A Scout's Guide to Earning Eagle
The journey from Life Scout to Eagle Scout
The Eagle Scout rank is a life-long achievement that's always carried a special significance. College, business, the military, and community service leaders all respect an Eagle Scout. This performance-based achievement has high standards that not everyone will earn. Only about 6 percent of all Scouts BSA members earn Eagle, making over 2 million Eagle Scouts since 1912.
Earning Eagle Scout
Scouts will use their Scout Handbook and troop/crew leadership to complete the requirements for the Eagle Scout rank. Because of the unique nature of this award, special procedures, forms, and resources are available to help the Scout, their families, and Scout leaders on the trail to Eagle. The national Boy Scouts of America website contains official policies and procedures for earning the Eagle Scout rank.
- Venturing - The Eagle Scout rank can be earned as a Venturer. The Scout must achieve the First Class rank in a traditional troop to continue the rest of the requirements in a Venturing crew. There are Venturing leadership positions that can be used to earn the Eagle rank. The crew advisor should be knowledgeable about the Eagle Scout requirements.
Required forms for Eagle: Rank Application and Service Project Workbook
Attaining Eagle can be daunting but is also very rewarding! There are plenty of materials to guide Scouts on their journey. These resources are available through the Boy Scouts of America national website and here on our council's website.
- The Scout must complete the official Eagle Scout Rank Application, No. 512-728. No other form or application method is permitted.
- The Scout must complete the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, No. 512-927. No other form is permitted.
Life to Eagle Previews
Life to Eagle Previews are designed for every Star and Life Scout, their parents. and unit leaders. These sessions provide the resources and information that all Scouts, parents, and leaders need to know to make the Eagle process as seamless as possible. In-person and virtual events are typically held in the Spring and Fall and are hosted by members of the Council Advancement Committee. Our “On Demand Life to Eagle Preview” will provide the same information as the live events, but without the opportunity to ask specific questions. We also have a downloadable slide presentation without a voiceover that unit leaders can use to present the content themselves at troop meetings.
View our On Demand Life to Eagle Preview
Open the slides to host your own presentation
Eagle Scout Service Project
The Eagle Scout Service project is one of the most recognizable parts of earning the Eagle Rank. 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 the BSA.) A project proposal must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your unit leader, the unit committee, and the district advancement team before you start. You must use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook No. 512-927, in meeting this requirement. All proposal approval signatures and project fundraising form approvals are done by your local district advancement team.
Eagle Project Timeline Tool
Eagle Advancement Team by District
Confidential Reference Letters
An Eagle candidate must list six references on their Eagle Scout Rank Application. The only line you may leave blank is employer (if any). As a courtesy to the board of review members, confidential reference letters are requested by the unit leader (or designee) on behalf of the Eagle candidate from these references. The confidential letters are submitted with the Eagle Scout paperwork to the council office. See Related Contents for a sample of the letters.
Resources for the Life Scout
These documents will assist in preparing the Eagle Scout Rank Application, filling out the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, and submitting paperwork to the council
- Eagle Scout Rank Application Process Checksheet
- Eagle Scout Service Project Process and Tips
- Application Check Sheet with Top 12 Mistakes
- Eagle Scout Confidential Reference Letters
- Eagle Scout data card
- Guide to Advancement Chapter 126.96.36.199
What to complete before turning 18
Be Prepared! There are four requirements that must be completed before a Life Scout turns 18.
- Requirement #3: Earn a minimum of 21 merit badges, 13 which are specifically required.
- Requirement #4: Complete six months of leadership while a Life Scout in an approved leadership position. See the Scouts BSA Handbook or Eagle Scout Rank Application for approved positions.
- Requirement #5: Eagle Scout Service Project. The physical project must be completed. (Completing the Project Report and obtaining final signatures can happen after turning 18.)
- Requirement #6: Unit leader conference.
Extension Requests to complete requirements after turning 18
If unforeseen circumstances have impacted a Scouts ability to meet Eagle Scout Requirements before turning 18 years old, a Scout may request an Extension ranging from one to six months to complete the requirements. The “Request for Extension of Time to Earn Eagle Scout Rank” may be submitted to the Council Advancement Committee by sending it to the contact(s) listed on the bottom of this page. See the BSA Guide to Advancement 188.8.131.52 " at https://www.scouting.org/programs/scouts-bsa/advancement-and-awards/resources/
- We always welcome back Scouts after inactivity. However, time-oriented requirements must still be met. Scouts reactivating too late to complete time-related requirements will not be granted extensions.
- If a Scout foresees that, due to no fault or choice of their own, they will be unable to complete the Eagle Scout rank requirements before age 18, they may apply for a limited time extension. Remember, school, sports, or work do not qualify as a reason for extension.
- Submitting completed paperwork to the council office after turning 18 does not need an extension as long as all requirements were met prior to turning 18.
National Eagle Scout Association/NESA Memberships
Visit the NESA website for NESA Eagle Scout membership and scholarship opportunities.
Replacement Wallet Cards and Certificates
Was your Eagle wallet card/certificate lost, destroyed, stolen, or eaten by the family dog? Have it replaced on the NESA website.
Eagle Scout Scholarship Opportunities
- NESA Hall/McElwain Merit Scholarship Application and other NESA Scholarship Information and Applications are available on the NESA website.
- Northern Star Council Eagle Scout Scholarships are offered for high school seniors each Fall. Check the council website for an application in October.