The Road to Eagle

 

Advancement History

You may request a copy of your advancement history report at any time by sending an email to Mr. Wilson.  This report shows all the Merit Badges, Positions of Responsibility and rank advancement dates the troop has on file for you.  Ensure that your records and the troop's records are complete and accurate before it is too late to make corrections.

 

Scout Spirit

Scout Spirit refers to living the Scout Oath and Law in your daily life.  There are several ways that you can demonstrate Scout Spirit, including active participation in Troop activities, providing leadership to the Troop, and setting a good example for others with your behavior and actions.  The Troop relies on its older, more experienced youth members (you) to help train and lead the younger members.

 

Service Projects

 

Requirement 5 for earning the rank of Eagle states: 

 

While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, school, or community. (The project should benefit an organization other than Boy Scouting.) The project idea must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your Scoutmaster and troop committee and the council or district before you start. You must use the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook, BSA publication No. 18-927, in meeting this requirement.

Your Eagle project is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your ability to plan a project and lead others in the successful execution of that plan.  There are many web sites offering examples of past Eagle projects.  In general, your project should not be handed to you, but require effort on your part to plan all aspects of the work.  You should plan to include as many people as possible in the execution phase of your project, preferably not all family members.  Although not cast in stone, a rule of thumb to use to determine if your project's scope is large enough is 100-125 man hours.
What is leadership?  For the purposes of your project, you should consider it to be the ability to plan, coordinate and lead the resources necessary to accomplish a common goal. 

 

You must set the goal (the objective of your project), identify the materials, tools and labor needed to achieve that goal, recruit the volunteers to provide the labor, obtain the material resources and tools necessary, and guide all of the pieces towards your objective until it is done.

 

After you have fleshed out an idea for a project and have discussed it with the representative of the benefiting organization, you must obtain several approvals before beginning work or any serious planning. First, you should discuss the project with your Scoutmaster or your Eagle Mentor.  He will help you with the scope of the project and identify any major problems or shortcomings with your plan.  After obtaining preliminary approval of your Scoutmaster, you should begin fleshing out your plan.  You can and should discuss your project plans frequently with Troop adult leaders as you develop them. 

 

Approval to pursue your project by your Scoutmaster

Before you bring your plan to the Troop Committee for approval, you should ask yourself if another Scout your age could take your project plans and successfully execute your proposed project.  If the answer is no, then you should go back and revise your plans and add detail as necessary.  If the answer is yes, you are ready to seek approval to continue.Next, the project must be approved by the Troop Committee.  You should have a pretty good idea of how much work is involved, some photos of the current state of the area if appropriate, and be able to describe your project proposal in some detail when you come before the Troop Committee.  Please also have pages 3, 7 and 8 of your Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook completed before this meeting.  Call the Committee Chair, currently Ms. Rudloff, for a spot on the agenda of the next meeting.  A full and complete uniform is appropriate for this meeting.  You should make sure that you obtain the signatures of the Scoutmaster and the Committee Chair after approval.

 

Finally, your project must be approved by the Aptakisic District Advancement Committee.  Your plans should be fully fleshed out before you meet with them.   You should have pages 3, 7, 8, 9 and 10 of your Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook completed before this meeting.  You should also obtain the necessary signatures on pages 8 and 10 in advance of this meeting.  Be prepared to incorporate suggestions from this review board into your plan.   You can schedule an appointment to have your project approved by sending an email to aptakisic.eagles@gmail.com.  A full and complete uniform is appropriate for this meeting.

 

Once your project has been approved, you may begin work.  Be sure to keep track of who worked, when and for how long.  It's also a good idea to take photos of the work underway and of the work when completed.Complete the remaining sections of your workbook with the information you collected during your project. The advancement committee for Aptakisic District asks that you bring a one page summary of your project with you to your Board of Review.  Remember that a primary focus of your Board of Review will be on how your Leadership Service Project challenged you to use skills you developed in Scouting.  To facilitate that discussion, your summary should include a concise description of your Project, your objective, who did the Project, and how the Project will help the community or organization for which it was completed.

 

Letters of Recommendation

A minimum of four letters of recommendation are required, five if you are currently employed.  All must be from persons over the age of twenty one who know you well enough to provide informed observations about your qualifications to be an Eagle Scout.  One letter must be from an individual who can make a statement about your belief in God.  One must be from a teacher or coach.  You may not submit letters from your parents, Scout leaders in your troop or other Scouting volunteers, or from relatives.Contact your potential recommendation writers in advance to ensure they are willing to write a letter for you.  Mail each of them a copy of this letter (which is also in your packet obtained when your Project was approved).  Letters should be sent via email to aptakisic.eagles@gmail.com and addressed to the Aptakisic District Advancement Committee.  If the person writing your recommendation is more comfortable sending their letter by U.S. Mail, it can be addressed to:

 

Eagle Scout Recommendation

Aptakisic District Advancement Committee

Northeast Illinois Council, BSA2745

Skokie Valley RoadHighland Park, IL 60035

 

Be certain to inform anyone writing a letter of recommendation for you to include your name and your Troop number in the letter.It's a good idea to follow up about two weeks after mailing your requests to see if your letter writers have written and mailed the letters.

 

Scoutmaster Conference

You must schedule a conference with your Scoutmaster.  Because this conference is more involved and will take more time than past Scoutmaster Conferences, please schedule it in advance and do not expect to just walk into a Troop meeting and have one at any time.  Remember that your Scoutmaster has other responsibilities and may not be able to schedule a meeting at the drop of a hat.  Be prepared to discuss your project and your Statement of Life Purpose among other topics.  A full and complete uniform is appropriate for this meeting.

 

Completing Your ApplicationEagle Scout applications are completed electronically now.  The process is initiated when you send an email message requesting a copy of your Eagle Scout application to Mr. Jake Hirsch at eaglescout@neic.org.  You must include your first and last names, your date of birth, and your unit type and number (Troop 150).It is better to wait until your merit badges are complete and recorded before requesting a copy of your application.  If you are close to your eighteenth birthday, be sure to ask that your records be transmitted promptly instead of waiting for the next court of honor.You will be sent a PDF file containing your application, and if you are missing any information, that will be noted.  All information requested must be supplied before you will be sent a "verified application."  After you receive a verified application, you will print it, sign it, and obtain the signatures of your Scoutmaster and Unit Committee Chair.  The names and addresses of your references must also be filled in.  You may then take your signed and completed application to the Council Office in Highland Park prior to your board of review.

 

Statement of Life Purpose

You should prepare a statement discussing what you think you will be doing over the next several years.  Included in this statement might be your choice of college majors, what schools you are interested in attending, and the type of career you are intending to pursue.  Also appropriate is a discussion of how Scouting has impacted your life so far, and how the things you've learned in Scouting will help you in the future.

 

The Board of Review

Your Board of Review will be scheduled once your application has been certified and all letters of recommendation have been received by the District Advancement Committee.  A Board of Review for Eagle rank will generally take about an hour.  You must arrange for a member of the Troop Committee (not your Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmasters)  to attend your Board of Review.  Although it should be obvious, a full and complete uniform is appropriate for this meeting.You should be prepared to discuss your Statement of Life Purpose, how you utilized skills learned in Scouting to complete your Leadership Service Project, and to reflect on the lessons learned during your Scouting experience.  You may also want to consider these questions as your Board of Review approaches:

 

Why do you want to become an Eagle Scout?

What specific characteristics do Eagle Scouts exhibit that distinguish them from others?  Why?

How do you think others look on individuals who have earned the Eagle Scout rank?  Why?

What are the most important skills you have learned during your Scouting experience?

Which skills played a "key" role in completing your Leadership Service Project?  How do you see using these skills in the future?

What has been your most significant failure?  How did your Scout training help you deal with it?

What is your biggest success?  How did lessons learned as a Scout contribute?

What merit badge did you find most challenging?  How did you deal with the challenge of earning the badge?  What lessons did you learn from earning the badge?

Describe your leadership style.  Does it vary depending on who you are leading?  How?  If you take different approaches to different people, what are the reasons you have chosen to do so?

What did you find was the most difficult thing about being a leader?  How did you prepare yourself to deal with it?

What could be improved in Scouting?  How would you approach making things better?

 
Now What?

You will be told before leaving your Board of Review if you were successful or not.  If so, congratulations; you're an Eagle Scout (mostly).  If not, you should have been given a list of specific shortcomings that need to be addressed and a suggested plan and timeline for correcting them.If you were successful, your application and other credentials are sent to the National Office for final review and approval.  Approximately four to six weeks is needed to process your application.  Your Eagle Scout rank badge, medal and certificate will be sent back to the Council Office and the Troop will be notified that it is ready to be picked up.You should decide, with your family, what type of presentation ceremony you would like to have.  It is tradition in Troop 150 that you are responsible for planning the ceremony, drafting the script and recruiting those you'd like to make presentations.  You can speak to any of the Troop adult leaders for assistance or for information about where and how others have held their ceremonies, or to obtain materials that will help you prepare.

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