Eagles do not flock! The Eagle soars independently above others. Yet, an Eagle remains close to their family. So, it was recently when Clay Dellinger of Troop 1347 in Burke, Virginia celebrated a backyard Court of Honor to recognize his achievement of the rank of Eagle Scout. Clay and his family are moving to Germany soon, and the Troop was eager to conduct the Court of Honor before the move. Scouts, friends, and family all gathered virtually via internet video conferencing for the unique ceremony.
Scouts know how to improvise. Even though in-person meetings are not allowed during the pandemic, Troop 1347 is using internet video conferencing for weekly virtual troop meetings and monthly virtual campouts to keep the Scouts connected and to encourage advancement when possible. As the restrictions against in-person meetings started to overlap with Clay’s move to Germany, the Troop 1347 Scoutmaster and Senior Patrol Leader created a plan to adapt their virtual Troop gatherings into a virtual Court of Honor.
The virtual Eagle Scout Court of Honor was conducted in Clay’s backyard using three internet connected devices on an internet video conference coordinated by the Troop Administrator. The Troop Committee arranged contactless-delivery for the American and Troop flags, a special Eagle Scout podium, and the Eagle Scout medal set provided by the National Capital Area Council. Clay’s brother, also an Eagle Scout, and his sister, a Star Scout and Girl Troop Senior Patrol Leader were the Masters of Ceremony. Clay’s parents, both Assistant Scoutmasters for the Troop 1347 Boys and Girls Troops, helped the Scoutmaster and Committee Chair, who were on the video conference, make their presentations.
The majority of boy and girl Troops 1347 logged on to participate in the virtual Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Clay Dellinger. Dozens of friends and family from Texas, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Colorado, and Japan who might not have been able to attend a traditional in-person Court of Honor were able to view the ceremony over the internet.
Troop 1347 proved that Scouts are resilient and innovative by making the best of any situation. Clay’s “virtual” Eagle Scout Court of Honor, and the Troop’s creative ideas to conduct the ceremony over the internet, is sure to be a unique memory for all.