The Eagle Scout Rank

9.0.1.0 The Eagle Scout Rank Application Process

The following steps for preparing and submitting the Eagle Scout Rank application and accompanying materials will help prevent delays in securing National Council approval and certification.

9.0.1.1 Complete All the Requirements

Confirm all requirements have been completed: merit badges, service project, active participation, Scout spirit, position of responsibility, etc. Note that the unit leader (Scoutmaster) conference must occur before the 18th birthday, though it need not be the last item accomplished. The board of review, however, may be conducted after the 18th birthday. For details, see “Boards of Review,” 8.0.0.0.

9.0.1.2 Prepare the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook

The most current workbook must be used. It can be found at http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/resources.aspx. The workbook shows the project proposal was approved ahead of time, and then properly accepted by all parties when finished. Ideally, it will be a proud reminder of a significant accomplishment. See “Use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook,” 9.0.2.8.

If either approval is withheld, the Scout, if he desires it, must still be granted a board of review. For details, see “Initiating Eagle Scout Board of Review Under Disputed Circumstances,” 8.0.3.2.

9.0.1.3 Complete the Application

The Scout must complete the official Eagle Scout Rank application, No. 512-728. No other form or application method is permitted. A fillable PDF can be found at http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/resources.aspx. The application can also be printed and completed by hand. Careful review and thorough proofing will prevent delays. Remember, everything is verified by the local council; discrepancies and errors will lead to a form’s return. Pay special attention to the following red-flag items.

1. Dates: Joining, birth, First Class through Life boards of review, all merit badges, positions of responsibility with “FROM” and “TO,” Eagle service project final signature, Scoutmaster (unit leader) conference, Eagle board of review, and other signatures called for below.

2. Signatures: Applicant, unit leader, and unit committee chair. (Remaining signatures come later.)

3. References: Must list all six (five if not employed). If not affiliated with an organized religion, then the parent or guardian provides this reference.

4. Merit badges: Dates as mentioned above; check the unit number in which each badge was earned. Attach the Application for Alternate Eagle Scout Rank Merit Badges, if applicable.

5. Position of responsibility: Must be one of those listed for Eagle Scout rank, and must relate to the unit where the Scout is registered and active. For example, “SPL” would not be used by a crew member.

6. Attachments: Service project workbook, statement of ambitions and life purpose, and listing of positions, honors, and awards.

9.0.1.4 Obtain Required Signatures

The unit leader and committee chair signatures represent approval for the candidate to move on to a board of review. In providing them, the signers carefully check the application. If there are “red-flag” issues (see above), such as time spans between ranks that don’t meet the requirements, then the dates should be confirmed. If they are correct but do not fit the requirement, then the Scout, parents, or unit leader should contact the district advancement chair for guidance. Usually, as with unavoidable discrepancies, a letter of explanation will be helpful in addressing the issue.

9.0.1.5 Submit to Council Service Center

A copy should be made of the application, service project workbook, and the other attachments. Once copies are in safekeeping, the originals are delivered promptly to the council service center. The candidate should not have to wait. Timeliness is especially critical if he is approaching, or has already turned, 18. Sending materials late can imply the work continued afterward. If possible, everything should be hand-delivered. Otherwise it should be sent by registered or certified mail.

Councils may suggest service project workbooks (only) be sent or taken to a different person or location, such as a district advancement committee member. This has the potential for cost-savings in sending it out for the board of review. An Eagle Scout candidate, however, should confirm that any related instructions are correct and up-to-date. If there is any concern the workbook will go to the wrong place, it should accompany the Eagle application to the service center.

9.0.1.6 Council Verifies Application and Board of Review Scheduled

Everything is checked against council records. If information in ScoutNET or council files is incomplete, the Scout or the unit will be asked to provide certificates, blue cards, or other suitable proof that merit badges and ranks were earned and that dates are accurate. If everything is correct, the council provides a certification signature, files a copy of the application, and sends the original with the service project workbook and other items (such as reference letters received) to the board of review chair or other designated volunteer. The board is scheduled only after the council-certified application is received.

9.0.1.7 References Contacted

Council advancement committee members—or others designated—contact the references appearing on the Eagle Scout application. This may be done by letter, form, or phone call. For reasons of privacy and confidentiality, electronic submissions are discouraged. It is acceptable to send or deliver to the references an addressed envelope with instructions, and perhaps a form to complete. The Scout may assist with this, but that is the limit of his participation. He is not to be responsible for follow-through or any other aspect of the process.

It is up to the council’s designated representatives to make every effort to collect the responses. If after a reasonable effort no response can be obtained from any references, the board of review must go on without them. It may not be postponed or denied for this reason, and the Scout may not be asked to submit additional references or to provide replacements.

Completed reference responses of any kind are the property of the council and are confidential, and only review-board members and those officials with a specific need may see them. The responses are not to be viewed by, or returned to, the Scout. Doing so could discourage the submission of negative information. For the same reason, those providing references shall not be given the option of waiving confidentiality. Once a review has been held, or an appeal process conducted, responses shall be returned to the council, where they will be destroyed after the Eagle Scout credentials are released or the appeal is concluded.

9.0.1.8 Application Returned to Council Service Center

If a board of review approves a candidate, the signed application, reference letters, and other confidential information are returned to the local council. Unless otherwise directed, the service project workbook and statement of ambitions and life purpose (requirement 6, Eagle Scout Rank application) can be returned to the Scout. If approval is denied, all materials are returned to the council.

The statement of ambitions and life purpose, as noted on the Eagle Scout Rank application, is an official rank requirement. It will be added to the requirements shown in official literature.

9.0.1.9 Council Sends Application to National Advancement Team

At the council the Scout executive signs the application, certifying proper procedures were followed. The application is then entered into ScoutNET, filed locally, and sent electronically to the national Advancement Team. In special cases, such as those for Lone Scouts or Scouts more than six months past their 18th birthday, councils must submit applications via mail, email, or fax for manual processing.

9.0.1.10 National Advancement Team Returns Credentials

The Advancement Team validates all applications received and generates the credentials. Staff members then print, package, and mail the certificate, pocket card, and congratulatory letter to the council. Applications sent for manual processing take several weeks to complete.

9.0.2.0 The Eagle Scout Service Project

While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. (The project must benefit an organization other than Boy Scouting.) A project proposal must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your unit leader and unit committee, and the council or district before you start. You must use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, No. 512-927, in meeting this requirement.
—Eagle Scout requirement 5

This requirement formerly read, “The project plan must be approved …” This change is effective with the release of the Guide to Advancement and the 2011 revision of the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook. Scouts working on project plans at the time of release may choose to use either the changed, or previous, wording. The 2012 Boy Scout Requirements book will be updated accordingly.

9.0.2.1 What an Eagle Scout Candidate Should Expect

While working toward completion of the Eagle Scout service project, especially during the proposal approval process, a candidate has the right to expect the following:

  1. Questioning and probing for his understanding of the project, the proposal, and what must be done, shall be conducted in a helpful, friendly, courteous, and kind-hearted manner. We will respect the Scout’s dignity. He will be allowed, if he chooses, to have a parent, unit leader, or other adult present as an observer at any time he is discussing his proposal or project with someone who is reviewing it.
  2. Project expectations will match Eagle Scout requirement 5, and we will not require proposals to include more than described in the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook.
  3. If requested by the Scout or his parent or guardian, an explanation of a proposal rejection will be provided in writing, with a copy sent to the council advancement chair and staff advisor. It will indicate reasons for rejection and suggestions concerning what can be done to achieve approval.
  4. Guidance that maximizes the opportunity for completion of a worthwhile project will be readily available and strongly recommended. Ultimately, however, the responsibility for success belongs to the Scout, and final evaluation is left to the board of review.
  5. If the candidate believes he has been mistreated or his proposal wrongfully rejected, he will be provided a method of redress. This will include the opportunity for a second opinion and approval, either through another volunteer or professional advancement administrator, or the Scout executive, as determined by the council advancement committee or executive board.

An advancement administrator is a member or chair of a council or district advancement committee, or a volunteer or professional designated according to local practices, to assist in advancement administration.

9.0.2.2 "While a Life Scout ..."

Work on a project, including planning, begins after the Life Scout board of review. But this is not meant to preclude an enthusiastic Star Scout from talking with his Scoutmaster, religious leader, or principal about what a good project might be.

9.0.2.3 "Plan, Develop ..."

Planning and development require forethought, effort, and time—sometimes more than for execution. Thus, for the most part, they are considered part of the project and are detailed further once a proposal is approved. It is inappropriate to expect a Scout to invest the time required for detailed planning, only to face the prospect of rejection. See “Proposal Must Be Approved … Before You Start,” 9.0.2.7.

It is important not to categorically reject projects that, on the surface, may not seem to require enough planning and development. Consider, for example, a blood drive. Often rejected out of hand, this project, if done properly, could be acceptable. Few would question the beneficiary. Blood banks save lives—thousands of them: maybe yours, maybe that of a loved one. If the candidate proposes to use a set of “canned” instructions from the bank, implemented with no further planning, the planning effort would not meet the test.

On the other hand, there are councils in which Scouts and advancement committees have met with blood bank officials and worked out approaches that can comply. Typically these involve developing marketing plans and considering logistics. People successful in business know how important these skills are. Some blood banks will also set a minimum for blood collected as a measure of a successful plan. To provide another valuable lesson, they may require the candidate to keep at it until he’s met this goal.

A good test of any project is to evaluate its complexity. In the case of a blood drive, for example, elements of challenge and complexity can be added so there is a clear demonstration of planning, development, and leadership.

9.0.2.4 "Give Leadership to Others ..."

“Others” means at least two people besides the Scout. Helpers may be involved in Scouting or not, and of any age appropriate for the work. In cases where just three people are not able to conduct a project to the satisfaction of a beneficiary, then more would be advisable. It may be, however, that a well-chosen project conducted by only three provides an impact not achievable in those involving more.

One of the purposes for the project is to demonstrate leadership, but this could be considered a more important element, perhaps, for a Scout who has not yet established himself as a leader. It is for reasons like these that every project must be evaluated, case-by-case, on its merits, and on lessons that will advance the candidate’s growth. Councils, districts, and units shall not establish requirements for the number of people led, or their makeup, or for time worked on a project. Nor shall they expect Scouts from different backgrounds, with different experiences and different needs, all to work toward a particular standard. The Eagle Scout service project is an individualized experience.

9.0.2.5 "Helpful to Any Religious Institution, Any School, or Your Community

“Any religious institution” and “any school” are self explanatory. But what does “your community” mean? In today’s world of instant communications and speedy travel, we are affected more and more by what goes on all over the world. Prices for goods and services, investment values, our very safety, and how we feel about those less fortunate in other countries, all are involved. Thus, if a Scout wants to take his oath “to help other people” to another level and put his project to work for the “community of the world,” he is allowed to do so. A council may emphasize more local efforts but should not deny worthy projects of a wider scope.

Normally “your community” would not refer to individuals, although a council or district advancement committee may consider scenarios where an individual in need can affect a community. An example might involve elderly persons able to live at home but unable to maintain their property, with the result being an “attractive nuisance” or related dangerous situations, or even an eyesore— something that raises concern to more than that of just an individual. If it can be determined it is the community that benefits, then it is a matter of identifying who will provide approvals. They must come from a source representing the “community,” such as a neighborhood association, watch group, homeowners association, or perhaps a division of a town or county.

The project beneficiary need not be a registered nonprofit. Projects may not be of a commercial nature or for a business, but this is not meant to disallow community institutions that would otherwise be acceptable to the council or district advancement committee. These might include museums and various service agencies, or some homes for the elderly, for example. Some aspect of a business’s operation provided as a community service may also be considered; for example, a park open to the public that happens to be owned by a business. In cases such as these, the test is whether the project primarily benefits the community, as opposed to the profits of the business.

9.0.2.6 "Benefit an Organization Other Than Boy Scouting"

“To help other people at all times” is a basic tenet. The Eagle Scout service project is an important and meaningful opportunity to practice what we teach. Projects may not be performed for the Boy Scouts of America or its councils, districts, units, camps, and so forth. The unit’s chartered organization, however, is certainly a good candidate, as are other youth organizations such as the Girl Scouts of the USA.

9.0.2.7 "Proposal Must Be Approved ... Before You Start"

The proposal is an overview, but also the beginnings of planning. It shows the unit leader and any representatives of a unit committee, council, or district, that the following tests can be met.

  1. The project provides sufficient opportunity to meet the requirement.
  2. The project appears to be feasible.
  3. Safety issues will be addressed.
  4. Action steps for further detailed planning are included.
  5. The young man is on the right track with a reasonable chance for a positive experience.

The detail required for a proposal depends on project complexity. It must be enough to provide a level of confidence for a council or district reviewer that the above tests can be met, but not so much that—based on the possibility a proposal can be rejected—it does not respect the time it takes to prepare.

The unit committee is responsible for an approval of the proposal. It is acceptable for a troop, team, crew, or ship committee to designate representative(s) to act on its behalf. This is a unit decision. Neither the district nor the council may institute restrictions, such as how many committee members are to be involved.

A form for preparing a proposal appears in the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, No. 512-927. Completing it will represent a reasonable time investment and an introductory learning experience, and also provide the information needed for approval. The candidate shall not be required to submit more than is described there, or more than is necessary to establish that a project can meet the above tests.

Space is provided in the workbook for the candidate to record comments made during discussions with the district or council volunteer going over the proposal. A thorough review should generate numerous suggestions, cautions, and perhaps concerns (see “What an Eagle Scout Candidate Should Expect,” 9.0.2.1). The Scout should be encouraged to write these down and take them seriously. When the reviewer is satisfied the above tests can be met, then approval is granted.

It is important to be as considerate of an Eagle Scout candidate’s time as we expect him to be of ours. He is probably just as busy. Every attempt should be made to complete the approval process in one meeting. Then he should be challenged to work on his planning action steps and to consider scheduling time with his project coach for progress reports and further guidance. If he is amenable, it is advisable to hold one of these meetings after a final plan is completed and he is ready for implementation.

It is also acceptable for the coach or the advancement administrator responsible for approval—if he or she becomes concerned the project will not meet the requirements or it will not be completed to the satisfaction of the benefiting organization—to contact the Scout and his parent or guardian and, as appropriate, a representative of the beneficiary. However, even though the project coach may provide guidance critical to success, final design issues are ultimately between the Scout and the beneficiary. For limitations on the coach’s role, see “Eagle Scout Service Project Coach,” 9.0.2.9.

From time to time Scouts will “jump the gun” and begin fundraising efforts—or even work on the project itself— before a proposal is approved. This is counter to the requirements and well covered in multiple documents, but still it happens. Normally then, a Scout should select a different project. If circumstances are compelling, however—indicating lenience can be extended and a lesson learned without significant detriment to fulfilling the project’s purpose—the Scout can be allowed to carry on and have his proposal or project approved after-the-fact.

Because it is virtually impossible to forecast every contingency, candidates must be allowed a level of flexibility in carrying out proposals and planning action steps. But essential elements of a proposal should not be changed without good reason. If this must occur, the Scout should consult his project coach or unit leader for advice. It is appropriate to strongly suggest he share substantive changes with the project beneficiary, and also with those involved in preapprovals.

If it appears changes will cause results to fall below what is required, then cautionary advice is in order. Except under extreme circumstances, it is not acceptable for unit, or council or district, approval to be withdrawn. If the young man decides to strike out on his own, this is his prerogative. At some point, responsibility must take over. The board of review decides whether planning was sufficient and if the requirement was met.

The project beneficiary can stop work on an approved project. If enough has been done—such that the requirement’s intent has been met—then the project should still be given final approval. In extreme cases where changes could involve such issues as violations of law or BSA policy, or if they bring about unacceptable levels of risk, then district or council advancement administrators may bring this to the attention of the Scout, his parent or guardian, and his unit leader, and call for work to be suspended until compliance is achieved.

9.0.2.8 "Use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook"

Using the workbook, No. 512-927, is like insurance. It protects candidates and helps avoid pitfalls. If properly used, it very nearly assures success. It shows approvals have been secured, lists important limitations, suggests questions for those approving the project, and includes outlines for the proposal and the more detailed final plan that should come next.

The workbook should not, however, become a source for rejecting candidates based on “technicalities” that have nothing to do with requirement intent. The use of the workbook is required, but occasionally Scouts will submit it without everything called for. In most cases they should be required to fully complete the proposal and project report, and be strongly encouraged to complete the final plan. However at times it may not be feasible, or just not necessary to establish that the requirement was met.

If it is clear the project was completed and approved of, and meets Eagle Scout requirement 5 as it is written, then it should be considered. If it will be a hardship, or a poor use of time to fill in missing information or obtain a signature of a party who is unavailable or by some other means known to have approved it, then it is appropriate to accept it. There is something to be said for “object lessons,” but keep in mind that write-ups and signatures, though important, are simply supportive. It is a project that we require. Boards of review should use common sense: Did the project meet the requirements or not? Was there planning and development? Was there leadership of others?

The requirement that Scouts use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook means they must use the official document as produced by the Boy Scouts of America. Although it is acceptable to copy and distribute it, and even to transfer it to a different software platform or operating system, it must maintain the same appearance. No council, district, unit, or individual has the authority to require additional forms, or to add or change requirements, or to make any additions, deletions, or changes in the text, outlines, graphics, or other layout or informational elements of the workbook.

9.0.2.9 Eagle Scout Service Project Coach

Many units, districts, and councils use Eagle Scout service project “coaches.” They may or may not be part of proposal approval. Though it is a Scout’s option, coaches are highly recommended—especially those from the council or district level who are knowledgeable and experienced with project approvals. Their greatest value comes in the advice they provide after approval of a proposal as a candidate completes his planning. A coach can help him see that, if a plan is not sufficiently developed, then projects can fail. Assistance can come through evaluating a plan and discussing its strengths, weaknesses, and risks, but coaches shall not have the authority to dictate changes, withdraw approval, or take any other such directive action. Instead, coaches must use the BSA method of positive adult association, logic, and common sense to help the candidate make the right decisions.

In many cases, candidates will not have undertaken something like an Eagle service project. Thus, we want them to obtain guidance from others, share ideas, seek plan reviews, and go through other processes professional project planners might use. But like a professional, the Scout makes the decisions. He must not simply follow others’ directions to the point where his own input becomes insignificant. On the other hand, adult leaders must bear in mind he is yet a youth. Expectations must be reasonable and fitting.

9.0.2.10 Fundraising Issues

Projects may not be fundraisers. In other words, the candidate may not stage an effort that primarily collects money, even if it is for a worthy charity. Fundraising is permitted only for securing materials and otherwise facilitating a project. And unless it involves contributions only from the beneficiary, or from the candidate, his parents or relatives, his unit or its chartered organization, or from parents or members in his unit, it must be approved by the local council.

It is up to the council to determine who may serve as project coaches and how they might be assigned or otherwise provided to candidates. Coaches must be registered with the BSA (in any position) and have taken BSA Youth Protection training, and may come from the unit, district, or council level.

The Scout must make it clear to all donors or event participants that the money is being raised on behalf of the project beneficiary, which will retain leftover funds. Should any donors want documentation of a gift, this must be provided through the project beneficiary, not the Boy Scouts of America. Once collected, money raised must be turned over for deposit to an account of the beneficiary or the candidate’s unit, until needed for the project. If the unit receives the funds, it must release them to the beneficiary once expenses have been paid.

For additional detail see “Procedures and Limitations on Eagle Scout Service Project Fundraising,” found in the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, No. 512-927, on the reverse of the Eagle Scout Service Project Fundraising application.

9.0.2.11 Routine Labor

Routine labor is not normally considered appropriate for a project. This might be defined as a job or service that a Scout may provide as part of his daily life, or a routine maintenance job normally done by the beneficiary (for example, picking the weeds on the football field at a school). But the real test has to do with scale and impact. If “routine labor” is conducted on so large a scale it requires planning, development, and leadership, it may have sufficient impact.

9.0.2.12 Addressing Common Misconceptions

  1. No unit, district, council, or individual shall place any requirement or other arbitrary standard on the number of hours spent on a project. The Boy Scouts of America is concerned with hours worked on Eagle Scout service projects and collects this data only because it points to a level of excellence in achievement the BSA aim related to citizenship.
  2. Eagle Scout service projects are individual matters. No more than one candidate may receive credit for working on the same project.
  3. There is no requirement a project must have lasting value.

9.0.2.13 Evaluating the Project After Completion

Eagle Scout projects must be evaluated primarily on impact—the extent of benefit to the religious institution, school, or community, and on the leadership provided by the candidate. There must also be evidence of planning and development. This is not only part of the requirement, but relates to practicing our motto to “Be Prepared.” However, in determining if a project meets requirement 5, reviewers must not require more planning and development than necessary to execute the project. These elements must not overshadow the project itself, as long as the effort was well led, and resulted in otherwise worthy outcome acceptable to the beneficiary.

The Eagle Scout Service Project Fundraising application, found in the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, is used to obtain approval when required. Completed forms are sent to the local council service center where they are routed to those responsible for approval. This may be a district executive or another staff member, the council or district advancement committee, a finance committee, etc., as determined appropriate by the local council.

There may be instances where, upon its completion, the unit leader or project beneficiary chooses not to approve a project. One or the other may determine modifications were so material that the extent of service, or the impact of the project, were insufficient to warrant approval. The candidate may be requested to do more work or even start over with another project. He may choose to meet these requests, or he may decide—if he believes his completed project worthy and in compliance—to complete his Eagle Scout Rank application and submit his project workbook without final approval. He must be granted a board of review, should he request it.

If it is thought a unit board may not provide a fair hearing, a board of review under disputed circumstances may be initiated. (See “Initiating Eagle Scout Board of Review Under Disputed Circumstances,” 8.0.3.2.) The risk in this approach should be discussed with the Scout. But at the same time, the fact he is so convinced may point to a need to reevaluate what was done. Perhaps, despite the lack of final approval, the project did indeed meet the requirement.

At the board of review, if an approved proposal and any subsequent effort represents planning and development that was adequate to the project, and the project was well led and carried out to the satisfaction of the unit leader and project beneficiary, only in a very rare case would rejection result. It would have to be clearly established that Eagle Scout requirement 5—as written— was not completed. Under no circumstances may final project approval be withheld for reasons that have nothing to do with the project.

At the board of review, if an approved proposal and any subsequent effort represents planning and development that was adequate to the project, and the project was well led and carried out to the satisfaction of the unit leader and project beneficiary, only in a very rare case would rejection result.

9.0.2.14 Risk Management and Eagle Scout Service Projects

All Eagle Scout service projects constitute official Scouting activity and thus are subject to Boy Scouts of America policies and procedures. Projects are considered part of a unit’s program and are treated as such with regard to policies, procedures, and requirements regarding Youth Protection, two-deep leadership, etc. The health and safety of those working on Eagle projects must be integrated into project execution. As with any Scouting activity, the Guide to Safe Scouting applies. The “Sweet 16 of BSA Safety” must also be consulted as an appropriate planning tool. It can be found online at “Scouting Safely,” http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/healthandsafety/ sweet16.aspx. Unit leadership should be aware of project plans and schedules, and also familiar with the council’s requirements for fi ling tour plans (tour “permits”) in order to determine whether projects require them. More information can be found at http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/TourPlanFAQ.aspx.

At the time of publication of the Guide to Advancement, changes were being made to the Guide to Safe Scouting that will affect how service projects are conducted. The changes limit the use of hazardous power tools, machinery, and equipment, and also such activities as working at heights or on ladders, and driving motor vehicles.

Anyone under 18 who uses any power tool of any size must be supervised by a mature adult experienced in the use of the tool. As a rule, Scouting activities may not include activities for youth that, by law, they would not be allowed to do in a workplace. It is important also to obey restrictions manufacturers impose or suggest for the use of their tools or other products, or potentially hazardous chemicals such as paints, stains, lacquers, etc.

9.0.2.15 Insurance and Eagle Scout Projects

The Boy Scouts of America’s General Liability Policy provides general liability insurance coverage for official Scouting activities. Registered adult leaders are provided primary coverage. Unregistered adults participating in a Scouting activity are provided coverage in excess of their personal insurance.

Every council has the opportunity to participate in the BSA Accident and Sickness insurance program. It provides insurance for medical and dental bills arising from Scouting activities. If councils do not purchase this, then units may contract for it. In some cases chartered organizations might provide insurance, but this must not be assumed. Most of these programs provide only secondary coverage, and are limited to registered youth and adults and those interested in becoming members.

All Eagle Scout service projects constitute official Scouting activity and thus are subject to BSA policies and procedures. Projects are considered part of a unit’s program and are treated as such. As with any Scouting activity, the Guide to Safe Scouting applies.

9.0.3.0 About Eagle Palms

Scouts or qualified Venturers and Sea Scouts may earn Palms after they have achieved the Eagle Scout rank. For each one they must be active three months since their last award (Eagle or Palm), demonstrate Scout spirit, make an effort to develop and demonstrate leadership, earn fi ve additional merit badges beyond those required for Eagle or the last Palm, take part in a unit leader conference, and pass a board of review. All requirements except the board of review must be completed before age 18, and time extensions are not available. Merit badges earned at any time since becoming a Scout may be used. Palms must be earned in sequence, one at a time (Bronze, Gold, Silver), with the time requirement observed for each one. Palms are not considered ranks, but rather degrees of the Eagle Scout rank.

9.0.4.0 Time Extensions

If a youth foresees that, due to no fault or choice of his own, he will be unable to complete the Eagle Scout rank requirements before age 18, he may apply for a limited time extension. These are rarely granted and reserved only for work on Eagle. For a request to qualify, the following tests are applied.

At the time of publication of the Guide to Advancement, changes were being made to the Guide to Safe Scouting that will affect how service projects are conducted. The changes limit the use of hazardous power tools, machinery, and equipment, and also such activities as working at heights or on ladders, and driving motor vehicles.

  1. The member joined or rejoined—or became active again after a period of inactivity—in time to complete all requirements before turning 18. That is, the time remaining between joining, or rejoining, and when the Scout turns 18 is more than the total of the active-time requirements for the ranks left to achieve.
  2. A circumstance came to exist that now precludes completion before the deadline. Examples might include a health-related incident requiring a hospital stay, a disabling injury, a significant employment conflict, a family emergency, a natural disaster, severe unseasonable weather that could not have been anticipated, or unforeseen actions of others affecting the youth’s ability to complete the requirements.
  3. The circumstance is totally beyond the control of the youth member. Injuries, unanticipated family incidents, or various mistakes or omissions by adults, for example, could be legitimate causes. The Boy Scouts of America assumes anyone working on Boy Scout ranks has a Boy Scout Handbook and has read the requirements. Despite this, misinformation from unit leadership is often cited as grounds for extensions. These cases will be considered, but they should be very rare and would point to a need for basic training and assistance.
  4. The circumstance is severe and not the norm of the Scout’s life. In most cases, Scouts are expected to overcome life’s ordinary trials. Cause for an extension normally requires an extraordinary circumstance uncommon to the youth. For example, known circumstances such as moderate learning disabilities or ADD/ADHD that the Scout has faced over many years and which he has coped with in the past, should not suddenly become an issue shortly before his 18th birthday. It is important for council and district advancement committees to keep unit leadership informed of this so it does not become a surprise. An exception might be considered for Scouts with significant disabilities that do not meet the level of severity or permanence required for registration beyond the age of eligibility with a disability code, but are such that they essentially preclude advancement within the timeframe allowed.
  5. The circumstance could not have been planned for or anticipated. If it is health-related, it should have been unforeseen and of recent onset, or a complication or intensification of an ongoing issue.

The Boy Scouts of America will welcome Scouts back after periods of inactivity, and in considering advancement, will not hold time lost against them. All time requirements, however, must still be met. Scouts reactivating too late to complete time-oriented requirements will not be granted extensions, nor will those who remained active but simply did not focus on advancement.

9.0.4.1 Process for Submitting and Evaluating an Extension Request

The council advancement committee’s role is to collect and evaluate evidence, recommend action to the Scout, and if requested, provide the evidence with a position statement to the national Advancement Team. Throughout the process, it must be remembered that time is of the essence.

  1. The Scout, his parent or guardian, his unit leader, or a member of the unit committee may file the request. It is sent to the council service center to the attention of the council’s designated appeals coordinator. It is preferred that requests be submitted before the 18th birthday. The request must indicate the number of months after the 18th birthday that will be necessary to complete the requirements.
  2. The request must document the circumstances. For example, if the cause is health related, then a statement from a health professional must be provided. If the cause relates to adult error or misinformation, then the adult(s) involved, if available, must provide a statement. It is not sufficient simply to provide a summary of occurrences without the support of information from those with personal knowledge of what happened.
  3. The council advancement chair and staff advisor select at least two council advancement committee members who will research the request and prepare a summary report for the council advancement committee. The council-designated appeals coordinator should brief them on the procedures outlined herein. They should obtain statements from those with knowledge of the case, or interview them and then prepare written summaries. The candidate must be included in the process in order to ascertain circumstances were beyond his control, as must any adults available who committed errors or provided misinformation. In some cases, it is a good idea to hold face-to-face interviews—for example, those where the lack of a Boy Scout Handbook or ignorance of requirements is cited.
  4. The council advancement committee must review the evidence and prepare a position statement. This is shared with the Scout, his parent or guardian, and his unit leader.
  5. The Scout then decides whether to pursue the extension with the national Advancement Team. If affirmative, the Request for Extension of Time to Earn Eagle Scout Rank form (see 11.2.0.0) must be completed and then signed by the Scout executive. It must provide a recommendation for acceptance or denial, and indicate the length of the desired extension. A packet with the evidence, the position statement, and the extension request form is then forwarded to the national Advancement Team. A decision can usually be delivered within two to four weeks.