Rank Requirements Archives - Page 2 of 2 - I Want My Eagle

New Scout Requirements 2016 – What To Know

There are a few articles that I wanted to share and bring to your attention so you all know what is changing in the new scout requirements.

Scout Rank Changing:

scout requirementsARTICLE: Bryan On Scouting – BSA Blog – Scout, currently a joining badge, to become its own rank – Bryan Wendell


Other Rank Changes:

scout requirements

ARTICLE: The Boy Scout Blog – Things Are a Changin’—Transitioning to the 2016 Boy Scout Requirements – Pualani Graham

Two important things to remember about the new requirements are:

  1. Whatever rank you are working on now, you can continue that rank with the current requirements with your next rank changing to the new ones in 2016.
  2. In 2017 you will be required to only use the new requirements for all ranks.

Don’t Forget – Most Commonly Skipped Eagle Requirement


Without question, the most overlooked requirement for Eagle, and the one that most kids are shocked about is the Life Purpose and Statement of Ambitions essay.  Yes, there is an essay that you have to write for your Eagle Rank!  Sorry, I know how much this hurts to hear that.  🙂  (Two of my life purpose(s) are sitting by me in the picture above.)

I would say about 90% of Eagle Candidates that I have coached are surprised when I bring this up and read to them the requirement right out of the book or on the Eagle Rank Application.  Here is what it says:

In preparation for your board of review, prepare and attach to your Eagle Scout Rank Application a statement of your ambitions and life purpose and a listing of positions held in your religious institution, school, camp, community, or other organizations, during which you demonstrated leadership skills. Include honors and awards received during this service.

The reason it is the most overlooked requirement is because the sentence begins with “Successfully complete an Eagle Scout board of review.” Most don’t read the rest of the requirement.  Do not make this mistake!  I wrote a blog post a few days ago about Filling Out Your Eagle Rank Application Correctly.  Check it out: Part 1 and Part 2

When my oldest son was working on finishing his Eagle paperwork, we made this mistake and found out, when he thought he was done and wanted to turn it in, that he had to write an essay and that just about killed the whole momentum.  Seriously!  After all that work and pain of filling out all the forms, it was the last straw on the camel’s back for him.  He was tough and completed it anyway and is glad that he did.

The key to helping scouts have a smooth and great experience is to have them read everything before they begin.  Read through the requirements again while they are working on it.  Then read them again at the end to make sure they have done everything and there are no surprises.

There is a reason why only 4-5% of all registered boy scouts attain the Eagle Rank.  It is because they are not willing to endure to the end and compete it.  Go for it and do it!  I have never heard anyone say, “I regret earning my eagle.”  But I have heard the opposite quite a bit.

Eagle Board of Review – What To Expect


It is very common for a scout to get really nervous for his Eagle Board of Review.  I wanted to write a post today about what happens in that Board of Review to help ease this worry.  What happens in the Board is not a secret and there are ways to prepare for it.  After all, a scout is prepared, right?

My first piece of advice to a scout about to attend his Eagle Board of Review is to remember that you would not have this appointment if you were not ready.  By the time your Board of Review is scheduled, so many people have checked and double-checked your project paperwork before this point, you should trust that nothing is missing.  If you were missing anything, you would know that before this point.

The second thing to remember is that this is NOT a test!  It functions exactly as it is called: a review.  You participated in many of these Boards of Review before for all of your previous ranks.  This one is no different, except that it is run by the district rather than your unit committee.

The third thing to remember is that the district committee members running the review want you to succeed just as much as you want to succeed, if not more.

Relax and enjoy it.  In order to make it to this point, you have already done the work required to attain the rank of Eagle.

Now, let me tell you what typically happens in the Board of Review and provide you some resources to help you prepare for it.  Keep in mind, this agenda may vary by district.

  1. Before the scout comes into the room, the members of the district advancement committee will read through all the project paperwork and all of the letters of recommendation that were sent in by the candidate’s references.
  2. The Eagle candidate, his family, and scout leader will come into the room to meet the three district advancement committee members. Everyone is introduced to one another.
  3. The Eagle candidate may be asked to offer a word of prayer to start the Board.
  4. The scout leader will be asked to introduce the Eagle Candidate to the Eagle Board.  This is just a 1-2 minute introduction about the scout.
  5. Depending on the district committee, they may ask the Eagle candidate to recite the Scout Oath and Scout Law at this point, or they may do this after family members have been dismissed.  This recitation is the only thing you are really “tested” on during the Board, so make sure you have it learned and practiced.
  6. The family will be dismissed to wait outside until the Board of Review is complete.  The Unit Leader can stay if the Eagle candidate requests.
  7. The advancement committee members proceed to ask questions about a variety of things including the Eagle Project, leadership positions, scouting career, merit badges earned, camp-outs, and what you have learned in your scouting journey.  None of these should be a test but a review.  You will not be required to show them how to tie a knot, or prove that you did anything for a merit badge.  This questioning could last as few as 15 minutes or as long as 30 minutes.
  8. The Eagle Board will dismiss the Eagle candidate to wait outside while they deliberate and discuss the scout’s demonstrated leadership and completed requirements for the Eagle Rank.
  9. The committee members will invite the candidate back in with his family and scout leader and will inform him whether or not he has passed.  In the event that a scout does not pass (which is very rare*), the committee will tell him what he needs to do to complete requirements.  If he passed, they will sign the Eagle Application and congratulate him.
  10. The Board will then offer some instructions on how to hold a court of honor and when to go get the Eagle Award at the scout office. They may also give other words of advice.

The whole process should not last more than 30-45 minutes.  Then, for the best part: when your parents take you out for ice cream to celebrate! (Sorry parents.)

There are sample questions at the following website which are typically asked during the Board of Review.  Check it out: Preparing for Your Board of Review

*Out of the hundreds of Boards of Review of which I know only two scouts did not pass the final board and this was due to their providing false information on their paperwork.

Filling Out Your Eagle Application Correctly – Part 2

headerIn our continued effort to make the Eagle Application more understandable and seem less threatening, we move on to the second page of the application. Today’s post will explain these further sections and how to fill them out correctly and painlessly.

First, Requirement #4 (as seen below in picture):  This requirements surprises many scouts and parents.  In fact, we’ve dedicated an entire blog post to explalin all about this requirement.  (See “Which Leadership Positions Count Towards Scout Rank Advancement“)  The most important thing to remember here is that the required 6 months of leadership will not begin to accrue until AFTER your Life Rank Board of Review date.


Requirement #7 is very commonly overlooked.  Most scouts and parents read the first sentence and think, “Oh, this is the board of review.  I will do that at the end.”  Be very careful to read the whole requirement closely.  My oldest son and I fell into this very trap when he was finishing up his Eagle Scout paperwork.  The remainder of the requirement reads: “In preparation for your board of review, prepare and attach to your Eagle Scout Rank Application a statement of your ambitions and life purpose and a listing of positions held in your religious institution, school, camp, community, or other organizations, during which you demonstrated leadership skills. Include honors and awards received during this service.”  In other words, each Eagle Scout candidate needs to write an essay discussing what he wants to do with his life.  This should be 1-2 pages double spaced.  Along with this essay, a list of all leadership positions and awards should be listed on another page.  If this is enough to scare you off because you don’t like writing essays, just remember, it will likely be the easiest essay you will ever write; it is all about yourself.

The last part of the application is about getting signatures.  The Eagle Scout candidate, Scout Leader, and Unit Committee Chairman all must sign.

That’s it!  You’re done with the Eagle Scout Rank Application.  The rest will be filled out during and after your Board of Review.

I hope this information has helped answer any questions you may have had about this form, and clarified any ambiguities. It was a very frustrating and puzzling process for me as a parent to go through with my first son (even with the help of a great Eagle Coach).

Feel free to comment below if you have further questions or let us know how this helped you.

EagleProjectTracking.com is a tool that districts can use to make tracking approvals and board of review a snap. Check it out in this post: District Eagle Project Approvals with EagleProjectTracking.com

Filling Out Your Eagle Application Correctly – Part 1

headerThe main purpose of this post is to help scouts, scout parents, and scout leaders better understand the Eagle Application Form and how to fill it out correctly.  As an Eagle Coach I was asked most frequently about the Eagle Application Form.  Scouts and parents were often confused and I want to demystify this process and make it easier.

Some parts of the form are very straight forward, so I will not cover those.  Instead we will look more closely at the sections for which I fielded the most questions.

First, on the front page a scout is asked to provide the dates for when he became a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, and Venture Scout (shown in the picture below).  This form does not necessarily need to be filled out by the scout/parents.  These dates must be reported correctly.  There are two options to insure that your dates are accurate.  (1) Call your local council office to learn the exact dates and fill them in yourself.  Or (2) leave the squares blank and have your District Advancement Chairman get them from the council and fill them in when your application is turned in.  The dates from the First Class and Star ranks must be the same as when your council has them recorded.  It is extremely important that you do not guess on these.  If you are in doubt, find out or leave them blank for now.


The second, and by far the most confusing, part of the application is requirement #2 (as seen below this paragraph).  There are a few gotchas with this one.  Sometimes it requires multiple explanations to understand.  Think of this part as a list of references, like a job application. Fill out all information.  Your board will need a way to contact each one.  The easier it is for board members to get a hold of your references, the smoother the process will be.  If your religious leader or educational reference is your dad, put your mother’s name in the Parent/Guardian line (and vice versa).  The educational reference can be a teacher, coach, or principal; or any other adult educational person who will give a good reference.  The Employer reference DOES NOT need to be provided if you are not currently employed.  (Past employers do not need to be listed, only current employers.)  The “Two other references” can be anyone who will give a good reference AND who are not a relative OR current scout leader.  This portion is meant to compile a diverse list of references.  The most important thing to remember when choosing references, is to pick familiar people who will speak well of you.  These persons will either be contacted by your district board or they will need to write a letter of recommendation for you.


Third, requirement #3 (as seen below this paragraph) is tricky because the dates in this section must be exactly the same as what the council has recorded.  Obtain a Unit Member Advancement printout from your unit advancement chairman before filling in this section.  Pay special attention to numbers 7, 8 & 10 as a scout must choose one of the listed merit badges to fulfill the requirement. Cross out the names of the merit badges not completed (or, if more than one has been earned, use the first chronologically earned in that group). When a scout earns more than one of those required merit badges (in the instance of 7, 8 & 10), all but the first one earned must still be crossed out. The extra earned merit badge will be used towards the Eagle Rank as an elective (merit badges 14-21).  But, only one will count in the required slot.  Lastly, use the first chronologically earned merit badges to fill in the remaining electives.  There are two reasons for this.  (1) All dates will be checked to make sure the right number of merit badges were earned for each rank according to each date of rank advancement; and (2) for eagle palms, the merit badges earned after being awarded the rank of eagle must also be correct chronologically.


We’ll take a closer look at the second page of the Eagle Application in the next blog post.  Thanks for reading and please comment with your questions or to let us know if this was helpful. Also, please subscribe to our newsletter and receive automatic updates.

EagleProjectTracking.com is a tool that districts can use to make tracking approvals and board of review a snap.  Check it out in this post: District Eagle Project Approvals with EagleProjectTracking.com


During the years when I served as an Eagle Coach and District Project Approval Chairman in the Mount Nebo District, the most common question I was asked was, “How do I pick an eagle project?” or “How can I know if the project I want to do will be approved?”

This answer can be found in the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook.  My response was always the same: “The first thing that you AND your parent(s) should do, is read the workbook completely.  Once you have done this, we’ll talk again and pick a project you want to do.”

As an Eagle Coach, I made a practice of reading the entire workbook 3-4 times per year just to refresh my memory.  This also helped me know when to approve a project or suggest that more work was needed to qualify.  I cannot over emphasize the importance of this course of action for scouts, parents, and leaders.

The Workbook states: “Before completing any of the four forms, read with your parent or guardian, the ‘Message to Scouts and Parents or Guardians‘ on pages 5 and 6. If your project is worthy and meets Eagle Scout requirement 5 as written, the message will help you successfully present your proposal through the approval process.”  Reading these two pages is the minimum a scout and parent(s) should do; but, you ought to read the whole thing.  The workbook is the definitive source and filled with good information regarding what kind of projects will be approved.

It is also stated in the Workbook: “Eagle Scout 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.

Quite simply:

  1. The scout must show that he is planning this project himself.
  2. The scout must show that he is developing the project himself.
  3. The scout must show leadership himself.

There are a few other requirements enumerated in the workbook which must be followed (such as doing projects for a non-profit organization), but those three items above are the basics.  Let’s look at each of them in more detail.


If a scout approaches an organization and asks if there is an Eagle project he can do, and if the organization has a planned project for him or tells the scout that he only needs to provide labor or other prescribed assistance, this will not be a valid eagle project.  The scout must be the one to plan out the project (even with an organization’s help).


Should a scout choose a project that is his parents’ idea, for example, and proceed to follow his parents’ direction, simply performing the work; this would not satisfy the developing requirement of an Eagle project.  There is nothing wrong in getting ideas from parents and/or others, but each scout must build on it and make the project his own.  The workbook also specifies that it should not be routine labor.  Routine labor does not provide an opportunity for the scout to develop any part of the project.


In past experience, I’ve seen scout after scout get a project approved, then be afraid to get other people involved. The scout then proceeds to complete all the work on his own.  It is important to remember that the project is not the important thing.  It is the growth process and the experience the scout will gain in exercising leadership and learning how to be a leader.  In order to show leadership, a scout needs to get others from the community involved. He should not perform all the work.  He should direct and lead the project, not just do it himself.

It is asked in the workbook: What Is Meant by “Give Leadership to Others …?”
“Others” means at least two people besides the Scout. Helpers may be involved through scouting or otherwise, and of any age appropriate for the work. Councils, districts, and units shall not establish requirements for the number of people led, or their make-up, or for time worked on a project. Most importantly, an Eagle candidate must exhibit leadership.

In conclusion, there is no set number of hours required for an Eagle project. I have seen projects range between 70 – 1,800 hours.  Pick a project of which you will feel proud; one that will challenge you; and one that will show the Eagle Board that you intend to plan, develop, and show leadership, and it will be approved.

How Scouts, Scout Parents, and Scout Leaders can ensure Leadership Time Counts Towards Ranks


While serving as an eagle coach for the Utah National Parks Council for over 5 years, one issue reoccurred when an eagle candidate filled out his eagle application form; he either didn’t know what leadership positions he’d held or he wanted to use a position that was not a BSA leadership position.  It always came a a big surprise, and not a good one, when he learned that one or more of his past positions could not count as BSA leadership time.

The approved BSA Leadership positions are listed on the eagle application form, but I will explain in more detail how this works; so that forms can be filled out correctly and Scouts, parents, and leaders can proactively make this a better situation.

Here are the official positions that fulfill the eagle leadership requirements:

Boy Scout troop (Usually 11-14 years old)
Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, Venture patrol leader, troop guide, Order of the Arrow troop representative, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, junior assistant Scoutmaster, chaplain aide, instructor, webmaster, or Leave No Trace trainer.
Varsity Scout team (Usually 14-16 years old)
Captain, co-captain, program manager, squad leader, team secretary, Order of the Arrow team representative, librarian, historian, quartermaster, chaplain aide, instructor, den chief, webmaster, or Leave No Trace trainer.
Venturing crew/ship (Usually 16-18 years old)
President, vice president, secretary, treasurer, quartermaster, historian, den chief, guide, boatswain, boatswain’s mate, yeoman, purser, storekeeper, webmaster, or Leave No Trace trainer.

How the requirements work for each rank with the leadership position:

The ranks of Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class do not require any time serving in leadership positions. This is not a requirement for these early ranks.

As soon as a Scout earns his First Class Rank, he is required to serve for 4 months worth of leadership service AFTER he attains that rank.  The passing of a Board of Review is what signifies the date a scout officially earns that rank.  Most scouts up to First Class are 11 or 12, so they would be in a TROOP.  Therefore the positions listed above in the Boy Scout Troop are the positions that he will need to earn his Star Rank.  If a scout is older when he earns the First Class Rank and he is registered in the Varsity Scout Team, then the positions under that section are required to fulfill this leadership service; same rule applies if he is of age and registered in the Venturing Crew and earns his First Class Rank.

For the ranks of Star, Life and Eagle, the leadership requirements work the same way, but require six months of leadership instead of four.  A requirement to earn the Life Rank, after a scout reaches the Rank of Star, is to have six months of leadership experience AFTER earning the Star Rank (after the Board of Review date).  The scout must serve these months holding a position appropriate for his age and according to his registered group’s approved list of positions (as listed above).

The Eagle Rank also requires six months of leadership experience AFTER the scout has attained his Life Rank.  This one is the most critical since it will be listed on the Eagle Application that is sent in to the National BSA office for review before the Rank of Eagle is awarded.

Three common mistakes that are made during this process:

  1. Religious institutions sponsoring the unit, record the scout’s religious leadership position.  This is very common in LDS units.  Sometimes the Deacon’s Quorum President is the Senior Patrol Leader but they don’t make that known or tell the scout that he should function in two positions.
  2. Parents and scouts don’t realize that the time of leadership must be served AFTER each rank is earned, not simultaneously.
  3. The scout leader is not trained enough to know that as soon as each scout advances through each rank or group, they need to be given leadership responsibilities.

In conclusion, scouts, scout parents, and scout leaders should be informed to know what the next step is at any point in the process. This will avoid time wasted and the scout will have a great experience and learn to be a better leader throughout the process.  It is best, as a scout nears the end of his work toward the rank of eagle, that there not be any surprises or heartbreaks as his eagle application form is filled out and submitted.