great Master of all Scouts be with us until our trails cross again. (Hold pose until curtains close, etc. If no stage or curtains are used, the OA members walk back from whence they came, and the Scoutmaster takes over to start the congratulations.)
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HISTORY OF THE EAGLE AND MAN
Room is in darkness. At the front is a table with one lighted candle representing the light of Scouting. In front of this candle, one each, red, white, and blue, unlighted. Behind the lighted candle is the Eagle light box, covered with a sheet. The master of ceremonies is at the front of the room, slightly to the side, behind a lectern. One Scout is standing by the table to light the candles with the light of Scouting. The US flag is posted to the right of the table, illumined by a flashlight.
– MC: The red of my flag is the lifeblood of brave men ready to die or worthily live for this, our country (Scout lights the red candle). The white of my flag is for purity, cleanliness of purpose, thought, word, and deed (Scout lights the white candle). The blue of my flag is for faith and loyalty, like the eternal blue of the star-filled heavens (as Scout lights the blue candle, replaces the light of Scouting, and removes the sheet covering the Eagle light box). By authority vested in me as a representative of the council and the National Council, Boy Scouts of America, I declare this court of honor to be duly convened.
– MC: Tonight we have the honor and pleasure of recognizing (Eagle candidate) for the award of Eagle Scout. The parents and Scout leaders whom we honor tonight have labored long and faithfully to develop them toward alert and participating citizenship through the Boy Scout program. Their efforts culminate this evening in the presentation of the Eagle Award. The success of these efforts, however, will only be manifest in the way this Eagle Scout sets a social pattern for the lives they touch. Honor guard, please escort (Eagle candidate) before this court of honor where they will be prepared to receive the highest rank conferred by the Boy Scouts of America, that of Eagle Scout.
– (The honor guard, composed of Eagle Scouts escorts the Eagle candidate to the front of the room, near the American flag and leave them facing the audience.)
– Reader (Voice Of The Eagle): (from offstage) I am the eagle. Since the beginning of time, man has used my brothers and I as a symbol of royalty, power, victory, authority and valor. My strength and courage has inspired men through the ages.
– Ancient man looked upon me as an inveterate enemy of serpents. They saw the battle between the sun and clouds as between an eagle and a serpent.
– The ancient Assyrians associated me with Ashur, the great sun god. I was awed and worshiped for my majestic beauty. In the Assyrian myths, I was a symbol of storms and lightning and the god who carried souls to Hades.
– In India and Babylon I was the symbol of fire, of wind and storms, and the bringer of immortality.
– In the golden age 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 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, representing supreme authority.
– In the Middle Ages, I became the symbol of Germany. And as falconry flourished as a sport in Europe, only kings were allowed to hunt with an eagle.
– 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 on the sun. In early icons I was best known as the symbol of St. John the Evangelist.
– In the nineteenth century, Napoleon’s troops conquered Europe under the symbol of the eagle. Many French soldiers gave their lives to protect the golden eagle, which supported the French flag on the battleground.
– 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 present day.
– I have a prominent place in America as in ancient Rome as a symbol of power and authority. The emblems of the President, vice-president, several members of the President’s cabinet and most branches of the armed forces center on the eagle.
– MC: From the god of the Assyrians to 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 11 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 tradition as old as man himself, the Boy Scouts of America chose the eagle to symbolize the very highest in achievement.
– Through all of history, the eagle has been the symbol of man’s best. Now the eagle is the symbol of Scouting’s best. In a moment, (presenter’s name) will confer upon you the award of Eagle Scout. However, I am sure you will agree that some special persons should be accorded the privilege of standing with you and in some measure sharing these high honors. Honor Guard, please escort the parents of the Eagle candidate to their side. (Parents take places on each side of the Eagle candidate. The Scoutmaster is invited to stand next to the parents.) As the special guest of tonight’s National Court of Honor, (presenter’s name) will present the Eagle Award. (Presenter is introduced and has the option of speaking informally for a few minutes about the Eagle Award or the Eagle candidate, and concludes their speech with: “It is with distinct honor and pleasure that I present you with the Eagle Scout Award.” (He or she then pins it on or passes badge to a parent to pin on her son.)
– MC: No one will ever know the unnumbered acts of self-sacrifice and helpfulness from the mother of this Eagle Scout, which have led us to this night. As the symbol of what this mother has made possible, the court now asks (Eagle candidate) to present to their mother a miniature Eagle pin. (The presenter gives it to the Eagle Scout who then pins it on their mother.)
– Presenter: It is customary that you also give your mother an Eagle kiss. (The Eagle does so.)
– MC: (If the father is an Eagle.) Your father has stood by you over the years and has offered their encouragement and assistance, as the symbol of what they have contributed to your attainment of this award, the court now asks you to present him a miniature Eagle tie tack. (The presenter gives it to the Eagle Scout who then pins it on their father’s tie.)
– MC: In recognition of fatherly advice and guidance along the trail to Eagle, I ask (Eagle candidate’s) father now to present his Scout with the Eagle Scout certificate and personal letter from the Chief Scout Executive, Boy Scouts of America. (The presenter gives them both to the Eagle’s father, who then reads the letter aloud and presents them both to the Eagle.) The court thanks (presenter’s name) for coming tonight and assisting in the presentation of the Eagle Award to (Eagle candidate).
NESA Representative: By virtue of your earning the Eagle Award, you are now eligible to become a member of the National Eagle Scout Association. Your troop has enrolled you as a ten-year member in the association and I have the honor or presenting your membership to you. Fail not your fellow Eagles, for your responsibilities are now greater than before. As you go forward in life, receiving other honors and awards, always remember this night when you became an Eagle Scout. (They then give them the NESA membership.)
– MC: You are now about to join the ranks of Eagle Scouts. Before doing so, however, we ask you to recommit yourself to Scouting’s essential principles. (Name and title of person to deliver the charge) will assist by delivering the Eagle charge.
Charger: Would all the Eagle Scouts in the audience please stand and form a line near the lectern please. I have the honor to give you the Eagle charge on the occasion of your elevation to the highest rank in Scouting. The Scouts of all nations constitute one of the most wholesome and significant movements in the world’s history. You have been judged by the Boy Scouts of America of being worthy of the highest rank in this great movement. All who know you rejoice in your achievement. Your position, as you 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. 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 (Eagle candidate) to undertake your citizenship with a solemn dedication. Be a leader, but lead only toward the best. Lift up every task you do and every office you hold to the high level of service to God and to your fellowman. 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 America on the solid foundation of clean living, honest work, unselfish citizenship, and reverence for God; and, whatever others may do, you will leave behind a record of which every other Scout may be justly proud.
– All Eagle Scouts in attendance: you will now rededicate yourself by repeating the Eagle Scout Pledge. I, ______________, believe in the Boy Scouts of America … as a movement which has as its aim and purpose … character building and citizenship training. … I believe it to be a movement that helps a Scout become master of their own powers, … helps them get along with other people … and helps them find a worthy use for their powers. … I therefore believe it is my duty … to do my best to obey the Scout Oath and Law. … I hereby renew my faith in Scouting … and promise to do what I can … in service to other Scouts … who have not come thus far along the Eagle trail. … (Eagles take their seats. New Eagle remains standing.)
– Your conduct along the trail has been excellent. You have rededicated yourself to the principles of Scouting, but one more thing is important…your future. As an Eagle Scout, you become a guide to other Scouts of lower rank. 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 not only reflect upon you, but on your fellow Eagles and all Scouting. The torch you carry is not only yours, but is ours also.
– I challenge you to enter this Eagle brotherhood, holding ever before you, without reservation, the ideals of honor and service, by the repetition of the Eagle Scout Promise before your fellow members, you will become an Eagle Scout. Though the words you use are similar to those by which you joined Scouting, they will mean more now than they could have meant at any time in the past. When you pledge yourself on your sacred honor, you will be sealing your eternal loyalty to the code of the Eagle Scout, with the words, which close the Declaration of Independence. Scout, parents, and guests, please stand.
– (Eagle candidate), please make the Scout sign, and repeat after me:
– “I reaffirm my allegiance … to the three promises of the Scout Oath. … I thoughtfully recognize and take upon myself … the obligations and responsibilities of the rank of Eagle Scout. … On my honor … I will do my best … to make my training an example … my rank and my influence … count strongly … for better Scouting … and for better citizenship, … in my troop … and in my community … and in my contacts with other people. … to this I pledge my sacred honor. …”
– Scouts, parents, and guests may be seated. 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. May the oath you have taken remain engraved on your heart forever.
– MC: I now declare this National Court of Honor closed. I ask the members of the court and all Eagle Scouts present to be the first to congratulate Scouting’s newest Eagle Scout. Following this, everyone will have the opportunity to do so.
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