Suggestions for a gift for a young man achieving Eagle Scout?
February 22, 2015 11:40 AM   Subscribe

Suggestions for a gift for a young man achieving Eagle Scout?

I am an Eagle Scout, but earned that 20 years ago. I remember receiving some small gifts at the ceremony, but none really stood out enough that I remember them to this day, aside from a branded pocket knife that was only distinguished but it's rediculously tiny size and therefore non-usefullness. I'd like to get this kid something decent. Suggestions?
posted by efalk to Grab Bag (14 answers total)
A better knife!
posted by oceanjesse at 11:45 AM on February 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Really depends on the kid's interests. And your budget. Maybe he'd like a gift certificate to his local outdoor store? If you know of his favorite pursuits, then an item to significantly upgrade something he already has to something he might keep forever (e.g., an ultra lightweight tent). Or, if he has a traditional side to him, an engraved pocket watch to commemorate the date?
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 12:24 PM on February 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

When my uncle made Eagle (decades ago), one of his gifts was professional framing of his merit badges, awards, and a couple small things like first pocket knife and compass. It's a really cool thing and he's had it up in every house he's had. It always attracts a lot of positive attention.
posted by phunniemee at 1:13 PM on February 22, 2015 [6 favorites]

Definitely depends on the location, but fancy belt buckles seemed to be a thing for Eagle Scouts in the Midwest.

As for a pocket knife, that'll depend a lot on the individual in person. More outdoorsey or more genteel? Also, knives are pretty personal items and someone into their gear will be very picky about what they use. That said, for the more genteel Eagle Scout, the Benchmade Emissary is a kickass every day carry. I couldn't be more happy with mine, and there are a lot of youtube reviews and I don't think that I've ever seen a negative (or ambivalent) one.
posted by porpoise at 1:13 PM on February 22, 2015

Ymmv, but when one of my close senior students achieved Eagle Scout, I got him a set of these knot cards,

It was kind of a joke, but he thought they were appropriate and useful.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 1:50 PM on February 22, 2015

See if you can help pay for membership in NESA, or page through the Eagle collection on to see if anything catches your eye.
posted by jazon at 2:01 PM on February 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

Something to do with his Eagle project, if possible. An eagle project done right is something that the scout has put a lot of heart and effort into, something that means a lot to him. A monetary gift towards whatever he is doing or has done can mean so much.
posted by myselfasme at 2:33 PM on February 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

How about a Leatherman tool?
I have a Victorinox version that was a gift from my parents almost 20 years ago. I still use it almost daily and freak out whenever I cant find it...
posted by Mac-Expert at 3:51 PM on February 22, 2015 [4 favorites]

Not knowing anything about him, you, or your relationship, I'd suggest a really nice multi-tool & sheath. Bonus points if you get it engraved with something meaningful.
posted by achrise at 4:48 PM on February 22, 2015

A gransfors bruk axe.

Or some other simple, but best of its kind hand tool, depending on his interest. Something that last a lifetime and he can pass on. The kind of special object that gets specifically mentioned in a will. For and Eagle scout a top of line axe seems like that kind of thing.
posted by bartonlong at 5:28 PM on February 22, 2015

Most Eagle Scouts will already have a decent collection of knives, so unless you are getting them a really fancy one, I'd pass on that.

I didn't receive too many gifts at mine, but I also accumulated gifts since then as I am still very active on the Council-level in Scouting. Here are some things that I received/accumulated afterwards that I appreciate:
* Eagle Scout Coin with my name/date engraved on the back
* NESA Membership
* Framed patches/memorabilia
* Engraved wooden box to keep Scouting things in
* Framed Norman Rockwell/Joseph Csatari prints (Rockwell was the official BSA painter for years before his apprentice Csatari took over; there's hundreds of different paintings to choose from)
* Small Eagle desk statuette (I think this actually just came from Hobby Lobby)

Your local Scout Shop will also have a decent selection of Eagle memorabilia/gifts that you can look through. It'll mostly be things from that jazon mentioned, but they might have some other selections.
posted by Deflagro at 6:13 PM on February 22, 2015

Definitely not a knife or a multi-tool. By the time they're Eagle, they already have plenty and don't need another one.

My Eagle Scout is recommending that you personalize it based on the Eagle's interests.

He says that the professional framing of the merit badges and awards is a really good idea. The NESA membership might be, too. He says it's $250 for a lifetime membership, or $35/year.

The knot cards got an eye-roll... he already knows all the knots, why would he need the cards?
And the axe... well, it's an axe. If it's somebody who would regularly cart an axe around, they probably have one.

For a tiny, relatively inexpensive, yet constantly useful thing - their Scoutmaster gives a Pak-Lite to each of his new Assistant Scoutmasters.

But for the ultimate in cool, a BioLite Stove... he's used one, his Scoutmaster has one, and he says even without the charging capability, they are VERY nice stoves. (Pretty sure mine wants one of these... )
posted by stormyteal at 9:18 PM on February 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

A multi-tool he can carry around in public might be useful (I know mine is).
posted by Etrigan at 3:02 AM on February 23, 2015

Cash money, personalized with a heartfelt note. There is nothing that a young person will appreciate more than cash. Likewise, giving him cash demonstrates that he's won your trust in his judgement to use it wisely and honors the wide possibilities open to him at this moment.

There are some nice suggestions here, but gear is a really personal thing, and not something you want to guess at buying for someone else. Cash is guaranteed to help him on his way, whatever it may be.
posted by susanvance at 7:51 AM on February 23, 2015

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