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2016 Boy Scout Progress Tracker (New Requirements)


Here is the newly updated tracker with all the new 2016 requirements!

We have created an awesome tool that will help scouts more easily track their progress on scout ranks, will help scout parents know how to guide their boys with what to work on next, and for scout leaders to be more transparent with their scouts and parents with what requirements have been done and which still need to be completed.
The 2016 Boy Scout Progress Tracker is a simple PDF that you can download to quickly create a workbook that makes tracking scout progress a piece of cake.
It includes the very easy at a glance forms:
  • Tracking forms for all the relevant requirements on the journey to Eagle Scout.
  • Forms to make it easy to track time in leadership positions
  • Forms to track camping nights towards the required Camping merit badge
  • Form to track service hours toward all the ranks.
  • Easy way to track required and elective merit badges
  • It also includes a VERY easy to read advancement progress form so you can see quickly what requirements are completed and those that still remain incomplete.
Once completed by a scout, the 2016 Boy Scout Progress Tracker will make it extremely easy to fill out the Eagle Scout Rank Application and other paperwork when applying for Eagle Scout.
We have made it very simple and easy for anyone, whether you are a scout, parent, or leader to use this and track your scouting progress.  We have used this in our own unit and with our own boys for years and have had many other parents and scouts use it with great success earning their Eagle Scout Rank.
You can download it now on our website iWantMyEagle.com.  Click the Products menu in the top right hand corner to see our download page or click HERE to get it now.
Scouts that are currently working on their Eagle Rank, will not need the new updated PDF so we wanted to provide both.

Need Help Tracking Scouting Progress?

Need Help Tracking Scouting Progress

Scouts, Scout parents, Scout leaders:
Does this scouting story sound familiar to you?

Since the time he was in the Webelos Den, Kaden has said he wants to earn his Eagle Scout Rank; but these days he’s busier in school and with an expanding social schedule, scouts has dropped out of his priorities. Besides, merit badges and camp-outs just don’t sound fun anymore. Mom doesn’t know how to figure out the Scout Handbook. The requirements, it seems, are changing each year and it’s hard enough to keep up with the daily to do’s. Kaden is a good kid. Because he’s been active with his friends in his scout troop as he’s grown up, and because he’s had good scout leaders, he was a Life Scout by the time he turned 14. But, Kaden eventually turns 18 before earning his Eagle rank. If only he and his mom knew that all he had to do was complete an Eagle Project and earn one more elective merit badge. If only they’d had a chart or an easy to follow list, he wouldn’t have missed out on this opportunity.

There are many reasons why only 4-5% of registered scouts earn the rank of Eagle Scout. The requirements take work, yes, but that isn’t the main reason. The main reason is because to many parents, like Kaden’s, Boy Scout requirements are a mystery. They don’t know enough to encourage and guide their sons’ progress.

What if there were an easy to read, easy to keep record; one small folder which made the steps to Eagle Scout clear? What if there were a painless and foolproof system for parents and boys to keep up?

Scout leaders, what if there was an easy way for you to help your scouts and parents keep track of where they are and what they still have left to work on?  What if you could increase your percentage of Eagle Scout completion in your unit?

In the next blog post, I will introduce you to an awesome tool that we have created to help you do just that.

Getting The Whole Family Involved In Scouting

Getting The Whole Family Involved In Scouting

Our family is pretty involved in scouting.  I wanted to share a fun and awesome experience that happened to our family a couple of years ago.

To set the stage, let me tell you a little bit about my family.  My oldest son, JB, is serving a mission for the LDS Church right now in North Carolina.  Before he left to serve his mission, he was an Eagle Scout at the age of 13 because he wanted to “do it faster than dad.” He also served on National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) staff in our council for 4 straight years after being a participant.  His last year on staff, he was one of the Key 3 running the course.

I also have twin daughters, Emily and Sabrina, who are 18 now.  A couple of years ago, they attended a co-ed NYLT because they were always telling me that they were jealous of all the boys in the family and wished they could earn merit badges and be an Eagle Scout.  So when the opportunity came for a co-ed NYLT course they wanted to go!

My youngest son, Ty, is 15 and also earned his Eagle Scout at 13 because he wanted to “do it faster than my brother.”  He beat him by a few months.  He also has been the Order of the Arrow Chapter Chief and has served on NYLT staff for 3 years and is one of the Key 3 this year for our course.

My wife has also been a registered scout leader for many years serving in Cub Scouts as Den Leader and Cub Committee Chair, Unit Advancement Chairman, Merit Badge Counselor, Eagle Coach, and more over the years.

As you can see we are very involved in the scouting program as a family.  My daughter, Emily, took it to a new level during her 9th and 10th grade years.  While I was serving as the District Eagle Project Approval Chairman, she paid attention and heard me talking to many scouts and parents while coaching them through the Eagle Project process.  She learned the process so well that she knew how to tell whether an Eagle Project was approvable or if more needed to be added to make it a valid project.

She unintentionally started coaching all of her scout friends at school.  Boys starting coming to her with their Eagle Project ideas asking her if they would be a good Eagle Project or not.  She started bringing up Eagle Projects in conversations with boys at school and encouraging them to work on it, telling them that it wasn’t that hard to do.  She also told some boys that her dad wouldn’t let her go on a date with them unless they were and Eagle Scout (disclaimer: I didn’t say that exactly, but said that Eagle Scouts are better dates and that I would ask them questions when they came to pick her up).

Well, word got out about what she was doing to other scout leaders in the district and when we went to the District Scout Awards Banquet, they called us up and gave us the Scouting Family of the Year award and told the story about Emily and how she is Eagle Coaching all the boys at school.

It’s hard to know how many young men went on to earn their Eagle Rank because of Emily’s encouragement. (She knows of at least five, possibly ten!) We take pride in that award and love that we were recognized as a scouting family!

Merry Christmas!

Posted by Jason Petty | Scout Stories

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

We are taking a few days off for the holidays and wanted to thank all of our readers and wish you all a Merry Christmas!


How To Prepare For An Eagle Project Approval

Eagle Project Approval

Many a scout thinks that meeting the Eagle Project Approval Board to present an eagle project and get it approved is the most daunting task on his way to the rank of Eagle Scout.  I want to dispel that myth and help scouts, scout leaders, and scout parents by making clear what needs to be done and what happens at that approval.  Knowing is more that half the battle.  When there is a large presentation on the horizon, for me, the more I know about my subject and the environment in which I will present, the less nervous I feel.

What needs to be filled out before you go:

The first thing you need to do is download the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook.  BE CERTAIN that you have the latest one!  This is very important.  This workbook changes at least once a year, sometimes more.  Click HERE for the current version.  You have to download this PDF to your hard drive and then open it to see the contents and to edit it.  You can type right into the PDF once this is done.

Secondly, read the entire workbook!  This is paramount!  This will answer any questions you have and give you the best direction.  This is where I find answers to almost every question asked of me about eagle projects.  When a scout signs the proposal as the eagle candidate, he is giving his word that he has read the entire workbook; and remember, a scout is honest.

This book is divided into three sections: The Proposal, The Final Plan, and The Report.  The Proposal section is the only section you need to fill out in order to have your project approved.  Also, the last page in The Final Plan section may need to be filled out before your approval meeting if you are doing a fundraiser outside of your unit’s area.

Fill out every part of The Proposal section, including the contact information page.  Get all signatures on the last page EXCEPT for the “Council or District Approval” signature.  This signature is obtained during your approval.  The scout should sign and date this page FIRST, then the others follow.  Call and set up an appointment to come in and present it for approval.

That is it!  It is not difficult if you are thorough.  You are writing your proposal and then presenting your proposal.  That’s it.  Once it is approved, then the details will be written up and the work can be done.

What happens in an Eagle Project Approval

An Eagle Project Approval only lasts 10-20 minutes.  You are there to present your idea, show the board that you have thought it through, and obtained the proper signatures for approval up to that point.  Parents or scout leaders can sit in with their scout during the project approval.  However, they should not do the talking.  The eagle candidate should be the one presenting and answering questions.

Here is how an approval is run generally.

  1. Introductions
  2. The Proposal section of the workbook is presented for the board members to look over.
  3. While they are viewing the workbook, the board member running the approval will ask the eagle candidate questions to further clarify.  The main question that will be asked is for the eagle candidate to tell the group all about their project idea.  The approval board looks for three things:  to insure the scout is the one planning the project, developing the project, and that the scout will have the opportunity to show leadership.  Be prepared to answer those types of questions.

For more detailed information about choosing a solid eagle project, read the How To Pick An Eagle Project That Will Be Approved blog post. Once the approval board determines that your plan is an approvable project, they will sign your approval and clear you to fill out The Final Plan section of the workbook. Then, you may start real work on your project.

If it is determined that your project does not qualify for approval, don’t worry.  They are there to help you be successful, not to judge you.  They will offer suggestions on possible changes or what you can add to turn your idea into a project that will qualify.

The purpose of an approval isn’t to put pressure on the scout or to discourage him from continuing.  It is to make sure that he will succeed.  The approval board is ensuring that the project will not be denied by national or the board of review at the end of the process.  It is common that scouts need to make slight adjustments or additions to their project idea in order to make it qualify, so don’t let that discourage you.

Preparing For Winter Camp – Backyard Prep

Preparing For Winter Camp

Preparing for winter camp is one of the “scary” things a lot of scouts struggle with.  Today I wanted to share with you another winter camping preparation activity that we have done for years with our scouts shortly after the Wool Sock activity that I shared in another blog post.  We pick a Friday night in January, since the Klondike Derby is in February, to do a preparatory overnight camp in the Scoutmaster’s backyard.  This activity does a few things for the boys.

First, it provides them a safe and semi-comfortable environment to test out winter camping.  Since we are just in the backyard, it is very easy to give them access to and indoor warm facility if they freak out on their first experience, as we all know some boys do.  It is much better to have them have a problem now in this environment than up in the mountains.

Second, it provides them an easy way to learn a lesson if they didn’t bring the right equipment.  They can run home or call their parents to get what they forgot quickly.  When this happens, they won’t forget it on the “real” winter camp out in February.

Third, it helps them learn what happens on a winter camp when they play in the snow and get wet in a safe learning environment.  We have had scouts come to this camp, then have a snowball fight, get all wet, then find out they can’t stay warm and sleep like that. Instead of being in a dangerous situation, we have the house right there to get them in, and get them some dry clothes and warm them up.

When you have young scouts that are 11-12 years old that have not attended a winter camp yet, it helps to do some small preparatory activities to ease their way into winter camping like this.  As a scout leader you do not want to take scouts for the first time to a Klondike Derby without some kind of preparation.  If you do this and get all the way up in the mountains and find out that some of the scouts are not prepared or are struggling and want to go home, this makes it very difficult.

Lastly, this also has provided an opportunity for nervous parents that are hesitant to send their boy to winter camp to let go a little bit, knowing that they are just across the street.  Once they know their son can make it overnight and loved it, they are significantly more willing to let their son go to the Klondike Derby without worrying so much.



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.

Preparing For a Winter Camp – Wool Socks


When trying to teach scouts about winter camping and what they need to do to prepare for one, it has always been a challenge.  There are always some scouts that don’t bring the right gear to stay warm.  Also, once they get up there, they get wet and find out the hard way that getting wet is not the right thing to do either.  That is the best way to have scouts hate winter camping.

We have a boy in our scout troop that hated camping when he moved into our unit and we found out that the ONLY camp he had been on was a winter camp and was not prepared.  It was miserable for him, so he thought all scout camps were that way.  If they are miserable, they will not like it.  I have to admit, when I was the Assistant Scoutmaster until a couple of years ago, I wasn’t extremely excited to go winter camping either.  Winter camping is one of the funnest and most rewarding types of camps to me now.  If you are prepared, it is very cozy and you learn a great life skill that you may have to use one day if you ever face a disaster.

One of the very effective activities that we have done with our scouts is the wool sock versus the normal sock test.  We like to do this outside if there is snow but if there isn’t any, we use ice water buckets as seen in the picture above.  Scouts remember activities that are fun and teach them something.  If you just tell them to wear wool socks, they will not think it is important and will forget to bring them.  If you have them experience the difference in a safe environment before they go camping, they will remember.

In this activity, we have them put one wool sock on one foot and then a normal sock on the other.  We then have them walk around outside in the snow for a minute.  If we don’t have snow, we bring a tarp and buckets filled with ice and water and have them put their feet in and hold them there for a minute.  After they do this, we have them tell us which sock keeps their feet warmer and then explain why. They learn the lesson well.

Believe me, they do not forget to bring wool socks to winter camp after this activity.  The boys look forward to this activity every year.  The older scouts ask us, “when are we doing the wool sock winter test activity again?” so  they can watch the newer scouts take the challenge.  The older scouts also can also help explain to them why to wear wool socks which cements the concepts in even better.

EagleProjectTracking.com – District Eagle Project Tracking Tool


EagleProjectTracking.com is a district tool that we developed over a 5 year period in the Mt. Nebo District to track all eagle candidates coming in for their project approval through the board of review that all districts can use.  We also use it to communicate with all Eagle Coaches and District Advancement Committee members.  Check out the short demo video of what you can do with this tool.  There is also a more detailed video you can watch on EagleProjectTracking.com.

See what districts are saying about it:
I absolutely love using this tool!  The Eagle Project information is accessible to each Eagle Coach as well as all relevant documents and helps them track the young men they are working with.  I was able to sort the records and look at boys that are getting close to their 18th birthday and give them a phone call to motivate them.  I can’t imagine being the District Advancement Chair without this tool.  This will make your position so much more enjoyable.
        – DaLayn Bing (Mount Nebo District Advancement Chairman 2011-14)
I think this website tool is awesome and I wish all districts used it!  It helps keep track so no one gets lost in the cracks.
        – Debby Robert (Utah National Parks Council Eagle Secretary)

Please share this with anyone that you think would benefit from this tool!

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.