Poems& Inspirational Pieces

Table of Contents

It's Only A Pin

The following poem was contributed by Ches Martin, Scoutmaster of Troop 84 in the Blue Ridge Council of South Carolina. Ches shared this poem through the Scouts-L Youth Groups Discussion List on Internet.

Two fond parents watch their boy where he stands,
Apart from his comrades tonight,
And see placed on his camp-battered tunic, a badge...
An Eagle... the emblem of right.

It seems just a few short months have passed
Since he joined with the youngsters next door...
How proud they were then of their Tenderfoot pin
As they told of the message it bore.

But the years have gone as he struggled along
To learn what the Scout Law's about;
He practiced them daily, the Oath and the Law,
Until now he is an Eagle Scout.

You may smile in your worldly wisdom at this
And say, "Why it's only a pin."
But I'll tell you, no honors he'll gain as a man
Will mean quite as much to him.

The red, white and blue of the ribbon you see
Are the symbols of honor and truth.
He has learned how to value these fine attributes
In the glorious days of his youth.

And the out-flinging wings of the Eagle that rests
On the breast of this knight of today
Are the wings which will lift him above petty deeds,
And guide him along the right way.

Yes, it's only a pin, just an Eagle Scout badge,
But the heart beneath it beats true,
And will throb to the last for the things that are good;
A lesson for me... and for you.

Eagle Poem

Fond parents watch their boy where he stands
apart from his friends tonight
as the y place on his camp-battered tunic, a badge
an eagle, the emblem of right

It seems just a few short months have passed
since he joined with the youngsters next door
how proud he was the of his new scout badge
as he told them the message it bore.

But the years have gone as he struggled along
to learn what the scout law's all about
he practiced them daily, the oath and the law
until now he's an Eagle Scout.

You may smile in your worldly old wisdom at this
and say, "Why it's only a pin."
But I tell you, no honors he'll gain as a man
will mean as much to him.

The red, white, and blue of the ribbon you see
are the symbols of honor and truth
he has learned how to value these fine attributes
in the glorious days of his youth.

And the outflinging wings of the eagle scout badge
on the breast of this knight of today
are the things which will lift him above petty deeds
and guide him along the right way.

Yes, it's only a pin, just an eagle scout badge
but the heart that's beneath it beats true
and will throb to the last for the things which are good
a lesson ......for me....... and for you.

-- Thanks to Paul Sweeney, sweeney@mdc.net, ASM, T-7, Lowell, Ma

An Eagle Mom's Poem

It's every mother's dream to see,
her son grow tall and strong.
To teach him what is right to be,
to keep him from the wrong.

Mom so loves that little boy,
and uses all the skills at her employ.
She teaches him the things she can,
and hopes that he'll become a man.

He learns that words can hurt or heal,
that words can change the way we feel.
He learns that truth is right and good,
to treat his fellow man the way he should.

He learns that where there's greatest freedom in this world,
there also stands his Nation's flag unfurled.
He learns to live by faith and love,
to always trust in God above.

The years have passed and in their wake,
a taller straighter lad there stands.
And mother's pride is great indeed,
her little boy is nearly a man.

An Eagle Scout

-- Thanks to Ed Schmitt

An Eagle Dad's Poem

I saw a chubby little boy,
In uniform of blue,
A jaunty cap was on his head,
His shoes were shiny, too.

His eyes were wide, expectant;
He glowed fresh from the tub.
His air said, "Let's get on with it!"
This my son the Cub.

I saw a slightly larger boy,
Much taller, leaner, too;
He stood up straight and proud,
In garb of khaki hue.

He now has more determination,
In his face there is no doubt;
I'm pleased to see his confidence,
This is my son, the Scout.

I know he'll strive to do his best,
This bigger boy, not yet a man,
Will grow in strength, in law and skill,
For him, I'm sure, God has a plan.

God, guide his path, make straight his way,
Make his goal be high, his courage stout,
That humbly, yet proudly, I will know,
This is *MY* son, the Eagle Scout!

-- Thanks to Paul Sweeney, sweeney@mdc.net, ASM, T-7, Lowell, Ma

The Law Of Life

The following poem was part of a package of Eagle Court of Honor materials which was distributed by the Bucks County Council Chapter of the National Eagle Scout Association. No author or source was given for the poem.

The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
That stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king,
But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
Who never had to win his share
Of sun sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man,
But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow in ease.
The stronger wind, the tougher trees,
The farther sky, the greater length,
The more the storm, the more the strength,
By sun and cold, by rain and snows,
In tree or man, good timber grows.

Because Of Our Son

Because of our son, we found a job to do.
We became Scouters, tried and true!
We understand boys better, because of our son.
It happened through Scouting, oh what fun!
Because of our son, it was all worthwhile,
Oh, what a reward, to see a boy's smile!
It's endless, the pleasures gained from Scouting,
Because of our son, we attended each meeting,
And we've gained many friends beyond measure.
Tis indeed blessed to hold, such a wonderful treasure!
Hours that were idle, are now filled to the brim.
Because of our son, we enjoy life with him!
Because of our son, we've a new way of life.
We recommend Scouting for each Husband and Wife!


by Greg Gough

I dreamed of the Eagle,
soaring high above.
Majestic, graceful;
free from it's Earthly tether.
It's presence...
shadowing and altering reality.
All who see it,
focus upon it.
At times it becomes elusive
as it dances in and out of the sun.
Watch closely,
do not turn away and
miss your chance to share
in it's spirit.
The spirit of the Eagle can be found in
each young Scout's eyes.
It's presence can be felt
by those close to achieving
Scouting's highest honor.
And it's essence
is preserved and cherished
by those known as
Eagle Scouts!

Eagle Scout

The Scouts gave you a challenge,
And you've met it faithfully my friend,
But it's quite hard to understand
Just all it will mean in the end.

An Eagle Scout, you've reached the top,
Or have you only just begun?
I'm betting that you will not stop
With so much glory to be won.

For life holds out a challenge too,
A mountain high for you to scale,
And with the training Scouts gave you,
There's really no such word as fail.

And so as you press on ahead,
You'll find it's made much work like play,
And as the tasks before you spread,
They'll find you ready, so I'll say.

Congratulations Eagle Scout,
The world before you now is spread,
Scouts taught you much what life's about,
Prepared you well for what's ahead.

The Oyster And The Eagle

When God made the oyster, he guaranteed him social security. He built the oyster a house, a shell to protect him from his enemies. When hungry, the oyster simply opens his shell, and the food rushes in.
But when God made the EAGLE, he said, "The Blue sky is the limit.
Go and build your house." So the EAGLE went and built his house upon the highest mountain peak, where storms threatened him every day. For food, he must fly through miles of rain and snow and wind.

The EAGLE, then...not the oyster...is the symbol of the United States Of America, and Scouting's highest award.

The Scouting Trail

This is the trail that the Scout shall know,
Where knightly qualities thrive and grow.
The trail of HONOR, TRUTH and WORTH,
And the strength that spring, from the good brown earth.
The trail that Scouts, in their seeking blaze,
Through the toughest tangle, the deepest maze.
Till out of boyhood the Scout comes straight,
To manhood's splendid and high estate.

An Eagle Scout

True to his God and his Nation's Flag,
A boy whose loyalties never sag.
An adventurous sort of a rough, tough lad,
He'd share with anyone, all that he had.
He's cheerful and good, and he's filled with fun,
He always helps till the work is done.
No loafer is he, this young man with skill,
With his disciplined heart, mind and will.
He camps and cooks, he hikes and climbs,
He can sing a song or make a verse that rhymes.
He's a splendid youth with a lifetime goal,
He's the type of boy who's in control.
There's no better young man in this great land,
Than an Eagle Scout with a helping hand.

Trail To Eagle

by Greg Gough

Walk upon the trail,
that links the,
future with the past.
Take the Oath,
Live the Law.
The pathway to Eagle,
is steep and narrow.
Your journey will require,
skill and fortitude.
Your reward:
Knowledge and Understanding.
Enough to base a lifetime on.
Your challenge is to;
Take the journey,
Join the few and
Soar with the Eagle.

Trail The Eagle

Trail the Eagle, Trail the Eagle,
Climbing all the time.
First the Star and then the Life,
Will on your bosom shine, keep climbing!
Blaze the trail, and we will follow,
Hark, The Eagle's call;
On brothers, on until we're Eagles all.

A Prayer For Eagles

"And he will raise you up on Eagle's wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun and,
Hold you in the palm of his hand."

The Call of the Eagle

(Optional program element: available as audio tape or video tape)

I am the voice of the Eagle.

I speak for The Eagles whose summit you have struggled so hard to reach.
We remember well when you first came to the base of our mountain, and how you looked up with ambition and determination.

Pause for a moment, and look back over the trail you have climbed: Look back at the adventures you have encountered on your ascent. These experiences are a valuable teacher if you but heed them.
We remember when you took your first steps upon the Boy Scout trail.

With your first step you began to start living the Scout Oath and Law. You began to build yourself, physically, mentally, and morally. Your brother scouts then called you a Tenderfoot -- and they were right, for you were indeed a tenderfoot.

But not for long. For as you climbed, you soon reached a turning in the trail, and you were greeted by a large group of friendly Second Class Scouts.

Some, like yourself, were stopping to catch their breath, before continuing along the trail. But you studied more, you worked harder, you continued your climb, and soon came to another turning, the place where First Class Scouts dwell.
There you found a green, flowered meadow close by a crystal clear stream, sparkling in sunshine. Many other scouts rested beside the murmuring waters. You were tempted to remain. But your ambition spurred you, and you continued your upward venture.

We next remember your progress when you turned the trail to become a Star Scout. You found the trail from First Class had been an optical illusion, not so difficult as it had first seemed. This inspired you to push onward, to climb higher.
But now the trail was steeper, and less traveled. Fewer Scouts seemed headed in your direction. You looked back and saw crowds below you. You looked up, and saw very few above. Yet, with the same determination as you started your climb, now enhanced by experience and firm resolve, you continued to push up the trail.

Soon you turned another corner on the trail and the Heart shaped badge of the Life Scout was placed on your uniform. You will always recall the thoughts in your heart at this moment, it has been experienced by all scouts reaching the ledge of Life: "Now I am close to the Eagle, I will carry on".

But the trail now grows tougher and fainter, many seem to falter along the way. The original simple principles of the Scout Oath and Law take on a fuller meaning, as your understanding grows greater.

WE, the Eagles, have watched your character unfold and become more manly. We have watched your leadership ability expand into a valuable asset. We have watched your mind develop and your wisdom increase. Yes, We have watched all these things in you.

And now, that you are standing at the summit of the trail, in the glory of sunshine and wind and cloud at the threshold of your goal, WE, your Fellow Eagles applaud you and welcome you, for you have done your climbing in a true Scout-like manner.
-- Thanks to Ben Parker, bparker@interaccess.com, ASM T-16 Oak Park IL

I Am Old Glory

I am Old Glory: For more than nine score years I have been the banner of hope and freedom for generation after generation of Americans. Born amid the first flames of America's fight for freedom, I am the symbol of a country that has grown from a little group of thirteen colonies to a United Nation of fifty sovereign states. Planted firmly on the high pinnacle of American faith my gently fluttering folds have proved an inspiration to untold millions. Men have followed me into battle with unwavering courage. They have looked upon me as a symbol of national unity. They have prayed that they and their fellow citizens might continue to enjoy the life liberty an pursuit of happiness, which have been granted to every American as the heritage of free men. While men love liberty more than life itself; since they treasure the priceless privileges bought with the blood of our forefathers; so long as the principles of truth, justice and charity for all remain deeply rooted in human hearts, I shall continue to be the enduring banner of the United States of America.

What's It Worth

The Eagle Badge. The highest rank a Scout can earn. What is it worth? Well, in dollars and cents it is worth about $7.50. Probably two and a half dollars in silver, twenty five cents worth of ribbon, and the rest of it in manufacturing and handling costs. But, what is it really worth to you?
Think back to the time when you first became a Scout. Remember the Scout skills that you learned for each rank? And the re- dedication to the Scout Oath and Law each time you advanced. Think of the service that you have given to your troop and to other people. Is your Eagle badge worth seven fifty? Of course not! Your Eagle badge is priceless. It represents everything that you have learned, everything that you have done, to be prepared, to help others, and to help yourself. So now you stand on the peak of the mountain. An Eagle Scout, now look ahead, look sharp. Way out there in the mist is another mountain, and there below is the trail to your future. It may be a long trail, or a short one, but it leads to that mountain far away. As you walk down the trail, and as the years roll by, and finally reach the end, we all hope that you can look back on the trail of life and be able and proud to say, "I have done my best."

The Voice of Old Glory

A great host of heroes with the help of God have kept me gallantly flying in the face of every threat and challenge to the Democratic way of life which I represent. The blood spilled at Valley Forge, Gettysburg, San Juan Hill, Bataan, Korea, Vietnam and now Kuwait and every other great battle fought on land, in the air and on the sea, is my red stripes. The shining light of sunshine is in my white stripes, penetrating the blackest night which, in the nation's darkest hours is filled with radiant light. The vast infinity of the heavens is in my stars inspiring mankind to continue climbing courageously up the spiral staircase of history to a world of glowing promise. I am the emblem of man's finest dreams. I am the last hope for peace on earth....I am the American Flag.

The Eagle Scout

Fond parents watch their boy where he stands
apart from his comrades tonight.
As they place on his camp-battered tunic a badge,
an Eagle, the emblem of right.

It seems just a few short months have passed,
since he joined with theyoungster next door.
How proud he was then of his Tenderfoot badge,
as he told them the message it bore.

But the years have gone as he struggled along,
to learn, to learn what the Scout Law's about.
He practiced them daily, the Oath and the Law,
until now he's an Eagle Scout.

You may smile in your old world's wisdom at this,
and say, "Why its only a pin."
But I tell you no honors he'll gain as a man,
will mean just as much to him.

The red, white and blue of the ribbon you see,
are the symbols of courage, honor and truth.
He has learned how to value, these find attributes.
In the glorious days of his youth.

And the outstretch wings of the Eagle Scout that rests,
on the breast of this knight of today,
Are the things that will lift him above petty deeds,
and guide him along the right way.

Yes, its only a pin, just an Eagle Scout's badge, but the heart that's beneath it beats true.
And will throb to the last for the things which are good.
A lesson for me, and for you.

History of the Eagle

The base of the piece below, originally titled "Of Men and Eagles", I picked up at an Eagle Court of Honor in the Mene Oto District of your council in the early 80's. I don't know its origin. Since then, I've gone through it, changed the language to be much more pluralistic (much less sexist than it was), beefed up most of the sections with more historical content which I found in books at the University of Washington library, and put the whole thing into a more chronological order. When I used it for my older son's Eagle ceremony last year, we had a professional announcer from KOHI radio in St. Helens, Oregon record it with "America the Beautiful" as background music.

-- Steve Aberle Parent, T-53, Monroe, WA

I am the Eagle. Since the beginning of time, humans have adopted my likeness as their own symbol. Sailing the skies with a sense of freedom, my flights have long allowed the human imagination to soar beyond its earthly bounds. My strength and courage have inspired many throughout the ages.

From the earliest myths and legends that predated recorded history in the lands now known as Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas, the ancient ones looked upon me as the traditional enemy of serpents. They saw the battle between the sun and clouds as battles between an eagle and a serpent.

My feathers are prized by the native Americans as they practice the ancient ceremonial customs of their ancestors. Among various tribes, they have symbolized added promise in dances for rain, the hope for peace, skill and prowess in hunting, and bravery and valor in battle.

Over 5,000 years ago, the Sumarians chose me as their symbol. In ancient Egypt, I was captured, then released during funerals to bear the souls of deceased rulers to the heavens. The ancient Assyrians associated me with Ashur, the great sun god. I was awed and worshiped for my majestic beauty. In the Assyrian myths, I was a symbol of storm and lightning. To the peoples of India I was the symbol of fire, of wind and storms, and the bringer of immortality.

In the golden age of Greece, I was a symbol of victory and supreme spiritual energy. I was the sacred bird of Zeus, the ruler of all gods. The Greeks depicted me with outstretched wings holding a serpent in my claws, the triumph of good over evil.

As a golden eagle, I was the imperial icon of the Roman empire. As a silver eagle, I was the symbol of the republic. In Rome, I represented Jupiter, the supreme god. As the Roman legions conquered the world, they marched under the standard of the eagle. I became the personal emblem of the Caesars, signifying supreme authority.

The rise of Christianity brought me still more honor. To the early Christians, I was the symbol of the ascension. In early icons, I was best known as the symbol of St. John the Evangelist. To 12th century Christians, my flight represented renewal of the church. When the Spanish arrived in central Mexico, they found that the ancient Aztecs had established a city where an eagle with a snake in its beak rested on a cactus.

As falconry flourished as a sport in Europe during the middle ages, only kings were allowed to hunt with me. Knights in 15th century Germany grouped themselves into the order of the Red Eagle and of the Black Eagle.

On June 20, 1782, the Continental Congress of the United States of America adopted my image on its seal to signify that this new country should rely on its own virtues. My likeness can be found on American coinage beginning in 1795.

In the 19th century, French troops under Napoleon conquered Europe using me as their symbol. Many French soldiers gave their lives to protect the golden eagle which supported the French flag on the battleground.

In 1911, the Boy Scouts of America selected me as their highest achievement award. On July 20, 1969, I arrived on EarthÕs moon, when a lunar module named Eagle, commanded by Eagle Scout Neil Armstrong, landed in the Sea of Tranquility.

Today, I enjoy a prominent place in America as a symbol of power and authority. The emblems of the President, vice-president, several members of the PresidentÕs cabinet, and most branches of the armed forces center on my image. Several states picture me on their state flags and on their state seals.

From a time before recorded history to the present, my image continues to represent freedom, strength, bravery, courage, promise, triumph of good over evil, spiritual energy, and ultimate achievement. It is most fitting that I am also the symbol of ScoutingÕs best. I am the Eagle.

The Symbol

An honored symbol of a nation's unity, its hopes, achievements, glory and successes. The flag of the United States of America is such a symbol, of freedoms bravely fought for and hardly won. Of protection under the constitution of the rights and privileges of all Americans. Promises of fulfillment of all their hopes, principles and ideals. It is also a symbol of the duty of all her citizens to serve in time of need, to speak out for what each considers right, and to help correct under the law that is honestly believed to be wrong. Throughout the ages, man has developed character, courage, and strength, by devotion to the symbols he believed in. That is the heritage this symbol has left us.

Scouting Heritage: A Look At 100 Boys That Join Scouting

  • Only rarely will one appear before a Juvenile Court.
  • Twelve will receive their first time religious contact.
  • Five will receive Church Affiliated Awards.
  • One will join the Clergy of his chosen faith.
  • Eighteen will develop hobbies which will last a lifetime.
  • Eight will enter a career based on Merit Badges work.
  • Seventeen will become Scout leaders.
  • One will save a life, and one will save his own life.
Through Scouting Skills...
  • Two of the hundred Scouts will attain the rank of Eagle Scout.

The Method

He strived with devotion in his work with youth,
To show them joy and beauty and truth.
He toiled and labored, but his work seemed in vain,
He sensed in his soul there was little to gain.

He wondered why, as he tried to review,
Had his plan been faulty, his bases untrue?
Finally it came like a dawning light,
He then saw clearly his faltering plight.

He'd been trying his best, unwisely no doubt,
To pour goodness in, instead of drawing it out.

Scouting To Me - For Others

The following was taken from the program for the Eagle Recognition Breakfast for Jude A. R. Allegrucci of Troop 322 in Dunmore, PA. It was listed as "Author Unknown."

To help the scouts in our area feel the pride and love I have in our scouting movement and the men to carry on when everything is against you for the good of the scout.

Scouting to me is an idea which shall live on and on after I die. I live, eat, sleep and talk scouting. This I do because I was shown by many men, when I was a young scout myself, that the scout oath and law is the way to happiness. Scouting has helped me in school, church and in the military. So, scouts... never be ashamed of your uniform or your scouting.

Scouting is people who care. Some men cared enough to give it to me, planted the scouting seed in me and saw it grow healthy.

I in turn want to give some of it back to others, boys of scout age who will pass it on again. I feel I have a little bit of each man who helped me on my trail to Eagle and manhood. It is hard to express the love for scouting in words and thanks to these men.

There are many awards men and scouts can earn along the trail of life, but the award I seek and cherish is a Thank-You from a scout or Scouter I have helped or seen put into practice something someone learned from me that I have learned from someone else.

This is my thank you to the men who helped me and to their wives who let them.

What It Means To Be An Eagle Scout

by Greg Gough

(Awarded Eagle Scout 3/15/72)

It means that I have the ability to be a leader. Not of a gang or criminal organization but a leader of like minded individuals that uphold a creed, a sacred oath. A passion for life and the principals that founded the United States of America. Patriotism is a loyalty I will never break. If called on I would voluntarily give my life for my country. But more importantly, I will work to make it better. Duty to God is an ongoing learning and incorporating of similar moral values that ensure that I will be a compassionate and productive citizen.

Eagle Scout is not a patch, an award or certificate to hang on the wall. It is a way to live your life. Although the trail to Eagle is hard work and fun; it is much more. The Eagle rank is an education. Each rank is a chapter. The conclusion is that by earning the Eagle rank the individual has the tools to be a responsible consciences citizen who would gladly advance the group before the individual.

The Bridge Builder 

An old man traveling a long highway,
Came at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm vast and deep and wide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream held no fears for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man," cried a fellow pilgrim near,
"You're wasting your time in building here.
"Your journey will end with the closing day;
"You never again will pass this way.
"You have crossed the chasm deep and wide,
"Why build you this bridge at even tide?"

The builder lifted his old gray head;
"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said.
"There followeth after me today,
"A youth whose feet must pass this way.
"This stream which has been as naught to me,
"To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be;
"He, too, must cross in the twilight dim--
"Good friend, I am building this bridge for him."

-- Thanks to Donny Scruggs

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