Saturday, September 27, 2008

Court of Honor

I had the privilege of attending a Eagle Court of Honor this afternoon.  It is a solemn ceremony, one convened for those who have met the requirements: a mere 2% of all Scouts. 
Becoming an is a great accomplishment; being an Eagle Scout is a great responsibility. As an Eagle, the Scout Oath and Scout Law should take on new meaning for you; the motto and slogan take on new urgency.

As an Eagle, your first obligation is to live with honor. You are a marked man, a leader; for good or ill, people will follow the example you set. Give up anything before you give up your reputation and good name. As Shakespeare said, Mine honour is my life; both grow in one. Take honour from me, and my life is done. Let the white of the Eagle badge remind you of honor.

Your second obligation as an Eagle Scout is to be loyal. As a follower, you promised to be loyal to those above you. Now, as a leader, you must be loyal to those below you, treating them as you would want to be treated.  And you must also be loyal to your ideals, not letting others sway you from your course. Let the blue of the Eagle badge remind you of loyalty.
Your third obligation as an Eagle Scout is to be courageous. Stepping into your new role as a leader, you will face many challenges and obstacles. A ship in the harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are for. You must have the courage to do what is right, whatever other people do or say. Let the red of the Eagle badge remind you of courage.

Your fourth obligation is to serve others, for a leader is above all a servant. Let the practice of the daily good turn become a lifetime of service, for only in giving of yourself do you give anything of value. Just as it always has, let the scroll on your badge remind you of service.

Your final obligation as an Eagle Scout is to have vision. As a leader, you must know blaze your own trail. Just as a bald eagle soaring high above the ground can look far into the distance, so too must you look far into the future. Many people will follow you; only with vision will you lead them in the right direction. Let the silver eagle hanging from your badge remind you of vision.

These then are your obligations as an Eagle Scout: honor, loyalty, courage, service, and vision. By meeting those obligations, you can lead your troop, your community, your nation toward a better tomorrow.

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