last revised 6/30/2020
The Troop 28 Tips — Journey from Life to Eagle Scout & Eagle Service Project tip sheet is a great place for every new Life scout to start. We also recommend that scouts working on Eagle rank export a PDF Eagle application from Scoutbook (see below for details and instructions).
If you are a newer scout and are not yet sure if you are interested in becoming an Eagle scout, you may wish to review some of the Eagle planning resources below to help keep your options open. Some badges are easier to complete than others, so a little advanced planning (or extra thought when choosing from available merit badge programs) help make Eagle rank achievable with a little hard work and determination.
The troop’s Eagle resources are current as of the date above. For the most current, authoritative information on Eagle rank requirements including the latest Eagle Project Workbook, please refer to the BSA’s Guide to Advancement. For information about the Eagle process, deadlines, and contact information, please check out the NEIC Eagle resource page or ask a Troop 28 Eagle Coach.
The Eagle Rank requirements include completing certain merit badges, actively participating in a Scouts BSA troop, and completing an Eagle Service Project.
The Eagle service project is the capstone achievement on the path to Eagle. While a Life Scout, scouts must plan, develop, and lead others in a service project that will help a school, a religious institution, nonprofit, or other beneficiary organization in our community. The project idea must be approved by the organization that will benefit from the effort, the Scoutmaster, the troop committee, and the district before you start. You should use the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook (see below for details on the “Eagle Scout Workbook”) in planning and meeting this requirement.
Scouts have until their 18th birthday to advance through all the ranks and complete the Eagle rank requirements. Newer scouts may be unsure of whether they are interested in pursuing Eagle, or even in advancement. However, many scouts who stick with scouting for a few years find that they have already completed many of the requirements just by participating and completing merit badges on their own or during summer camps.
You can use this handy Eagle Merit Badge Planner to start thinking about which merit badges you might want to start on, and how to fit them into your busy schedule! It’s helpful to think through the challenges of each of the badges so you can plan them around your school/extracurricular/summer schedules. Some of the Eagle-required badges have requirements that cannot be done through sheer determination (e.g., you can’t make 12 weeks go any faster, and you can’t just go on a BSA camping trip that involves canoeing or biking on your own). So a little advanced planning goes a long way.
If you are not sure which Eagle-required badges to tackle first, here are some resources to help you decide:
- A good summary of the Eagle-required badges with challenges and suggested approaches for each one (note: cooking is missing from their list)
- Eagle Coach’s How to Earn the Eagle-Required Merit Badges (including which ones are good candidates for summer camp vs. self-study)
- Centerville Troop 557’s guide to Three Merit Badges Requiring 3 Months of Tracking (Personal Life, Personal Management, and Family Life)
- My Scout Stuff’s Plan for Competing Merit Badges (including which ones are good candidates for summer camp vs. working with local counselors)
- Bryan on Scouting’s 2019 merit badge rankings: Which were the most popular?
- ScoutSmarts’s All Eagle-Required Merit Badges: Difficulty Rankings in 2020 (spoiler: they rate Cycling and Communication are the hardest, and Swimming and First Aid are the easiest; they also have suggestions for when in a scout’s scouting career is ideal for each badge)
For your application, we recommend you export the Eagle Scout Application from Scoutbook (click here for more details and information). First, the Scoutbook PDF will be prepopulated with key data including the scout’s name, address, BSA ID number, rank advancement dates, and merit badges. This will save you a lot of copying and researching, and will also be legible!
Second, Troop 28 uses Scoutbook to record scouts’ official advancement history. Even if you decide to complete your record by hand, you should print out a draft application and compare the Scoutbook records to any paper records you may have. In general, if the dates in Scoutbook are a few days or weeks after your paper records, but they don’t impact your advancement (i.e., if Scoutbook shows a merit badge earned after Star or Life rank Board of Review), it probably does not warrant correcting. If you find any discrepancies, please alert the Advancement Chair and provide any available documentation (signed handbook, blue card, camp record, and/or email from scoutmaster or merit badge counselor) so it can be corrected before you submit your application.
To download the Eagle Application from Scoutbook:
- The Scout or parent should log into Scoutbook. Parents should be able to log in with their Scouting.org credentials (or can reset them as needed). If parents do not have Scouting.org accounts, or if they are logged in but cannot see their scout, they should contact the Advancement Chair.If scouts do not have access to Scoutbook, their parents first need to log in to Scoutbook. Then from the main menu (My Dashboard), select My Family / Scout’s Name > Edit Profile > Invite Scout to Connect. They scout must have access to a different email from the parent. Troop administrators cannot grant access to scouts; this can only be done by the parents.
- To export the application, from the main menu (My Dashboard) select My Family / Scout’s Name > Reports > Eagle Application. See the Scoutbook help file for more details and instructions.
- Once downloaded, you can correct or add any missing information into the fillable PDF.
Who should write the Eagle recommendation letters?
A scout needs to submit 4-6 recommendation letters along with the Eagle application. The first three or four should come from a parent or guardian, a pastor or other leader from the scout’s religion, a teacher or other person involved in the scout’s education, and (if employed), the scout’s employer. Additionally, a scout may submit up to two additional recommendation letters which may come from any adults, including the scout’s Scoutmaster.
For more information on recommenders or suggested content for recommendation letters, please see the ScoutSmarts.
Use the resources below to help you on your path to Eagle!
- Life to Eagle: 10 Step Process
- Life to Eagle Instructions
- BSA’s Eagle Scout Rank Application Process reference
- Eagle Project Workbook (PC version)*
- Eagle Project Workbook (Mac version)*
- Eagle Recommendation Letter
- Eagle FAQs
*Note: Do not attempt to open the Eagle Project workbook in a browser (i.e. Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, etc.) or in programs such as Nuance PDF Converter. The workbook was created in Adobe LiveCycle, which must be saved to your computer and opened with Adobe Reader 9 or later. This enables the user to take advantage of the enhancements of expandable text boxes and importing images. If you try to open it in a web browser or Preview.app, it will display the message “To view the full contents of this document, you need a later version of the PDF viewer. Follow the instructions for PC or Mac to download the file to your computer, then Adobe Reader first, and then open the PDF from within Adobe Reader.
What happens next?
Congratulations! You’ve passed your Eagle Board of Review. You are officially an Eagle Scout as of the date of the Board of Review.
- Within a week or so of your Board of Review, the Council/BSA will update your Scoutbook record to reflect your Eagle rank. Once this is done, you are officially, official in the BSA records.
- Shortly thereafter, you should receive a congratulatory letter at your home. This typically takes a few weeks.
- Once all your paperwork has been received and processed at BSA national, your Eagle certificate will be delivered to the NEIC offices for you to pick up. This typically takes 6-8 weeks
Planning an Eagle Court of Honor
In the meantime, even before you have completed your Board of Review, you and your family may wish to begin planning your Eagle Court of Honor.
- The Troop will purchase your Eagle Award kit (Eagle rank patch, medal and pins) on your behalf.
- The Troop will order a name plate to be added to the Eagle Scout recognition plaque in the troop room.
- If you wish to reserve a flag which has been flown over the U.S. Capitol, you can do so via Senator Dick Durbin’s website. The leadtime for requests is usually 6-8 weeks, but requests were paused during the coronavirus state of emergency. Please check Sen. Durbin’s site for the latest information.
- Eagle gift items can be viewed at the BSA’s ScoutShop.org (many of these are not available for online delivery but can be purchased or ordered from the NEIC Scout Shop. Please call (847.748.9160) or email ahead to confirm availability.
You can also refer to several great online resources for additional suggestions:
- An Eagle Scout Parent’s Guide: How to Run and Eagle Court of Honor
- Planning the Eagle Court of Honor
- Eagle Court of Honor Planning and Preparation (this guide has lots of practical tips including reminding Eagle mom to wear a top with lapels to make life easier for the new Eagle scout who has to attach a pin!)
Past Troop 28 Eagle Court of Honor Scripts are available on the Troop 28 Shared Google Drive. Please reach out to the troop Webmaster for login information and permissions.
Click here for more resources, information for Board of Reviews, scholarships, and awards.