Advancement

Official Eagle Project Paperwork and Information

The BSA has made available on their web site copies of the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook at http://www.scouting.org/boyscouts/eagleproject/index.html. The workbook is available in Adobe Acrobat format (pdf) (which produces an exact copy of the workbook you can print out on your printer) and in rich text format (rtf), which can be read by any standard word processor and which would then allow you to type the whole thing end-to-end, without worrying about whether you had too much or too little information in any one section. It is apparently up to your council to decide whether to accept these or not, since requirement 5 says

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 should benefit an organization other than Boy Scouting.) The project idea must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your Scoutmaster and troop committee and the council or district before you start. You must use the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook, BSA publication No. 18-927A, in meeting this requirement.

The Advancement Committee of the Long Beach Area Council has determined that the use of the on-line forms by a Scout is acceptable.

BSA also makes a copy of the latest Eagle Scout Application form on their site. This printed form is also acceptable.


Visit the US Scouting Service Project

"Un"-Official Eagle Paperwork and Information

is available from the US Scouting Service Project. While an unofficial site, this is where to go for the latest requirements changes, updates, and helps for rank advancement.

Helpful documents which can be downloaded from their downloads page include:

In addition, much information is available at EagleScout.org. This site includes discussions of each requirement, and a number fo checklists to assist with preparing of the necessary documentation.
I composed the following document to describe the process for an advancement seminar for Scout Leaders in the Long Beach Area Council. This is a draft, unofficial document. Any errors or discrepancies are solely my fault -- if any are found, please contact me so that I can make any necessary corrections.

How the Life To Eagle Process Works In The Long Beach Area Council



The primary difference between this advancement and others in Boy Scouting is the direct involvement of the district (council) advancement committee, and the council itself. Other differences are a matter of degree.

The Eagle Project

The Scout has already participated in Service Projects in order to advance to Life. At this stage, he is expected to be able to find an idea for a project which appeals to him and which complies with the requirements for an Eagle Project, to plan it and organize it himself, and to lead a group of other scouts and adults through it to completion.

When to Begin the Project:

A Scout may begin working toward his Eagle service project anytime after his Life Board of Review, regardless of the number of merit badges he has earned. (It is recommended that he start IMMEDIATELY!) Before actually beginning work, his project idea and written plan must be approved by all of:

These signatures appear in the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, No. 18-927, available in the Council office or via the Internet at http://www.bsa.scouting.org/boyscouts/eagleproject/index.html in either Adobe Acrobat format or rich text format. The former (when printed) produces an exact duplicate of the printed workbook which must be filled in by hand or by typewriter; the latter is a looser format which can be read and filled in by any standard word processor. As stated above, all are acceptable in this Council.

What IS an Eagle Project?

A project must meet the requirements "PLAN, DEVELOP and GIVE LEADERSHIP to others..." as well as being useful to the recipient. When giving approval for an Eagle project, the project is not judged by its value to the recipient, (who has already signed), or to the community, but whether it allows the candidate to "PLAN, DEVELOP and GIVE LEADERSHIP".

If the opportunity to provide leadership is lacking or if planning and development were done by some one else, leaving the candidate only the task of assembling the crew, it is not an Eagle Project regardless of how desirable or valuable it might be to the recipient. (This is why the Council is reluctant to approve blood drives as Eagle Projects - most of the planning, setup, and direction is provided by the Agency collecting the blood.)

The project may benefit the community or a school, a church, a civic group, or similar organization, but may not benefit a Scouting group. A number of other rules apply. The Project may not be primarily a fund-raiser (although a fund-raiser may be necessary to obtain the funds to do another part of the project), it may not benefit a commercial (for-profit) concern, and it may not consist of "routine labor (or) a job or service normally rendered". (This is why the council is reluctant to approve collection projects -- too much like Scouting for Food -- or cleanup projects, which your troop could and should be doing anyway!)

District (Council) Project Approval

Please call early! Informal questions can be addressed to the council offices early in the process ("Is this type of thing gonna fly or not?") - no one wants a boy to have to do work over, or have a proposed project rejected after he's spent a great deal of time planning it. The preferred method is to call the Council (at 562-427-0911) for an appointment at the next meeting of the Eagle Board (typically the third Wednesday of every month), when the boy will be given an opportunity to explain his project and write-up. He might be given some suggestions, based on the Board's exposure to many other Eagle Projects, but at this stage, the write-up should have been reviewed by those listed above and should be in basically good shape.

Filing Paperwork

When the Project (and the Project Final Report) is completed, and all of the other requirements are completed, including the Scoutmaster Conference, the completed paperwork (Project Workbook and Project Report, and Eagle Application) should be turned in to the council office. (Make a copy before turning it in!) It is not necessary for him to submit the paperwork prior to his 18th birthday, as long as all of the requirements were completed by that date. However, if the Board of Review is held between 3 and 6 months after the boy's 18th birthday, the council must write a letter of explanation to National. Anything beyond that had better have an outstanding explanation!

The council will send out requests for letters of recommendation to the references listed on the Eagle Application. When 3 are received, the Board of Review will be scheduled. (If a Scout will be going away to college, joining the military, or may be otherwise unavailable when the references drift in, it behooves him to let his references know that the request will be coming and that he needs a relatively rapid response.)

While waiting for the references, the council will review the application for completeness - are the dates correct? Sufficient "time-in-grade" for Star, Life, and Eagle? Can the Merit Badges be verified from the unit's filed advancement reports? Any discrepancies must be resolved prior to the Board of Review. It is hoped that the Scout has all of his blue cards available in case a Merit Badge cannot be verified through the Council's or the unit's copy of filed advancement reports.

Eagle Board of Review

When everything is complete, the Scout s scheduled for the next Board of Review. Boards of Review are presently held at the Council offices in the evening on the third Wednesday of the month, but some flexibility is possible. Boards are scheduled by the council. Boards follow BSA guidelines (we won't ask a Scout to demonstrate a Carrick Bend, or perform CPR - that would be considered re-testing). Questions asked are to provide the Board (and the Scout!) with an idea of what the Scout is like, what his values are, and what he got out of Scouting.

After the Board

The Project Report and Workbook will be returned to the Scout while the application is sent electronically to National. (The electronic filing process checks for discrepancies, and won't permit filing an application with iconsistent dates.) Confirmation can be expected in about 2 weeks. National mails the paperwork (including certificates) back to the Council, and as soon as the Council receives them, a letter is sent to the Scoutmaster to come and pick them up. (If he hasn't heard anything in 3 weeks, the Scoutmaster should call the Council to see why.) The Scout's date of rank is the date of his Board of Review. It is suggested that he begin planning a Court of Honor ("but don't rent the hall just yet!")

Additional Information

Don't forget the Official BSA Web Site at http://www.bsa.scouting.org/and the US Scouting Service project Web Site at http://www.usscouts.org/ - both of these sites have a lot of useful information, and are frequently updated. The point of contact at the Council (562-427-0911) is Chuck Clark.

BSA Logo