LIFE TO EAGLE POLICY
The basic requirements of the Eagle Rank can be found in your Boy Scout Handbook. An overview is as follows:
- Be active in your troop and patrol for at least 6 months as a Life Scout.
- Demonstrate Scout Spirit by living the Scout Oath and Law in your everyday life.
- Earn a total of 21 merit badges including all from the required list for Eagle.
- While a Life Scout, you must actively serve for a period of 6 months, in at least one position of responsibility as defined in the Scout Handbook.
- While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others, in a service project.
- Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.
Troop 312 Eagle Requirements
Below you will find further explanations of the above Eagle requirements.
Scout Spirit is an important part of Scouting. It is especially important for you as you work towards becoming an Eagle candidate. Therefore, it is expected of you, the Life Scout, to be active in your troop, fully participating in troop meetings, troop activities, and troop fund raising activities. Lack of participation clearly shows lack of Scout Spirit, and may be cause for rejection of your Eagle application.
If you’re at all concerned with this part of Scouting, and how it affects you, it is suggested that you communicate with your Scoutmaster. As with any problem, sooner you address it, the better off you are.
As a Life Scout, is expected that you complete all merit badges as required for the rank of Eagle, in a timely manner. Please be aware that any last minute effort on your part to complete required merit badges may jeopardize your chances for advancement. It's best to follow the Scout motto and "be prepared."
You must also keep in mind, some specific merit badges may take up to 3 months to complete, and as such, should be started no later than the age of 17 and a half. Also, merit badge counselors may not always be available at the time you need them, so always be prepared, and plan early.
Leadership is a vital part of the Life Scout rank. You are expected to serve an active role, a position of responsibility, within your troop. These roles are as defined in your Scout Handbook. Service is for a minimum of 6 months. As a leader, your attendance and participation are important; other Scouts are depending on you. Should you, as a Life Scout, in the opinion of the Troop committee, fail to live up to your position of responsibility, you may not advance.
Eagle Service Project
As an Eagle candidate, the Life Scout must plan, develop, and give leadership, in order to complete a service project. This process is explained in detail in the "Trail to Eagle Packet," available at the council office, or over the Internet. This guide is a valuable resource and you are expected to use it. You will find it useful. It is expected that you will begin the Eagle project process no later than your 17th birthday. Since things do not always go exactly as planned, your troop committee recommends that you begin earlier. Starting earlier will give you an insurance cushion of time. This is to be your Eagle project. You, and only you, must be the one to plan, organize, and carry out your project. You are to direct others. If it is found in the opinion of the troop committee, that others are doing key portions of your project, the project may be rejected. Your Eagle project must proceed, step be step, as outlined in BSA Publication No. 18-927, "Life to Eagle Packet." By following these steps, you will find that things will proceed rather smoothly. Failure to follow the outlined steps will be cause for automatic rejection of your project. You may be forced at that time to start all over.
One of the most challenging aspects of your Eagle project will be raising the money necessary to pay for it. This is your project, and as such, you are responsible in raising all necessary funding. A good question to ask yourself when considering any project is: “How am I going to pay for it”? Most Scouts either solicit funds, or hold a fundraiser to cover project costs. You will find information on fundraising on the Council web site and in your "Trail to Eagle Packet”. If you choose fundraising, you are required to follow Council rules, including submitting all necessary paperwork. When soliciting funds, remember that you represent not only yourself, but also your Troop, and Scouting in general. Before going out to solicit from anyone, it’s always a good idea to review with your Troop leaders. They will help you prepare, and let you know exactly what is expected of you. Keep in mind, the Committee of Troop 312 cannot, and will not, donate any funding for Eagle projects.
Post Project Work
After your project is completed, you are expected to submit your final report in a timely manner. Why not prepare your first draft while the project is fresh in your mind? Your Scoutmaster or other unit leaders may want to look over your first draft in order to give their input. Once all requirements for the rank of Eagle are met, you will need three letters of recommendation. This process is quite simple:
First, you will need 3 formal letters requesting recommendation. These will be written to the 3 people you have named as references on your Eagle application. Your Committee Chairman, or Advancement Chairmen, and yourself, will sign these request letters and then you can send them out. It is suggested that these letters be returned to the Troop Chairman. In any case, these letters of recommendation are to be delivered unopened. Your Eagle Board of Review cannot take place until these 3 letters are received.
Questions and Answers
It's our hope as your Troop Committee, that you follow our Life to Eagle policy and avoid any problems. Below you will find some typical questions about problems and potential consequences.
Q. I'm almost 18 and I still have 2 merit badges to complete, can I make Eagle?
A. You may, but you may find that counselors are not available, so it's better not to wait until the last minute.
Q. The Troop Committee has some question about my Scout Spirit. What can I do?
A. Lack of Scout Spirit may be cause for rejection of your Eagle application. If you have time, the Troop Committee may come up with a plan of action in order for you to prove your Scout Spirit. Please be aware that this may take up to an additional 6 months. If you are close to your 18th birthday, you may be out of time. Keep in mind, there is never a guarantee.
Q. BSA rules say that I have up until my 18th birthday to earn the rank of Eagle, so I can squeeze everything in at the last minute, right?
A. Your Troop Committee holds the rank of Eagle in the highest regard, and as such, we will only approve Eagle candidates that have followed Troop policy.
Q. If I have to, I can go outside the Troop to earn my Eagle, right?
A. If the Troop Committee had any reason to reject your application, everything is suspended at that point. If you choose to go outside of our Troop in your pursuit of Eagle, we would do nothing less than wish you good luck. Remember, at that point we no longer have any part in your Eagle process, including any Eagle ceremony.
Q. What's the big deal about the three letters of recommendation?
A. You will need 3 references for the rank of Eagle. These 3 people will be giving their opinion of you, and your character. Until these 3 letters of recommendation are delivered, sealed, to the Troop Chairman, your Eagle process is on hold.