Elements of Scouting Ceremony
This Ceremony is meant for Eagle scouts.
candelabra of 5 candles, representing earth, water, fire, wind, eagle
single white 'spirit of scouting' candle
candelabra with 3 candles, red, white, and blue for Eagle colors
Master of Ceremonies
Scout to read poem
Four scouts – fire, water, earth, wind
Eagle Scout for Voice of the Eagle reading
MC lights the Spirit of Scouting candle before the ceremony begins.
PRESENTATION OF THE COLORS (MC)
Please stand for the presentation of the colors.
Color Guard! Present the colors!
(Color Guard comes forward with USA and Troop flags and moves to their positions by the podium)
(The entire troop comes forward following the flags and stands in the front rows facing the flags.)
Please stand and join me in the Pledge of Allegiance!
(Color Guard dips the troop flag, MC leads the pledge of allegiance.)
"I pledge allegiance ..."
Post the colors!
Scouts, please remain standing.
Audience, you may be seated.
Scouts, please face the audience and make the Scout Sign.
Scouts, recite the Scout Motto with me.
(All scouts recite the scout motto – Be Prepared )
Scouts, recite the Scout Oath with me.
(All scouts recite the scout oath – On my honor, ...)
Scouts, recite the Scout Law with me.
(All scouts recite the Scout Law – A Scout is Trustworthy, ...)
Scouts, recite the Outdoor Code with me.
(All scouts recite the outdoor code – As an American, ...)
Color Guard dismissed.
(Color Guard joins the rest of the troop in the front rows)
Scouts, you may be seated.
(Pause while scouts take their seats)
Good afternoon. Welcome to Troop _____'s Eagle Scout Ceremony for __________ __________. The theme for today’s ceremony is "The Elements of Scouting." You just heard the scouts recite four important elements of Scouting: the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Outdoor Code and the Scout Motto. The Boy Scouts routinely affirm these commitments because these are the foundation, the very elements, of Boy Scouts.
But there is another interpretation of "The Elements of Scouting". The elements of nature are also the elements of Scouting. Fire, water, earth, and wind are core parts of the Boy Scout experience. From small backpacking stoves to large bonfires, fire has been part of ________'s Boy Scout journey. He has swum in lakes and rivers, canoed and rafted, and used water to clean his gear. Through the Boy Scouts, ________ has hiked over hundreds of miles of packed earth, from weekend hikes to long-distance treks. Like the Eagle that he is, the winds of Scouting have taken him far and near. Today, we celebrate ________'s flight through Scouting that has led to the summit of Eagle Scout.
To reflect that theme, it is my pleasure to introduce ________ __________, Life Scout, who will read a modified version of the poem, From the Shore, by Carl Sandburg.
(MC takes his seat while Scout #1 comes to the podium)
POEM (Scout #1)
From the Shore
By Carl Sandburg
A lone Eagle,
Alone in the shadows and grandeurs and tumults
Of night and the sea
And the stars and storms.
Out over the darkness it wavers and hovers,
Out into the gloom it swings and batters,
Out into the wind and the rain and the vast,
Out into the pit of a great black world,
Where fogs are at battle, sky-driven, sea-blown,
Love of mist and rapture of flight,
Glories of chance and hazards of death
On its Eagle wings.
Out into the deep of the great dark world,
Beyond the long borders where foam and drift
Of the sundering waves are lost and gone
On the tides that plunge and rear and crumble.
(Scout #1 sits down and MC returns to podium)
RECOGNITION OF EAGLE SCOUTS (MC)
I would like to invite all Eagle Scouts and King Scouts, including adults, to stand at this time and introduce yourselves. Please give your name, troop-number and the year that you received your Eagle or King Scout Rank.
(MC indicates each Eagle Scout to take the floor)
Thank you. You may be seated.
Before you stands a single lighted candle. It represents the Spirit of Scouting.
The law of this Troop is the Scout Law.
Scouts also live by another code, which is the Scout Oath or Promise.
The Scout Oath describes three duties that every Scout must accept; duty to God and country; duty to others, and duty to self.
In this spirit, we celebrate the values of Scouting and recognize the many worthwhile lessons of life that are learned on the Trail to Eagle.
Today we honor ________ __________ on his accomplishment of the Eagle Scout Award.
At this time I would like to introduce ________ __________, our Troop's Scoutmaster.
(Scoutmaster comes to the podium, while MC sits)
ELEMENTS OF SCOUTING (Scoutmaster)
I’d like to invite the following Scouts to step forward:
________ __________, Troop _____, Life Scout;
________ __________, Troop _____, Life Scout;
________ __________, Troop _____, Life Scout;
________ __________, Troop _____, Life Scout;
I would like the Eagle candidate to please join us as we review the Elements of Scouting.
(Four Scouts and candidate stand behind table bearing 5-candle candelabra, facing audience)
The path to Eagle is a steep trail leading to the high summit of Eagle Scout. Look back for a moment, ________. Look at the path you've flown. Look at the experiences you have encountered on your journey. You have canoed and hiked and camped with your Troop. You have learned from those who came before you on this trail and you are teaching those who are following you on the same trail. These experiences will not be forgotten because they are now part of you.
Each step on the trail, every experience that you've had, all the badges you've earned, all the service you've given, has culminated in this distinct honor today. The elements of fire, water, earth, and wind have been part of the trail to Eagle. These Scouts will review the way those elements have influenced your trail.
The trail to Eagle requires that you follow the Outdoor Code. The Outdoor Code says that you will be careful with fire. Fire, as we all know, is part of every Scout outing. As a Tenderfoot Scout, you learned that fire can be helpful but it can also be dangerous. You also learned that three things (oxygen, fuel, and heat) are needed to start a fire and keep it burning. You used that knowledge as a Tenderfoot Scout when you cooked your first meal over an open fire. Then, as a Second Class Scout, you prepared tinder, kindling, and fuel for a fire and again cooked a meal over an open fire. As you advanced through the ranks of Scouting, you used your knowledge of fire to teach younger Scouts in the Troop.
Fire represents one of the best parts of any Scout outing - on Scout campouts, there are always campfires. Cooking meals, using dutch ovens, telling stories, watching sparks fly - these are all part of the way that fire has been part of the trail to Eagle.
(lights the red candle to represent fire)
Like fire, water has been an important part of your Scouting experience. As a Second Class Scout you demonstrated the ability to swim and performed simple water rescues. As a First Class Scout you passed the Boy Scout swimming test and learned more advanced rescues. You earned the Swimming Merit Badge and the Canoeing Merit Badge.
Time in, and around, water has defined many Scout outings. With your Troop, you have swum and sailed at summer camp; you have canoed the wild lakes and rivers; you have gone white water rafting; you have visited both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
(lights the blue candle to represent water)
You have coasted on waterways across the country, and you have also travelled many trails on foot. Conserving the earth's resources is the essence of the Boy Scout's Outdoor Code. This important part of Scouting is reflected in the fact that you earned the Environmental Science, Nature, Fish and Wildlife, Mammal Study, Insect Study, and Camping merit badges. All of these Merit Badges require knowledge of how the earth sustains the biodiversity of life.
To become a Second Class Scout, you went on your first five-mile hike. To reach First Class Scout, you completed an orienteering course and learned how to find your directions during the day or night without using a compass.
You have also been witness to the incredible beauty of the land. You hiked many miles across the country with your fellow scouts on high adventure treks. Your Philmont experience took you from forest floor to above timberline. Other high adventures included trips to Wyoming, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington. As you followed the trail to Eagle, you have found your footing with every step you've taken.
(lights the brown candle to represent earth)
As you soar as an Eagle Scout, it is the wind that carries you forward. You have felt the power of the wind as you stood at the summit of Mt. Baldy at Philmont. Cooling breezes at summer camp and frigid gusts during winter have surrounded you on those outings. You've camped in spring rains and you've seen trees shake with autumn bluster. The wind has carried you to the four corners of our country, experiencing scouting far and wide. As an Eagle Scout, you'll continue to fly to new adventures and new places.
(lights the white candle to represent wind)
________, your trail to Eagle has included a commitment to the elements of fire, water, earth, and wind. As a Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and, now, Eagle Scout, you have continued to show Scout Spirit. You earned additional merit badges bringing your total to ____. As a troop leader you developed, planned and led others in an eagle service project for the community that totaled more than ____ hours of service. Your project was to _________________
This is your trail to Eagle. You may light the final candle, which represents the rank of Eagle Scout.
(Eagle candidate lights the highest candle)
VOICE OF THE EAGLE
MC: I would now like to introduce ________ __________, an Eagle Scout.
This is the voice of the Eagle. We represent those who, like yourself, have set high goals and labored successfully to improve ourselves and to give service to others. The Eagle Scouts of our council challenge you to accept the responsibility, as well as the honor, of the Eagle Scout rank.
The poem, In the Company of Eagles, by Howard Simon is a tribute to power of the eagle. It is also a poignant illustration of how the eagle is part of a larger tableau:
In the Company of Eagles
By Howard Simon
Mountains for my mansion
The forest for my pantry
The clouds for my carpet
The sky for my curtains
The sun for my candle
The wind for my chariot
In the company of eagles
Flying above fear
Floating above failures
Winging above worries
Gliding above gravity
Living above limits
Soaring to success
Come fly with me
Flying as an Eagle Scout requires certain obligations.
The first obligation of an Eagle Scout is to live with honor.
An Eagle's honor is sacred.
Honor is the foundation of all character.
Socrates (the ancient Greek philosopher) said, "The shortest and surest way to live with honor in the world is to be in reality what we would appear to be; all human virtues increase and strengthen themselves by the practice and experience of them." Or, as Socrates paraphrased himself, "to do is to be."
An Eagle's life should influence his family, community, and friends in a positive manner.
May the white of your badge remind you to always live with honor.
Please light the WHITE candle representing the WHITE of the Eagle Badge.
(candidate lights the white candle in the 3-candle candelabra from the Scouting candle)
The second obligation of an Eagle Scout is loyalty.
Without loyalty, all character lacks direction.
An Eagle is loyal to his ideals.
Sir Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts, said, "Loyalty is a feature in a boy’s character that inspires boundless hope."
May the blue of your badge remind you to always be loyal.
Please light the BLUE candle representing the BLUE of the Eagle Badge.
(lights the blue candle)
The third obligation of an Eagle Scout is courage.
Courage gives force and strength to a person's character.
An Eagle's courage extends beyond physical bravery to fighting against injustice and hatred.
W. Clement Stone, businessman, philanthropist, and long-time supporter of Boys' Clubs of America, said, "Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity."
May the red of your badge remind you to always act courageously.
Please light the RED candle representing the RED of the Eagle Badge.
(lights the red candle from the Scouting candle)
The final obligation of an Eagle Scout is service.
Mahatma Gandhi said, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."
It is indeed true that self-discovery follows the awareness of how you can assist others. For an Eagle Scout, this is especially true.
You are charged with extending a helping hand to those who still travel along the Scouting trail, just as others helped you in your journey toward Eagle.
The habit of the daily Good Turn translates into a life of service to all those who need you.
You are charged with protecting and defending the weak and helpless.
You will provide aid and comfort the unfortunate and oppressed.
You will uphold the rights of others while defending your own.
You will always be prepared to put forth your best.
Are you willing and eager to accept the responsibilities, as well as the honor, of the rank of Eagle Scout?
Eagle Candidate: I am.
(Eagle Scout sits down and MC returns to Podium)
MC: I would like to introduce ________ __________ , Eagle Advisor for Troop ____.
I have the honor to give the Eagle Scout charge on this occasion of your elevation to the highest rank in scouting.
The Boy Scouts of all nations constitute one of the most meaningful and significant movements in the world's history, and you have been found worthy of the highest rank in its membership.
All who know you rejoice in your achievement.
Your position, as you well know, is one of honor and responsibility.
As an Eagle Scout, you have assumed a solemn obligation to do your duty to God and country, to your fellow Scouts, and others.
This is a great undertaking.
Be a leader, but lead only toward the best. Lift up every task you do and every office you hold to the highest level of service and honor. Live and serve so that those who know you will be inspired to finer living. Be among those who dedicate their skills and their abilities to the common good. By doing so, all who know you may be justly proud.
Please make the scout Sign and repeat after me the Eagle Pledge.
(Eagle Advisor leads, candidate repeats):
On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty to God (pause),
On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty to my country (pause),
I reaffirm my allegiance to the three promises of the Scout Oath (pause),
I thoughtfully recognize and take upon myself (pause),
the obligations of the rank of Eagle Scout (pause).
On my honor, I will do my best, to make my training an example, (pause)
and make my rank and influence strongly count, (pause)
for better scouting and citizenship, (pause)
in my troop, in my community, (pause)
and in my contact with other people, (pause)
regardless of race, color, or creed. (pause)
To this I pledge my sacred honor (pause).
PRESENTATION OF THE EAGLE SCOUT AWARD (Eagle Advisor)
We will now present the Eagle badge and neckerchief. Will this candidate's parents please join us?
Your mother will pin the badge over your heart.
(mother pins badge on candidate)
Your father will place the neckerchief around your neck
(father removes old neckerchief and places new one around candidate's neck)
In recognition of the wisdom and guidance given to you by your father, present to him this Eagle tie-tack, which he will be proud to wear in your honor.
(candidate presents tie-tack to father)
And now, also in recognition of the many hours of patient guidance given by her in your efforts, will you pin the Eagle mother's pin over your mother's heart?
(candidate presents pin to mother)
It is my privilege and honor to welcome you to the rank of Eagle Scout. May the oath you have taken remain in your heart always.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Scouts, I am proud to present to you Eagle Scout, ________ __________.
(Family members and Eagle Advisor are seated. MC returns to the podium.)
EAGLE RESPONSE (Eagle candidate)
MC: Now ________ will give the Eagle Response.
(candidate moves to the podium and gives his speech
MC: As we join ________ at the summit of his climb, we celebrate the journeys that led him here. Scouts, please lower the blinds. Audience, please enjoy this celebration of ________'s Trail to Eagle.
(Scouts seated near the windows rise and lower the blinds).
Scouts, please raise the blinds.
Color Guard, please come forward to retire the colors.
Color Guard! Retire the Colors!
(Color guard takes flags to back of room.)
This Eagle Scout Court of Honor is adjourned!