(A Version of) The Eagle Charge for LDS Eagle Scout Courts of Honor

Our ward’s scout troop recently held a court of honor for a boy in the ward to receive his Eagle Scout award. Though I have been released from my calling with the young men, I continue to serve on the Scout Committee, and I had worked with this young man while I was with the youth, and I was asked to give “the Eagle Charge” at the Court of Honor.

The Eagle Charge is a traditional part of an Eagle Court of Honor where a boy receiving the rank of Eagle Scout is asked to reaffirm his commitment to the scout oath, but with renewed meaning as it is associated with the Eagle rank. But like most parts of an Eagle Court Honor, there is no official BSA Eagle Charge. That is, the BSA does not prescribe an official mandatory form for the Eagle Charge, and individual troops are free to do it as they see fit (or not do it at all). There are a number of different versions out there, ranging from simple to elaborate with multiple speaking parts.

After reviewing a number of different versions, I decided to create my own version. It basically follows the outline of the scout oath, with the outdoor code worked in, and it sort of represents my own thoughts on what LDS scouting can be at its best. Because my scouting experience has been with LDS troops, the version I created is written specifically for LDS scouts, but it could easily be modified to use with boys who come from other traditions.

Anyway I thought I would post it here to share in case anyone else may find it useful.

The Eagle Charge (for LDS scouts)

Receiving the Eagle Scout award may seem like the end of a long road. And in some ways it is. But in an even more important way, it is not an end, but a beginning. We recognize your accomplishments and we are proud of them, but these have all been for a purpose beyond your own edification. You learned these things and gained these skills so that you could put them to use in the service of others. Becoming an Eagle is not a reward for your accomplishments, it is qualification to enter a fellowship of those who have pledged themselves to the service of others. This is the end of your rank advancement as a Boy Scout, but it is the beginning of a life of service as an Eagle Scout.

And so I have been asked to give you the Eagle Charge as part of this Court of Honor. If you accept this charge, you will be entrusted with a burden to fulfill a special responsibility of service. How well you keep that trust will reflect not only on you, but on your family, your church, and on scouting. Do not fail in that responsibility.

I charge you to do your duty to God with the same diligence that you exercised in progressing through rank advancement and fulfilling the Eagle requirements. Strive to keep all the covenants that you have made and that you will make with God. Put aside your sins and learn to exercise faith in Jesus Christ alone; come unto Christ continually in fervent prayer and searching repentance until you can truly say that you do always remember him.

I charge you to do your duty to your country with the loyalty and courage that you were taught as a scout. Be loyal to the principles of freedom, democracy, civility, peace, tolerance, justice, and the rule of law. Be brave and stand up for these principles when they are threatened. Stand against oppression, fear, cynicism, intolerance, bigotry, and hate of all kinds. Make true the promise of “liberty and justice for all” people, regardless of their identity or circumstances.

I charge you use the skills and the knowledge that you have gained to help other people at all times. Continue to do a good turn daily. Help and serve those around you and pay special attention to those who most need your help—those that are weaker, smaller, less popular, less educated, or poorer than you are. Moroni prophesied that in the last days many people would allow the “the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by” them, and would not notice them (Mormon 8:39). I charge you to notice them.

I also charge you to live and stand for the principles of the outdoor code that you learned as a scout. You have been taught to see the earth not as a thing to consume, but as God’s own work, for us to nurture and carefully preserve. We have gone into the wilderness, the forests, the mountains, and the deserts, and just as the Moses, Enos, John the Baptist, and others, we have found God there. Defend creation from reckless consumption and waste. Do your part to preserve its beauty and wonder for others. Teach others to appreciate and care for the earth, and lead them to find God in his creation.

Finally, I charge you to keep yourself physically strong, mentally and intellectually sharp, and morally upright, that you may be always be prepared to help others, that you may be an effective instrument in the hands of God in the service of your country and in the service of other people. Remember and keep the 12 points of the scout law. Stay active. Stay curious. Stay honest. And stay humble.

[Take the scout by the hand in the scout handshake.] [Scout’s name], do you willingly accept this charge, and do you pledge, on your honor, that you will you do your best to fulfill it? [Wait for an affirmative answer.] Then I welcome you into this brotherhood as a fellow Eagle Scout.

Comments

  1. Really good, excellent charge.

  2. I like that you formulated your LDS version!

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