Road to Eagle
The rank of Eagle Scout is the highest rank that can be earned in the Boy Scouts of America. It requires considerable perseverance to get there. Requirements include earning a minimum total of 21 merit badges, including all required badges that were not previously earned, and demonstration of Scout Spirit, service and leadership. All requirements except the Board of Review must be finished before a Scout's 18th birthday.
The steps listed below should provide the Scout and his parents with key information regarding the final steps to Eagle.
1. Record dates and become familiar with the forms
Doing homework upfront is critical. Here is a list of things you can do immediately --
- Record the date you earned each merit badge (12 Eagle badges and 9 other badges). If you don't have complete records, the Advancement Chairperson can provide them to you.
- Record the date you held all leadership positions since earning Life.
- Download and become familiar with the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook. This new version of the workbook that is an “expandable” PDF. It contains new functionalities that include expandable text boxes and the ability to insert images in JPEG, GIF, TIF, and PNG formats.
- Download and become familiar with the Eagle Scout Rank Application.
- Download and become familiar with the Eagle Scout Letter of Reference Form located at the bottom of this page.
- List the names of individuals who know you personally and would be willing to provide a recommendation on your behalf.
2. Be active!
You must be active in Scouting for a period of at least six months after you have achieved the rank of Life Scout. Be sure to discuss with the Scoutmaster what being active means. Your idea and his idea may be two completely different things!
3. Complete your merit badges
Make sure you complete the required total of 21 merit badges including all required badges. Be sure the names of the badges are listed in your Scout Handbook. Ask the Advancement Chairperson for an advancement report if needed.
4. Come up with a workable idea for your service project
This can be the hardest part! Talk to the Scoutmaster or other Adult Leaders for ideas. Talk to local community organizations like schools, parks, agencies, non non-profits. The Eagle project must meet three criteria--
- It must be of significant value to the community outside of Scouting (town, church, school, etc.).
- It must take considerably more time than a Star or Life project (though planning and preparation time count).
- You must provide leadership to others during the project (the project idea does not have to be original, but you must be in charge; and two people cannot lead the same project).
5. Complete your service project
There are several steps to complete your service project. All steps are explained in detail in the Eagle Scout Project Workbook so that workbook should be your primary guide for the all things related to your service project. The workbook includes four important project forms:
- The Project Proposal
- The Project Plan
- The Fundraising Application
- The Project Report
It is highly recommended that you have at least one project coach or advisor. Typically, this is an adult who has professional experience and the skills necessary to properly guide you through completing the project.
These are the steps that should be followed:
- Complete the Project Proposal in the Eagle Scout Project Workbook. The project proposal will help you consider all aspects of the project so that it can be developed into a well thought out plan. You'll probably need help from your project coach/advisor to complete this section. You must obtain signatures on the Project Proposal from the Scoutmaster, the Committee chairperson, and the District Advancement Chair, Mr. Jim Byrd. You'll have to make arrangements on your own secure the signatures on the completed form.
- Complete the Project Plan section of the Eagle Scout Project Workbook. The project plan should provide specific details of how the project will be carried out, the costs associated with the project, and what fundraising activities (if any) will be performed. You'll probably need help from your project coach/advisor to complete this section. This part of the Project Workbook serves as a tool for your use. It does not require approval or signatures.
- Complete the Fundraising Application section of the Eagle Scout Project Workbook. The purpose of the Fundraising Application is to review the scout’s means of fundraising, if the scout decides to do fundraising. There are specific standards of scout fundraising that must be met and the review of your fundraising efforts will help confirm they are met. The standards are listed on the Fundraising Application. The Fundraising Application must be approved before beginning fundraising efforts. The fundraising approval must include the signatures of the project beneficiary and your unit leaders. In addition to those two signatures, it is very important to obtain a signature from the District Advancement Chair, Mr. Jim Byrd if the total amount of money you are fundraising for exceeds $1000. If that is the case, be sure to make arrangements to have the form signed by the District Advancement Chair at least two weeks in advance of your fundraising efforts.
- Present the Project Plan to the benefiting organization and complete the project.
- After the project is finished, complete the Project Report section of the Eagle Scout Project Workbook. Filling out this section will help you answer any questions about your project during your Eagle Board of Review.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind when you are working on your project:
- Get plenty of volunteers.
- You and your parents are responsible to provide necessary support for the project (transportation, snacks, meals, etc.).
- Keep a detailed time log of every hour you spend planning, phoning, coordinating, executing, etc. This will be useful at the Board of Review.
- Take photos of the project!!! This will show the members of the Eagle Board of Review what you have done.
- Keep your Eagle Service Project Workbook up to date! Make sure you have all signatures!
6. Send out your requests for letters of reference
The Eagle Board will want five or six letters of reference from people who know you.
You will need a letter of recommendations from--
- your parents
- religious leader (priest, minister, religion teacher, etc)
- school (teacher or principal who knows you well)
- employer (if you are currently working)
- 2 others of your choice who know you well (neighbors, Scout leaders, etc)
Once you come up with a list of individuals, call or approach each of them individually and politely ask if they would be willing to write a letter of reference for you. If they say yes, mention that you will be providing them with a reference form, instructions, and a self-addressed envelope for easy mailing. Provide in person or by mailing the Eagle Scout Letter of Reference Form displayed at the bottom of this page. Also include a short note stating the following:
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to write a letter on my behalf. The purpose of the letter is to share with the Eagle Board what you have learned by working with me during my scouting career and how my attitude, work ethic, and determination, is reflective of the principles of scouting. If you would like to speak with me about the letter, I will be more than happy to do so. If it is not too much to ask, please mail your letter by [enter date here] using the self-addressed envelope I included for your convenience.
Thank you for your time.
[Your printed name here]
[Your signature here]
Be sure to include the following address on the self-addressed envelope:
PO Box 105
Kensington, CT 06037
At the bottom left corner of the self addressed envelope put "re: [your name here]".
The RSES address is checked by the District Advancement Chair, Mr. Jim Byrd, regularly so have every confidence that he will receive it.
7. Complete the Eagle Scout Application
After completing your Eagle Scout Service Project, complete the Eagle Scout Rank Application. You'll need the dates for every merit badge. Ask the Scoutmaster for a rank advancement report so that you have all the dates properly recorded. You will also need the names of the people who are writing letters of recommendation for you. The Scoutmaster can help you on application requirement 6 (ambitions/life purpose, positions of leadership and honors & awards). Sign the application and take it to the Committee Chairperson and Scoutmaster for their signatures.
8. Arrange for your Scoutmaster Conference
After you have a completed (and signed) the Eagle Scout Application, contact the Scoutmaster to arrange a Scoutmaster Conference. Bring your Eagle binder with you. In it should be the project report, Eagle Service Project Workbook, any photos, the Eagle application, all rank cards, and any other item that shows your involvement as a scout, including any involvement in Cub Scouting. The Scoutmaster will check all information and dates on the application and make sure the application is complete.
9. Meet with the District Eagle Chairman
After making any last minute updates to your Eagle book and completing your Scoutmaster Conference, you should call the District Eagle Chairman (Mr. Jim Byrd) to inform him that you'd like to meet. He will arrange a meeting with you and expect you to bring your Eagle book. A quick conversation may take place but it is usually very short. After a period of time the District Eagle Chairman will call you and the Scoutmaster and let you know the date and place for your Eagle Board of Review.
10. Attend your Eagle Board of Review
The Eagle Board of Review will include two to four review members. The District Eagle Chairman usually chairs the review. It is important that you present yourself in full Class A uniform and are neat in appearance. The Board will ask you about your project, leadership, and how becoming an Eagle affects and changes you. They might also ask you the meaning of the patches on your uniform, so you should become familiar with them. The Board members will enjoy seeing the fruits of several years of Scouting in you. The Eagle Board of Review is not so much a test as it is a celebration of the completion of your long, challenging, and successful journey toward Eagle. At the successful completion of your Board of Review, you are officially an Eagle Scout and will be for the rest of your life. Congratulations!
11. PLAN your ceremony
After you pass your Eagle Board of Review, you'll want to celebrate with family and friends. As part of that celebration, your parents, or some other designee, will pin your Eagle badge to your uniform. Your Eagle badge will need to be picked up a the council office, however, the eagle badge is a controlled purchase item and will not be provided until the Eagle paperwork has returned from the National BSA Headquarters along with your official Eagle certificate. So, before selecting a date for your ceremony, it is always a good idea to wait for notification that your Eagle paperwork has returned from the National BSA Headquarters so that your Eagle badge will be available for purchase. Worse case is that your ceremony will be held but you won't have a badge to pin on your uniform!