Age Requirement Eligibility

Merit badges, badges of rank, and Eagle Palms may be earned by registered Scouts, including Lone Scouts, and by qualified Venturers or Sea Scouts who are not yet 18 years old. Venturers and Sea Scouts qualify by achieving First Class rank as a Scout or Lone Scout (or as a Varsity Scout prior to Jan. 1, 2018). The only exceptions for those older than age 18 are related to Scouts registered beyond the age of eligibility and those who have been granted time extensions to complete the Eagle Scout rank.

An Eagle Scout board of review may occur, without special approval, within three months after a Scout’s 18th birthday. If a board of review is to be held three to six months afterward, the local council must pre-approve it. To initiate approval, the candidate, the candidate’s parent or guardian, the unit leader, or a unit committee member attaches to the application a statement explaining the delay.  Consult the Guide to Advancement topic in the case where a board of review is to be conducted more than six months after a candidate’s 18th birthday.

If you have a permanent physical or mental disability, or a disability expected to last more than two years, or beyond age 18, you may become an Eagle Scout by qualifying for as many required merit badges as you can and qualifying for alternative merit badges for the rest. If you seek to become an Eagle Scout under this procedure, you must submit a special application to your local council service center. Your application must be approved by your council advancement committee before you can work on alternative merit badges.

A Scout, Venturer or a Sea Scout with a disability may continue to work toward rank advancement after their 18th birthday if they meet the guidelines in Section 10 of the Guide to Advancement.

Rank Advancement for Venturers and Sea Scouts

Any Venturer or Sea Scout who has achieved the First Class rank as a Scout or Lone Scout (or Varsity Scout prior to Jan. 1, 2018) may continue advancement up to their 18th birthday toward the Star, Life, and Eagle Scout ranks and Eagle Palms. Qualified Venturers and Sea Scouts must meet the requirements as prescribed in the official Scouts BSA handbooks and the Scouts BSA Requirements book.

The Venturer may fulfill leadership requirements by serving as president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, den chief, historian, guide, quartermaster, chaplain aide or outdoor ethics guide.

The Sea Scout may fulfill leadership requirements by serving as boatswain, boatswain’s mate, purser, yeoman, storekeeper, crew leader, media specialist, specialist, den chief, or chaplain aide.

The unit leader conference will be conducted by the Advisor or Skipper. As the Venturer or Sea Scout fulfills requirements for the Star and Life ranks, a board of review must be conducted by the crew or ship committee according to the procedures established by the National Council as published in the Guide to Advancement. Eagle Scout boards of review are conducted in accordance with the Guide to Advancement and procedures established by the local council.