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gift etiquette for Eagle ceremony attendance

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  • gift etiquette for Eagle ceremony attendance

    Help - my son just entered boy scouts and has been invited to several Eagle ceremonies. My husband usually does the scouting activities and says he is not familiar with the need to present a gift. I feel that a ceremony such as this may have a small gift and card be appropriate. I am looking for guidance on etiquette - please help !!! Thanks -

  • #2
    If nothing else, you can look in the Scouting catlog. There's several ideas for Eagle gifts in there. A nice card with or without a monetary donation would also be appropriate.


    • #3

      In my experience, I never brought a gift or card to a COH. Oftentimes, as a troop, it was an effort to get the scouts to show up at all. I did present a gift to one of my best friends when he made eagle, but I was 18 or 19 at the time.

      Unless you're friends with the family, there should be no hurt feelings if you arrive with no present or card. If you're still concerned, then as jr56 said, a congratulatory card (with our w/o $) would always be in good taste as well.



      • #4
        In my experience, the only gift most Eagle scouts want is your presence to share in their accomplishment. In many cases, invitations may specify 'no gifts'. Out of the 50 or so Eagle COHs I have attended, I always brought a gift. Typically in the $25 range, although sometimes more depending on how close I may be to the scout.


        • #5
          I have been to over 100. I usually get a card, and include a check for $10 (OK when I actually know the scout I've been known to go to $20). With my involvement in the council, I get invited to many. I wondered if this was about right until my son had his Eagle CoH. Same amounts of gifts from many of the folks that were there. Many in our council have a meal, so there are expenses that are put on.

          My son paid for his trip from California to Northern Tier from his gifts from that afternoon. A gift is nice, but just showing up and telling the scout how great he is, really is a wonderful gift of self. Please don't be worried, just take your son go and enjoy the time.


          • #6
            I measure my gift on my past interactions with the Scout.

            I like to share a gift of remembrance with the Eagle Scout. Words are usually the best, a letter or a handwritten card or a photograph. I personally don't like to give money but in some instances have done so. For Scouts that I have known for a long period of time, I have given a special gift.

            Most of the Scouts I have known are going off to college and might enjoy a memento that can be saved. I gave a Scout a red jacket once even knowing that he was going off to the military. Probably, he would never wear it. I knew he would not throw it away. I hoped he would find the need to wear it and join a unit elsewhere as an adult. I wanted him to have a memory for later.



            • #7
              Wow. I sure don't agree with the idea that gifts should be expected. If the Eagle Court of Honor is so expected that gifts of cash are looked for, it's too elaborate, in my view.

              If someone wants to provide a card or special photo as a memento, I think that's fine. But in general, invited guests should be expected to RSVP when asked and show up. That's it!

              Seattle Pioneer


              • #8
                This is certainly news to me. I have never heard of gifts at an Eagle CoH. In my experience, if gifts are given by family and close friends, this is done privately, not at the ceremony.

                I'd hate for Eagle CoHs to become venues for socially expected gift-giving like birthday parties and bridal showers.


                • #9
                  I think that the "gift" that should be given by attendees is taking the time to go by and shake the young man's hand, look him straight in the eye, and say "Well Done!" If somebody wants to do more than that, perhaps a donation to FOS in the new Eagle's name would be appropriate? A card with a favorite snapshot of the young man?

                  The young man has already received a LOT of gifts up to this point: the gifts of his involved parents, his scoutmaster's time, the elbow grease of those involved in executing his Eagle project, the dedication of all of the adults that saw him through to getting Eagle. I personally think (and this is just me, I'm NOT judging anybody who DOES give a gift), that it COULD cheapen the occasion by putting a price tag on it.

                  Okay, I'll climb off of my soapbox now.


                  • #10
                    I'm known as a mug collector so that's been my siganature gift since I became a leader. Those available through the Scout shop usually do the job -- though not always an Eagle mug. I've been known to slip a 10 spot into it when I know that the young man will have a hard time meeting educational (or other) expenses.

                    Some of our form members might not know that BSA produces an "Eagle catalog" w/ everything needed (?) to celebrate a
                    young mans achievement.



                    • #11
                      I've never taken a gift, nor have I noticed anyone else taking one (no gift table or cards going into the Eagle's or Eagle parents hand, etc.).



                      • #12
                        When I received my Eagle ('88), I did receive a couple of gifts but I was not expecting any. The gentleman who was my SM when I first joined the troop presented me with a Cross Pen set and my Grandmother gave me a gold eagle watch from the franklin mint. My parents gave me an eagle pocket knife. These were presented to me privately, before the actual ceremony, but at the site. I received many cards from friends, relatives, and those who had some interest in my scouting career (CO members, merit badge counselors, etc.) I do not remember if any had money in them or not. I still have all those cards and I treasure them for the words written in them for more than any more money they might have once held.

                        If I were going to an Eagle COH today, I would not bring a gift unless I was close to the scout in question, but I would bring a card with a message appropriate to my relationship with the scout.



                        • #13
                          I have been a leader in our troop for 4-5 yrs, and have attended a number of Eagle ceremonies from our troop and others.

                          I would say that a gift is not expected, or encouraged - but if you feel close to the scout or family, then let that be your guide.

                          Some of the boys I have seen reach Eagle have been boys that have come up with my son since Tiger cubs. others are older brothers of troop memebers that I didn't really know personally.

                          Since I tend to take alot of photos of our troop and it's activities - one thing I have always done (esp since Digital cameras makes this easy) is to search thru my Cub and boy scout files and have a print made of every photo I can find with that boy in it. These I give to the family privately before the COH - for memories, and in case they want to use them at the ceremony. It doesn't cost much at all, but is something they have all greatly appreciated.

                          As I am coming up on MORE Eagle ceremonies of boys that I am particularly close to - those of my son's peers and church families we know - I will be giving a more personalized gift - baised on my relationship with the boy in question, and his interests.

                          In particular, I am thinking of a boy a little older than my son, who has been a great mentor to my son and a good friend to me. Since his mother was disabled last year, (severe head injury)and the family has had some dificulties, and because I have LOADS of photos of this boy over the years - I am making him a scrapbook of memories that he can add to if he wants. I know it's something his Dad - (our SM) won't think of (he's got too much other stuff on his mind) and that his mom would have done something like that if she was able to.

                          bottom line? this is one instance where a gift, if given, should come from the heart. If you feel like giving a gift, then do so.



                          • #14
                            There is no gift etiquette at Eagle COH's.

                            However, I choose to give the young man something. These's gifts have ranged from OA patches, neckerchief slides, Eagle Scout bumper sticker, and cards.

                            If you want to give a little something that's ok, if not, that's ok too. Main thing is that you and your son are there.


                            • #15
                              It started with the first Eagle COH I did as Scoutmaster. the young mans project was clearing a new trail at the local park and removing the invasive Buckthorn. I saved some of the buckthorn and turned a pen from it. Gave it to him at the COH. Now every Scout that gets Eagle gets a handmade pen. They are great practical gifts.
                              Now it I could only get the pen parts company to make clips with the Boy Scout symbol.