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By:    On: 2013-07-17

Submitted by James Shepherd

Despite your best efforts, something will go wrong at your court of honor. The color guard will put the American flag on the wrong side of the stage, the sound system will produce eardrum-piercing feedback, a presenter will flub his lines. Whatever happens, the best thing you can do is go with the flow.

James Shepherd figured that out before his son’s court of honor and talked to his son about it. James explained: “Early on, he and I agreed that whatever happened at the COH, we would smile and go with it, as long as Scouting wasn’t maligned.” When a well-meaning clergyperson played some music the family didn’t much like, his son started to ask if they could change the music, but then looked his dad in the eye and said, “Just smile and go with it?” According to James, their initial agreement to go with the flow helped keep things in perspective and maintain “what passes for sanity in our family.”

I should add that it’s a lot easier to go with the flow when your master of ceremonies is completely unflappable. If he’s prone to panic, any minor problems could quickly lead to major disruptions.

Republished with permission of Mark Ray at

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