Journey to Eagle

It's time to sprout wings and take flight scouts! Here will be an explanation along with a personal perspective on the road to becoming an Eagle Scout. Reaching the rank of Eagle is no easy feat, and it requires a lot of devotion and responsibility in order to achieve. 

The rank of eagle is not an easy feat to achieve. Roughly one boy in every 172 earns Eagle (0.6%). Yet over 15% of all US astronauts are Eagle Scouts. So are 10% of the cadets at both West Point and the Air Force Academy.

What is an Eagle Scout?

To earn the Eagle Scout rank, the highest advancement rank in Scouting, a Boy Scout must fulfill requirements in the areas of leadership, service, and outdoor skills. Although many options are available to demonstrate proficiency in these areas, a number of specific skills are required to advance through the ranks—Scout rank, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle. To advance, a Boy Scout must pass specific tests that are organized by requirements and merit badges.

Okay so I'm a Life Scout, what now?

The process of advancing to Eagle is like none other and is much more complex than advancement to any other rank. A lot of scouts have trouble knowing what to do at this point. This is the Troop 291 specific method to advance to Eagle.

Merit Badges

Merit badges signify the mastery of certain outdoor skills, as well as helping boys increase their skill in an area of personal interest. Of the 130+ merit badges available, 21 must be earned to qualify for Eagle Scout. Of this group, 13 badges are required.

Service Project

In addition, to attain the rank of Eagle, a scout must complete an Eagle service project. The Eagle Scout service project is different from other service projects you have done because you are now the leader. The Eagle project must meet two criteria:

  • It must be of significant value to the community outside of Scouting (town, church, school, etc.).
  • You must provide leadership to others during the project (the project idea does not have to be original, but you must be in charge; and two people cannot lead the same project).

So here's what you need to do to successfully complete the Eagle Scout Service Project: (UP TO DATE)

  • Get the Eagle Service Project Workbook here.
  • Come up with a workable idea. This is the hardest part! Talk to the Scoutmaster (Mr. White and Mr. Nelson) and the Eagle Advisor (Mr. Kraus) for help. Talk to local agencies that serve the needy, or that provide services to the elderly.
  • Write up a preliminary proposal, showing what you will do, who it will benefit, materials needed, costs, number of people involved, etc (see Eagle Service Project Workbook). 
  • Present your preliminary proposal to your Eagle Advisor. Four signatures are required.
  • Present your preliminary proposal to the Unit Leader (One of our scoutmasters), Unit Committee Chair (Ms. Cordle), Beneficiary, and Council or District Advisor (Mr. Kennedy). They will help you develop your plan into an achievable project. For the Council or District Advisor , Set up an appointment at his office by yourself. DO NOT LET YOUR PARENTS DO THIS. Don't forget the Eagle Service Project Workbook.
  • Once you have received the signatures on your proposal, you can begin working on your plan.
  • Write up your plan and present it to the Eagle Advisor and any subject matter experts that you have enlisted for help on your eagle project. 
  • Get necessary donations of materials. Do a preliminary cost estimate and determine whether or not you will need to do fundraising. If you need to raise funds, make sure you read the requirements for running fundraisers in the Eagle Project Workbook.
  • Get volunteers, don't forget you can recruit friends and family that are outside of the troop to help in the Eagle Project.
  • Do the project. If an overnight or out-of-town trip is required, you'll need to file a BSA Local Tour Permit (get from the Scoutmaster). You and your parents are responsible to provide necessary support for the project (transportation, snacks, meals, etc.)
Note: Mr. Kraus is the best resource for aspiring Eagle Scouts to use. He will gladly assist the scouts through every step of an Eagle Project execution. Just contact him at (240)-888-3274.

TIPS:
  • Don't wait till the last minute! Come up with a plan and allot your time wisely!
  • The 8-month to Eagle Plan (These are just guidelines)
    • Begin planning 8 months in advance
    • After a month, present your proposal
    • After two more months, present your plan
    • After another two months, execute your project
    • After another month, report on the project
    • You will have enough time to get everything together for your Eagle Advancement!
To comment on "Eagle Project Ideas" please select HERE.



Fundraising

If your project includes a fundraiser, make sure to get approval and a signature from your beneficiary, a troop leader (Mr. White or Mr. Nelson), and a council representative (Ms. Margee Egan at the National Capital Area Council in Bethesda, MD)

Eagle Binder

Each scout must prepare a binder containing all required materials for advancement to Eagle Scout. It is a collection of your scouting experiences.
  • First pages

    • Eagle Application

      • Print double sided

    • Advancement summary

      • Ask the Advancement Chair - advancementchair@bsa-ncac-troop291.org for your records

    • Individual History Report

      • From Troopmaster, ask Advancement Chair - advancementchair@bsa-ncac-troop291.org for it

    • Dates matching books/cards

      • They will give you trouble if dates do not completely match

  • Next few pages

    • 20 required merit badge cards (EAGLE REQUIRED BADGES IN ORDER LISTED, NON-EAGLE REQUIRED BADGES IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER)

    • 2 photocopies

      • 1 original, 2 copies, 3 total, 1 in each binder

  • Next pages

    • PDF eagle project workbook (linked above & below)

      • Overview

      • Proposal

      • Plan

      • Report

      • Pictures

      • Detailed Instructions with pictures if necessary

  • Req 7 Letter of Ambition

    • Record of scouting

    • Why be a scout?

    • LIFE GOALS, AMBITION

  • Resume

    • Leadership

    • Awards

    • Community/Athletics/Talents/Achievements/Scouting (Make a balance)

  • Award Certificates (Optional)


AGAIN, make sure everything is perfect with no mistakes! The Eagle Boards can get very picky sometimes!

Scoutmaster Conference

Prior to scheduling your scoutmaster conference, you will have to have three copies of your eagle scout binder completed.
You can ask either Mr. White or Mr. Nelson for a scoutmaster conference (but they will probably both be there regardless of who you ask)
They will talk to you about your whole scouting experience and give you tips to prepare for the upcoming board of review.

Mock Board of Review

After completion of your troop 291 scoutmaster conference, schedule a mock board of review with Mr. Kraus, or whoever the current Eagle Advisor is for troop 291. 
Mr. Kraus will grab two other parents and will hold a mock interview for you to practice.
Don't stress about this one too much, but make sure to take it as good practice for the real deal.

Board of Review

You must have a presenter. You can ask one of our scoutmasters to present you, but it can really be anybody that you feel has been a major part of your scouting experience and is willing to talk about you to the board of review.
You must also bring with you two people of your own. These are usually parents who will be distributed among the eagle boards to interview other scouts.
Bring your binders to the board. Each BSA representative will take a scout's binders, and the two parents that get drawn with them will take two of the three binders.
Your presenters will be called up first to give a brief overview of you as a scout.
After that, you will be called up and will enter the room.
You will be answering a series of questions from the board. Check this out to see the kinds of questions you might be asked about. Typically, you will be asked about your Eagle Project, what the Scout Law/Oath/Slogan/Motto mean to you, and about your scouting experience overall.
After you are finished, you will be sent outside to allow the board members to come to a decision. You will then be called back in and they will announce whether you have become an Eagle Scout or not. (Don't worry about this, it is very rare that they actually deny anyone! If you made it this far, it means that everyone, including Mr. Kennedy, see you as qualified to become an Eagle Scout.)
Congratulations! You are Seneca District's newest Eagle Scout! Wear the title with pride and remember to keep helping others!

Emailing the Troop and SignUpGenius
 
When sending out your notification email, do not try to address the troop's email group via SignUpGenius. Instead, use an account that is part of the google group and send your message with the SignUpGenius link to bsa-troop-291-north-potomac-md@googlegroups.com

My Journey (Ongoing)

I started as a Boy Scout in 2011. I was in the 5th grade, and had just been transferred from my local Cub Scout pack. I was enthusiastic about Scouting and I believed that in becoming a Scout, I could be prepared to take care of myself in the future. After several years of camping, merit badges and leadership, I earned the rank of Life Scout. I was excited because my goal, to become an Eagle Scout, was within sight. However, the gap between Life and Eagle is probably the largest out of all gaps between consecutive ranks. I had a lot of work to do, and time was not on my side. As the days went by, I found that I was having less time to participate in Scouting-related activities. I still had a total of six merit badges to complete in order to satisfy the rule of the 13 mandatory merit badges. I am still currently undecided on a service project, but I would like to help out in a church. 

Other Journeys and Experiences



I hope this helped any aspiring Eagle Scouts to reach their goal in scouting!
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  May 12, 2016, 9:10 AM Troop 291 BSA-North Potomac