TROOP 23
SPIRIT OF THE EAGLE CEREMONY
FOR BRADLEY SILCHUCK



Senior Patrol Leader, Luke Z Color Guard; Pledge of Allegiance
(After calling colors, Luke moves over to the candles.
A red, white and blue candle will be centered on the table. Above it and taller will be a gold candle.)

Scout Chris H reads: The red candle, like the red of my flag, is the lifeblood of brave men, ready to die or worthily live for our country.
The white candle, like the white of my flag, is for purity: cleanliness of purpose, thought, word and deed.
The blue candle, like the blue of my flag, is for faith and loyalty, like the eternal blue of the star-filled heavens.

Luke (Luke lights the candles as Chris begins to speak each part. Then he asks to audience to join in the Scout Oath and Law. He then moves to the side, but does not return to his seat yet)

Committee CoChair, Laurie Roubitchek: Introduces self and welcomes the family, friends and fellow Scouts of Bradley Silchuck.

We have many special ceremonies in Scouting. At Courts of Honor, we recognize each Scout's Achievements and celebrate them with the Scouts and their families. Occasionally, we have special courts of honor, to celebrate a Scout's elevation to the rank of Eagle Scout.

Tonight, we have an exceptionally special ceremony. It is the first in our Troop and possibly the first in our Council. Tonight, we celebrate the life and Scouting achievements of Bradley Silchuck in the Spirit of the Eagle Ceremony.

Our purpose tonight is not mourn Brad's passing, though we all miss him very much. But rather we have gathered to celebrate the golden Scouting Spirit Bradley embodied. As a representative of Northwest Suburban Council and the National Council, Boy Scouts of America, I declare this Spirit of the Eagle Ceremony to be duly convened.

Please light the Golden Candle, which represents Bradley's Spirit of the Eagle.

(Luke lights the golden candle. Then he returns to his seat)

(Invisible voice - Carl Laub) And we will light a candle for you
To shadow all the darkness and bless the times we knew
Like a beacon in the night
The flame will burn bright
And guide us on our way
Brad, tonight we light a candle for you.

Laurie Roubitchek (introduces master of ceremonies - Bob Heuser)

(Invisible voice - Carl Laub) (Reads Poem after Bob ascends to podium)

Upon my chest, I proudly wear
A badge of gold with which I dare
To challenge you to aim so high
Your life will be where Eagles fly

Five million strong, the boys and men
Stand up for Scouting, salute and then
Hark to the tale of one who knows,
And onward, onward, Scouting grows.

MC, Assistant Scoutmaster, Bob Heuser: Bradley Silchuck was born in 1987, as were many of you Scouts. His early childhood was much like yours, filled with play, energy, learning, growing and fun. He walked, he ran, he rode his tricycle, just like you.

But in his early childhood, his parents began to notice that he was having problems. Not major problems at first, but they began to notice stumbling, weakness and difficulty with his legs.

They soon received the devastating news that Bradley had muscular dystrophy, a terrible disease that would gradually rob him of all muscle strength and eventually his life. Their family faced a difficult challenge, one to which they rose with incredible courage, strength, dignity and love.

They raised Bradley to be as active and involved in life as he possibly could. They raised him in the love of his family, his community and the Lord and they taught him to never give up.

Mr. Crail, teacher, speaks:

Glenna S speaks:

Nicole A speaks:


each speaker shares personal rembrances of Brad
Bob Heuser: Bradley attended St. Raymond's, Lions Park School, and Lincoln Junior High here in Mount Prospect. He became a great student and friend to many. He was an Honor Roll Student, active in Chorus, baseball, bowling and MDA Summer Camp

Allison L speaks: personal remembrances

Bob Heuser: (introduce Marianne Noble, Advancement to read Scouting History)

Marianne Noble Bradley joined Cub Scouts in Pack 154. He earned his Bobcat Badge in 1994, his Wolf Badge in 1995, his Bear in 1996, his Webelos in 1997 and Arrow of Light in 1998. He was very active in his Den, though he was now requiring use of a wheelchair as he went about his Scout activities.

Sandra Werner, 4th grade teacher, speaks:

Mike Giblin, Cubmaster, speaks:

personal remembrances

Marianne Noble : With his fellow Webelos Scouts, Bradley crossed over into Troop 23 in the Spring of 1998.

But over this time, Brad had gradually lost almost all motor function. Even breathing became difficult for him. Though his Muscular Dystrophy became so severe that he could only use his thumb and index finger to control his wheelchair, he rarely missed a meeting and always cheerfully participated to the best of his abilities. And he never, ever complained.

Brad and his wheelchair were a fixture at Troop 23 meetings and whatever outings he could make. He drove his wheelchair in flag ceremonies, honor guards, and Memorial Day Parades. He motored over the bumps of Camp Lakota, taking nature hikes and traveling orienteering courses in his chair. Though a pinch batter would hit for him in the Troop Softball Game, Brad would round the bases with verve.

Although camping presented enormous logistical difficulties for Brad and his family, he did camp whenever possible. The amount of gear it took for Bradley to camp filled his folks' specially equipped van. He and his family taught a Disabilities Awareness station at the Troop 23 Family Campout last August.

He was a Troop Guide for the Golden Eagle Patrol. He earned two merit badges: Atomic Energy and Salesmanship. And what a salesman Brad was. From his wheelchair, he and his younger brother Chris traveled their neighborhood selling Christmas wreaths for the Troop fundraiser. Chris would go up the steps and ring the bell, and Bradley would deliver the sales pitch. Who could say No to Brad? He was always one of the top fundraisers in the Troop.

Scouts Dan N and Erik Z speak:
personal remembrances

(Invisible voice Charlie N) Too often we find ourselves unhappy with our lot in life. We complain about our job or school or any of the other trivial annoyances that populate our daily lives. We should look to Brad Silchuck and put our lives into perspective. The courage and strength Brad showed virtually every day and in the Scouting program were nothing short of heroic.

I never once heard him complain about anything.

I consider myself fortunate to have known Brad; he was a genuinely good Scout and will be sorely missed. I take inspiration from Brad's example.

Porter Noble
West Point, NY

Committee CoChair, Jeff Nordhaus speaks: personal remembrances

Marianne Noble Bradley Silchuck deeply affected his fellow Scouts. Love for Brad inspired over fifty Troop 23 members to volunteer for the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon every Labor Day for the past several years.

Troop 23 and Scouting have benefited enormously because Bradley Silchuck loved Scouting. We have all been enriched and inspired by his presence among us and will miss him greatly.


Bradley became a Tenderfoot Scout on December 3, 1998.
Tenderfoot Scout pops up & reads: I am the Tenderfoot. My three points stand for the three parts of the Scout Oath. You find me on the mariner's compass, forever pointing the way to the North Star and a safe journey in life. On my face are two stars representing truth and knowledge, a shield which is the emblem of a nation molded together in justice, and an eagle to guard the freedom of my land.

Marianne Noble: Brad earned the rank of Second Class Scout on May 13, 1999

Second Class Scout pops up & reads: I am the Second Class. The ends of my scroll are turned up in the willing smile of the Scout. On my face is our motto: "Be Prepared". Suspended from me is the knot, tied there to remind you of the slogan of the Boy Scouts of America, "Do a Good Turn Daily"

Marianne Noble: Brad earned First Class Rank on January 6, 2000.

First Class Scout pops up & reads: I am the First Class Scout. I was Tenderfoot and laid my course by the stars of truth and knowledge and girded myself with the righteousness of justice and freedom. I added a smile that I might be a friend to all and bound myself together with the knot of duty to others.

Marianne Noble: Bradley was working on his Star Rank at the time of his death.

(Invisible voice - Tom Nelson) Having been involved in Scouting for nearly 35 years, and as an Eagle, after reading the postings here in Brad's memory, I can say without reservation that Brad was indeed Eagle material. The Spirit which makes an Eagle is far more than just badges earned or time served in Scouting, and there are those who are never awarded the rank, but live those qualities nonetheless. This was one such Scout. I would be proud to have a young man like Brad as a brother Eagle.

From Troop 93 in Uncasville CT
Farewell, brother.

James F Hodgdon Jr
Bob Heuser Introduce Scoutmaster Lee Zimmermann

Scoutmaster, Lee Zimmermann: Will Eagle Scouts Matt Hills & Charlie N please escort Mr. And Mrs. Silchuck and Chris to the front?

Matt, Gail and Chris, though Brad never had the opportunity to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, tonight we are proud to award to you a Certificate from the Boy Scouts of America, commemorating Bradley's indomitable Spirit of the Eagle

(Invisible voice - Matt Hills) I am the Spirit of The Eagle

I am not a rank to be earned, but rather a spirit to be lived. Though I am a rare and spectacular sight, you know me instantly when you see me. My beauty and majesty surpass all others. I soar high above, untethered by daily struggles or pettiness. I treasure my freedom and can never be grounded. Look to me and know the greatness of God's creations.

Lee Zimmermann: Before you stands a lighted golden candle. Let it represent the Spirit of the Eagle that Bradley Silchuck holds forever in his heart. May we all aspire to live the Spirit of the Eagle as Bradley did.

Lee Zimmermann: Eagle Prayer

Oh Great Scoutmaster of us all, help me to

Build a Scout, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory...

Build me a Scout whose wishes will not take the place of deeds; a Scout who himself is the foundation stone of knowledge...

Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail...

Build me a Scout whose heart will be clear, whose goals will be high. A Scout who will master himself before he seeks to master others, one who will march into the future, yet never forget the past...

And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true wisdom, and the meekness of true strength...

Then I, a Scouter who knew him, will dare to whisper, I have not lived in vain for here beside us stands a true Eagle.


Bradley Silchuck

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May He cause His countenance to shine down upon you.
May the Lord grant you the greatest gift of all -
Peace.

Amen

Chris S reads: The Silchuck's Thank You

Luke: (retire the colors)

This Spirit of the Eagle Ceremony is officially concluded.

Let us form the living Circle in Bradley's Honor