Tracking Your Path from Life to Eagle
To reach Eagle rank requires a series of accomplishments. This document can help you and your advisor track your progress.
There are two important documents you will work on: the Eagle Project Workbook and the Eagle Application.
The Eagle Application is the last thing to be completed before your Eagle Board of Review while the Eagle Project Workbook will be with you all the way through your Eagle project.
The last step in the process will be your Eagle Board of Review.
The Eagle Project and the Eagle Workbook
The steps in this section will help you with planning your Eagle project.
There are 4 parts to your Eagle project:
- Develop a proposal and get it approved.
- Develop a project plan that fleshes out the details of the project with your Eagle Advisor. You can also begin fundraising and asking for help on your project.
- Execute your Eagle project.
- Record the results of your project in an Eagle Project Report.
Develop a Proposal
You decide on a service project that will aid a specific beneficiary. Your Eagle Advisor can help you work through the details, but the project choice is yours.
Some rules about selecting a beneficiary:
Has to be a non-profit organization – like a school, a park, a community center, a subdivision
The project can’t be normal maintenance – like picking up trash in a park
Once you decide on a service project, you need to work with the beneficiary to make sure you understand their needs and they understand what you can accomplish. Once you have a tentative agreement with the beneficiary, you need to fill out the Eagle Proposal section of the Project Workbook. You will use this writeup to get approval from your scoutmaster, your troop committee chair, the beneficiary representative, and the District Representative.
Once you have a tentative agreement with your beneficiary, it is a good idea to approach the District Representative (Mr. Kopel in our case) and get his feedback. He may ask you to increase the scope of the project. For example, he may say that you should build 3 picnic tables instead of 1. He may recommend that you scale back your project as being too difficult. For example, if you wanted to build a shelter to cover a seating area, the building permits may be
too difficult and too costly to acquire in a reasonable time. It’s best to approach Mr. Kopel early on, so that if he recommends changes, you can still negotiate with your beneficiary.
Once Mr.Kopel is satisfied, then finalize the proposal and get everyone’s signatures on the signature page on the Proposal section of the Project Workbook.
Develop a Project Plan
Once the Project PEroposal is approved, you have several things to work on. Some of these items may run in parallel.
- A detailed project plan
- Scheduling the work with the beneficiary
- Asking for volunteers
Work through your detailed project plan. This work includes getting all the steps of your project written down so that you can pass on directions to the scouts and adults helping with your project. For example, if you are planning to build a park bench, you need to find or draw up detailed instructions for each step:
- Material prep – what wood is needed, size, length, type; how does the wood need to be cut, who will cut it?
- Material assembly – how do the parts go together? What fasteners will you use? Where will the assembly be done? Will you need to transport the finished bench to its final home or will you get the team to assemble it onsite?
- Safety plan – what may go wrong? How can you keep everyone safe?
Fundraising has some important rules. All funds must be tracked and benefit the beneficiary. This means that any excess funds must be donated to the beneficiary or to another non-profit designated by the beneficiary. All donors must know that they are donating to the beneficiary, not you. If a donor wants to write a check, it must go to the troop.
Use of on-line fundraising requires careful planning. GoFundMe is okay to use since the funds are held in an account that can be easily turned over to the troop without the funds going through a personal account. You need to be sure that all of your writeup makes it clear that people are not donated to you (the scout) but to the beneficiary.
Planning with Beneficiary
Once you have a good grasp of how much time the project will take, you need to work with the beneficiary to plan the actual project work. They may have limits to when you can work on the site of the work, or limits on what materials can be stored. For example, if you are working at a school, they may ask that all work be done on the weekends, and that no partial work be left on campus across the school week, such as a half-built picnic table. The beneficiary may also have special events that you will need to plan around.
Ask for Volunteers
Once you have agreed with the beneficiary when the project can go forward, you need to ask for volunteers. You can ask for volunteers from other scouts in the troop, and adults associated with the troop. You can also ask for other volunteers from your family, your school or other associations. Keep in mind that the volunteers will be depending on you to direct and lead their efforts. When you plan the actual work, you should consider what work you can assign to the different types of volunteers. You should also consider if you want to ask other scouts to act as virtual patrol leaders to lead smaller groups so that you can coordinate the larger project.
Execute the Eagle Project Plan
Finally, it will be time to put all of your planning into action. Expect for some things to go wrong at the last minute. The weather might not cooperate, and your work site might flood. You might find that you ran out of a key supply halfway through the work day. Keep calm, and you can and will work through the problems as they arise.
Writing the Eagle Project Report
The Eagle project report shows the results of your project, and gives you a chance to reflect on what you have learned from the project. Be sure to include all of the records that you have in an appendix. Some records might include: scans of the volunteer signin sheets, copies of your receipts, logs of donations, pictures of your project area before and after (as appropriate). Think through the questions in the report packet and answer them completely. Many scouts underestimate the amount of time they spent on their project by not including the time spent in the planning phase, time spent buying materials, time spent after the project communicating with the beneficiary and preparing the report.
The Eagle Application
The steps in this section help you with the Eagle Application.
- Be active in your troop or crew for at least 6 months as a Life scout.
- When did you become a Life Scout:
- How have you been active in the troop?
- Attending meetings
- Going on campouts
- Taking a leadership position with the troop
- In your Eagle Application, you will identify 5-6 people willing to act as references who are willing to provide a recommendation that you have demonstrated that you live by the principle of the Scout Oath and Law every day.
- You need to identify people willing to provide a reference including:
- A parent or guardian
- A religious leader
- A teacher or other person from your school
- A person from your job, if you have one
- Two other people who may be adults that you have met through the troop, other family members, friends from school or from scouting.
- For this requirement, the people can be of any age, but are willing to say that you have demonstrated your habit of following Scouting principles.
- Things to remember about this step:
- You only need to identify the people who have agreed to provide a recommendation. You do not handle the letters or even ask the people to complete the letters – other people will handle that for you.
- It is important that these people have agreed to provide a recommendation and that they will be available. If at all possible, include both a phone number and an email address for each reference to make it easier for your advisor or Eagle coordinator to reach out to them.
- For example, if it’s the end of the school year, make sure to ask how the teacher can be reached over the summer.
- You need to identify people willing to provide a reference including:
- Earn at least 21 merit badges
- While a Life Scout, serve for at least 6 months in a position of responsibility. (See Eagle application for allowed leadership positions.)
- This requirement has to be completed after you become a Life Scout and before you turn 18. Be sure to keep track of each leadership position you take on after becoming a Life Scout.
- Develop and lead a service project. (more about this in the earlier section)
- Participate in a Scoutmaster conference. Your Scoutmaster has been involved in the earlier steps (approving the proposal and the Eagle Report). This conference is a way to close the circle on the project and get their feedback as you prepare to submit your Eagle Application.
The Eagle Board of Review
This BOR is the last step in the process once you have completed your Eagle Project and your Eagle Application. You will bring or send your Eagle Application to the Scout Service Center to be certified. The people at the Scout Center will check that all of the records match with your District records to certify that Eagle application is ready. They will notify the District Representative, Mr. Kopel, that you ready to sit for your Eagle BOR. He will notify your Eagle Coordinator to send him the final documentation and coordinate the BOR. The Coordinator will ask you for your preferences for the BOR. Right now, that includes whether you want an in-person BOR or a virtual one. Also, if you have a requirement for a certain month or day, you will need to let the coordinator know. You will be notified if Mr. Kopel has any concerns about your documentation and once he’s satisfied, you will be notified of the date of your BOR.
For an in-person BOR, you will need to bring 4 copies of:
- your Eagle Packet with any appendices
- your certified Eagle Application
- a Life Ambition Statement
- a list of your honors and accomplishments inside and outside of scouting
For a virtual BOR, you will need to send electronic copies of the above list to your Eagle Coordinator.