An Eagle Scout board of review is your final step to achieving the highest rank in Scouting. In fact, Eagle is a rank that only 5% of scouts ever achieve! It’s a rank that heralds respect and admiration from anyone who knows what Scouting is. And, it’s the rank that you’ve been working for countless years to earn!
PS. This article was written by Eagle Scout, Kevin A and edited by Cole 🙂
With all the work you’ve already put in to get to this point, you may feel a bit anxious about your upcoming Eagle Scout board of review. I was worried before my Eagle board too, but don’t fear! I, and many other Eagle Scouts, have gone through this final Board of Review, and thankfully it isn’t too difficult to prepare for. In this article, I’ll be breaking down the 4 keys to success so you can be ready for your own Eagle board!
While I passed (and you will too!), a clear guide on how best to prepare would’ve really helped me out back then. Luckily, this article is here to help! My list combines both online research and my own personal experience, so I know it’ll be useful to you. Plus, to study the best practice questions, you should also check out Cole’s article on the most asked questions during an Eagle Scout Scoutmaster’s Conference or Board of Review (In progress)!
Although it’s been a few years since my own Eagle Board of review (I’m not that old I swear!), one thing that sticks out in my mind was that I thought my board of review was going to be much scarier than it actually was. In reality, the board is already aware of your character and wants you to pass. As long as you prepare properly, I promise you’ll do fine!
While these keys are great for starting your preparation process, remember that it’s also important that you continue to prepare for other questions you might encounter, and practice your communication skills beforehand. Without further ado, here are the 4 keys to acing your Eagle Board of Review:
- Know and Reflect on Your Scouting Basics
- Review Your Merit Badge Experiences
- Know the Ins and Outs of Your Eagle Scout Project
- Build Confidence Through Practice BOR Questions
Below, I’ll be breaking down each of these points in much more detail — so stick around! Afterward, I encourage you to also reach out to your troop’s Eagle Scouts and ask to hear their advice. They might even give you a good question or two to prepare for. Enough said, let’s get into it! 🙂
Know and Reflect on Your Scouting Basics
The Eagle Scout rank represents the culmination of your Scouting experience. You’ll not only have to know the Scout Law, Oath, Motto, and Slogan by heart, you’ll also have to do some serious self-reflection to explain to the board members how you live out these pillars of Scouting in your daily life.!
Below are some questions you should reflect on to prepare for your Eagle Scout Board of Review. Really dig deep into your Scouting experiences thus far, and think about how these parts of Scouting have affected you, personally. Also, think about how these aspects of Scouting will help you in the future!
The Scout Oath
On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty, to God and my country, and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
Here are some questions I’d recommend you consider to better understand how you live by the Scout Oath:
- What does duty to God mean to you?
- How do you live by the Scout Oath in your community? Your home? Your schooling?
- What does it mean to be physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight?
The Scout Law
A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
Here are some questions I’d recommend you consider to better understand how you live by the Scout Law:
- Which part of the Scout Law is the easiest to live by? Which part is the hardest?
- What does living by the Scout Law mean to you?
- If you were to take a point out from the Scout Law, what would it be? What would you replace it with?
The Scout Motto
Here are some questions I’d recommend you consider to better understand how you live by the Scout Motto:
- How have you been prepared in Scouting? How have you been prepared outside of Scouting?
- What are some ways you could teach a fellow scout to be prepared?
- What are some of the real-world consequences of being unprepared? What can you do to make sure that you remain prepared throughout your life?
The Scout Slogan
Do a good turn daily
Here are some questions I’d recommend you consider to better understand how you live by the Scout Motto:
- What was your good turn today? Why is it so important to do a good turn daily?
- When has it been easy to do a good turn daily? When has it been hard?
Scout spirit is defined by making the Scout Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan a part of your daily life.
Here are some questions I’d recommend you consider to better understand how you live out the Scout Spirit:
- Think about a time when you did not show as much Scout Spirit as you wanted to. What did you learn from this experience?
- How will you try to continue to show Scout Spirit as an Eagle Scout?
- What does Scout Spirit mean to you, personally? Why is it important to show Scout Spirit?
Review Your Merit Badge Experiences
In order to get into an Eagle Scout board of review, you’ve already had to have earned 13 different Eagle Scout merit badges! In addition to these 13 merit badges, you’ve had to earn at least 8 additional elective badges. Naturally, you’re going to have a ton of knowledge and experiences to talk about, after learning such a wide variety of different topics.
With such a large pool of knowledge, you can be almost certain that the Eagle board will ask about your experiences earning merit badges. As such, prepare for these questions thoroughly! Especially focus on what you’ve learned from your Eagle Scout merit badges.
Here’s an Eagle Scout pro tip: Talk about your merit badge experiences through short, personal stories! Not only will this help you appreciate how much you’ve learned in Scouting, but personal stories will also be very interesting to your board! In fact, these personal stories can also be used for listing Eagle on a resume and landing a job!
One important thing to remember is that your Eagle Board will not be testing you on the skills you’ve already learned. For example, they’re not going to ask you to describe the symptoms, first-aid responses, and preventative measures for hypothermia. No need to study the nitty-gritty. 🙂
Instead, at your Eagle board, you’ll be asked to describe your merit badge experiences and talk about what you’ve taken away from those opportunities. Here are a few of the most important questions to consider when thinking about your merit badge experiences:
- Which merit badge did you enjoy working on the most?
- Which merit badge did you enjoy working on the least?
- What was the easiest merit badge you have earned?
- What was the hardest merit badge you have earned?
- Out of the 13 merit badges required for Eagle, are there any you would take out? Are there any you would add?
- Why do you think it is important that you learn about citizenship in the community, the nation, and the world?
Know the Ins and Outs of Your Eagle Scout Project
Ah yes, the Eagle Scout Project. In my opinion, this is probably one of the toughest challenges you’ve had to face on your road to Eagle. However, I’m sure it’s been one of your most rewarding experiences, too!
Your Eagle Scout Project is one of the defining aspects of the Eagle Rank. It requires a significant amount of leadership, organizational and financial planning skills to pull off. This makes an Eagle Project a great point for the board to discuss. If you remember one thing from this article, it’s most important to note that the board will ask you about your Eagle Scout Project.
Again, they probably won’t ask for specifics on your project. Instead, their questions will be around your overall experiences planning any leading your project. Here are a few of the most important questions to consider:
- Give a brief description of your project and who it benefited. Why did you choose to do this project and benefit these people/organization(s)?
- What did you learn from the approval process of your project?
- What ways did you show leadership in your project?
- What was the most important thing you learned from your project?
Build Confidence Through Practice Questions
The last and the most important point to keep in mind is to be confident when discussing your answers! The best way to build confidence is through practice! Briefly consider how you might answer questions about your Scouting experience. I’d also recommend checking out my master list of Eagle Board of review questions (in progress) for more practice! 🙂
Remember, that it’s normal to be a bit nervous and anxious about your Eagle board of review, but don’t let that nervousness take over your mind! If you follow the previous points and ask your fellow Eagle Scouts about their experiences in their board of review, you’ll be more than prepared to answer any questions the Eagle Board could potentially ask you.
While your Eagle board of review will be different from the other board of reviews you’ve had in the past, by following each of the keys in this article, you’ll surely succeed! Here are a few final points to keep in mind:
- The board is not going to test you. There are mostly no right or wrong answers. What they care about most is the quality of the answers you give
- Review this article as much as you like, but try not to over-prepare. It’s not good to try and script answers for every single possible question.
- Think of the board of review as a confirmation of what you have done. The board wants you to pass! They just want to be sure you’ve thought about your Scouting journey and what it means to reach Eagle.
On a final note, you deserve to be confident! You’ve spent the last several years of your life grinding and growing for this prestigious award. After earning 21 merit badges, rising 5 ranks, and leading/funding an entire community service project on your own, you have earned the right to go through this board of review. You’ve got this! 🙂
Compared to all the steps you’ve had to overcome in order to get here, completing an hour-long board of review is a sinch. In fact, you already know all the answers to their questions! All you need to do is review a little to remind yourself what those answers mean to you, personally.
Kevin here — Thanks for reading my 4 tips for preparing for your Eagle board of review. I hope that the next time you come to ScoutSmarts, it’s as a full-fledged Eagle Scout! Until next time, be the best scout you can be!