Last month, I was invited to do a Mormon Battalion Association neckerchief slide and certificate presentation at an Eagle Scout Court of Honor. Since I had not done one of these presentations before, I asked past president Jerome Gourley and Executive Staff member Tom Griggs for some advice since both of them have represented the MBA Eagle Scout Courts of Honor many times.
They both gave me great input. Tom shared that in his remarks, he points out that if the Battalion were formed today and the young men were Boy Scouts, they would have earned most, if not all, of the required merit badges for the Eagle rank on the trek. Now, I know that they weren’t Scouts, that there were no merit badge counselors tagging along, and the Battalion boys had a lot of other things on their to-do lists, but it is interesting to think about what badges they might have earned.
Foremost would have to be Pioneering, Hiking, Backpacking, Camping, Cooking, and First Aid badges. But, as I reviewed the list of merit badges, I came up with an additional twenty-six badges they might have earned. We have to include Wilderness Survival, Rifle Shooting and Orienteering. I may have gone a little far afield with Reptile and Amphibian Study, but I think the Weather badge would have been earned!
Anyway, the young man I presented the slide and certificate to on the Association’s behalf, Cason Jackman, could not have been more deserving. In addition to the Scouting ranks, he has earned an astonishing fifty-eight merit badges (only twenty-one are required for Eagle)!
While I understand the reasoning behind the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ending their affiliation with Scouting, I prize my memories of the wonderful experiences that the BSA provided me and so many others, and I am glad to see that there are still active troops in existence. I hope that I have the opportunity to present many more neckerchief slides and certificates on behalf of the Mormon Battalion Association. to these great young men.
Submitted by Greg Christofferson, President of the Mormon Battalion Association