Eagle Scout Rank Application Process
Over the more than 100 years since the first Eagle, a formal application process has evolved that is important in maintaining the award’s well-recognized prestige. It is in the interest of the entire BSA, and in fact our nation, that all youth who join Scouts BSA in 2019 should have an opportunity to earn their Eagle Scout rank should they diligently and promptly complete all requirements.
Complete All the Requirements
Confirm that the following requirements have been completed before the 18th birthday: active participation, Scout spirit, merit badges, position of responsibility, service project, and unit leader conference. Note that the unit leader (Scoutmaster) conference need not be the last item accomplished. The board of review may be conducted after the 18th birthday. A candidate must be registered through the time the requirements are being completed but need not be registered thereafter or when the Eagle Scout board of review is conducted.
Prepare the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook
The most current workbook must be used. It can be found at www.scouting.org/advancement. The workbook shows the project proposal was approved ahead of time, and then properly accepted by all parties when finished. Ideally, it will be a proud reminder of a significant accomplishment.
Complete the Application
The Scout must complete the official Eagle Scout Rank Application . No other form or application method is permitted. The application can be found at www.scouting.org/advancement. It can also be printed and completed by hand. Careful review and thorough proofreading will help prevent delays. Remember, everything is verified by the local council; discrepancies and errors will lead to a form’s return. Unnecessary delays can be avoided by working with the unit advancement coordinator and obtaining the Scout’s personal history profile from the council office. Pay special attention to the following red-flag items.
- Dates: All applicable date fields will be verified by the council. Missing or incorrect dates will lead to unwanted delays and the application being returned for correction. The best way to avoid these delays is to use the date information from the Scout’s personal profile, which the unit advancement coordinator can obtain from the council office.
- Signatures: Applicant, unit leader, and unit committee chair. (Remaining signatures come later.) Note that signatures need not be dated before the Scout’s 18th birthday.
- References: Must list all six (five if not employed). If not affiliated with an organized religion, then the parent or guardian provides this reference. There are no restrictions on who the Scout may list as the two other references. The candidate may list anyone, including parents or guardians not previously listed, other relatives, Scout leaders including those from the candidate’s unit, or other Scouts and friends. There is no requirement that any of the references be 21 years of age or older.
- Merit badges: Dates as mentioned above; check the unit number in which each badge was earned. Attach the Application for Alternative Eagle Scout Rank Merit Badges, if applicable. Scouts must not be required to attach blue cards with their application. If a discrepancy is discovered, the blue card may be requested to confirm the completion date.
- Position of responsibility: Must be one of those listed in Eagle Scout rank requirement 4, and must relate to the unit where the Scout was registered and active at the time service was rendered. For example, “SPL” would not be used by a crew member unless he or she was, or is, also registered in a troop. For a Scout who has transferred from a troop to a Venturing crew or Sea Scout ship, any qualifying position(s) held after the Life rank board of review in the troop shall count, and the six-month element of the requirement may be met through a combination of non-concurrent positions served in the troop, crew, or ship.
- Attachments: Service project workbook, statement of ambitions and life purpose, and listing of positions, honors, and awards. Other attachments, such as unit records or individual history reports, shall not be required to process the application unless a discrepancy is discovered.
Once a Scout has been advanced in rank, advancement errors subsequently discovered must not be held against the Scout for any future advancement, even if the requirements were not properly completed. As an example, if after a Scout was advanced to Life rank it was discovered the Scout had not completed the required six months between Star and Life, that would not be cause to deny advancement to Eagle.
Obtain Required Signatures
The unit leader and committee chair signatures represent approval for the candidate to move on to a board of review. In providing them, the signers carefully check the application. It may be helpful to compare the application to the Scout’s current advancement profile obtained through the BSA system or to a printout obtained from the local council service center. If there are “red-flag” issues (see 18.104.22.168), such as time spans between ranks that don’t meet the requirements, then the dates should be confirmed. If they are correct but do not fit the requirement, then the Scout, parent or guardian, or unit leader should contact the district advancement chair for guidance. Usually, as with unavoidable discrepancies, a letter of explanation will be helpful in addressing the issue. Note there is no requirement that the signatures of the Scout, unit leader, and committee chair must be dated before the Scout’s 18th birthday.
Submit to Council Service Center
A copy should be made of the application; service project workbook; the Scout’s statement of ambitions and life purpose; and listing of positions, honors, and awards. Once copies are in safekeeping, the originals should be delivered promptly to the council service center. The candidate should not be delayed. Timeliness is especially critical if the candidate is approaching, or has already turned, 18. Sending materials late can imply the work continued afterward. If possible, everything should be hand-delivered. Otherwise it should be sent by registered or certified mail or as instructed by the local council. There is no requirement that the application must be completed or submitted before the 18th birthday. Councils do not have the authority to reject applications submitted on or after that date.