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 Boy Scouts earn Eagle, making about 2 million Eagle Scouts since 1912.

Earning Eagle Scout

Scouts will use their Scout Handbook and troop/crew/team 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.

Eagle Scout Expos/Previews

Obtain information regarding the Eagle Scout rank process, learn how to complete the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook and Rank Application, get project ideas and tips for boards of review, courts of honor, and more.

  • Who: All Star or Life Scouts AND their parents and leaders
  • When: Usually held twice a year. Dates, locations, and times are set by each District. Contact your District Executive for more information

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 Boy Scouting.) 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.

Confidential Reference Letters

An Eagle candidate must list six references on his 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
  • Application Check Sheet with Top Ten Mistakes
  • Eagle Scout Confidential Reference Letters
  • Eagle Scout data card
  • Guide to Advancement Chapter 9.0.l.0

What to complete before turning 18

Be Prepared! There are four requirements that must be completed before a Life Scout turns 18.

  1. Requirement #3: Earn a minimum of 21 merit badges, 13 which are specifically required.
  2. Requirement #4: Complete six months of leadership while a Life Scout in an approved leadership position. See the Boy Scout Handbook or Eagle Scout Rank Application for approved positions.
  3. 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.)
  4. Requirement #6: Unit leader conference.

Extension Requests to complete requirements after turning 18

We cannot grant or deny time extensions. These are only offered through the national Advancement Team after consideration of the Council Advancement Committee recommendations. See Guide to Advancement "Request for Extension of Time to Earn Eagle Scout Rank."

  • 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 his own, he will be unable to complete the Eagle Scout rank requirements before age 18, he 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.

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.

Contact Us

Need more help or information? Try our site search and staff directory.

A Scout's Guide to Earning Eagle

Printable Version Printable Version

Email to a friend Email to a friend