Eagle Scout Letter
3727 West Magnolia Blvd., Suite 300
Burbank, CA 91505
Here’s the deal – you guys are Eagle Scouts so you can follow directions, right? Do not forget to include the SELF-ADDRESSED STAMPED 9×12 ENVELOPE. Please allow 12+ weeks for it to get filled out, get Mike’s signature and then back in the mail to you. If you forget the envelope, or don’t include postage or it’s the wrong size, all bets are off – you might get it and you might not.
Back in 1977, I got a letter from The President of the United States, congratulating me on becoming an Eagle Scout. It was printed on thick, creamy paper, and had the presidential seal stamped on the bottom, right next to Gerald Ford’s name. Impressive. However, as I studied the president’s photocopied signature, and considered the fact that I had never even met the man, I came to the conclusion that I was holding a Form Letter.
Don’t get me wrong; it was a nice gesture, but I decided then and there, that if I ever found myself in the position of sending out hundreds of identical letters to Eagle Scouts everywhere, I wouldn’t pretend to fool them into thinking they had received a heartfelt expression of unique sentiment. After all, a Scout is Trustworthy, whether he goes on to become the President of the United States or the host of a show on cable television. Which is why I am compelled to admit that I did not write this letter specifically for you. I disclose this deliberately, in the hope that doing so will imbue my well wishes with a measure of credibility greater than those of any former president. And even though many Eagle Scouts have received this exact letter, you will notice that the time has been taken to scribble your name into the blanks provided, a personal touch not included in President Ford’s Form Letter, or to my knowledge, any correspondence originating from the current leader of the free world.
Having said all that ________________________, I will now offer my sincere congratulations for what you’ve achieved.
As you may have heard, the Eagle Award is kind of a big deal. Most of the guys in my old troop bailed out around Star or First Class. You stuck it out, and that makes you special. But don’t get cocky, _________________________. Contrary to what many have told you, this award will NOT change the way the world looks at you. Sorry, but it’s true. The vast majority of people you’re going to meet in life aren’t going to care about what you’ve accomplished in The Boy Scouts, and you know what? That’s fine. Because while others may benefit from being around the type of adult you might become, the only person that will ever be truly affected by what you have accomplished, is _______________________________.
Remember this always. The Eagle Award comes with no magic power or influence. It is merely a reminder that you have succeeded in one area where most others have failed. That could be the start of a very positive pattern. Or, it could be something else. I knew a guy who got his Eagle a couple years before me. His chest literally puffed up, and never returned to its normal size. He started walking around like the world owed him a living. His Dad got him into a decent school, and when he finally graduated, he actually carried his degree in his pocket – took it to job interviews, and showed it around like it was his first merit badge. Today, he is a miserable, pompous, pain in the butt with no friends, two ex-wives, and a job he hates. Always complaining about this or that. He still has an old football trophy on his mantle, next to his diploma, and an identical copy of that same form letter from Gerald Ford, framed on his desk, congratulating him for something he did 30 years ago.
Don’t be that guy. Don’t wait for the world to acknowledge your accomplishments. By all means, take pride in what you’ve done, but don’t let it go to your head. When you’re finished with Scouting, donate your uniform to The Salvation Army. Fold up your sash and stow it away somewhere private, with all the other tokens of what you’ve done so far. Then, roll up your sleeves, get out in the world, and put what you’ve learned to use.
Live the Scout Law. Remember the Scout Oath. Be unique. And don’t forget to have fun. Otherwise, _________________________, you’ll wind up like most everybody else – a human form letter.
Perpetual Apprentice – mikeroweWORKS.com
PS. The signature, for what it’s worth, is really mine.