I was escorting six 15 to 17 year-old Eagle Scouts to a rendezvous point in the US, where they would become part of a contingent of 24 Eagle Scouts flying to Japan. There, they were to represent the Boy Scouts of America as guests of the Scout Association of Japan and the Japanese government for two weeks.
In other words, they weren't just Boy Scouts, they were Eagle Scouts.
They weren't just Eagle Scouts, but had been selected to represent the BSA as American youth ambassadors.
And . . . they were in complete Boy Scout uniform, in public, without embarrassment.
Four of the six were pulled aside by airport security for the complete pat-down and hand-wand inspection. Then the security guards told me that all six Scout must surrender their large metal Philmont Scout Ranch belt buckles, because they were too big and could be used as a weapon.
I explained where we were going, that the boys had no extra belts, that, although Boy Scouts, their pants were baggy and would drop to their ankles without a belt. The guard still wanted the buckles.
I explained that these Scouts were ambassadors, would be meeting the highest-ranking leaders of Scouting in Japan, the Japanese Minister of Education, and other governmental leaders, and asked if it would be appropriate for them to spend two weeks holding their pants up with one hand.
About this time, a National Guardsman at the security point who had been listening to the entire conversation walked up to the guard and basically said, "Listen, Buddy. I'm an Eagle Scout. I know what those Philmont buckles mean. I have one. I am holding a rifle. My rifle is bigger than your gun. These young men are on their way to Japan WITH their Philmont buckles. Is there any part of that statement that you don't understand?"
We had a great time in Japan, and none of the Scout attempted any terroristic acts, with or without their Philmont belt buckles.