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.

Badges include: (as of January 2020)

Earn a total of 21 merit badges (10 more than required for the Life rank), including these 13 merit badges: 
(a) First Aid, 
(b) Citizenship in the Community,
(c) Citizenship in the Nation, 
(d) Citizenship in the World, 
(e) Communication,
(f) Cooking, 
(g) Personal Fitness, 
(h) Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving,
(i) Environmental Science OR Sustainability, 
(j) Personal Management,
(k) Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling, 
(l) Camping, and 
(m) Family Life.
You must choose only one of the merit badges listed in categories h, i, and k. Any additional merit badge(s) earned in those categories may be counted as one of your eight optional merit badges used to make your total of 21.

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!