The journey from Life to Eagle may sound like a very daunting set of tasks. Primarily because of how everything is worded, making it seem like there's a lot to do. There is some good news though: you've been working on part of it the past couple years, and hopefully have a few years left. If you manage your time, there will not be any rush!
This page is primarily designed as a resource hub for Life scouts, and their parents, to use during this next step of their scouting journey. If there is anything that you might find useful on here, please make sure to speak with your Eagle Advisor and they can work with the webmaster to have it put up here for whoever comes through next.
This is your personal journey. There is no set order to completing the rank. Eagle Scout is not the end of a scout's career either, but instead the beginning of a greater journey as a leader. Scouting is about developing leadership skills and becoming a leader, not about earning the Eagle Rank. Advancement is part of that leadership development skills, which is why there's a huge focus on giving leadership in Star, Life, Eagle, and additional Palms.
The biggest thing to remember is there is time commitments for this. You need to dedicate a minimum of 6 months of activity to your Troop and Patrol, and serve them in a position of leadership for 6 months as well. This can be done together, or at different intervals. Leadership cannot be performed in absentia: you must actively complete your leadership position to receive credit for serving. The same goes for actively participating in your unit; you must be at the troop activities and participate to receive credit.
The Eagle Project itself will take a few months of planning as well before it is executed, and there are also 3 merit badges with a 3 month personal project time frame as well.
This is a perfect opportunity to work on time management skills to balance your time to make your commitments.
Eagle Advisors are adults who volunteer their time to help scouts who are working on Life to Eagle. They serve as a quick resource for a scout to go to when they have questions about any step of the process (merit badges, project, letters, application, etc). They are not an all knowing Oracle, and may refer you to another person for guidance on specific information, but simply there for you to have someone to go to for help.
Once a scout earns the Life rank, they will have the opportunity to pick a personal advisor, or have one assigned to them. It is the responsibility of the individual scout to contact their advisor for progress and/or advice. The advisors will not help or guide you unless you ask for it first.
Leadership & Participation
Part of the requirements for earning the Eagle Rank are to:
1) Be active in your troop and patrol for 6 months after earning the Life rank.
2) While a Life Scout, serve actively in your unit for a period of six months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility. List only those positions served after your Life board of review date.
- Troop Leadership Positions: Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, Venture patrol leader, troop guide, Order of the Arrow troop representative, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, junior assistant Scoutmaster, chaplain aide, instructor, webmaster, or Leave No Trace trainer.
As stated before, you cannot be active when you aren't there. To complete these requirements, you will need to commit a minimum of 6 months being active in the unit and in a position of responsibility. These 2 requirements are separate and can be completed at different times, but when they are being worked on, you should try to participate in as much as you can and complete any tasks expected of the chosen leadership position.
Another requirement for earning the rank of Eagle is to complete 21 merit badges. You've already been working on this while earning Star and Life.
While working on those, you've accumulated 7 Eagle required, and 4 Elective, merit badges. This leaves approximately 6 Eagle Required, and 4 Electives, remaining.
Eagle Required merit badges
- First Aid
- Citizenship in the Community
- Citizenship in the Nation
- Citizenship in the World
- Personal Fitness
- Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving (Pick one)
- Environmental Science OR Sustainability (Pick one)
- Personal Management
- Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling (Pick one)
- Family Life
It is highly recommended to work on these before you earn your life rank, as a couple of them can take up to 3 months to complete. Just be mindful of which ones you have left to complete, and the time it would take to complete them, as you work on merit badges.
Note that the Eagle Rank has choice merit badges. This means you pick one badge out of a list of 2 or 3 to fulfill that slot. This only applies for the Eagle rank, as Star and Life may use any Eagle Required badge to fulfill those requirements. For Eagle, you pick one and the rest get counted as electives. So this means if for Star, a scout did Swimming and Hiking, they both would count for the Star rank; however, when working on Eagle, only the first one completed will count. So in this case, the scout will need to work on another Eagle Required merit badge.
It is recommended that scouts work on merit badges whenever they want to take one that interests them. Merit Badges are a tool of Scouting similar to Advancement and introduce various activities and careers that might interest a scout. For every 5 additional merit badges after the rank of Eagle, a scout may earn Eagle Palms as additional recognition for the extra work done.
Project Requirement Text
While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. (The project must benefit an organization other than Boy Scouting.) A project proposal must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your unit leader and unit committee, and the council or district before you start. You must use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, BSA publication No. 512-927, in meeting this requirement. (To learn more about the Eagle Scout service project, see the Guide to Advancement, topics 126.96.36.199 through 188.8.131.52.)
This is the biggest part of the Life to Eagle process, and for a lot of scouts, it's the last main requirement they have left. For a properly completed project, it takes - at minimum - approximately 4 months from start to finish.
Finding the project is the hardest part of them all, start early!! If you need ideas, here's a list of various project ideas that might help spark your own idea for a project: Examples Of Eagle Projects
There are 4 stages to a project, and each have their own processes. For a more detailed guide for the various parts, you can read this document: Eagle Scout Service Project Planning Guide
Steps of a project:
1) Finding a project and contacting the beneficiary to begin the process.
2) Writing up the proposal and getting it approved.
3) Final plan & execution
4) Final writeup and turning in paperwork.
If you need assistance with any of this, make sure you work with your Eagle Advisor. They'll be able to assist you as much as they can, but do remember that they will not actually *do* any of the work for you; only point you in the right direction.
And finally, to complete the project properly, you'll have to fill out this workbook. This is the official project paperwork that is required to complete the requirement. Be sure to save the document to your computer and edit it from there.
Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook
As part of the project process, you'll need to get 4 signatures of approval. This occurs after the proposal is completed, and signed by the Beneficiary, your Scoutmaster, your Committee Chair, and a Council or District representative. These MUST be obtained before you can actually execute the project, so make sure you work with your Eagle Advisor to obtain these signatures.
Once all the requirements are completed, and the project paperwork is turned in, there's a couple more steps before you can do your Eagle Board of Review.
Firstly, you'll need to start working on the Eagle Application. Simply ask the Advancement Chair or the Life to Eagle Coordinator to send you the application from Scoutbook, or you can download the Eagle Scout Application and start to pre-fill things now, and then transfer them over later.
Eagle Scout Application (directions) are available if you want to look through them, as certain fields must be filled out very specifically.
Secondly, you'll need to get Appraisal letters sent out. You'll need one for the following:
On the Eagle application, put down in the references the individuals that would receive a letter. Your scoutmaster will be added under the "two other references" section. If you are employed, be sure to put them down on the application too, as well as 1 other individual (these 1 or 2 individuals will not have to fill out a reference letter).
If you do not actively participate at a church, you may substitute the religious leader for the Unit Chaplain. And for Education, if you don't know the Building Principal that well, but know a Guidance Counselor or a Teacher more, they may be substituted instead.
Your scoutmaster usually will fill out the reference letter after the Unit Leader's Conference.
Goals and Ambitions
Alongside this, you'll also need to fill out the Scout’s Goals and Ambitions document.
Here you just write about what you want to do in the future, and how you plan on achieving those goals.
Scheduling the Board of Review
Once all the requirements are completed, you can work with the Committee Chair to begin scheduling your Eagle Board of Review.
You will need the following items to be able to get one scheduled:
1) Eagle Application
2) Completed Project Workbook
3) All 4 Appraisal Letters received back to the troop, sealed.
4) Your Goals and Ambitions form
Once those are submitted to the Council and approved, they'll schedule the Board of Review. Successful completion of the Board will result in you earning the Eagle Scout rank.
Note that to get a Board of Review, ALL Requirements must be completed BEFORE your 18th Birthday. You have up to 3 months after to finalize the paperwork and get a Board, but do not wait until the last minute to do this. Get things done early, work on stuff as you go.
Guide to Advancement
Below is the official Guide to Advancement. If you ever need to consult it regarding what is, or is not, allowed for completing a requirement, then it's the go-to source for that.
Guide to Advancement