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andysmom

Question About Scheduling Eagle Courts Of Honor

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Three ECOH's in June?  What a waste of good weekends of camping.  Sorry private ECOH's aren't encouraged and if one does want one, they need to work it out with the boys because all COH's are held by them.  Our troop holds 4 COH's a year, on the 5th Tuesday of the month.  The family can have their reception/celebration any time they wish.

 

With our unit, we work with the families to pick a date. It must work with the unit calendar and cannot cannibalize any unit events.

 

If they go "rogue" and decide to do their own thing, that's fine, but I cannot guarantee unit participation or leader availability. Thankfully 99% of ECOHs are either after regular COHs or stand alone. 

 

Since we do less than 9 Eagles a year the break down is about 50/50 stand alone versus add-on COHs.

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How long do your courts of honor last? Our regular courts of honor are generally 30-40 minutes with skits, rank, merit badges etc. Recharter COH and the first one after summer camp are longer. If we add an Eagle COH after that we are looking at another 40-45 minutes, doesn't that seem too long to be sitting still?

 

Another thing about scheduling Eagle work days, is often times the scout does not have a lot of choice when things happen because of restraints given to them by benefitting organizations, material delivery schedules, weather (needing something finished before the ground freezes) etc.

 

Again, this is unusual because we have so many things going on right now and so many boys working on and finishing Eagle, and most of them want to get projects and ceremonies done before they go to college or camp or start summer jobs. It will slow down because we will run low on life scouts for a while. (I believe our oldest Star scout will be 16 this winter)

 

We also don't encourage our boys to have a stand alone Eagle COH. We present them with several ideas and let them decide what works for them. Recently most boys have had their ceremony at the church, probably because it is easier. No hall to rent etc and the families provide fruit, cheese and veggie platters, cookies and brownies and drinks. Nothing overly fancy.

Edited by andysmom

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Our CoH's are very quick: Flags, Light some candles corresponding to law and oath, SM minute, CC or SPL hands out awards, ASMs stand at the side and the boys come down the line shaking our hands, color guard retires colors, .. all told 25 minutes, and we go downstairs for cookies and ice cream.

 

ECoH's vary in lenght. If there are a lot of guest speakers, they can go on nigh and hour :blink:. Son #1's was forty-five minutes. However, it ended with his closing remarks quoting Aragorn's speech before the Black Gate and every Tolkien geek (of which there were many) forgot how long they'd been sitting.

 

Son #2 wants his to be about half that. I think we'll hit that mark because we have no special guests.

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How long do your courts of honor last? 

 

We have 3-4 a year.

  • January is usually 45 mins or less. We usually have about 10-15 rank advancements, a few special awards and about 20-30 MBs.
  • May we recognize the new scouts and their earning Scout. This is about 30 mins. We usually do this in place of a regular meeting.
  • August is the big one. That is post summer camp and usually have 25+ ranks and nearly 200 MBs.
  • November (if needed) get the stragglers from summer camp who did not complete rank or MBs. Usually less than an hour, also usually held on meeting night.

ECOHs that are added on to existing COHs are usually pretty short, about 30 mins depending on speakers. The stand alone ones tend to be pretty grandiose and long. An hour plus. Dread those unless they are fun. Most go for fun or funny with a solemn moment for the award. The tear-jerker ones tend to go on and on and on and on.

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It is not about the CC and the Adults.  It is about the Scouts.  The CC is in charge of the Committee and helping the Troop do what it wants to do that is run by the PLC.  If you have a large Troop, you will get those Scouts who know the soon to be Eagle Scout and go help/celebrate him as needed.

An Eagle Project is part of Leadership and how he shows it.  This is just another barrier that will happen in real life.  It is not something that the CC can dictate. 

Again, the CC is out of bounds and needs to conform his schedule to the Troop or take another position elsewhere.

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@@andysmom, sounds like there's confusion about there being a chain of command between the CC and SM

I'm coming around to realize that this may be a common point of "unknown", & at the cub level too

maybe a new thread.....

 

Back on the bigger point though...

and I'm just looking at this logically, not from first hand experience.... i liked Stosh's analogy of the graduation ceremony

One ceremony

private receptions and parties

graduates don't write individual scripts...

they don't pick the commencement speaker

 

I get it that it's a big deal for the boys so having a guest speaker in someone that played an important role in his life..... makes sense as a gift or prop given TO the boy.... as in say the parents surprising the boy by inviting his former SM from the next town over... the one that meant so much to him before they moved away.... or a teacher.... or whatever....

but having the scout script his own thing seems like me staging my last pack meeting as CM as an award presentation to me for all the good service I have done, complete with my writing a speech for each boy that he can read, telling me what a great impact I have made in his life....

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Obviously, different troops do it in different ways.  We have had boys/families who decided not to do an ECOH.  The only thing our troop provides is the typical Eagle awards pack (neckerchief, slide, award and patch and mom/dad and 1 mentor pin.  The families do everything else, so in a sense what @@Stosh and @@blw2 are saying is kind of what happens in our troop.  There is some coordination with the family on the troop calendar, but if the date they want to do is not a huge issue, the family picks that date and makes all the arrangements themselves, including arranging the place where they want to have it.

 

The Eagle invites the troop and whoever else outside the troop he wants to and then whoever is able to come from the troop is able to come.  If an Eagle and/or their family wants to have something big, make all the plans and pay for everything and let the Eagle script his own ceremony and ask whoever he wants to speak then I think it is great.  I get the graduation comparison, but, in my opinion, if it is special to the family then they should do whatever they want.

 

I think, however, for the most part we all agree that the CC from @@andysmom's original post is out of line.

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I think, however, for the most part we all agree that the CC from @@andysmom's original post is out of line.

I'm not sure I'd go that far. It sounds like the CC, and perhaps other leaders, take attendance at ECOH's and Eagle projects seriously. There may be a troop culture or tradition that these leaders attend, or even officiate, at the ECOHs. You may not like that, your unit may do it differently, but this may be the case in that unit.

 

If there is an expectation that these leaders be present, I can fully understand the CC and other leaders' reluctance to schedule things so close together, or to cannibalize any event. Sounds like there needs to be better coordination among the scouts to make sure conflicts don't exist in that troop.

 

In our unit you schedule well in advance with the Scribe or it does not get on the calendar.

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..... I get the graduation comparison, but, in my opinion, if it is special to the family then they should do whatever they want......

 

Ok then, it's more like a wedding.

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Our son just had his ECOH last weekend... It's was devastating when not one leader and not one scout planned on attending. You see our son is on the autistic spectrum and was told by his Scout master no one liked him. Not even his Scout master had the decency to even rsvp, no one did. We get it that people are busy and have other commitments but what this troop leadership has done to this Eagle Scout is discriminate, ostrosozed and demean him. We also get it people have a way of not liking people with disabilities and think they are less then they are but what these leaders have shown is that it's ok to act like this and make him feel so abandoned.

Thankfully his ASM stepped up 2 days before the ceremony and apologized and brought 3 scouts from the troop. Also our older son who is also an eagle did the ceremony and her had other scouts from other troops show up to support his accomplishment. This was just the latest in the troops leadership of doing nasty things to hurt a scout with a disability. Since this is a new troop as of 5 or 6 years ago our son was the first Eagle Scout from the troop, you would have thought someone would have cared enough.

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Sorry to hear about your son's troop. I know how it hurts when folks you worked with and looked up to folks who don't come to an ECOH that you invited them to. One of my cousin's is an Eagle. He got the invitation and said he would be there. I gave him two parts in the ceremony to perform. A few weeks before the ceremony, He backs out. Why? Because I am taking 1 course at his old university's arch rival.

 

Luckily, one of my old SPL's was able to make it. He said he would try to get leave to make it, but no guarantees. He got leave and showed up. In addition to the very small part I put in the script for him in case he did make it, he got all of my cousin's parts. I must say putting him on the spot to talk about me led to a great roasting of me. He was SPL when I first became a PL, and he had to do a LOT of mentoring. :o

 

I think my old SPL showing up was a heck of a lot better than having my cousin there.

Edited by Eagle94-A1

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Wow. 

 

I cannot begin to think about how this was for your family.  Clearly the Troop needs to review the meaning and spirit of the Scout Law. People not coming to my ECOR was always by biggest (but unwarrented) fear at that age, but I have not heard of it happening before (birthdays yes, but scouting - I thought even the lesser of us would be better than that).

 

For the benefit of others who may come later and be in a similar situation, I would recommend they speak with the district executive or unit commissioner.  They would be able to muster a cadre of Scouts and Scouters to rejoice in what must have not only been a personal challenge greater for your son than most eagles face, but the additional challenge of accomplishing that in the environment of your son's troop.

 

My heartfelt congratulations for your Son's achievement and for the wonderful family support you provide him.

Edited by gumbymaster
  • Upvote 2

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Wow, 2eaglesons, my heart is breaking for your son.

 

I agree with gumbymaster, this SM has issues and they should be addressed by the COR and the DE.

That is NOT how scouting works.

  • Upvote 1

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Our son just had his ECOH last weekend... It's was devastating when not one leader and not one scout planned on attending. You see our son is on the autistic spectrum and was told by his Scout master no one liked him. Not even his Scout master had the decency to even rsvp, no one did. We get it that people are busy and have other commitments but what this troop leadership has done to this Eagle Scout is discriminate, ostrosozed and demean him. We also get it people have a way of not liking people with disabilities and think they are less then they are but what these leaders have shown is that it's ok to act like this and make him feel so abandoned.

Thankfully his ASM stepped up 2 days before the ceremony and apologized and brought 3 scouts from the troop. Also our older son who is also an eagle did the ceremony and her had other scouts from other troops show up to support his accomplishment. This was just the latest in the troops leadership of doing nasty things to hurt a scout with a disability. Since this is a new troop as of 5 or 6 years ago our son was the first Eagle Scout from the troop, you would have thought someone would have cared enough.

 

I'm stunned. That's something I would let the district know. If they treat a scout like that openly imagine what else might be going on.

 

This is a big fear of mine for any scout, but especially with scouts I know are less popular. I try to make every ECOH when possible. I think I've missed two (one due to surgery) in all my years. I always try to make sure the ASMs and PLC are in attendance and encourage parents to get rsvps months in advance so they can drive attendance. 

 

Congrats to your son. It is a huge accomplishment!!

Edited by Krampus

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