Steps From Life to Eagle
The following 12 steps have been outlined to ensure a smooth procedure for the Scout, the unit leadership, the local council, and the volunteers who are to conduct the board of review. Eagle candidates should share these steps with their unit leader so that they can fully understand the procedures that must be followed.
Items contained within indentions are the Crossroads of America council’s interpretations of Boy Scouts of America policies. Most items are clarifications but in some cases, the council is given the ability to set a council policy.
1.In order to advance to the rank of Eagle, while a Life Scout, a candidate must complete all the requirements of active tenure; Scout spirit; any remaining merit badges; positions of responsibility; planning, developing, and providing leadership to others in a service project; and the Scoutmaster conference.
2.Using the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook (512-927), the candidate must select his Eagle service project and have the project concept approved by his unit leader, his unit committee, and the benefactor of the project, and reviewed and approved by the council or district advancement committee. This workbook must be used in meeting this requirement.
When reviewing the project for approval, the unit and district advancement committee is responsible for ensuring that the described project will allow the Eagle Scout candidate to demonstrate the proper level of leadership. If there is any concern about leadership, it should be expressed and resolved before the project is approved rather than at the Eagle Board of Review (if the project does not significantly change).
3.It is imperative that all requirements for the Eagle Scout rank except the board of review be completed prior to the candidate’s 18th birthday. When all requirements except the board of review for the rank of Eagle, including the leadership service project and Scoutmaster Conference, have been completed, the Eagle Scout Rank Application (512-728) must be completed and sent to the council service center promptly. (Youth members with disabilities should meet with their unit leader regarding time extensions.)
All requirements except for the Eagle Board of Review must be completed prior to the Scout’s 18th birthday. This includes the Scoutmaster Conference for the Eagle Scout rank. The Scout has up to 3 months to schedule and complete the Eagle Board of Review with the district. Boards of review conducted between three and six months after the candidate's 18th birthday must be pre-approved by the local council. A statement by an adult explaining the reason for the delay must be attached to the Eagle Scout Rank Application when it is submitted to the local council service center. Please see the current printing of the Advancement Committee: Policies and Procedures manual for more information on extensions.
4.The application should be signed by the unit leader at the proper place. The unit committee reviews and approves the record of the Eagle candidate before the application is submitted to the local council. If a unit leader or unit committee fails to sign or otherwise approve an application, the Eagle candidate may still be granted a board of review. The failure of a unit leader or unit committee to sign an application may be considered by the board of review in determining the qualification of the Eagle candidate.
The requirement for advancement is that the Scout participates in a Scoutmaster conference, not that he “passes” the conference. When advancement is going to be deferred, the Scout should not come to the Scoutmaster conference thinking that everything is OK and then be surprised that his advancement is deferred. He should have had plenty of warning and guidance prior to the Scoutmaster conference.
5.The Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook, properly filled out, must be submitted with the application.
6.When the completed application is received at the council service center, its contents will be verified and the references contacted. The Scout shall have listed six references (five if no employer, and parent if no organized religious association). The council advancement committee or its designee contacts the references on the Eagle Scout Rank Application by letter, form, or telephone checklist. (The council determines the method or methods to be used.) The candidate should have contacted those individuals listed as references before including their names on the application. If desired by the council, the candidate may be asked to deliver a blank reference form and envelopes to the listed references. The candidates should not be involved personally in transmitting any correspondence between persons listed as references and the council service center or advancement committee. If the initial reference letter or form is not returned to the council in a timely manner, the council advancement committee must make direct contact with the reference(s) listed on the Eagle Scout Rank Application on its own, by follow-up letter, phone contact, or other methods as it chooses. The candidate shall not be required to make a follow-up contact with the reference or submit other reference names. A Scout cannot have a board of review denied or postponed because the council office or council advancement committee does not receive the reference letter forms he delivered.
In order to smoothly and uniformly evaluate references, the council has elected to have references fill out a council-wide Eagle Scout Candidate reference form. Forms should be completed by the reference and returned directly to Council service center. The district advancement committee is responsible for reviewing these references. If no references are received, the district advancement committee should contact the references listed prior to the Scout’s board of review to attempt to solicit information on the Scout’s character. If possible, the reference form should be completed by telephone so that it can be shared with the balance of the committee.
7. After the contents of an application have been verified and appropriately signed, the application, Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook, and references will be returned from the council service center to the chairman of the Eagle board of review so that a board of review may be scheduled. Under no circumstances should a board of review be scheduled until the application is returned to the chairman of the Eagle board of review. Reference checks that are forwarded with the application are confidential, and their contents are not to be disclosed to any person who is not a member of the board of review.
Please allow the council service center at least 10 working days to process and approve an Eagle Scout Application and workbook for a board of review. Any references that are contained with the Eagle Project Workbook or application are confidential and should NOT be read by or given to any person that is not sitting as a reviewer on the Eagle Board of Review. It is imperative that the references or any accompanying letters are NOT given to the Eagle Scout candidate, his parents/guardians, or Scoutmasters.
8.The board of review for an Eagle candidate is composed of at least three but not more than six members. One member serves as chairman. Unit leaders, assistant unit leaders, relatives, or guardians may not serve as members of a Scout’s board of review. The board of review members should convene at least 30 minutes before the candidate appears in order to review the application, reference checks, and leadership service project report. At least one district or council advancement representative must be a member of the Eagle board of review if the board of review is conducted on a unit level. A council or district may designate more than one person to serve as a member of Eagle boards of review when requested to do so by the unit. It is not required that these persons be members of the advancement committee; however, they must have an understanding of the importance of the Eagle board of review.
The members of the board of review should not be familiar with the candidate. They may have passing knowledge of him but should not be a close friend, teacher, mentor, religious advisor, or a person of a similar stature.
9.The candidate’s unit leader introduces him to the members of the board of review. The unit leader may remain in the room, but does not participate in the board of review. The unit leader may be called on to clarify a point in question. In no case should a relative or guardian of the candidate attend the review, even as a unit leader. There is no set of questions that an Eagle candidate should be asked. However, the board should be assured of the candidate’s participation in the program. This is the highest award that a Scout may achieve and, consequently, a thorough discussion of his successes and experiences in Scouting should be considered. After the review, the candidate and his unit leader leave the room while the board members discuss the acceptability of the candidate as an Eagle Scout. The decision must be unanimous. If the candidate meets the requirements, he is asked to return and is informed that he will receive the board’s recommendation for the Eagle Scout rank. If the candidate does not meet the requirements, he is asked to return and told the reasons for his failure to qualify. A discussion should be held with him as to how he may meet the requirements within a given period. Should the applicant disagree with the decision, the appeal procedures should be explained to him. A follow-up letter must be sent to the Scout confirming the agreements reached on the action(s) necessary for the advancement. If the Scout chooses to appeal, the board should provide the name and address of the person he is to contact. (See ‘‘Appealing a Decision” in Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures, No. 33088.)
If a scout does not pass his Eagle Board of Review and decides to appeal the decision, the Scout, his unit leader, or his parents/guardians may appeal by sending a letter to the Council Advancement Advisor at the Scout Education and Program Center (7125 Fall Creek Road North, Indianapolis, IN 46256).
10.Immediately after the board of review and after the application has been appropriately signed, the application, the service project report, references, and a properly completed Advancement Report are returned to the council service center.
Again, it is imperative that the Scout does NOT receive a copy of the references that were provided to the board. They are to be sent back to the council service center.
11.When the application arrives at the council service center, the Scout executive signs it to certify that the proper procedure has been followed and that the board of review has recommended the candidate for the Eagle Scout rank. This workbook and references are retained by the council. The workbook may be returned to the Scout after council approval.
Only the Eagle Scout Rank Application is forwarded to the National Eagle Scout Service.
12.The Eagle Scout Service screens the application to ascertain information such as proper signature, positions of responsibility, tenure between ranks, and age of the candidate. Any item not meeting national standards will cause the application to be returned for more information. If the application is in order, the Scout is then certified as an Eagle Scout by the Eagle Scout Service on behalf of the National Council. Notice of approval is given by sending the Eagle Scout certificate to the local council. The date used on the certificate will be the date of the board of review. The Eagle Award must not be sold or given to any unit until after the certificate is received by the council service center. The Eagle Scout court of honor should not be scheduled until the local council receives the Eagle Scout rank credentials.
The council will contact the Eagle Scout’s Scoutmaster via postcard to notify him/her that the boy has been approved for the Eagle Rank. The Eagle project workbook and application will be returned to the Scoutmaster when he/she comes to pick up the Eagle Scout certificate. The references will be destroyed by the council to insure the confidentiality that was promised to the references when they completed the form. If a Scout or his family desires a copy of the reference or a letter, they should contact the reference directly for a copy.