The fact that a boy is an Eagle Scout has always carried with it a special significance, not only in Scouting but also as he enters higher education, business or industry, and community service. The award is a performance-based achievement whose standards have been well-maintained over the years. Not every boy who joins a Boy Scout troop earns the Eagle Scout rank; only about 5 percent of all Boy Scouts do so. This represents more than 2 million Boy Scouts who have earned the rank since 1912. Nevertheless, the goals of Scouting—citizenship training, character development, and personal fitness—remain important for all Scouts, whether or not they attain the Eagle Scout rank.
To earn the Eagle Scout rank, the highest advancement rank in Scouting, a Boy Scout must fulfill requirements in the areas of leadership, service, and outdoor skills. Although many options are available to demonstrate proficiency in these areas, a number of specific skills are required to advance through the ranks—Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle. To advance, a Boy Scout must pass specific tests that are organized by requirements and merit badges.
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Eagle Scout Rank
To earn the rank, a Boy Scout must progress through the ranks in the following order:
- Second Class
- First Class
Earn 21 merit badges, including:
- First Aid
- Citizenship in the Community
- Citizenship in the Nation
- Citizenship in the World
- Environmental Science
- Personal Fitness
- Family Life
- Personal Management
- Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving
- Cycling, Hiking, or Swimming
Merit Badge changes:
Unlike Merit Badges, modifications to rank requirements become effective immediately upon release from the National Council. If you have not yet had your Board of Review for one of the above ranks, you must meet the new/changed requirements.
Sustainability Merit Badge
Starting in Summer 2013, when the Sustainability merit badge becomes available, those working toward the Eagle Scout rank may choose to earn either the Sustainability merit badge OR the Environmental Science merit badge. Earning one or the other merit badge will be required. Scouts who have already earned Environmental Science may also earn Sustainability, but only one of the two merit badges will count as “Eagle-required.” The other may count as an elective merit badge necessary to reach the total of 21 required merit badges.
Cooking Merit Badge
Effective Jan. 1, 2014, the Cooking merit badge will be required to obtain the Eagle Scout rank. Regardless of when a Scout earned the Life rank or began working toward Eagle, unless he fulfills all the rank requirements—with the exception of his board of review—before Jan. 1, 2014, he must earn the Cooking merit badge to become an Eagle Scout.
Eagle Scouts must also:
- Serve six months in a troop leadership position.
- Plan, develop, and give leadership to a service project for any religious organization or any school or community.
- Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.
- Successfully complete an Eagle Scout board of review.
Boy Scouts with disabilities may qualify for the Eagle Scout rank by fulfilling alternative requirements as determined by the Council.
Eagle Scout Project ideas
Keep Pearland Beautiful Campaign - This is a local option for Northern Star Eagle Scouts looking for ideas.
Pearland Parks & Recreation - This is a list of Eagle Projects to help enhance the Pearland Community Parks and Recreational Spaces.
Eagle Scout Service Project ideas - Bryan from Scouting.org has written a blog for finding Eagle Scout Service Project ideas.
My Project Finder - This is from Dave Harkins, who works for the BSA’s National Supply Group. He created a website to help boys and girls come up with ideas for Eagle Scout or Venturing Gold Award projects. The site, which was one of Dave’s Wood Badge ticket items, is a “decision tree” that lets users answer two or three simple questions about their interests and passions. Once they do that, the site suggests several potential project ideas...and it's free!
Here’s a list with hundreds of ideas from Scoutorama.
This post from Boys’ Life has a few more ideas.
Try this PDF from Meritbadge.org for 100 more concepts from which projects can be developed.
Be sure to have your Scouts consult the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook before getting too far along. Pay special attention to the “restrictions” section (Page 4), which details certain projects that aren’t acceptable — such as fundraisers, projects that only benefit the BSA, or routine labor.
Additionally, Life Scouts now must receive approval on their Project Proposal (Pages 7 to 10 of the workbook) before beginning further planning. This new requirement prevents Scouts from doing too much work on a project that is ultimately rejected.
Eagle Board of Review
Congratulations to all the Boy Scouts who are achieving the highest rank of Eagle. Northern Star District Eagle Board of Reviews and Eagle Project Approvals are scheduled by appointment only. Scouts, please schedule your appointment one month prior. Do not try to schedule days before.
DATE: First & Second Thursday of the month
PLACE: Fellowship Bible Church, 1720 E. Broadway St., Pearland, TX 77581
TIME: 7 p.m.
CONTACT: Donald V. Smith at email@example.com or 281-489-8713
Eagle Congratulatory letters
What to include:
The U.S. Scouting Service Project recommends including the Scout’s full name, troop number, council, and a short description of his Eagle Scout service project. For best results, address it to a specific person, not an organization. Including a self-addressed stamped envelope makes it that much easier to get a response.
Whom to ask for letters:
- City and county officials: Your mayor, city council officials, school board president, superintendent, parks and recreation director
- Religious leaders
- State officials: The governor, your area’s state legislators
- Business leaders: CEOs and executives at major corporations based in your city
- U.S. officials: The president, cabinet members, senators, representatives, military leaders, department heads
- Past presidents or elected officials no longer in office
- Prominent national people: astronauts, athletes, filmmakers, actors, and famous Eagle Scouts like Mike Rowe or Steven Spielberg
- Anyone who means something to your Eagle Scout: Get creative! Does he have a favorite author, athlete, musician, or actor? Try to track down that person’s contact information. The letter may go unanswered, but it only costs you 49 cents to try.
Where to find addresses:
For addresses, find the appropriate website and look for the “Contact Us” link — usually at the top of the page or at the very bottom. Some entities, such as NASA or the U.S. Army, allow you to submit request online.
National Eagle Scout Association
Founded in 1972, the National Eagle Scout Association maintains contact with Eagle Scouts to sustain their interest in Scouting. Eagle Scouts in good standing may join. Applications for membership are available through the Bay Area Council office. Be sure to register and keep your profile updated with NESA, click here.
Do You Know an Outstanding Eagle?
For more information, go to the NOESA Page. Every year, the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) recognizes outstanding Eagles across America with the NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout Award (NOESA). This prestigious recognition is for Eagle Scouts who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in their profession, avocation and community - having notable achievements both inside and outside of Scouting. While the selection of NOESA recipients is a local Council function, the nominees and reason for granting their recognition is confirmed by NESA. 2014 NOESA nominations must be received by Monday, November 3, 2014.