Saturday, March 29, 2008

Our LAST Eagle Scout!

We started in Scouting in January of 1999. Christian turned 8 years old and we have never looked back. Next was Jonathan and now Michael. I guess, technically we're still not done but the part that we as parents need to really pay attention to is done and it feels great.

So last night had some significance for us. Michael, our 13 year old, had his Eagle Scout Court of Honor. He is one that loves scouting and everything that in encompasses. Since he started, he shot for the highest honors and goals in the program. When he moved from Cub Scouts into Scouts he told us that his goal was to get all of the merit badges. So even with this huge marker, he is still moving forward and getting more merit badges. Last night he told said that he has 3 in the works that are almost done, even as his Grandpa Ellsworth was congratulating him on his Eagle Scout accomplishment.
So the evening went really well. The ceremony was simple and about an hour long. The speakers were Mark (Michael's Dad), and Tom (Michael's Uncle) with a special presentation by Laura the UBS coordinator that worked with Michael on his project.
After Michael received his award he awarded his Mentor pin to Rick Davis, one of his Scout Leaders who is currently serving in Iraq as a Doctor in the Military. His wife accepted the pin and told Michael that Rick is going to bring a flag back that is being flown right now on missions in Afghanistan. I know Michael was surprised and will love that.

We had a wonderful time before and afterwards visiting with friends, scouts, family and neighbors. We had a display of Michael's accomplishments to date in scouting, sports, school and church. We also had refreshments for everyone, including this cake that I (Mom/Sherrill) made for Michael ( I was really excited that it turned out!)
It was so nice of people to take and hour and a half out of their Friday nights and support Michael. The 14 yr old scouts had a campout and came to the court of honor first! Wow, that's support. Here is the Video Presentation:

Here's a link to the pictures of the event:

FYI Section:

Michael's Eagle Scout Project:
What Michael did for his Eagle Scout Project was a Blood Drive. The Scout Office wasn't too keen on this. They said that it didn't involve that much leadership in the planning and executing. Michael convinced them to let him have the Blood drive as his project if he promised to bring in 100 pints of blood. The scout leader at the office agreed and told him that this was a very hard goal to achieve and that he might have to do a blood drive twice.
Michael finished the paperwork and met with Laura the United Blood Services Coordinator for over an hour to gain a perspective of why this was important, what this included and what they were going to need from Michael. He took notes and asked questions (Mom and Kathryn were there, too). When he came out of that meeting, he was even more pumped up to do the blood drive. He asked people to help him get donors over the next 3 weeks. He made phone calls and had the church building scheduled for the event. He got his friends to come over with their cell phones the night before to call and remind people about the blood drive and make posters for the following day.

On the day of, he was a little slow in getting going. But kicked it into high gear and clip board in hand got all of his friends and fellow scouts and family members hoppin' and working the blood drive. There were about 10 of his friends that stood outside on the corners by the church asking people to come in to give blood. Out of the 120 or so donors that came in the door that day, approximately 50 were first time donors and many came in because of the help outside! It was overwhelming! Some people waited 3 hours to donate knowing that Michael needed to reach his goal so badly. I (mom) just kept a prayer in my heart that we'd accomplish this the first time!
There were a couple hiccups that Michael handled really well. In the end, that day, there were 98 usable pints of blood donated!!! Some came in later under Michael's name so he did reach his goal and in the end passed the Board of Review.
The Eagle Scout Logistics:

The announcement/invitation
I bought the paper for the announcement at a local office supply store. For my other two boys I actually found some with a Fleur de Lis. But for Michael, we went with the nature scene.

The Program:
I looked up several programs on the Internet. There are some very elaborate ideas out there. I am one to not want to tie people up sitting for 2 hours during a program. So I actually looked over programs and came up with my own that I knew wouldn't be longer than an hour and would hit all of the things people are there for.

The actual programs, themselves, I purchased at the Scout Office. Ours isn't far from us.

The Photos:
We have fallen into the tradition for our area. There are two photographers in town that traditionally take Eagle Scout Portraits. After the sitting, and choosing from the prints, the Portrait is displayed at the Scout office for about 2-3 weeks. Once that's done, we get the Portrait back so that we have it for the Court of Honor. It's not cheap but we decided to do it.

The one with all 3 of our boys and their Dad (all being Eagle Scouts) was my idea. I really wanted something for us.

Eagle Scout Notebook:
I found this to be a really good idea. When they get their Eagle Scout Award approved through the National Offices, letters come in from all over congratulating them. It's pretty great for the boys. So I bought a black 1/2" notebook with a picture sleeve on the front and used it for all of the letters, some pictures, a copy of the program, emails, their Eagle Scout project paperwork, and anything else that we got in relation to their award. I then had that on display at the Court of Honor. It's always been a big hit.

The Gift:
Traditionally the parents give a gift to their Eagle Scout. Sometimes during the ceremony and sometimes after or before. We've done both and I think it's better not to do it during the ceremony with everything else going on.

I decided to give each one of the boys an Eagle Scout Tie from the Scout office that they could wear to church every Sunday. They really seem to like that. I also gave other things. Like one of them gave a fleece Scout throw and another I gave a nice pocket knife, etc.

The Court of Honor:
Set a date for the Court of Honor as soon as he passes the Board of Review. Sometimes it can be difficult to get the weekend you want coresponding with the building/rooms you want. You'll need someone to let you in and if you don't have access to a small library, like we do at our church, you'll want to figure out the setup for the video presentation and if you need things like easles.

The Court of Honor Set up:
I reserved our Chapel, Cultural Hall (wood floor where sports are played), and the kitchen for a block of 5 hours. The thing that worked the best was setting up 2 hours ahead so that we could all go home and change and come back fresh and ready to go. It also gave us time to bring stuff that we might have forgotten.
In the Chapel by the podium, I put the Eagle's picture on one side and a lighted Eagle Scout sign on the other. The third time around, I didn't have the sign and it gave a better view to the audience of the Video Presentation. I had some Patriotic things up also.
In the Cultural Hall, I had tables set up in an "L" shape with 5-6 tables from classrooms in a row with Michael's accomplishments and projects on display. I also at the other end of the "L" had 2 long tables with red and blue table clothes on them with the food. Intermixed with everything was a lot of red, white and blue/patriotic themed items for decoration.

*Items I suggest you hold on to for this kind of an event: red, blue, and/or green table clothes, patriotic decorations, eagle themed items, white Christmas lights, artificial plants, etc.
The Video Presentation: We projected from a laptop and projector onto a white wall in the chapel. I used a program on my computer but I'm sure that there are several to chose from-some you can make an actual DVD.

Before hand:
At the Scout office we picked up Michael's packet with his award and certificate and some instructions.
We also went to the Scout Office Store and bought his tie, an Eagle Scout Scarf and Slide, the programs and some plates and napkins. The first Eagle I had, I bought the posters with the Scout Oath, Scout Promise, Scout Slogan and Scout Motto on them and mounted them on dark blue thick project poster boards that you can get just about anywhere. I put them on large easels around the rooms for display. They've lasted really well through 3 boys.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

This is the video presentation that we had at Christian's Eagle Scout Court of Honor

For Christian's Eagle Scout Project, he collected enough baby layette items to make Infant Kits for newborns who might not have some of the basics to go home with.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

This is Jonathan's Video from his Eagle Scout Court of Honor.

Jonathan, for his Eagle Scout project, organized painting over 100 fire hydrants in a specific area in the community. He had great support from friends and church members.

About a month or two ago Lauren took these pictures of Kathryn when they went to the park. Lauren has taken photography in school for a couple years and can capture some nice shots.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The kids' swim team is called the Heatwave. They were having fun with the discovery that in the Valentines Day candies there were hearts that said, "Heat Wave". They all put them on our family calandar to view. Here is evidence of how much Kathryn appreciated their display
(Kathryn quickly learned that if she softly shook the calandar, the candy would come right to her.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

We had a crazy September just with our son's Michael's attempt to do his Eagle Scout Project. Michael is only 13 years old and so he was looked at with a little scepticism when he applied to do an Eagle Scout Project. He decided that he wanted to run a blood drive. These can be very hard to do because you really rely on people coming in on the day of the event. It really all comes down to that.
Well, the scout leader at the scout office said that the scout leaders were trying to get away from blood drives because they didn't feel that the boys were really learning to apply their leadership skills in doing that. Michael stuck to his guns and promised to get 100 pints of blood in a 4 hour period on the designated day! That, in my mind, would take a miracle.

So for the entire month or so before the even, Michael coordinated with a supervisor at UBS. We put up about 150 posters all over the area around the church where we were going to have the blood drive, including shopping centers, schools and on neighborhood corners. Michael had a group of friends call to remind people about coming and then those same friends showed up on the day of the blood drive and cheered at people driving by to see if they could come in, too.

We found out that the supervisor didn't believe that we'd be able to bring 100 pints in, so she staffed for only 50. We realized this about 2 hours into the drive. I just about cried for Michael. The head phlebotomist was furious because we were getting enough people in to accomplish 100 pints and the phlebotomists were wore out with the amount of people. Some people waited for 3 hours to give blood. Others couldn't give blood for unforseen reasons.

When the blood drive was over, the head phlebotomist told us that it looked like Michael had had 99 pints of blood come in with several partials. We were disappointed that it wasn't 100 but relieved that it was that close.
In the end 2 more people gave blood, so it was official.

What team work from everyone who was involved. Michael was so happy!

He finally turned in all of his paperwork and had his board of review so we are happily planning his court of honor for March 28th!!

For Mark and I, this is our last Eagle Scout. What a challenge it is for the boys. We are very proud of them all.