Re: How to Recieve the Eagle Badge
settummanque, or blackeagle (blkeagle@DYNASTY.NET)
Mon, 1 Dec 1997 21:17:22 -0600
Guilherme asked a question that I'm sure that other non-BSA/non-Boy Scouters
and Scouts would also want to know:
> I've read this list since july, and I haven't figured out how you
>receive the highest rank, the Eagle.
The Eagle Scout Badge is the seventh step within the Boy Scout program.
The other six steps are called (Boy) Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First
Class, Star Scout, and Life Scout.
A Life Scout starts work on Eagle actually when he is still a Boy Scout. He
may earn merit badges, including those from the Eagle required list and use
them as part of his advancement for First Class, Star Scout, and Life Scout.
Special "required for Eagle" merit badges are required as part of the Eagle
Scout requirements. These merit badges have a silver border around the
design instead of the standard khaki/green border to signify their special
status as "required badges".
A Life Scout does most of his work, however, after he has become a Life
Scout (it doesn't mean "a Scout for life" like it used to mean, Guilherme).
He meets with his Scoutmaster and later with someone appointed by the local
Scouting District to approve his plans for carrying out what is called the
"Eagle Scout Service Project". The project is supposed to be a leadership
development exercise: he is to plan, develop, implement and evaluate a
service project of his own choosing to benefit some other organization,
group or community other than the BSA or his local BSA Council or unit.
This means that he's the person in charge of planning how the project will
take shape, the personnel or materials needed, he gathers or supervises the
gathering of the materials needed, and finally he does or leads in the
working of the actual project. While not a part of the Eagle Scout Service
project, the Workbook in which he documents all aspects of the project asks
him to evaluate the service project and to basically tell what you would
have done differently had you to do it all over again and what/which people
should be thanked or given recognition by you in their assistance in your
I state "supposed to", Guilherme, because a lot of us are rather
disappointed at the quality of some of the "Eagle Service projects" that we
had to reluctantly approve. Moms and Dads get in the way a lot of times,
and while we're proud to see them there to give their sons the neccessary
"support", we're not proud to see them wanting to "take over" the son's
leadership development project or to "suggest easier tasks in order not to
have the son to fail" doing the required project. So we approve painting
fences, painting fire hyrants, and removing graffti from walls as Eagle
service projects. We have also approved childcare and some rather other
"marginal" Eagle projects over the years.
The project is the crowning glory (or should be) of the Eagle candidate but
The Life Scout has to earn 21 merit badges (many of which can be earned
since he became a Boy Scout) including these required merit badges:
First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation,
Citizenship in the World, Communications, Safety, Personal Management,
Environmental Science, Family Life, Camping, and two options:
either Lifesaving or Emergency Prepardness and
either Personal Fitness, Sports, or Swimming
(the ones not chosen may still be used for Eagle, but not as "required merit
In addition, he has to earn nine other merit badges of his own choosing.
Many of these badges, like I mentioned, he may have earned earlier going
back to his first days as a Boy Scout in the Troop.
The Life Scout has to also serve as a Troop leader (or as a leader in either
a Varsity Team or an Explorer Post or Ship). The positions are limited --
much more limited than those for Star or Life Scout and in all cases allows
the Scoutmaster, Varsity Coach, Explorer Post Advisor or Sea Exploring Ship
Skipper to view the Scout in action over a six-month or longer period in a
"key job" in that unit. For this reason, positions like Webmaster (made up
in many Troops), Historian or Assistant Patrol Leader are not acceptable as
leadership positions for Eagle Scout rank; nor would "Assistant Treasurer"
or "Webmaster" be acceptable for Exploring units either.
The two hardest parts of the requirements, in my opinion, isn't the Eagle
Scout Service Project....although we have a lot of Scouts to kinda *go off
to the wayside* with. The two hardest parts of the quest to become an Eagle
Scout are the participation requirement : Be active in your Patrol and Troop
for at least 6 months since becoming a Life Scout; and the Scout Spirit
requirement: Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath or Promise
and Scout Law in your everyday life.
It's not hard for the Scout to do, Guilherme, in most cases...it's hard for
us as adults to evaluate. Recent postings here and elsewhere on the
Internet have highlighted problems with those two parts of the requirements.
The BSA, for their credit, has attempted to assist us all out here with
interpreting the "Scout Oath/Promise and Law" requirement but the time
period is where we have a large problem with.
For instance, do we allow a Scout that left the Troop as a Life Scout at 13
and returns to the Troop at 17.5 to appear before a Board of Review and
become an Eagle Scout?? Technically, he has completed all of the
requirements including the six months' "time-in-grade", but is that *right*
and *fair* for him to do this when other Scouts have been there week after
week, month after month??
Do we count leadership experiences done in other units as part of the
requirement for Eagle now with only ONE MONTH left before he turns 18 (Boy
Scout advancement ends at age 18, what used to be the legal age of adulthood
in many states)? Again, the books and manuals are unclear and we are left
to take local interpretation into account here.
Finally, the Scout must appear before a centralized or decentralized Board
of Review for the Eagle Scout rank. This is a different board than those
for the five other ranks because there must be someone representing the
local BSA Council in attendance and there are other procedural differences.
It is after this Board's approval, which can be rather long and very
controversial, that the Eagle Scout application and the other materials go
to the local BSA Council. The senior professional in that Council (the
Council Scout Executive) reviews and approves the application and sends the
application along with a summary of the Eagle Project and any letters of
rebuttal to the BSA's National Office in Texas. There, the registration and
membership data are checked and verified and then it awaits final approval
by the BSA's National Court of Honor. When the approval is granted, the
local Council is notified, and any Eagle Scout items pre-ordered are filled
and sent to the local Council for presentation to the new Eagle Scout during
what is called an Eagle Scout Court of Honor.
Eagle Scouts may continue to earn Eagle Palms to the Eagle Scout Badge by
completing five additional merit badges for each palm, by being active in
their unit for three months per palm, by holding a leadership position or a
Scoutmaster/Coach/Advisor/Skipper-appointed task or project, and by going
before the unit's committee as part of a Board of Review for each Palm. The
Bronze Palm represents five, the Gold Palm represents ten and the Silver
Palm represents fifteen merit badges and it continues Bronze, Gold, Silver
until either the Scout tires of the process or turns 18.
Some parents, wanting to insure that their sons get that right college or
military appointment, will attempt to award the badge BEFORE the BSA
approves the award (which can take in some locations up to six weeks).
In those cases, if the award comes back disapproved for some reason, the
unit leader and the local BSA Council is in somewhat of a fix. This is why
there are specific reasons why local BSA Councils will NOT sell or provide
Eagle Scout materials to include badges or cards to ANYONE EXCEPT EAGLE
This is also why, unfortunately, *only* BSA members can become Eagle Scouts,
to answer one of your questions directly. There is a way that you may
become a BSA member and earn the Eagle Scout badge, but it centers around
you becoming a BSA member.
Only the BSA National Office and specifically the Eagle Scout Service at the
National Office, can authorize sales of Eagle Scout items. Our local BSA
Councils can sell you an Eagle Scout badge and card, but only if you are a
"card-carrying" Eagle Scout or if they can verify your attainment of Eagle
through the Eagle Scout Service at National.
All newer Eagle Scouts since 1993 are "computerized" onto a National Eagle
Scout Directory as part of the application process; names and Councils of
Eagle Scouts like myself that earned Eagle BEFORE 1993 were placed into
large ledger books which highlighted the specialness of the badge personally
but made it hard for someone at the Eagle Scout Service to verify the status
of the person, particularily if they have earned Eagle as far back as 1960
or before. We are hoping that when the conversion from paper to electrons
is finished, that the BSA will post it somewhere whereby those of us out
here can do our own "checking" (mainly to see our names on their database
I know this is much more than you've asked for, Guilherme, but sometimes we
all forget that not everyone is part of the BSA and not everyone in the BSA
are Boy Scouters and therefore familiar with "what does it take" to earn
I'm sorry that there's not a honorary or special way that those outside the
BSA can earn Eagle, but there isn't...and that's what makes the badge so
desirable and special at the same time; which also explains why some Scouts
and Scouters and their parents will go to almost any lenght to get their kid
one of those badges too.
The badge is just the outward *prize* of a much greater goal: to develop
the leadership, citizenship and personal character of a Scout. To build him
as a leader and as a follower. And to give him that overall goal...that
mountain peak at the top of the mountain to shoot for and get there.
Even if we sometimes disagree on the *way* he gets there and *whom he
tramples over* to get there by.
> Do you have any HQ like we have? Does it sent the badges as the
>elements achieve it (the merit badge)? Are the Eagle avaliable to
>foreigners, cause I'm interessed on it?
> Well, sorry about my english, and corrections will be welcome ;) !
> Thanks!!!! 73!!!!
> Sempre Alerta para Servir!
> Guilherme Soares, Brazilian Rover, ZZ5-RPJ
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://dynasty.net/users/blkeagle
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