Are you on your way to being an Eagle Scout?
First, carefully study the Eagle requirements as outlined in the most recent edition of the Boy Scout Handbook and review the supplemental material provided here. These will help you in the months ahead. Remember to build family and summer school vacations (particularly Scout Camp merit badge opportunities), periods of being especially busy (e.g. a school sports season, college application season) and other individual scheduling situations into your Eagle “game plan.” The materials here will also help prepare the application itself.
Second, discuss your plans with your Scoutmaster or unit committee’s Eagle advisor and get advice on how to proceed. Find out what is expected of you in participation, Scout spirit, Troop leadership and personal growth. Each of these is a specific requirement for advancement to Eagle, which must be accomplished to the satisfaction of your Unit’s youth and adult leadership, and each shows something about your fitness for the Eagle award.
Third, plan and organize the merit badge work and your service project so that they will be done well before your 18th birthday. This means making sure the Merit Badge applications (those blue cards!) are completely signed and registered at the Scout office and the project report (including photos) is completed and reviewed by your District Advancementin plenty of time. Your Scoutmaster can provide you with a list of your official merit badge records from the internet advancement web site. While the Board of Review may meet and the award may be presented at a Court of Honor after that 18th birthday, all requirements must be completed prior to that date.
Every leader remembers that at 16, 18 seems very far away. But sadly, every leader knows Scouts who waited just a week or two too long, and didn’t “make Eagle” even though they came extremely close. Please don’t be one of those! Also, please don’t be one of the guys who inconveniences everyone involved by needing “emergency” help right up until the night before his birthday.
Another reason to be careful about timing is the possibility of having to redo something. What if the Eagle Board finds that you’re not quite qualified? This happens. If you allow yourself plenty of time, you can get the “loose ends” finished up in time, but, if you’re nearly or already 18, you may not have that option.
You can get a lot more out of the trail to Eagle if you plan the journey carefully than if you try to make it in a last-minute sprint!