The previous blog post explained the agenda of a Troop 68 court of honor. This agenda works well for us. However, we sometimes need to be flexible. Our September court of honor was a good example who things can change quickly.
One of our youngest and newest Boy Scouts, we’ll call him Duke, had worked hard to complete his Tenderfoot Rank requirements to receive the award at this court of honor. He was very excited about getting his first rank. During the course of working on his Tenderfoot he also almost completed his Second Class Rank.
When the day of the court of honor arrived Duke’s parents happened to be in the Twin Cities, one hundred miles away from Melrose. They called Duke to let him know that they would be a little late getting to the court of honor. Duke informed me of this as soon as he arrived at the city hall. He wanted his parents to be there with him when he received the award. I told him there would be no problem. We could rearrange the agenda a bit to push back the rank presentations.
We began the night with announcements which we usually do at the end of the ceremonies. That gave his parents about ten extra minutes to get closer to town. Then we began the opening ceremony. The honor guard brought the flags forward and we recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Unfortunately, the Scouts did not have a Scouting-related opening ready so we lost a few minutes there.
The award presentations began with the year pins, the recruiter patch, and the merit badges. Duke’s parents still had not arrived. No problem. It was time for some entertainment. Wait! The Scouts had forgotten to plan or practice a skit or song for this portion of the meeting. Now we have a problem. Wait! We could present the Progressive Scout Award and the Progressive Patrol Award.
Finally, all the awards had been given out except for Duke’s Tenderfoot Rank. I knew that Duke had really looked forward to his parents being there for the presentation. And I knew his parents wanted to be there. There was only one thing left to do. Break out the refreshments!
Duke’s parents arrived as we were drinking punch and eating the cookies. As we reconvened the court of honor they stood proudly next to their son as he received the first of his ranks on his way to attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. Eagle Scout, you ask? Oh yes, I reply. Duke has two brothers who are Eagles. This eleven year old has already set his sites on soaring with the Eagles. I have no doubt that I will be attending his Eagle court of honor someday, with his parents standing proudly by his side again.