In Scouting, attaining the rank of Eagle Scout is a monumental challenge that only 5 percent of scouts ever complete. Young men and women who embark on this life-changing journey are sure to experience personal growth and build rewarding friendships along the way. But that’s not all — an Eagle Scout’s dedication is rewarded beyond their prestigious rank, with several benefits they’ll take with them for the rest of their lives!
What are the benefits of earning Eagle? Becoming an Eagle Scout is a valuable experience that’ll lead to several benefits for the recipient. These include lifelong friendships, increased confidence, and leadership experience. Eagle Scouts will also have a competitive advantage in college admissions, job applications, and military service.
As an Eagle Scout myself, I can tell you wholeheartedly that Scouting changed my life! In fact, I’ve experienced many of the following benefits, firsthand. If you’re interested in discovering all of the benefits that becoming an Eagle Scout can have on your own life, or in the life of a loved one, keep reading. 🙂
By the way, If someone you care about plans to earn the Eagle rank, please share this article with them! Some of my friends regret dropping out before earning Eagle, and I don’t want that to happen to any more scouts. By having a rewarding goal in mind, a “WHY,” my hope is that this article will encourage more scouts to persevere, grow, and succeed!
Significance Of Earning The Eagle Scout Rank
Eagle scouts are extremely rare — in fact, 19 out of 20 young people who join Scouting won’t actually reach the rank of Eagle. Thus, for most teenagers, becoming an Eagle Scout will be one of the greatest accomplishments at that point in their lives!
Countless completed requirements and merit badges, plus years of community service and troop leadership experiences, are just a few of the accomplishments necessary to earn the Eagle rank. In their journey to Eagle, a scout will likely be exposed to many valuable experiences such as:
- Earning at least 21 merit badges, including 13 Eagle-required ones, covering subjects like personal fitness, environmental science, public speaking, citizenship, and financial management.
- Learning valuable morals and life-lessons alongside friends, as they work together to overcome challenges.
- Serving as a leader within their troop by taking charge of a patrol.
- Learning to independently plan itineraries for campouts, backpacking trips, and troop excursions.
- Competing as a unit against other troops in exhilarating, large-scale scout camporees.
- Coordinating and leading a large-scale volunteer project for the betterment of their community (An Eagle Project).
- Involving themselves in service, by volunteering with local organizations and making valuable connections with community leaders.
As you can probably tell, I’m a fan of the Scouting process! While just being a scout can represent a pivotal experience in any young person’s life, the benefits an Eagle Scout can receive extend far beyond the valuable experiences they’ve had throughout their journey.
However, don’t just take my word for it! Before reading on, I‘d highly suggest checking out this video (3:00) and hearing from a number of successful Eagle Scouts who can also say with certainty that Scouting changed their lives for the better:
Clearly, there are countless benefits to earning the Eagle rank, as evidenced by the stories of these great individuals. However, in the list below, I’ll be covering the 7 most notable, life-changing benefits and values gained from becoming an Eagle Scout.
Morals And A Strong Work Ethic
Eagle Scouts are known for their strong sense of morals and hard-working character. The act of independently earning badges, challenging themselves, and working towards their goals, teaches scouts a work ethic that they’ll use for the rest of their lives.
However, unlike those who get ahead by cheating or lying, the success that a true Eagle Scout achieves will never come at the expense of others. One of the core lessons of Scouting is integrity, and countless past Eagles have embodied this moral while accomplishing incredible feats (like walking on the moon!) in their careers.
Throughout Scouting, an Eagle Scout learns to follow principles of the Scout Law: To be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
Because the Scouting program is so consistent, almost every college and employer will look more favorably upon an Eagle Scout candidate versus a non-Eagle, all else being equal. Additionally, Eagle Scouts will be eligible for Eagle-specific financial aid opportunities when applying to university.
College Admissions & Scholarships
Listing “Eagle Scout” on their college application will give an applicant a clear advantage over their peers who’ve achieved similar grades and test scores. Personally, I wrote about my Scouting experience on my college app and attended a great university, in spite of a poor early high school GPA! (UCSD and sub 3.0 – in case you were wondering)
In fact, a well-written Eagle Scout college application essay can mean the difference between an acceptance and a rejection (The last link is a guide with examples for creating an admission-worthy Eagle Scout personal statement). Some schools love Eagle Scouts, so it’ll always be worth including — unless you’ve already won a Nobel Prize or something. 😛
Eagle Scout Scholarships
There are also huge scholarships that are offered exclusively to Eagle Scouts. What’s better a benefit than FREE MONEY? To be eligible, all you’ll need are decent grades, a track record of service, and your Eagle Scout rank, of course. There are tons of opportunities out there, so I’d urge you to take advantage of them.
This is a bigger topic, so I won’t get into it here. BUT, if lowering your costs of tuition interests you, I urge you to check out my article on finding and winning scholarships for Eagle Scouts. Best of luck!
Accepted Job Applications
Having “Eagle Scout” on your resume instantly signals to employers the type of character and virtues you possess. Instead of having to add clichés like “hardworking, trustworthy, and dedicated” to a resume to make your application sound more attractive, the Eagle Scout rank will do the talking!
Employers see the achievement of Eagle as a signifier that you are the type of person they want to hire. If you appear qualified for the job, your Eagle Scout rank will just push you much higher up the candidate list and give you higher odds of an interview.
I’ve personally found that, if correctly listed, the rank of Eagle Scout can remain on your resume for years. Do you know how to properly describe your Scouting experience on a resume? If you do, it’s something you can proudly display for your entire working life! The rank is a clear message to employers of who you are and the values you hold.
In my optinion, the most significant benefit I’ve gained while pursuing the rank of Eagle was an increase in confidence. Belief in oneself is crucial to wellbeing, and confidence is a quality that scouts will carry throughout their entire lives! Building confidence at an early age will bring scouts greater successes in every arena they tackle.
How do Eagle Scouts build rock-solid confidence? Scouts are constantly challenging themselves to learn and accomplish things that are outside of their current realm of knowledge! Solving difficult problems and experiencing personal growth, in the form of merit badges or the success of their Eagle Scout Project, often instills lasting confidence in an Eagle Scout.
Leadership is a core element of Scouting that every Eagle Scout must thoroughly understand. While interacting with their troop and earning ranks, scouts are provided with plenty of situations and opportunities to hone their leadership abilities. I’d attribute my success in public speaking and team leading to the leadership lessons I first learned in Scouting!
An essential leadership skill that Eagle Scouts learn is the ability to connect with each patrol member on an individual level. This aspect of leadership is critical in business and the real world, and scouts are given an amazing head start! By learning to understand the strengths, weaknesses, and desires of the scouts under their command, Eagle Scouts are often able to build deeper, lasting friendships later on in life too.
Speaking of friendships, working alongside other scouts for years is a great way to build lasting connections. I can’t tell you how many starlit nights my friends and I spent in our tents, chatting about our families, our dreams, the nature of the universe, and, of course, relationships. 😛
Even after aging out, Eagle Scouts are never far from another friend in Scouting. In fact, many friends I met in college were also Eagle Scouts! Having that shared history will be a great way to start a conversation with other Eagle Scouts, and maybe even build a lasting friendship later on.
Last but not least, Eagle Scouts are also given significant benefits upon joining our nation’s armed forces, and preference in admissions when applying for military academies! In fact, Eagle Scouts that join any branch of the military start at a higher rank than those who do not have the Eagle Scout designation. Higher rank means higher pay.
If an Eagle Scout desires to pursue a career in the military, they’ll begin as an E-3 instead of an E-1! Typically, it takes a new recruit at least a year to climb two ranks and reach E-3, so this is a substantial benefit. In terms of pay, this amounts to an extra $500 or so, per month, right off the bat. Not too shabby!
If someone is planning to join the military after they’ve completed high school, becoming an Eagle Scout would give them enormous benefits. Furthermore, the skills an Eagle Scout has developed in leadership, self-confidence, perseverance, and comradery will carry them far throughout their military (or professional) career.
While becoming an Eagle Scout is no small task, it’s something that every Scout can achieve with the proper dedication and a desire to grow. Although there are many benefits to earning the Eagle rank, every Eagle Scout knows that the ultimate value of Scouting is in the journey.
Only by constantly learning and striving to become better can a scout reach Eagle. At that point though, their adventure is only beginning. The real-world benefits of earning Eagle give ambitious scouts a springboard to immediately seize professional opportunities.
If you’re currently a scout, I highly recommend you check out my free downloadable cheat sheet to earning Eagle, and learn the 5 mistakes you absolutely must avoid if you want to be successful in Scouting.
Just because this is so important, I’ll say it again: If someone you care about plans to earn the Eagle rank, please share this article with them! By learning the rewards of Eagle early on in Scouting, my hope is that this list of benefits will encourage more scouts to persevere, grow, and succeed. 🙂