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Eagle Tip - Charging the Eagle Scout Collegian

By:    Posted On: 2010-12-21

Eagle Tips are repubished with permission of Mark Ray. You can find his website at http://www.eaglebook.com/

Most Eagle court of honor scripts assume that the honoree remains involved in Scouting, but many Eagle Scouts have left for college and have—at least for a time—put Scouting behind them.

So how can you make a court of honor meaningful for such an Eagle Scout? One way is to use an Eagle charge that acknowledges his situation and that connects that situation with what he learned in Scouting.

Here’s an example I wrote for an upcoming court of honor in our troop:

Danny, as you stand here today, your time as a Scout is behind you. You’ve graduated from high school, have begun college, and are already thinking about where life will take you. So if I were to talk to you about merit badges and service projects or about living by the Scout Oath and Scout Law, you might well say, “Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt.”

But as someone who traveled the same path as you just a few decades ago, I have a little secret for you. The lessons you learned in Scouting will mean more—not less—in the years to come.

Let’s start with merit badges. When you work on a merit badge, you are exploring a topic you may know nothing about at first. You have to learn the basics, master the skills, and perhaps most importantly motivate yourself to finish. Well, guess what? College classes are just like that. So are hobbies. And so will be your first job. People who are stuck in high school mode—who need teachers and parents to motivate them or who aren’t interested in mastering new skills—rarely lead exciting, fulfilling lives. Those who approach life as a series of merit badges live life to the fullest. I challenge you to approach life that way and to earn all the badges you can.

So what about service projects? The skills you learned in carrying out your Eagle project may help you handle major projects in college and career. More importantly, however, the satisfaction you felt in completing your project should spur you on to greater acts of service. Your country and your community need you to make a difference, to be a contributor to society, not just a consumer. I challenge you to make your Eagle project the first of many that you complete.

And finally, the Scout Oath and Law. As a child, you got your values from your parents, your church, and your school. I don’t have to tell you that college is not like that, and that’s why so many college students falter. As an old country song said, “You have to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” In college—and in adulthood—your values have to come from within. You long ago memorized the words of the Oath and Law. I challenge you to live those words, to use them as a compass that guides your thoughts and actions in the years to come.

So that’s my challenge to you: learn all you can, serve all the time, and always live by the Scout Oath and Law.

Welcome to the brotherhood of Eagle Scouts.

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