The Eagle Scout Award is Scouting’s highest rank and among its most familiar icons.
Men who have earned it count it among their most treasured possessions. Those who missed it by a whisker remember exactly which requirement they didn’t complete. Americans from all walks of life know that being an Eagle Scout is a great honor, even if they don’t know just what the badge means.
The award is more than a badge. It’s a state of being. You are an Eagle Scout—never were. You may have received the badge as a boy, but you earn it every day as a man. In the words of the Eagle Scout Promise, you do your best each day to make your training and example, your rank and your influence count strongly for better Scouting and for better citizenship in your troop, in your community, and in your contacts with other people. And to this you pledge your sacred honor.
What’s so special about an “Eagle Scout”?
Becoming an Eagle Scout is no small achievement. In fact, among adults who have gone on to become astronauts, doctors, politicians, or business leaders, most of them will say that earning their Eagle is clearly among the most important achievements in their lives.
Back to the question… WHY?
Look at it from this angle…. ADVANCEMENT is completely up to the individual Scout. If he has no desire or sense of commitment to advance in rank, that is his choice. IT IS POSSIBLE for a boy to attend EVERY meeting and EVERY camping trip, and never make it through 1/2 of the available ranks if he isn’t motivated enough to take the extra step of demonstrating skills or earning merit badges. Statistically speaking, only 2 out of 100 boys in Scouting will push themselves to become Eagle Scouts.
The “Trail to Eagle” is one of persistence, dedication, well-rounded learning experiences by earning 21+ merit badges, strong attendance at meetings and camping trips, and hundreds of hours of community service…. all culminating with the planning and complete execution of his “Eagle Project” before his 18th birthday.
The “Eagle Project” is SO MUCH MORE than “giving something back to the community” (which it is, and let’s not minimize the importance of community and charity). It is actually his “final exam” in Scouting.
HE manages his Eagle Project. He will put to use all of the lessons he learned as a Boy Scout; communicating, organizing, recruiting, conceiving an idea, selling the idea, planning the work, assigning work details to those helping him, being the “accountant” that tracks the hours worked and the money spent, etc. In every conceivable way, HE is the “project leader”.
THESE are the highly desirable skills and traits that makes “Eagle Scout” stand out on a job resume or college application, and the fact that such skills and moral foundations are learned/mastered before “society” recognizes him as an “adult”… simply amazing!
What is the minimum age to become an Eagle Scout?
The BSA does not list a minimum age before a Scout can earn his Eagle rank.
However, a boy must be at least 10 years old to join a Boy Scout troop, then there is a 30 day requirement in Tenderfoot requirement 10b, at least 4 months between First Class and Star, 6 months between Star and Life, and then 6 more months between Life and Eagle.
So the minimum possible age, while NOT listed as a “REQUIREMENT”, would be 11 years and 5 months.
The national average in the USA for those earning Eagle Scout: 14 years of age.