Troop 1577 held its first socially distanced Court of Honor this week – outside in our parking lot. Four Eagles had their Eagle Court of Honor as well.
The event took place in the evening as it got dark, so we had a campfire in a Solo Stove along with many lanterns and head lamps. A Scout broadcasted the ceremony over Zoom for families who preferred to attend virtually. A presentation showing the awards was projected onto the brick wall of Trinity Presbyterian.
Families were assigned a parking spot where they would sit together on blankets or in chairs they brought. As Scouts were recognized, they stood up in their parking spot.
During the Eagle Court of Honor, the Scouts spread out across the space. Their parents were invited up to receive their parent pins. Mentors received their pins on a piece of card stock. The Scouts received their Eagle staffs handmade and customized for them. A family brought enough packages of cupcakes for every family to take one home.
We introduced a new type of award called the Firestarter Award. This is to recognize the many innovations that people have contributed during social distancing. We hope this will encourage even more Troop members to get creative when things get complicated. The description of this award is “The Firestarter Award is for Scouts and adults to see something that can be improved about how we run our troop, and they create a special project to test ideas for how to make it better. They create a team of people to help. They invent something new. Their invention reduces work for Scouts in the future, makes Scouting more fun, or helps us learn something new. We call it the firestarter award because we view the Scouting program as the firewood – it has all the fuel we need to create a great experience for Scouts. But without a spark and a firestarter to get the fire going, the fire will go out.”
Recipients of the Firestarter Awards did projects such as completely cleaning out the equipment shed, reaching out to mulch customers when our mulch fundraiser was cancelled due to the pandemic, facilitating our first ever virtual First Year Scout program, redesigning our website, running swim tests for more than 40 Scouts and adults at a local outdoor pool in a socially distanced way and more. Of course the award took the form of – a bag of firestarters.
We are proud of our Scouts and adults who are finding ways to reinvent our processes can still enjoy Scouting together both in-person and virtually. We know it is making a big difference in the health of our Scouts so they stay “physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”
Photos by Ed Medvid and Carla Brown