Over the weekend I was blessed to photograph the pinnacle of an 11 year journey at Nathan’s Eagle Scout Ceremony. And what a great Eagle Ceremony this was! Leaders from every part of Nathan’s Scouting journey came together to be a part of celebrating his achievements. Please join me for a peak into Nathan’s Eagle Ceremony and what to takes to become an Eagle Scout.
So many years and activities go into Earning the Eagle Scout Rank! I love the way they displayed items from Nathan’s Eagle Scout journey for family and friends to enjoy as they entered the ceremony.
The image below displays Nathan’s Order of the Arrow sashes, an “honor society” of Scouts Nathan has been active in.
An important part of becoming an Eagle Scout is learning to be a good leader. A Scout must serve in leadership positions within his troop for a minimum of 16 months as part of earning the Eagle Rank. The image on the right displays Nathans’ ranks and leadership position badges.
After the invocation prayer by a fellow Scout, the opening flag ceremony included the posting of the colors, the Pledge of Allegiance and the Boy Scout Pledge.
Master of ceremonies, Steven Higgins the Wabash Valley Senior District Executive, spoke about the importance of Scouting. What Scouting means in the lives of Scouts and to our community. “Scouts are the biggest users of America’s public lands… Spend tens of millions of hours in community service every year… Earn badges in subject like art and architecture, archery and archaeology…. Scouting alumni are disproportionately represent at the country’s service academies and in all manner of public and private leadership positions….”
At it’s core, the Scouting program is designed “to prepare young people to make ethical and moral decisions over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law…to become PREPARED FOR LIFE.”
Next, Nathan’s current Scout leader, Dean, spoke about what is required to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. “In terms of badges, an Eagle has earned the Scout badge and the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second class, First Class, Star, Life and finally Eagle. Along the way, he earned 12 required merit badges and nine elective merit badges, served in troop leadership positions for a total of 16 months, and spent at lest 13 hours on service projects, not including the many hours he spent on his Eagle Scout service project. In all, he has completed approximately 325 different requirements.”
Dean also answered the questions “Who is an Eagle Scout?” ” First and foremost of course, he is an outdoorsman… The Eagle Scout is comfortable with nature….He embodies the Scout motto ‘Be Prepared.’….The Eagle Scout is a good citizen…He knows how to manage his money and understands the risks and benefits of …” investing. The Eagle Scout has also set and worked toward fitness goals…He’s a good family member.”
“So what is an Eagle Scout? He is a young man who is qualified to help others as well as take care of himself. His badge is not a decoration, but rather a symbol of knowledge and ability.”
Nathan’s scout leaders, from very first Cub Scout leader to his current Boy Scout leader each spoke sharing part of the Eagle charge (see captions for role of each leader)
Excerpts from the Eagle Charge:
“For us today, the eagle is the living symbol of all courageous and freedom-aspiring American. When the Eagle Scout badge was designed in 1912, it was decided that a small silver eagle would be suspended from the tricolor ribbon of read, white and blue. So it remains today…
The foremost responsibility of an Eagle Scout is to live with honor….
The second obligation of an Eagle Scout is loyalty….
The third obligation of an Eagle Scout is to be courageous…
The fourth obligation of an Eagle Scout is to serve others, for a leader is above all a servant.
The final responsibility of an Eagle Scout is to have vision.
Dan also shared many stories of his time with Nathan during the Philmont, New Mexico backpacking trip. He roasted Nathan as fellow Scouts from the Philmont trip looked on and at times joined in recalling the memories they’d made together. Dan also shared his respect and pride for Nathan and the personal growth he made during the long strenuous trip.
As Nathan proclaimed the Eagle Scout Promise for the first time, his fellow Eagle Scouts stood with him to renew their pledge.
Nathan was pinned with is Eagle pin by his mom, and then was presented his Eagle Scout Certificate by his dad.
Every Eagle parent is then receives an Eagle parent pin from their Eagle Scout. Yes this is where we Eagle moms tear up…at least. A Scout must earn his Eagle rank prior to his 18th birthday. The rank of Eagle Scout is such a huge accomplishment by the Scout, his family and his troop! Behind every Eagle scout there are years and years (11 for Nathan) of support, usually from the parents. As well as many years of support, education and opportunities from his troop and community.
An Eagle Coin was presented to Nathan by his current Scout leader, Dean.
Steve spoke a few more words and proclaimed Nathan an Eagle Scout. A benediction prayer was offered by fellow a scout, a closing flag ceremony and group pictures then it was time for cake!
I hope you have enjoyed a peak into this well planned and thought out Eagle Ceremony. A huge thank you to Kierstin for providing me with a copy of the script! All of the quotes in this post came from the script she provided.
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