Here is a picture of the two boys taking the Eagle Charge....
But I love that when my step-dad zoomed out you could see the row of men who have helped the boys along the way. We kind of broke tradition a little bit and we split the Eagle Challenge up amongst the wonderful spiritual and scouting leaders these boys had. I think technically we should have used Eagle scouts. These men may not have earned their Eagle when they were young, but they have definately fostered the scouting spirit and have done some amazing things with the boys in our ward/troop/team.
They each had a "written" part to read, but they all added a few extra comments when they got up there. They kept it short and sweet but you could hear the love and admiration they had for each of the boys. I think it was my favorite part of the whole ceremony.
The eagle medal package comes with one mentor pin, but you can purchase additional pins as needed. Both boys immediately knew they would need two pins. There's no way to separate the "Ambassador of Fun" (Mark), from the "Assistant Ambassador of Fun" (Barry).
Later on that night, when things had settled down I expressed my thanks to both of them and they looked down at the pins on their chest and said "There's no greater thanks than this."
And the surprise of the evening was when I saw these two walk in the door. A few minutes after the ceremony started, Rick nudged me and said "look at the door." I looked over and saw the Polls sneaking in, then I looked up at Josh and saw his eyes get big and his face light up. I will admit, it was a little hard to patiently sit through the rest of the ceremony when all I wanted to do was go give them a big hug!
We love the Polls for many reasons but whenever we thought about this night, we always thought of sharing it with them. You see Bishop Poll was the one who first called us as Cub Scout leaders and he's the one that shared his testimony of scouting with us. He helped us to see the importance of scouting and how it helps to shape the young men and prepare them for a mission. He gave us the insight to understand the long term goals so that we could get through the short term difficulties.
The Polls moved to Utah a few years ago, but they continued to ask how Josh was doing and where he was in the process. We promised to keep them informed and let them know when the big event would happen. When it came time to send out the invites, we made sure we mailed theirs right away. I never called or followed up. I didn't want to add pressure or expect them to make the trip, but I hoped....
When I hadn't heard from them I told Josh, "I wonder if they would just surprise us."
And they did... and we are truly grateful!!
There are many other great people who joined the celebration Saturday night and we are just as grateful for their presence. My Mom flew in and when she found out that the girls didn't have a babysitter for the weekend, she bought them tickets and brought them with her. (They loved their first plane ride!) Our ward family was there as well as my dad and step-mom and so many of my friends; friends who know nothing about scouting, but came to support Josh. Friends who were balling their eyes out and I couldn't even look at them because I was afraid they'd make me cry. They were surprised I was able to keep my composure. I said "I think it's because I shed all my tears when I wrote his letter of recommendation and went to his board of review," now it was time to just enjoy the celebration. (We have more photos on other cameras...I may have to post a few more pictures once I see them.)
I'm not very photogenic, but here are my favorite photos of our family.
I love the cute smile Josh has as he goes to hug me. Yep, the boy still loves his mama!
And... this picture says it all. I remember the exact moment it was taken. Rick was so proud of Josh and you could just see how much he loves his son when he gave him that hug. It was a sweet moment of seriousness. You don't see that much with two "men" in the house. Usually you see them goofing around or annoying each other.