Tuesday, March 06, 2012

What do you call a flock of eagles?

This past weekend, we had another Eagle Court of Honor for our Boy Scout Troop. Since Geoff' joined the Troop, we've seen the following boys get their Eagles: Jason, Chris, Rory, Colby and Christian. This weekend was Steven. And we've got three more in the lineup, Dallis, Andrew and Steve,  having their events in April, May and June. They passed their Eagle boards of review, but we're having their parties once a month which is pretty much going to make all the parents' heads explode. 

We have a ton of guys who are Life Scout which is the rank before Eagle. And there are kids like my son who have one or two merit badges to finish to enter the Life rank. Right now, I think we have about 5 Life Scouts working on Eagle projects, and 4 like Geoff who will become Life Scouts by the end of this academic year.

This is semi-unheard of. And we're only kind of super proud of this fact. A lot of boys quit scouting when they discover wheels, work and women.

I know I've said it a million times in the last 4 years, but I love this troop and the boys in it, and the families associated. Steven asked me to deliver the Invocation, the opening prayer, and as the Troop Chaplain I was incredibly honored. 

His dad had emailed me a list of different options from an online guide for Eagle Ceremonies. I asked him if it was okay if I wrote my own. He told me he'd check with Steven, and came back with "He trusts you, whatever you want. He likes the way you put things when you pray for the Troop... I was just sending these as examples." So I felt that it was a good time to be creative and pull out all the stops, for his honor and his special day. 

I am glad he asked me in advance. 

Literally, it took me days to write this thing. I thought about it, over thought it, under thought it, timed it while speaking quickly, slowly. Wanted it to be perfect, both religious specific and vaguely ecumenical, as he doesn't have a church relationship and I didn't want to O LAWD him to death. I did want to set the tone of the ceremony as one of reverence because, a Scout is .... reverent. In the end, this is what I ended up with: 
We are taught that when two or more are gathered, the Lord is with them. Please join me now in prayer.
God, we ask Your presence here today as we celebrate our friend, Your child, Steven.

Thank You for walking with him through the process of arriving at this day. Thank You for his parents who have stood by him, supporting him. Thank You for the adult Troop leadership who train the boys well so they are able to make it to this point in their Scouting careers. We thank You for each Scout who has gone before him, and each Scout rising behind him. Continue to love and support this Troop and all associated with it as we continue to love and support one another.

Bless each of us here today, and those who cannot be here with us for all different reasons of time, distance or departure. Keep us mindful that your spirit unites us across all of these obstacles.

On this very special day, we ask that You bless Steven. Remind him all the days of his life ahead of the words You spoke to us through the prophet Isaiah, that You will always renew his strength when he needs it, he will soar on wings like eagles, he will run and not grow weary, and he will walk and not be faint.

In Your name we pray. Amen.
I wanted to let the people in the audience know, especially our Troop Chairwoman who's husband just died last month unexpectedly, that we were all bonded together through this spirit, this family, this love. And a lot of Steven's relatives live very far away and could not be there, so the distance thing is for them. 

It was a wonderful ceremony. the VFW and Marines were there with commendations. 

Our local State Senator, Bruce Tarr, was on hand with a great speech and commendation. Steven was fantastic, his Eagle response was a speech that was fantastic and moving, and I was more than impressed. 

All told, great time had. Great time. And then we found a magnifying glass. Pictured is our neighbor, friend, and most likely our next Eagle, Thane.

He and I are dangerous together sometimes. Too much fun.

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