Monday, June 26, 2017

Trail to Eagle

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Since the Eagle rank is the highest a Scout can earn, every Scout should face roughly the same challenges. The district's role is to ensure that the Eagle Project and the Eagle Board of Review are reasonably consistent across all troops, so that an Eagle is an Eagle, regardless of his troop. Specifically, the district has two jobs:

  1. Review a Scout's plan for his Eagle Project and approve it before the project starts.
  2. Conduct the Eagle Board of Review once all Eagle requirements are completed.

Scouts can schedule their Eagle Board of Review to take place during the monthly Roundtable. Contact the district's Eagle Coordinator for more information.


 

  

Approving Eagle Projects

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The Two Basic Rules:

  1. All Eagle Projects must be reviewed and approved by the District before work begins!
  2. Any work performed before the District approves the project is not part of the project.

An Eagle project is not an Eagle project unless it receives all necessary approvals before the work begins. This includes approval by the district Advancement Committee. In the Eagle River District, the review is performed by the Eagle Coordinator or a designee on the Advancement Committee.

  • When the Scout has a clear idea for his Eagle project, he should contact the Eagle Coordinator and arrange for project approval. The Coordinator will discuss the basic plan with the Scout to ensure that the project is appropriate.
  • Next, the Scout needs to plan his project using the Eagle Project Workbook. He must completely fill out the planning information in the Workbook. He should also list the hours he has already spent planning the project. He must get the project approved by the organization it helps and by his own unit. He must collect signatures on the Workbook to show that he received these approvals.
  • Once the Scout has received these signatures, he should bring the signed Eagle Project Workbook to the Eagle Coordinator for approval. This usually takes place at the monthly Roundtable. The Coordinator will review the Workbook and discuss the project with the Scout. The project will be approved if it is appropriate and the plan is completely filled out in the Workbook.

Do not work on the project (except for planning) until the District approves your project!

  • Once the project is approved, go ahead and execute the project. Purchase or otherwise acquire the materials you need and schedule times for volunteers to work on the project.
  • When the project is completed, be sure to collect signatures from your unit leader and a representative from the organization that benefits from your project. The signatures must be on the Eagle Project Workbook.
  • The Scout should also request a letter describing the project's results from the organization for which the project was performed. The completed Eagle Project Workbook should include a copy of this letter.
  

Eagle Board of Review

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The final step in earning your Eagle is to take part in a special Eagle Board of Review.

To reach that step, you must finish filling out your Eagle Project Workbook and your Eagle Application. Once those are finished, your Scoutmaster or other designated adult leader must submit your materials to the Council for approval. Once the Council Registrar has approved your application, the district's Eagle Coordinator will contact you to schedule your Eagle Board of Review.

The Eagle Board of Review is usually scheduled for the montly District Roundtable following the approval of your application. However, if there are an unusually large number of candidates, your own Board of Review may be delayed until the next Roundtable.

Preparing for your Board of Review

Preparation will be no challenge for an Eagle candidate:

  • Dress in your full "Class A" scout uniform: official shirt, pants, merit badge sash, and so on. This is not an Order of the Arrow event so do not wear your OA sash.
  • Bring along any materials relating to your Eagle Project that were not included in your Eagle Project Handbook. These may include notebooks, scrapbooks, photographs, letters of appreciation, etc.

The Board of Review Experience

In 1912, a teen named Arthur Eldred dressed in his full scout uniform to take part in the very first Eagle Board of Review. According to legend, the Board included the following people:

  • James E. West, Chief Scout Executive
  • "Uncle Dan" Beard, author of American Boy's Handy Book - the prototype for the first Boy Scout Handbook - and the first National Commissioner of the Boy Scouts of America
  • Ernest Thompson Seton, Chief Scout, author of Autobiography of a Grizzly and other woodcraft books, and the architect of the "nuts and bolts" of scouting including boy-led units, the badges of rank, and the central role of woodcraft.

Regretably, Eagle River does not have such luminaries on its Board of Review staff, but rest assured that all participants are senior scouting volunteers with years of experience.

Before your review, the Board meets for about 15 minutes to review your application materials and your Eagle Project Workbook.

When they are ready, the Board brings you in for the interview. You may be accompanied by an adult leader from your unit, as long as the leader is not your parent. The Board will ask you questions about your scouting experience, your Eagle Project, and your leadership experience.

The Final Decision

Once the Board has completed its inteview, you will be dismissed from the room so that they may discuss your application. Members of the Board vote individually on your fitness to become an Eagle Scout. The vote must be unanimous.

 

  
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