Are you ready to officially become an Eagle Scout? If so, completing an Eagle Scout rank application will be the final hurdle that you’ll need to overcome. In this article, I’ll be teaching you everything you’ll need to know to correctly fill out and submit your own Eagle Scout application!
What is an Eagle Scout Rank Application? Submitting an Eagle Scout rank application to be verified by their local council is the final task a Life Scout must complete after fulfilling all of the requirements for Eagle rank. This application must contain key dates, personal references, and the signatures of troop leaders to be approved.
Luckily, the BSA’s current Eagle Scout rank application form is only 2 pages, and relatively straightforward to complete. However, making even a small mistake could lead to months of delays, so be sure the information on your Eagle application is correct and that all sections are accounted for. Trust me, you really want to get this form done right! 🙂
Before we dive into how to actually complete your Eagle rank application, as well as some very important points to keep in mind, let’s first see what the Eagle rank application actually looks like. There’s only one official form, and it’s put out by the BSA. Here’s the official, fillable BSA Eagle Rank Application that you can complete while reading this article!
Your Eagle Rank Application Form should look like this:
Before you begin working on this form, you should have already finished all of the requirements for the Eagle Scout rank, except for your final board of review. At this point, I’d recommend taking a quick scan of Eagle Scout requirements 1-6 to make sure you’ve finished everything, 100%. You definitely don’t want to miss something important!
The Official Eagle Scout Rank Requirements (In 2021)
- Be active in your troop for a period of at least six months as a Life Scout.
- As a Life Scout, demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Tell how you have done your duty to God, how you have lived the Scout Oath and Scout Law in your everyday life, and how your understanding of the Scout Oath and Scout Law will guide your life in the future. List on your Eagle Scout Rank Application the names of individuals who know you personally and would be willing to provide a recommendation on your behalf, including parents/guardians, religious (if not affiliated with an organized religion, then the parent or guardian provides this reference), educational, employer (if employed), and two other references.
- Earn a total of 21 merit badges (10 more than required for the Life rank), including these 13 merit badges:
- First Aid
- Citizenship in the Community
- Citizenship in the Nation
- Citizenship in the World
- Personal Fitness
- Family Life
- Personal Management
- Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving
- Environmental Science OR Sustainability
- Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling
- (You must choose only one of the merit badges listed in the last 3 categories. 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.)
- While a Life Scout, serve actively in your troop for six months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility:
- Patrol leader,
- Assistant senior patrol leader,
- Senior patrol leader,
- Troop guide,
- Order of the Arrow troop representative,
- Den chief,
- Junior assistant Scoutmaster,
- Chaplain aide,
- Outdoor ethics guide
- While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. (The project must benefit an organization other than the Boy Scouts of America.) A project proposal must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your Scoutmaster and unit committee, and the council or district before you start. You must use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, BSA publication No. 512-927, in meeting this requirement. (To learn more about the Eagle Scout service project, see the Guide to Advancement, topics 126.96.36.199 through 188.8.131.52.)
- While a Life Scout, participate in a Scoutmaster conference.
- (In preparation for your board of review, prepare and attach to your Eagle Scout Rank Application a statement of your ambitions and life purpose and a listing of positions held in your religious institution, school, camp, community, or other organizations, during which you demonstrated leadership skills. Include honors and awards received during this service.)
- Successfully complete your board of review for the Eagle Scout rank.12 (This requirement may be met after age 18 in accordance with Guide to Advancement, topic 184.108.40.206.)
One thing you might’ve noticed while reading through the rank requirements for Eagle is that a few of the requirements ask you to do multiple things. This can get confusing! Take, for example, requirement 2. You’ll need to explain how you live with Scout Spirit and collect reference letters.
Breaking Down The Eagle Rank Requirements
To make sure that nothing slips through the cracks for your Eagle rank application, I’ve simplified things a bit for you 😉 . Here are the 10 individual components that you’ll need to complete before starting your Eagle rank application:
- Be a Life Scout for 6 months. (Req 1)
- Note your Star Scout BOR date.
- Explain how you’ve demonstrated Scout Spirit by following the Scout Oath and Law. (Req 2)
- Collect 6 references from important figures in your life. (Req 2)
- Collect their names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.
- Often, scouts will ask their references to submit an Eagle Scout letter of recommendation.
- However, you can also simply submit the contact info of your references for your council to follow up with.
- Earn at least 21 merit badges, including the 13 required for Eagle. (Req 3)
- Note the dates the badges were earned, along with your unit number on your Eagle rank application.
- Serve in a troop position of responsibility for 6 months after becoming a Life Scout. (Req 4)
- Note the dates you started and ended the position.
- You can list 2 different roles on your Eagle rank application.
- Complete your Eagle Scout Service Project. (Req 5)
- Note your project name and total service hours on your rank application.
- Complete all sections of your Eagle Scout project workbook. (Req 5)
- Get signatures of completion from your unit leader and beneficiary.
- Your workbook info should be submitted with your Eagle rank application.
- To keep things organized, most scouts compile an Eagle Scout Binder.
- Submit a list of your outside positions of responsibility, also noting any honors and awards you’ve received. (Req 6)
- Write an Eagle Scout Statement of Ambitions and Life Purpose. (Req 6)
- This must be submitted with your Eagle rank application.
- Participate in a Scoutmaster conference. (Req 6)
- Note the date your conference was held.
- This is generally done last, just before you submit your Eagle Scout rank application.
- To prepare, you might want to check out some example Eagle Scoutmaster conference questions.
Once you’ve completed each of these 10 steps, only then should you begin to fill out your Eagle Scout rank application. I’d recommend speaking with your Scoutmaster and asking them to ensure that everything’s been done correctly. They’ve likely helped countless other Eagles from your troop, and can steer you away from making any mistakes!
Your Eagle Scout Rank Application Submission Process
I’d recommend typing out every section of your Eagle Scout rank application (you can find a fillable PDF here) up to the section labeled “CERTIFICATION BY APPLICANT.” Here are a few important things to note:
- Make sure you are using a current, up-to-date Eagle rank application. (see the official BSA site)
- Be sure to make a copy of your application, service project workbook, statement of ambitions and life purpose, and listing of positions, honors, and awards before submitting it to your council.
- Avoid making any marks on the section labeled “COUNCIL MUST COMPLETE.” (p1 top right corner)
- If you accidentally mark that section, print out a new application and restart.
- The following sections can be left blank if they aren’t applicable to you (p1 top righthand side) :
- Date joined a Varsity Scout team
- Date joined a Venturing crew
- Date joined a Sea Scout ship
- The boxes at the very top of the second page, right above requirement 4, are for your full legal name.
- This should be identical to the name that you wrote on the first page.
- When noting your positions of leadership, it isn’t necessary to have been in a single position for the 6-month span.
- However, the time counted for all positions listed can only have begun after the completion of your Life rank board of review date.
- After typing in the details for requirement 6, print your Eagle rank application.
- This application cannot be submitted electronically, as the signatures must be completed by hand.
Once you’ve completed up to the CERTIFICATION BY APPLICANT section in the Eagle rank application, you’re almost finished! Below are the remaining steps between you and your Eagle Scout rank. 🙂
However, things could differ based on your council and troop, so check out the BSA Guide to Advancement (which is what I’m paraphrasing here) and consult your Scoutmaster. Honestly, this process hasn’t really changed much since I earned Eagle in 2014, but better safe than sorry!
Part 1: Make a copy of all documents you’ll be submitting. Gather your statement of your ambitions and life purpose, your project workbook, along with a listing of the positions you’ve held outside of Scouting, noting any awards you’ve received. These 4 documents should be now be brought to your unit leader for approval.
Part 2: Once your unit leader and committee chair approves and signs your Eagle rank application, it must be submitted to your local council’s service center (hand-delivered, if possible). Make sure you have copied all of the documents, and be sure to submit the originals. Also, try to keep everything labeled and easy to sort through.
Part 3: Once your council verifies all of the information in your application, the council advancement committee members (or others designated) will often contact the references you listed on your Eagle Scout application. Note that some councils ask their scouts to request Eagle letters of recommendation. Once your references’ responses are collected, only then can you schedule your Eagle Board of Review.
Part 4: Your Eagle Board of Review members will review your application prior to seeing you. If you pass your Board of Review, your board will send their approval to your local council office, signifying that your application and all of its contents are also approved! Afterward, your local council will send your application to Scout BSA’s National Advancement Team.
Part 5: This is the final step in the application review process! The National Advancement Team is responsible for validating your application, which could take up to a month to complete (even without errors). After the National Advancement Team validates your application, they will generate your Eagle Scout credentials (certificate, card, etc) and send them to your local council.
Part 6: Once your local council receives your credentials, they will quickly contact your unit leadership and notify them that they have received your credentials and that you are officially an Eagle Scout! Congrats!!
That’s all there is to it! 😉 After you submit your Eagle Scout rank application, be sure to keep these steps in the back of your mind. If more than a month passes without you moving on to the next step, something is likely causing issues. In this case, you should follow up with your Scoutmaster or a Committee member who will advise you on what to do.
On the bright side, even if you do experience delays, the BSA specifically states that “The board of review may be conducted after the 18th birthday” (section 220.127.116.11). So long as you’ve completed Eagle Scout requirements 1-6 before your 18th birthday, you’ll still earn your Eagle rank — even if your application hasn’t yet been validated by the National Advancement Team!
For a more in-depth understanding of your Eagle rank application submission process, here’s a handy video (7:54) that was put out by the BSA:
I made sure to cover all of the crucial points earlier in this article. However, if you have any issues with submitting your paperwork and need to make revisions, I’d highly encourage you to watch this presentation for further clarification.
While it may seem like there are a ton of ways to mess up your Eagle rank application paperwork, by following the clear instructions in this article and having a Scoutmaster double-check your work, I’m sure you’ll be accepted on your first try! Just in case though, be sure to make copies of everything you submit. Then, you’ll be 100% prepared to succeed! 🙂
Now that Your Eagle Scout rank application is almost squared away, it’s time to start thinking about celebrating! Check out my article on Eagle Scout Courts of Honor to learn how to plan an awesome ceremony to commemorate your incredible achievement!
Also, to thank your Scoutmasters and committee members for all their hard work, I’d recommend getting them a small but meaningful gift. For some tips and ideas, check out my other article on The Best Scoutmaster Gifts (in progress, subscribe to the ScoutSmarts Scribe Newsletter for updates).
Trust me, the hard work you put into completing this paperwork will all be worthwhile once you receive your Eagle Scout rank. Heck, it even helps you with Improving College Applications! Anyway, great work reading this far, and congrats on your upcoming Eagle rank. I’m wishing you all the best!