It's Only A Pin
The Eagle Scout

Two fond parents watch1 their boy where he stands
Apart from his comrades tonight,
As they place on his camp-battered tunic, a badge...
An Eagle, the emblem of right.

It seems just a few short months have passed
Since he joined with the youngster next door...
How proud he was then of his Tenderfoot Pin
As they told of the message it bore.

But the years2 have gone as he struggled along
To learn what the Scout law's about;
He practiced them daily, the Oath and the law
Until now,3 he's an Eagle Scout.

You may smile in your worldly old4 wisdom at this
And say, "Why, it's only a pin."
But I tell you no honors he'll gain as a man
Will mean quite5 as much to him.

The Red, White and Blue of the ribbon you see
Are the symbols of honor and truth.
He has learned how to value these fine attributes
In the glorious days of youth.

And the outflinging wings of the eagle that rests
On the breast of this Knight of Today,
Are the things which will lift him above petty deeds
And guide him along the right way...

Yes, it's only a pin, just an Eagle Scout Badge,
But the heart that's beneath it beats true
And will throb to the last for the things which are good,
A lesson for me..6 and for you.

Unknown Author

As of 7/20/2004 we have had 14 different people/families claim ownership. Many of them had "proof"... We apologize to whomever the true author is.

The four major claims to ownership are:

    It's only a pin
  • 1977 Sumner G. Oesterle (Copyrighted)
  • 1975 for the Eagle ceremony of Donald G. Oesterle (Written)

  • The Eagle Scout
  • 1931 BSA May 1931, Scouting Magazine, p20
  • 1930 S. Kurtz Hingley, 1930 version appeared in "The Quaker City Scout"

One major question is: did Mr. Hingley give BSA the right to reprint "The Eagle Scout" or the copyright itself?

There is a fight between the Hingley family and the Oesterle family for ownership. Is the six changes from "The Eagle Scout" to "It's Only a Pin" enough for a new copyright. 369, the FCLA, and VenturingBSA will not be a part of this battel. We think both versions are great and hope they will aide you in your Eagle Court-O-Honor. We have given all four "major" dates and authors to be complient with any US copyright laws if applicable.

To our knowledge, all have given Eagle Scouts the right to use, without profit, either version.

It's Only a Pin vs. The Eagle Scout

  • parents watch -> mother watches
  • the years -> three years
  • , -> --
  • old -> wise
  • quite -> just
  • .. -> --
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