The Eagle Scout Rank
188.8.131.52 The Eagle Scout Rank Application Process
Since Arthur Eldred became the first Eagle Scout in
1912, the rank has represented a milestone of
accomplishment—perhaps without equal—that is
recognized across the country and even the world. Men
who have earned the Eagle Scout rank count it among
their most treasured possessions. “Eagle Scout” is not just
an award; it is a state of being. Those who earned it as
boys continue to earn it every day as men. That is why
an Eagle Scout IS an Eagle Scout—not was.
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.
Topics 184.108.40.206 through 220.127.116.11, below, are intended to
aid in reviewing and submitting the application and
accompanying materials. It is hoped this will help Scouts,
parents or guardians, or any adult leader or advancement
administrator from the unit, district, or council to prevent
delays in securing National Council approval
18.104.22.168 Complete All the Requirements
Confirm that the following requirements have been
completed before the 18th birthday: merit badges,
service project, active participation, Scout spirit, position
of responsibility, 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. For details, see "Boards of Review: An Overview for All Ranks," 22.214.171.124. A candidate must be
registered through the time he is completing requirements
but need not be registered thereafter or when his board
of review is conducted.
126.96.36.199 Prepare the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook
The most current workbook must be used. It can be found at http://www.scouting.org/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/resources.aspx. 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. See "Use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook," 188.8.131.52.
184.108.40.206 Complete the Application
Scouts must submit the official Eagle Scout Rank
Application, No. 512-728, found at www.scouting.org/advancement. No other form or application
is permitted. Special worksheets or spreadsheets
have been created in some councils that when filled
out electronically produce a completed application.
Because the official application changes from
time to time, and because submitting out-of-date
applications can cause confusion and delays, Scouts
must not be required to use these tools. If they do use
them, they still must complete and submit the official
Eagle Scout Rank Application.
The Scout must complete the official
Eagle Scout Rank Application, No.
512-728. 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. Pay special attention to the following
- Dates: Became a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, Venturer,
or Sea Scout; First Class and Star boards of review;
birthdate; Life board of review (on both the front and
back); all merit badges earned; position(s) of
responsibility since earning Life rank with “FROM”
and “TO”; Eagle service project finished; Scoutmaster
(unit leader) conference; and applicant, unit leader,
and unit committee chair signatures.
- Signatures: Applicant, unit leader, and unit committee
chair. (Remaining signatures come later.) Note that
signatures need not be dated before the Scout’s
- References: Must list all six (five if not employed).
If not affiliated with an organized religion, then
the parent or guardian provides this reference.
- 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.
- 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 was, or is,
also registered in a troop. For a Scout who has
transferred from a troop or team to a Venturing crew
or Sea Scout ship, any qualifying position(s) held after
the Life rank board of review in the troop or team shall
count, and the six-month element of the requirementmay be met through a combination of nonconcurrent
positions served in the troop, team, crew, or ship.
See also "Boy Scout Advancement in Venturing and Sea Scouts," 220.127.116.11.
- Attachments: Service project workbook, statement of
ambitions and life purpose, and listing of positions,
honors, and awards.
18.104.22.168 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 22.214.171.124), 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
126.96.36.199 Submit to Council Service Center
Councils may suggest service project workbooks(only) be sent or taken to a different person or location, such as a district advancement committee member. This has the potential for cost savings in sending it out for the board of review. An Eagle Scout candidate, however, should confirm that any related instructions are correct and up to date.If there is any concern the workbook will go to the wrong place, it should accompany the Eagle application to the 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 he 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. 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.
188.8.131.52 Council Verifies Application and Board of Review Scheduled
Everything is checked against council records. If information
in the BSA system or council files is incomplete, the Scout
or the unit will be asked to provide certificates, blue
cards, or other suitable proof that merit badges and
ranks were earned and that dates are accurate. The
regular use the of BSA Internet portal for reporting
advancement as described in section 6 will help expedite
this process. If everything is correct, the council provides
a verification signature, files a copy of the application,
and sends the original with the service project workbook
and other items (such as reference letters received) to the
board of review chair or other designated volunteer. The
board should be scheduled only after the council-verified
application is received.
184.108.40.206 References Contacted
Council advancement committee members—or others
designated—have the responsibility to secure
recommendations from the references appearing under
requirement 2 on the Eagle Scout Rank Application. This may
be done by letter, form, or phone call. For reasons of privacy
and confidentiality, electronic submissions are discouraged. It is acceptable to send or deliver to the references an
addressed envelope with instructions, and perhaps a form
to complete. The Scout may assist with this, but that is the
limit of his participation. He is not to be responsible for
follow-through or any other aspect of the process.
It is up to the council’s designated representatives to
collect the responses. If after a reasonably diligent effort
no response can be obtained from any references,
the board of review must go on without them. It must
not be postponed or denied for this reason, and the
Scout shall not be asked to submit additional references
or to provide replacements.
Completed reference responses of any kind are the
property of the council and are confidential, and only
review-board members and those officials with a specific
need may see them. The responses are not to be viewed
by or returned to the Scout. Doing so could discourage
the submission of negative information. For the same
reason, those providing references do not have the
option of giving the reference directly to the Scout and
shall not be given the option of waiving confidentiality.
Once a review has been held, or an appeal process
conducted, responses shall be returned to the council,
where they will be destroyed after the Eagle Scout
credentials are released or the appeal is concluded.
In Boy Scouting, advancement references are required only for Eagle Scout rank.The council determines methods of contact.
220.127.116.11 Application Returned to Council Service Center
If a board of review approves a candidate, the signed
application, reference letters, and any information that
might be considered confidential are returned to the local
council. Unless otherwise directed, the service project
workbook and statement of ambitions and life purpose
(requirement 7, Eagle Scout Rank Application) can be
returned to the Scout. If approval is denied, all materials
are returned to the council.
18.104.22.168 Council Sends Application to National Advancement Team
At the council the Scout executive signs the application,
certifying proper procedures were followed. The
application is then entered into the BSA system, filed
locally, and then extracted from the BSA system by the
National Advancement Team. In special cases, such as
those for Lone Scouts or Scouts more than six months past
their 18th birthday, councils must submit applications via
mail, email, or fax for manual processing.
22.214.171.124 National Advancement Team Returns Credentials
The National Advancement Team validates all
applications received. Then the National Distribution
Center generates the credentials and prints, packages,
and mails the certificate, pocket card, and congratulatory
letter to the council. Applications sent for manual
processing go to the National Advancement Team and
take several weeks to complete. Upon receipt of the Eagle
credentials, council service center personnel should alert
unit leadership immediately.
126.96.36.199 The Eagle Scout Service Project
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,No. 512-927, in meeting this requirement.
—Eagle Scout requirement 5
188.8.131.52 What an Eagle Scout Candidate Should Expect
While working toward completion of the Eagle Scout
service project, especially during the proposal approval
process, a candidate has the right to expect the following:
An advancement administrator is a member or chair of a council or district advancement committee, or a volunteer or professional designated according to local practices, to assist in advancement administration.
- Questioning and probing for his understanding of the
project, the proposal, and what must be done, shall
be conducted in a helpful, friendly, courteous, and
kind-hearted manner. We will respect the Scout’s
dignity. He will be allowed, if he chooses, to have
a parent, unit leader, or other adult present as an
observer at any time he is discussing his proposal
or project with someone who is reviewing it.
- Project expectations will match Eagle Scout
requirement 5, and we will not require proposals
to include more than described in the Eagle Scout
Service Project Workbook.
- If requested by the Scout or his parent or guardian,
an explanation of a proposal rejection will be
provided in writing, with a copy sent to the council
advancement chair and staff advisor. It will indicate
reasons for rejection and suggestions concerning
what can be done to achieve approval.
- Guidance that maximizes the opportunity for
completion of a worthwhile project will be readily
available and strongly recommended. Ultimately,
however, the responsibility for success belongs to the
Scout, and final evaluation is left to the board of review.
- If the candidate believes he has been mistreated
or his proposal wrongfully rejected, he will be
provided a method of redress. This will include
the opportunity for a second opinion and approval,
either through another volunteer or professional
advancement administrator, or the Scout executive,
as determined by the council advancement
committee or executive board.
184.108.40.206 "While a Life Scout ..."
Work on a project, including planning, begins after
the Life Scout board of review. But this is not meant to
preclude an enthusiastic Star Scout from talking with his
Scoutmaster, religious leader, or principal about what a
good project might be.
220.127.116.11 "Plan, Develop ..."
Planning and development require forethought, effort,
and time—sometimes more than for execution. Thus,
for the most part, they are considered part of the project
and are detailed further once a proposal is approved.
It is inappropriate to expect a Scout to invest the time
required for detailed planning, only to face the prospect
of rejection. See "Proposal Must Be Approved … Before You Start," 18.104.22.168.
It is important not to categorically reject projects that, on
the surface, may not seem to require enough planning
and development. Consider, for example, a blood drive.
Often rejected out of hand, this project, if done properly,
could be acceptable. Few would question the beneficiary.
Blood banks save lives—thousands of them: maybe yours,
maybe that of a loved one. If the candidate proposes
to use a set of “canned” instructions from the bank,
implemented with no further planning, the planning effort
would not meet the test.
On the other hand, there are councils in which Scouts
and advancement committees have met with blood bank
officials and worked out approaches that can comply.
Typically these involve developing marketing plans and
considering logistics. People successful in business know
how important these skills are. Some blood banks will
also set a minimum for blood collected as a measure of
a successful plan. To provide another valuable lesson,
they may require the candidate to keep at it until he’s
met this goal.
A good test of any project is to evaluate its complexity.
In the case of a blood drive, for example, elements
of challenge and complexity can be added so there
is a clear demonstration of planning, development,
22.214.171.124 "Give Leadership to Others ..."
“Others” means at least two people besides the Scout.
Helpers may be involved in Scouting or not, and of
any age appropriate for the work. In cases where just
three people are not able to conduct a project to the
satisfaction of a beneficiary, then more would be
advisable. It may be, however, that a well-chosen
project conducted by only three provides an impact
not achievable with those involving more.
One of the purposes for the project is to demonstrate
leadership, but this could be considered a more
important element, perhaps, for a Scout who has not
yet established himself as a leader. It is for reasons like
these that every project must be evaluated, case-by-case,
on its merits, and on lessons that will advance the
candidate’s growth. Councils, districts, and units shall
not establish requirements for the number of people led,
or their makeup, or for time worked on a project. Nor
shall they expect Scouts from different backgrounds,
with different experiences and different needs, all to
work toward a particular standard. The Eagle Scout
service project is an individualized experience.
Councils, districts, and units shall not establish requirements for the number of people led, or their makeup, or for time worked on a project.
126.96.36.199 "Helpful to Any Religious Institution, Any School, or Your Community"
“Any religious institution” and “any school” are selfexplanatory.
But what does “your community” mean?
In today’s world of instant communications and speedy
travel, we are affected more and more by what goes
on all over the world. Prices for goods and services,
investment values, our very safety, and how we feel
about those less fortunate in other countries, all are
involved. Thus, if a Scout wants to take his oath “to help
other people” more expansively and put his project to
work for the “community of the world,” he is allowed to
do so. A council may emphasize more local efforts but
should not deny worthy projects of a wider scope.
If a Scout wants to take his oath "to help other people" more expansively and put his project to work for the "community of the world," he is allowed to do so.
Normally “your community” would not refer to individuals,
although a council or district advancement committee
may consider scenarios where an individual in need can
affect a community. An example might involve elderly
persons able to live at home but unable to maintain their
property, with the result being an “attractive nuisance”
or related dangerous situations, or even an eyesore—
something that raises concern to more than that of just
an individual. If it can be determined the community
benefits, then it is a matter of identifying who will provide
approvals. They must come from a source representing
the “community,” such as a neighborhood association,
watch group, homeowners association, or perhaps a
division of a town or county.
The project beneficiary need not be a registered nonprofit.
Projects may not be of a commercial nature or for a
business, but this is not meant to disallow community
institutions that would otherwise be acceptable to the
council or district advancement committee. These might
include museums and various service agencies, or some
homes for the elderly, for example. Some aspect of a
business’s operation provided as a community service
may also be considered; for example, a park open to
the public that happens to be owned by a business.
In cases such as these, the test is whether the project
primarily benefits the community, as opposed to the
profits of the business.
188.8.131.52 "Benefit an Organization Other Than Boy Scouting"
To help project beneficiaries understand the Eagle Scout service project requirement along with the responsibilities and the rights that come with the benefit, the national Advancement Committee has prepared an information sheet for project beneficiaries, called "Navigating the Eagle Scout Service Project," which appears in the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook.
“To help other people at all times” is a basic tenet.
The Eagle Scout service project is an important and
meaningful opportunity to practice what we teach.
Projects must not be performed for the Boy Scouts of
America or its councils, districts, units, camps, and
so forth. The unit’s chartered organization, however,
is certainly a good candidate, as are other youth
organizations such as the American Heritage Girls
or the Girl Scouts of the USA.
184.108.40.206 "Proposal Must Be Approved ... Before You Start"
The Five Tests of an Acceptable Eagle Scout Service
Project. The proposal is an overview, but also the
beginnings of planning. It shows the unit leader and any
representatives of a unit committee, council, or district,
that the following tests can be met.
- The project provides sufficient opportunity to meet
- The project appears to be feasible.
- Safety issues will be addressed.
- Action steps for further detailed planning are included.
- The young man is on the right track with a
reasonable chance for a positive experience.
The detail required for a proposal depends on project
complexity. It must be enough to provide a level of
confidence for a council or district reviewer that the
above tests can be met, but not so much that—based
on the possibility a proposal can be rejected—it does
not respect the time it takes to prepare.
The form for preparing a proposal appears in the
Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, No. 512-927.
Completing it will represent a reasonable time investment
and an introductory learning experience, and also
provide the information needed for approval. The
candidate shall not be required to submit more than is
described there, or more than is necessary to establish
that a project can meet the above tests.
Space is provided in the workbook for the candidate
to record comments made during discussions with the
district or council volunteer going over the proposal. A
thorough review should generate numerous suggestions,
cautions, and perhaps concerns (see "What an Eagle Scout Candidate Should Expect," 220.127.116.11). The Scout should be encouraged to write these down and take them seriously. When the reviewer is satisfied the above tests can be met, then approval is granted.
It is important to be as considerate of an Eagle Scout
candidate’s time as we expect him to be of ours. He is
probably just as busy. Every attempt should be made to
complete the approval process in one meeting. Then he
should be challenged to work on his planning action steps
and to consider scheduling time with his Eagle Scout
service project coach for progress reports and further
guidance (see "Eagle Scout Service Project Coach,"18.104.22.168). It is advisable that one of these meetings with
the coach be held after the Scout has done his planning
and is ready to begin actual work on his project.
The unit committee is responsible for an approval of the proposal. It is acceptable for a troop, team, crew,or ship committee to designate representative(s) to act on its behalf. This is a unit decision. Neither the district nor the council may institute restrictions, such as how many committee members are to be involved.
It is acceptable for the coach or the advancement administrator responsible for approval—if he or she becomes concerned the project will not meet the
requirements or it will not be completed to the satisfaction
of the benefiting organization—to contact the Scout and
his parent or guardian, or unit leader and, as
appropriate, a representative of the beneficiary.
However, even though the project coach may provide
guidance critical to success, final design issues are
ultimately between the Scout and the beneficiary. For
limitations on the coach’s role, see "Eagle Scout Service Project Coach," 22.214.171.124.
From time to time Scouts will “jump the gun” and begin
fundraising efforts—or even work on the project itself—
before a proposal is approved. This is counter to the
requirements and well covered in multiple documents,
but still it happens. Normally then, a Scout should select
a different project. If circumstances are compelling,
however—indicating leniency can be extended and a
lesson learned without significant detriment to fulfilling the
project’s purpose—the Scout may be allowed to carry on
and have his proposal or project approved after the fact.
The project beneficiary can stop work on an approved project at any time. If enough has been done—such that the requirement's intent has been met—then the project should still be given final approval. In extreme cases where changes could involve such issues as violations of law or BSA policy,or if they bring about unacceptable levels of risk, then district or council advancement administrators may bring this to the attention of the Scout, his parent or guardian, and his unit leader, and call for work to be suspended until compliance is achieved.
Because it is virtually impossible to forecast every
contingency, candidates must be allowed a level of
flexibility in carrying out proposals and planning action
steps. But essential elements of a proposal should not
be changed without good reason. If this must occur, the
Scout should consult his project coach or unit leader for
advice. It is appropriate to strongly suggest he share
substantive changes with the project beneficiary, and
also with those involved in preapprovals.
If it appears changes will cause results to fall below what
is required, then cautionary advice is in order. Except
under extreme circumstances, it is not acceptable for unit,
or council or district, approval to be withdrawn. If the
young man decides to strike out on his own, this is his
prerogative. At some point, responsibility must take over.
The board of review decides whether planning was
sufficient and if the requirement was met.
126.96.36.199 "Use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook"
Using the workbook, No. 512-927, helps candidates avoid
pitfalls. If properly used, it very nearly assures success. It
shows approvals have been secured, lists important
limitations, suggests questions for those approving the
project, and includes outlines for the proposal and the more
detailed project plan that should come next.
The workbook should not, however, become a basis for
rejecting candidates based on “technicalities” that have
nothing to do with requirement intent. While the use of the
workbook is required, this does not mean that every line
or even every form must be completed. In most cases
Scouts should fully complete the proposal and project
report, and be strongly encouraged to complete the
project plan. However, at times it may not be feasible or
just not necessary for establishing that the requirement
The requirement that Scouts use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook means they must use the official document as produced by the Boy Scouts of America. Although it is acceptable to copy and distribute it, and even to transfer it to a different software platform or operating system, it must maintain the same appearance. No council, district,unit, or individual has the authority to require additional forms, or to add or change requirements,or to make any additions, deletions, or changes in the text, outlines, graphics, or other layout or informational elements of the workbook.
If it is clear the project was completed and approved of,
and meets Eagle Scout requirement 5 as it is written,
then the project should be considered. If it will be a
hardship, or a poor use of time to fill in missing
information or obtain a signature of a party who is
unavailable or by some other means known to have
approved it, then it is appropriate to accept it. There is
something to be said for “object lessons,” but keep in
mind that write-ups and signatures, though important, are
simply supportive. It is a project that we require. Boards of
review should use common sense: Did the project meet the
requirements or not? Was there planning and
development? Was there leadership of others?
The workbook should not become a basis for rejecting candidates based on "technicalities" that have nothing todo with the intent of the requirement.
188.8.131.52 Eagle Scout Service Project Coach
The Eagle Scout service project coach is the subject matter
expert on the processes and standards of the service project.
He is the key to success in council or district efforts to provide
guidance as Scouts work to fulfill requirement 5. The
following are important examples of ways in which the
coach can influence a Scout’s project:
- Meet with a Scout after his proposal has been
approved but before work begins on the project plan.
- Ask the Scout to describe how he will plan the project,
then offer him advice accordingly.
- Emphasize those elements of a plan that, if ignored,
could stop work or create health and safety issues.
- Remind the Scout to share his plan with the project
beneficiary; the beneficiary should be fully aware of
what will be done. Note that plans for an Eagle Scout
service project are between the Scout and the
beneficiary. Coaches do not approve project plans.
- Be available to the Scout as a consultant should he
have questions about the planning process.
- Meet with the Scout to review his project plan;
discuss its strengths, weaknesses, and risks;
and suggest critical improvements.
- Discuss the project report with the Scout and offer
advice on how to make a strong presentation at his
board of review.
Remember that any contact with the Scout must be
conducted according to Youth Protection procedures.
Experience has taught us the most effective approach to
providing coaches is for the council or district to organize
a pool of volunteers willing to serve in that capacity, and
then designate them to individual Eagle Scout candidates.
Many units have used service project “mentors” or
“advisors” through the decades since the Eagle Scout
service project came to be. This practice has provided
consistent positive contributions and should continue.
Their efforts, however, should serve to provide ongoing
support throughout project planning and execution and to
prepare a Scout to work with the council or district
designated project coach.
The role of the designated project coach is not intended to
require so close an association with a Scout that it
becomes impossible for a council or district to recruit
enough of them to work with candidates whose proposals
have been approved. The more ongoing and close
association should come from unit volunteers or parents
assisting in support roles. It is recognized, however, that
some councils or districts may not have the volunteer
capacity to provide designated coaches. For this reason,
the council advancement committee may decide to
designate the project coach from among unit volunteers.
But they should do so with the understanding that a coach
who is designated within a unit should represent the
perspective of the council or district.
Regardless the source of project coaches, they must
adhere to the Eagle Scout service project process as
described in this section of the Guide to Advancement.
Coaches do not have approval authority. Instead they
serve to encourage—not direct—the young men to make
the kinds of decisions that will lead to successful outcomes.
It is true a Scout need not accept the assistance of the
service project coach. Regardless, it is considered best
for the council or district to designate one for every Scout
who submits a project proposal for approval. The coach
should then contact the Scout and suggest a first meeting,
or telephone or video conference. Scouts have already
promised when they submit a proposal that they have
read the service project workbook, and thus they should
already understand a coach is optional. If a young man
suggests he doesn’t need one, he should be counseled on
the value a coach can add. Ultimately, however, working
with a designated Eagle Scout service project coach is
the Scout’s decision.
It is up to the council to determine who may serve as project coaches and how they might be assigned or otherwise provided to candidates. Coaches must be registered with the BSA (in any position) and be current in BSA Youth Protection training.
It is important to note that Eagle service project coaches
do not have the authority to dictate changes; withdraw
approval that was previously granted, such as by the
council or district; or take any other such directive action.
Instead, coaches must use the BSA method of positive
adult association, logic, and common sense to help the
candidate make wise decisions.
In many cases, candidates will not have undertaken
something like an Eagle service project. Thus, we want
them to obtain guidance from others, share ideas, seek
plan reviews, and go through other processes professional
project planners might use. But like a professional, the
Scout makes the decisions. He must not simply follow
others’ directions to the point where his own input
becomes insignificant. On the other hand, adult leaders
must bear in mind he is yet a youth. Expectations must
be reasonable and fitting.
184.108.40.206 Fundraising Issues
Projects may not be fundraisers. In other words, the
candidate may not stage an effort that primarily collects
money, even if it is for a worthy charity. Fundraising is
permitted only for securing materials and otherwise
facilitating a project. And unless it involves contributions
only from the beneficiary, or from the candidate, his
parents or relatives, his unit or its chartered organization,
or from parents or members in his unit, it must be
approved by the local council.
The Eagle Scout Service Project Fundraising
Application must not be required to accompany the
project proposal. At that point in the process, the
Scout may not have enough information to complete
Fundraising for an Eagle Scout service project shall not
be required of any candidate. Whether or not
fundraising takes place is the Scout’s decision based on
the needs of his project. The BSA prefers, in fact, that
Scouts choose projects that can be done at little or no
cost. Fundraising—especially on a larger scale—has tax,
accounting, and other legal implications, in which minors
should not be involved. Thus, if fundraising is to take
place, it is best that it be kept simple. Typical unit
fundraisers with which unit leadership is familiar, such as
car washes, are the best options. Another alternative,
contingent on local council approval, is the use of
“crowdfunding” via the Internet. If this method is used,
however, then all concerned, from the Scout and his
parent or guardian to the unit leader and those
approving fundraising at the local council, should be
aware that fees may be involved and that fundraising for
something like an Eagle project may or may not comply
with the website’s terms of service. There can be other
issues as well, such as what to do if more—or less—than
what is needed is raised. It is important that someone in
a position of responsibility reads and understands the
website’s “fine print.”
If fundraising takes place, Eagle candidates must also be
allowed the choice not to be involved in it. If Scouts do
give leadership to fundraising efforts, then this can be
considered in fulfilling that part of requirement 5 to “give
leadership to others.” If Scouts are not involved, or if all
of the contributions come from relatives, for example, the
Scout shall not be penalized. His leadership in the project
itself should be the primary basis for determining whether
requirement 5 has been met.
The Scout must make it clear to all donors or event
participants that the money is being raised on behalf of
the project beneficiary, which will retain leftover funds.
Should any donors want documentation of a gift, this
must be provided through the project beneficiary, not the
Boy Scouts of America. Once collected, money raised
must be turned over to the beneficiary or the candidate’s
unit until needed for the project. If the unit receives the
funds, it must release any excess to the beneficiary once
expenses have been paid.
If the beneficiary is not allowed, for whatever reason, to
retain any excess funds, supplies, or materials, the
beneficiary should be asked to designate a suitable
charity to receive them or allow the unit to retain the
funds. The unit must not influence this decision.
For additional detail see “Procedures and Limitations on
Eagle Scout Service Project Fundraising,” found in the
Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, No. 512-927,
on the reverse of the Eagle Scout Service Project
The Eagle Scout Service Project Fundraising Application,
found in the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, is
used to obtain approval when required. Note that local
councils may add further definition to the standards
established here or on the application form. For example,
they could state that fundraisers such as bake sales and
car washes do not require a fundraising application and
are, in essence, preapproved. They could also establish
dollar thresholds; for example, “Any effort expected to
raise less than $500 does not require an application.”
Completed forms are sent to the local council service
center where they are routed to those responsible for
approval. This may be a district executive or another staff
member, the council or district advancement committee, a
finance committee, etc., as determined appropriate by
the local council.
220.127.116.11 Routine Labor
Routine labor is not normally considered appropriate
for a project. This might be defined as a job or service
that a Scout may provide as part of his daily life, or a
routine maintenance job normally done by the beneficiary
(for example, picking the weeds on the football field at a
school). But the real test has to do with scale and impact.
If “routine labor” is conducted on so large a scale it
requires planning, development, and leadership, it may
have sufficient impact.
18.104.22.168 Addressing Common Misconceptions
- No unit, district, council, or individual shall place
any requirement or other standard on the number of
hours spent on a project. The Boy Scouts of America
collects data about time worked on Eagle Scout
service projects only because it points to a level of
excellence in achieving the BSA aim related
- Eagle Scout service projects are individual matters.
No more than one candidate may receive credit for
working on the same project.
- There is no requirement a project must have
- Any plans completed after the project proposal has
been approved by the council or district are between
the Scout and the beneficiary. The role of beneficiaries
in reviewing plans is explained in the service project
beneficiary information sheet, “Navigating the Eagle
Scout Service Project,” that is posted on the
Advancement Resources page at www.scouting.org/advancement, and is included in the Eagle Scout
Service Project Workbook.
22.214.171.124 Evaluating the Project After Completion
Eagle Scout service projects must be evaluated primarily
on impact—the extent of benefit to the religious
institution, school, or community, and on the leadership
provided by the candidate. There must also be evidence
of planning and development. This is not only part of
the requirement, but relates to practicing our motto to
“Be Prepared.” However, in determining if a project
meets requirement 5, reviewers must not require more
planning and development than necessary to execute the
project. These elements must not overshadow the project
itself, as long as the effort was well led, and resulted in
otherwise worthy outcome acceptable to the beneficiary.
There may be instances where, upon its completion, the
unit leader or project beneficiary chooses not to approve
a project. One or the other may determine, for example,
that modifications were so significant that the extent of
service or the impact of the project were insufficient to
warrant approval. The candidate may be requested to do
more work or even start over with another project. He
may choose to meet these requests, or he may decide—if
he believes his completed project worthy and in
compliance—to complete his Eagle Scout Rank
Application and submit his project workbook without
final approval. He must be granted a board of review,
should he request it.
If it is thought a unit board may not provide a fair hearing,
a board of review under disputed circumstances may be
initiated. (See "Initiating Eagle Scout Board of Review Under Disputed Circumstances," 126.96.36.199.) The risk in this
approach—that the board may decide negatively—should
be discussed with the Scout. But at the same time, the fact
he is so convinced may point to a need to reevaluate what
was done. Perhaps, despite the lack of final approval, the
project did indeed meet the requirement.
At the board of review, if an approved proposal and any subsequent effort represents planning and development that was adequate to the project,and the project was well led and carried out to the satisfaction of the unit leader and project beneficiary,only in a very rare case would rejection result.
From time to time, beneficiaries unfamiliar with the Eagle
Scout service project process may decline to approve a
completed project even though it was helpful and had a
positive impact. For example, there have been situations
in which beneficiaries sought to require last-minute
additions before signing off, and others where new
management had different ideas about what should have
been done. In these cases it is appropriate for the Scout
to move forward without the final approval, and for the
board of review to understand that the requirement has
been met, regardless.
At the board of review, if an approved proposal and any
subsequent effort represents planning and development
that was adequate to the project, and the project was
well led and carried out to the satisfaction of the unit
leader and project beneficiary, only in a very rare case
would rejection result. It would have to be clearly
established that Eagle Scout requirement 5—as written—
was not completed. Under no circumstances shall project
approval at any point in the process be withheld for
reasons that have nothing to do with the project.
188.8.131.52 Risk Management and Eagle Scout Service Projects
All Eagle Scout service projects constitute official Scouting
activity and thus are subject to Boy Scouts of America
policies and procedures. Projects are considered part
of a unit’s program and are treated as such with regard
to policies, procedures, and requirements regarding
Youth Protection, two-deep leadership, etc.
The health and safety of those working on Eagle projects
must be integrated into project execution. Since an Eagle
Scout service project is a unit activity, unit adult leadership
has the same responsibility to assure safety in conducting a
project as with any other unit activity. The unit leader or unit
committee should reject proposals for inherently unsafe
projects. The candidate should plan for safe execution, but it
must be understood that minors cannot and must not be held
responsible for safety concerns.
As with any Scouting activity, the Guide to Safe Scouting
applies. The “Sweet 16 of BSA Safety” must also be
consulted as an appropriate planning tool. It can be found
online at “Scouting Safely,” http://www.scouting.org/HealthandSafety/Sweet16.aspx.
See "Service Projects," 184.108.40.206, for general guidelines on service project safety requirements and for information about related documents from the national Health and Safety Committee.
Unit leadership should be aware of project plans
and schedules, and also familiar with the council’s
requirements for filing tour and activity plans in order to
determine whether projects require them. More
information can be found http://www.scouting.org/HealthandSafety/TourPlanFAQ.aspx.
220.127.116.11 Insurance and Eagle Scout Service Projects
The Boy Scouts of America’s General Liability Policy
provides general liability insurance coverage for official
Scouting activities. Registered adult leaders are provided
primary coverage. Unregistered adults participating in a
Scouting activity are provided coverage in excess of their
Every council has the opportunity to participate in the
BSA Accident and Sickness insurance program. It
provides some insurance for medical and dental bills
arising from Scouting activities. If councils do not
purchase this, then units may contract for it. In some
cases chartered organizations might provide insurance,
but this must not be assumed. Most of these programs
provide only secondary coverage, and are limited to
registered youth and adults and those interested in
18.104.22.168 Eagle Scout Service Projects and Messengers of Peace
Any Scout or Scouter who participates in a service
project—Eagle Scout, Quartermaster, and Venturing
Summit Award service projects included—that has a
significant impact on the community in any one of the
following three dimensions may qualify as a “Messengers
of Peace” and wear the Messengers of Peace ring patch
available from Scout shops.
- The personal dimension: harmony, justice, and equality
- The community dimension: peace as opposed to
hostility or violent conflict
- Relationships between humankind and its
environment: security, social and economic welfare,
and relationship with the environment
Since Eagle Scout service projects are conducted for
religious institutions, schools, or the community—and
would thus directly or indirectly impact one of the three
dimensions—almost all Eagle projects would certainly
qualify as Messengers of Peace projects. Thus, when
reporting project hours through the Journey to Excellence
service hours website, “Messengers of Peace” should be
selected as one of the categories for the project description.
For more information about Messengers of Peace, please visit www.scouting.org/messengersofpeace.
22.214.171.124 About Eagle Palms
Scouts or qualified Venturers and Sea Scouts may earn
Palms after they have achieved the Eagle Scout rank.
The requirements can be found in the Boy Scout
Requirements book. All of the requirements except the
board of review must be completed before age 18, and
time extensions are not available. Merit badges earned
at any time since becoming a Scout may be used.
Palms must be earned in sequence, one at a time
(Bronze, Gold, Silver), with the time requirement
observed for each one. Palms are not considered ranks,
but rather degrees of the Eagle Scout rank.
126.96.36.199 Time Extensions
If a youth foresees that, due to no fault or choice of his
own, he will be unable to complete the Eagle Scout rank
requirements before age 18, he may apply for a limited
time extension. See "Request for Extension of Time to Earn Eagle Scout Rank," 188.8.131.52, found in the
appendix. These are rarely granted and reserved only for
work on Eagle. If a Scout requests a time extension, he
should continue working on the requirements as
processing occurs. In most cases, for a request to be
considered the following five tests must be met.
The Boy Scouts of America will welcome Scouts back after periods of inactivity. However, all time-oriented requirements must still be met. Scouts reactivating too late to complete time-related requirements will not be granted extensions, nor will those who remained active but simply did not focus on advancement.
1. The member joined or rejoined—or became active
again after a period of inactivity—in time to complete
all requirements before turning 18. That is, the time
remaining between joining, or rejoining, and when
the Scout turns 18 is more than the total of the
active-time requirements for the ranks left to achieve.
2. A circumstance came to exist that now precludes
completion before the deadline. Examples might
include a health-related incident requiring a hospital
stay, a disabling injury, a significant employment
conflict, a family relocation, a family emergency, a
natural disaster, severe unseasonable weather that
could not have been anticipated, or unforeseen
actions of others affecting the youth’s ability to
complete the requirements. It is extremely unlikely an
extension will be granted if resolution of the
circumstance—such as recovery from an injury, for
example—still allows enough time for an adequate
service project, or for completing the position of
responsibility, active participation, or merit badge
requirements if they have not already been met.
3. The circumstance is totally beyond the control of
the youth member. Injuries, unanticipated family
incidents, or various mistakes or omissions by adults,
for example, could be legitimate causes. The
Boy Scouts of America assumes anyone working
on Boy Scout ranks has a Boy Scout Handbook
and has read the requirements. Despite this,
misinformation from unit leadership is often cited
as grounds for extensions. These cases will be
considered, but they should be very rare and would
point to a need for basic training and assistance.
4. The circumstance is severe and not the norm of
the Scout’s life. In most cases, Scouts are expected
to overcome life’s ordinary trials. Cause for an
extension normally requires an extraordinary
circumstance uncommon to the youth. For example,
known circumstances such as moderate learning
disabilities or ADD/ADHD that the Scout has faced
over many years and which he has coped with in the
past, should not suddenly become an issue shortly
before his 18th birthday.
It is important for council and district advancement
committees to keep unit leadership informed of this
so it does not become a surprise. An exception might
be considered for Scouts with significant disabilities
that do not meet the level of severity or permanence
required for registration beyond the age of eligibility,
but are such that they essentially preclude
advancement within the timeframe allowed.
5. The circumstance could not have been planned for or
anticipated. If it is health-related, it should have been
unforeseen and of recent onset, or a complication or
intensification of an ongoing issue.
The list above is meant to give volunteers an idea of how requests for time extensions are evaluated. They are not precise tests.Each case is considered individually.
184.108.40.206 Process for Submitting and Evaluating an Extension Request
If a Sea Scout foresees that, due to no fault or choice of his or her own, he or she will be unable to complete the Quartermaster rank requirements before age 21, the same tests, process, and form described here in topics 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168 apply,and must be followed to request an extension of time to earn the Quartermaster rank.
See "Request for Extension of Time to Earn Eagle Scout Rank," 22.214.171.124, in the appendix, and check the box at the top of the page indicating the Quartermaster rank is involved.
The council advancement committee’s role is to select at
least two committee members to research the request, collect
and evaluate evidence, recommend action to the Scout, and
if requested, provide the evidence with a position statement
to the National Advancement Team. Throughout the process,
it must be remembered that time is of the essence.
The local council does not grant or deny time extensions. These are granted only through the national Advancement Team after consideration of local council recommendations.
- The Scout, his parent or guardian, his unit leader, or
a member of the unit committee may file the request.
It is sent to the council service center to the attention
of the council’s designated appeals coordinator.
It is preferred that requests be submitted before the
18th birthday or, if not, the reason for the delay is
stated. The request must indicate the number of
months after the 18th birthday that will be necessary
to complete the requirements.
See "Filing and Processing an Appeal,"126.96.36.199, for information about the designated appeals coordinator.
- The request must document the circumstances.
For example, if the cause is health related, then a
statement from a health professional must be provided.
If the cause relates to adult error or misinformation,
then the adult(s) involved, if available, must provide
a statement. It is not sufficient simply to provide a
summary of occurrences without the support of
information from those with personal knowledge
of what happened.
- The council advancement chair and staff advisor
select at least two council advancement committee
members who will research the request and prepare
a summary report for the council advancement
committee. The council-designated appeals coordinator
should brief them on the procedures outlined herein.
They should obtain statements from those with
knowledge of the case, or interview them and then
prepare written summaries. The candidate must
be included in the process in order to ascertain
circumstances were beyond his control, as must any
adults available who committed errors or provided
misinformation. In some cases, it is a good idea to
hold face-to-face interviews—for example, those
where the lack of a Boy Scout Handbook or
ignorance of requirements is cited.
Prior to submitting a request for an extension to the National Advancement Team, the council should confirm that the Scout's advancement records in the BSA system are up to date. If records are not current, it takes longer to consider extension requests.
- The council advancement committee must review
the evidence and prepare a position statement.
This is shared with the Scout, his parent or guardian,
and his unit leader. The council, however, does not
grant or deny the extension. Only the National
Advancement Team has that authority.
- The Scout then decides whether to pursue the extension
with the National Advancement Team. If affirmative,
the Request for Extension of Time to Earn Eagle Scout
Rank form (see 188.8.131.52) must be fully completed
and then signed by the Scout executive. It must
provide a recommendation for acceptance or denial,
and indicate the length of the desired extension. A
packet with the supporting documentation, the
position statement, and the extension request form is
then forwarded to the National Advancement Team.
The position statement must be more than a cover
letter; it must address the evidence gathered and
include an explanation of how the requested amount
of time was calculated. All requests, letters, and
position statements must include the date and
signature of the author. A decision can usually be
delivered within two to four weeks. Packets without
complete information will be returned to the council
without further review.