Together, We Can Do So Much More!

I recently had the pleasure of attending an Eagle Court of Honor for not one Eagle Scout but for seven Eagle Scouts who entered Scouting as members of two separate patrols. It was fun looking back at the history these seven young men had built together. I was an adult leader in the troop when they joined and could recall many of the incidents that they described in talking about their journey to Scouting’s highest rank. Here are a few of the things they talked about collectively.

  • They did not like one another when they joined the troop. All seven talked at various times about the friction and animosity between the two patrols; how they harassed one another and bickered. As they talked, they recounted things that they had done to one another and how childish their behavior had been.
  • They came to the realization that they had to work together. Through a natural attrition process, the two patrols shrank to the point where it was necessary to merge them into one patrol. Neither patrol had sufficient membership to undertake high adventure outings on their own. As they began working as one group, they learned that they could get more done, more efficiently and more effectively, if they stopped working at cross-purposes and began working together.
  • They had the times of their lives as they first went sailing at Sea Base in the Florida Keys; then, went canoeing at the Northern Tier High Adventure Base in Northern Minnesota and Southern Canada. On both trips, they found that they could do more and see more the more they worked together as a team.
  • They became not just teammates but the very best of friends. When the first young man attained the rank of Eagle Scout, he refused to schedule a Court of Honor, telling the others that he wanted all of them on the stage and receiving their Eagles at the same time. He nudged and cajoled the others to get busy, that he wanted them at his side. As each successive young man earned the Eagle Scout rank, he joined with those who were encouraging the other patrol members to finish the journey to Eagle. Finally, all seven had earned the rank. Then, and only then, was a Court of Honor scheduled, one that would recognize the success and accomplishments of all of the patrol members.

Statistically, if 100 boys join Boy Scouts, fewer than 5 will earn the rank of Eagle Scout. In this group of seven, all seven made it to the top because, in my opinion, at one time or another, each young man stepped into a leadership role and helped the others succeed. Yes, they had a strong adult leader, an Assistant Scoutmaster, who worked with them and helped them through difficult times. But, that Assistant Scoutmaster was wise enough to let the boys work things out for themselves and learn from both their mistakes and their successes. Together, these young men learned that, together, they could do so much more than they could ever do alone.

Have you had the experience of accomplishing more through teamwork than you could have accomplished alone? Click “Comment” and share that experience, please.

Tom Hoisington is a speaker, trainer, and author whose goal is to provide leaders and potential leaders with tools that empower them to build teams that are creative and cost effective along with a clearer understanding of how personality types interact within those teams. He can be contacted at