Saturday, September 15, 2007

Everyone Knows Boy Scouts Help Little Old Ladies Cross the Street

Yesterday was Andrew's Eagle Court of Honor!  It went very nicely. 

The cultural hall floor had just been polished - beautiful.  We decorated the stage with trees, tent, fake campfire.  A few Norman Rockwell Scout pictures and the few surviving wooden fleur-de-lis artfully placed.  We set up a few round tables in a arc half way back in the room, with a rectangle table in the middle of the arc for Andrew's Eagle notebook, a troop scrap book (not well maintained, but what is there is fun to look at), and a few items that reflect Andrew's interests - a red towel, a Rubics cube, a block flute - I forget what.  Ruth had made some great scrapbook pages - pictures of Andrew the Scout, Andrew the family fellow, Andrew the unique.  Kudos to the hardworking teams who worked diligently and creatively on planning, preparing, setting up, taking down and helping out in between - which is basically all the family in California.

This is how it went:

Eagle Scout Court of Honor

Master of Ceremonies - Logan    (former Senior Patrol Leader)

Opening Prayer - Glen (Dad)

Flag Ceremony by Troop 40 led by Benjamin

Welcome and Recognition of Honored Guests - which included our District Executive Ricci Dula; the Council Eagle Adviser, Til Lethco; & our Bishop.

Scout Oath and Law led by Riley (former Senior Patrol Leader)  - All Scouts and former Scouts - actually pretty much everyone

"One Hundred Scouts"  by  Til Lethco  Golden Empire Council Eagle Advisor, who prefaced that piece with an amusing bit about boys and the raising thereof

Scouting Memories - Benjamin Senior Patrol Leader and brother - more later

Eagle Scout Charge -    Bishop Michael Barrows

Presentation of Eagle Scout award -  was going to be by Scoutmaster Chris Pena, but his baby is in the hospital (more later), so Frank McClure, former Scoutmaster and current Bishop's counselor

Eagle remarks - Andrew

Troop song by Troop 40 past & present -  Good song!  It moves me to see and hear the guys - boy and men - sing it.  Although I smile to see them extend their arms as if holding a torch and lower them while singing "we hold the Scouting torch on high"

Retire the Colors - Troop 40

Closing Prayer by Tom  (brother-in-law and Bishop's counselor)

After Party with DJ Wojohowitz (Tom)

I know you want to hear more.

Baby Pena has a tumor.  I thought it was in his brain, but Sister McC said shoulder.  Well, that is probably better!  The confusion is because it was discovered because of symptoms like a perpetually droopy eye, inability to sweat on one side of his face and some other things - caused by pressure the tumor put on nerves and things.  Wednesday he had exploratory surgery.  When all the tests are back, a course of chemotherapy will be determined.  I don't have much information because I didn't want to bother them and was not able to help them, so I just have been leaving them alone.  What little I have heard is that it is going pretty good for a bad thing. 

The only help I have been able to give has been to take over some of mom Pena's Cub Committee Chair duties.  There is a big Scouting event coming up at the end of the month and the firm-no-kidding-you-must-be-registered-in-advance deadline was today.  I took her paperwork Tuesday and finished that work as best I could.  I had to do Scouts anyway. Which meant finding leaders to replace our Scoutmaster for the event.  I got to make a lot of phone calls, track down applications, track down the Bishop to sign BSA applications, confirm info, and borrow T'Ruth's computer for a few hours.  Lots of stress and worry This while working, getting ready for Andrew's Court of Honor, having David and Teresa come in from out of town, etc.
I still don't have all the information that we supposedly need and found out that yet one more boy who signed up to go still needs to be BSA registered.  Only a few boys are actually going.  Which was good in a way because of the totally lame, slow, and redundant registration process.  Poor programming.  We do what we can.

Back to the Court of Honor.

Glen and Andrew set up the mirror ball Thursday.  When we came in to set up Friday morning, we found the ball had been taken down by early morning basketball playing missionaries  who forgot to put it back. oh, well, the guys hooked it back up.  We did most of the setting up in the morning.  I use the term "we" loosely, because it was really, David, Teresa, and Joseph, Andrew, and Benjamin, while I was off to Council office to take care of some of the Scout Expo business.

Andrew and I went shopping at Costco for the goodies.  Keeping it simple, keeping it fun. I didn't do much food prep myself.

Time for the Court of Honor.  We were finally on our way after picking up ice and just commenting that we were a little later than we would like.  We saw an old man jay-walking across 65th Expressway, stumble at the divider curb and fall backwards into the street.  Fortunately, there was a break in the traffic!  We stopped dead where we were (on the other side of the divider). Andrew, dressed in full uniform including sash, leapt out of the car and helped him up.  A lady from another car and Benjamin followed, but Andrew was first and the main helper.  Andrew steadied him and walked him to the side of the street while I stopped traffic.  Andrew escorted him up to 21st. Ben and I got back in the car, drove up to where we could turn around, went back and picked them up.  It wasn't far to his house, thank goodness.  He mostly spoke Spanish, but with his few words of English and our Sesame Street and Pero Pepi Spanish, we did ok.  It gave Benjamin a story to open with.

With the doing a good turn delay, I had resigned myself to getting the refreshments laid out and ready to go AFTER the Court of Honor and during the party, but helpers like Tom's mom and Teresa pitched in and everything was ready just in time for the Court of Honor to begin.

My favorite story Ben told was about the time the troop was sitting around camp trying to get Jared to laugh. The Scoutmaster promised a candy bar to anyone who succeeded.  There were jokes, stories and goofing around, but Jared would not laugh.  A Scout from the neighboring troop came over and said, "What did the fish say when he hit the wall?"  (Ben said, "please pardon my language")  "Dam!"  All the guys laughed - except Jared and Andrew.  Talk went on for a couple of minutes, but Andrew was puzzled.  "I don't get it."  So, they retold the joke.  "Oh!  I thought he said 'YAMS!'"  This time EVERYONE roared, including Jared.  Andrew and the neighbor Scout each got a candy bar.

What I remember most about Andrew's Eagle remarks is him thanking me and saying that I deserved to finally have an Eagle.  (not that I am not proud of my older boys, younger boy, and my girls!)

The after party was great.  Not only Wojohowitz, but the debut (I think?) of The Silk Lady (I think that is what her brother-in-law-in-law - Tom's sister's husband - dubbed Ruth - or Lady Silk, or something similar) - two great DJ's!  Good food, good people. I chickened out on the chocolate fountain.  Too much work and mess.  I am not a night person and I didn't want to make the evening harder.  We had 2 cakes from Costco, chocolate and vanilla.  Cheesecake from a Ron B. Brownies from Holly F.  Rolls, meats and cheese, veggies, and strawberries.  I saw Kissables for the first time (and yes, ate a few), thanks to some kind contributer. Not much dancing actually took place, but everyone enjoyed the music and visiting.

Everyone, especially Andrew, was happy. 


  1. What a great evening - from the spontaneous service opportunity before the event, all the way through. Wish we could have been there!
    Blessings on the Pena family, that's a pretty big stress for a pretty little guy!
    Hope you and your phone are not soon parted, unless it's to start in with another one. We've been happy with Cingular/ATT, but haven't experienced others.
    Good luck with your studies, you're incredible!