The 12 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.
1. In order to advance to the rank of Eagle, a candidate must complete all requirements of tenure; Scout spirit; merit badges; positions of responsibility; while a Life Scout, plan, develop, and provide leadership to others in a service project; and the Scoutmaster conference.
2. Using the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook, 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.
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, have been completed, the enclosed Eagle Scout Rank Application must be completed and sent to the council service center promptly. (Youth members with disabilities should meet with their unit leader regarding time 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.
5. When the completed application is received at the council service center, its contents will be verified and the references contacted. The council advancement committee or its designee contacts the person listed as a reference on the Eagle Scout Rank Application either 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. The candidates should not be involved personally in transmitting any correspondence between persons listed as references and the council service center.
6. The Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook, properly filled out, must be submitted with the application.
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.
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.
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 the National BSA Policies and Procedures, No. 33088D.)
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.
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.