Commitment to the Eagle Trail
During the Scoutmaster Conference for Star rank, the Scoutmaster discusses the Trail to Eagle process with the Scout and determines whether or not the Scout is willing to make the commitment to this achievement. Because of age limits and time in rank requirements, or because of other commitments and interests outside of Scouting, some Scouts cannot be expected to achieve the Eagle rank. We honor and respect every achievement by our Scouts.
If the Star Scout expresses an interest in committing to the Eagle rank achievement, an Adult Mentor is assigned to counsel the Scout through the various steps along the Eagle Trail. This program is coordinated by a trained Assistant Scoutmaster, with frequent coordination meetings for all Eagle Mentors at UUMC during the year.
This requires a significant commitment on behalf of the Mentor too. Phone calls and frequent progress reviews are expected. The advantages are numerous, however:
- Fewer problems with rank approvals
- Better communication with Scouts and parents
- Peer level leadership opportunities for Scout with adult leaders
- More visibility into the Eagle process for younger Scouts
At the time of the Scout’s Scoutmaster Conference for Life rank, the Scoutmaster once again determines the Scout’s progress toward Eagle and reaffirms his commitment to achieve the Eagle rank award. The Life Scout is now considered an Eagle Candidate and, with the guidance of his Mentor, selects and plans an Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project.
Attaining the Eagle Scout Rank
The Scout must be the driving force behind his quest to attain the rank of Eagle Scout. The Mentor will provide the Scout with the guidance and documents, including a copy of the National BSA Life-To-Eagle Packet, including the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook and a current Eagle Scout Application form, or will direct the Eagle Candidate to obtain them at the Council Eagle Service Desk.
The Orange District provides each Eagle Candidate with a review and approval to start his Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project, advice on completing the other requirements for the Eagle Scout rank, and a prompt board of review once the Eagle Candidate’s Eagle package and letters are ready.
Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project
The selection and completion of the Eagle Candidate’s Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project is the sole responsibility of the Scout. The Eagle Mentor, Troop Leadership, parents, project recipient and fellow Scouts have a role in assisting the Eagle Candidate in properly carrying out his Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project, the failure of any or all of these persons to see the project to a timely and satisfactory conclusion does not relieve the Scout of his obligation to see the project to a timely and satisfactory conclusion.
The Eagle Candidate’s Project Plan must be formally approved by the Chair of the Orange District Eagle Committee, or a designate, before the Eagle Candidate begins work on the project.
Requests for a time extension to complete an Eagle project will not be considered, nor granted, if the request is based on the lack of cooperation on the part of the Troop, project recipient, parents or fellow Scouts.
Eagle Scout Rank Requirements
The Scout bears the sole responsibility for ensuring that he has fulfilled the Requirements for the rank of Eagle as established by the Boy Scouts of America. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Participating actively in his troop for at least six months since becoming a Life Scout.
- Demonstrating that the Scout lives by the spirit of the Scout Oath and Scout Law in his daily life.
- The Occoneechee Council requires letters from the Scout’s references, and provides certain rules for obtaining them. The Scout bears the sole responsibility for ensuring that his references submit letters on his behalf. The Scout gets to choose the person(s) for each category of reference, and the Scout controls when the person is asked, how often the person is reminded, and whether or not the person is given adequate instructions, including a correct mailing address for their letter.
- Completing the minimum 21 merit badges required for Eagle, including the required merit Badges as listed on the Eagle Scout Rank Application.
- Serving as a leader in his unit for at least six months since becoming a Life Scout. The service can be spread over more than one leadership position. The leadership position must be a position shown on the Eagle Scout Rank Application for the type of unit the Scout is making application from. If the Scout’s application is from Troop 39, his Leadership position must be a position listed for a Boy Scout troop, not from a Venture Crew or Varsity Team.
- The Scout must complete his Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project using the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook, No. 18-927D or later revision to meet the Eagle Service project requirement.
- The Scout must prepare a Statement of Life purpose, and include a list of Scouting leadership positions and any external honors and awards he has received while serving as a leader.
- The Scout must also take part in an Eagle Scoutmaster conference.
- All these requirements must be completed prior to the Scout’s 18th birthday unless a time extension has been allowed by the National office of the BSA. Only National may grant a time extension.
Eagle Board of Review
A Troop Eagle Board of Review consists of at least three, but no more than six, members and must include at least one member of the District Eagle Committee or a Council Representative. The Orange District Eagle Committee ensures that fair and consistent standards are applied to the planning of Eagle Scout Leadership Service Projects and in Eagle Boards of Review, and that these standards are consistent with national BSA and Occoneechee Council advancement policies.
The Scoutmaster must contact the chair of the District Eagle Committee for pre-approval of any Boards of Review to be conducted more than three months after the candidate’s 18th birthday.
Boards of Review conducted between three and six months after the Eagle Candidate’s 18th birthday must be pre-approved by the Occoneechee Council. A statement by the Scoutmaster or another adult explaining the reason for the delay must be attached to the Eagle Scout Rank Application when it is submitted to the Eagle Scout Service.
The Board of Review determines the Scout’s preparedness for the Eagle rank. It does not re-examine him on his merit badges or previous ranks. A Board may cover, but not be limited to, these topics:
Scout Spirit – Living the Scout Oath and Law in his daily life.
Scout Participation – What has the Scout accomplished in Scouting; what he expects to contribute to Scouting in the future.
Merit Badges – What they mean to him; his assessment of their value.
Duty to God, Country, Home and Self – What these ideas mean to him and how he demonstrates his commitment to them.
Future Plans – Discussion of the Scout’s Life Purpose Statement and his personal, educational, and Scouting future, and his sense of obligation to the Scouts coming along behind him.
Eagle Scout Service Project – Examine and evaluate the project in detail.
If the Board unanimously approves the Scout, the Board chairman and district member ceremoniously sign the Eagle application and explain the remaining process to the Scout:
- The application is approved only after the Council Scout Executive and the National Eagle Scout Service Office signs it.
- Though the Board recommends the Scout, only the National Eagle Scout Service can approve the Eagle Scout award.
- The average time for the National Court of Honor to send the Eagle Scout certificate to the council is four weeks.
- The Eagle award is not available to the Scout until the Eagle Scout Certificate is received in the Council office, without exception.
If the vote on the recommendation is not unanimous, the Board discusses with the Scout the reasons why he was not approved. It informs him of the courses of action open to him.