The fact that a boy is an Eagle Scout has always carried with it a special significance, not only in Scouting but also as he enters higher education, business or industry, and community service. The award is a performance-based achievement whose standards have been well-maintained over the years. Not every boy who joins a Boy Scout troop earns the Eagle Scout rank; only about 4 percent of all Boy Scouts do so. This represents more than 1 million Boy Scouts who have earned the rank since 1911. Nevertheless, the goals of Scouting's citizenship training, character development, and personal fitness remain important for all Scouts, whether or not they attain the Eagle Scout rank.
To earn the Eagle Scout rank, the highest advancement rank in Scouting, a Boy Scout must fulfill requirements in the areas of leadership, service, and outdoor skills. Although many options are available to demonstrate proficiency in these areas, a number of specific skills are required to advance through the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle. To advance, a Boy Scout must pass specific tests that are organized by requirements and merit badges.
Merit badges signify the mastery of certain Scoutcraft skills, as well as helping boys increase their skill in an area of personal interest. Of the 120 merit badges available, 21 must be earned to qualify for Eagle Scout. Of this group, 12 specific badges are required; including First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Environmental Science, Personal Fitness, Personal Management, Camping, and Family Life. For the last two of the required merit badges, a Scout is offered the choice betweenSwimming or Emergency Preparedness and between Lifesaving, hiking or, Swimming.
Prior to each advancement, a Boy Scout takes part in a Scoutmaster conference. These conferences help the Scout to set goals for himself in line with his individual talents and abilities. At each conference, the Scoutmaster helps the Scout evaluate evaluate how well he accomplished his present goal and then works with the Scout to set new goals.
Service and Responsibility
Beginning with First Class, and continuing through Star, and Life, a Scout must give back by participating in service projects. For Eagle a Scout must demonstrate leadership, knowledge, and organizational skills by planning, coordinating, and leading their own service project, benefiting the community; which has been approved by the Council Eagle Board. At all these levels, a Scout must also demonstrate their leadership skills by holding one or more leadership positions within his patrol and/or troop.
Steps in Advancement
Advancement, one of the eight methods by which the aims of Scouting are achieved, has four steps through each award level.
First, the Scout learns . Much of his learning comes from other boys in his patrol or troop and by active participation in troop program. His patrol activities are directed toward the skills he needs. Every troop hike, camping trip, or other activity offers potential learning experiences. A Scout learns to pitch a tent by pitching one, to use a compass by finding directions, and to cook a meal by having to prepare and eat it.
Second, the Scout is tested . The specific requirements determine the kind of testing. Verbal testing is sufficient in some instances. In other instances, a Scout must demonstrate his skills by doing.
Third, the Scout is reviewed . The purpose of the review is to ensure that all requirements for advancement have been met. This includes a check of the Scout's attitude and practice of the ideals of Scouting, in addition to his Scoutcraft skills. The decision regarding whether a Scout has met the required standards to qualify for rank advancement begins with the troop and, for the Eagle Scout rank, is approved by the district, local council, and finally, the National Council.
Fourth, the Scout is recognized . The final step in advancement involves presentation of the badge, this is done at a ceremony before the entire troop.
Listed below are our elite Scouts who have made their way to the Long Beach Area Council's Eagles Nest.
Boy Scouts With Disabilities
The rank of Eagle is within reach of all Scouts. Even Boy Scouts who are unable to complete specific Eagle required merit badges, due to a disability, may through their Scoutmaster and local BSA Council petition for and complete alternate merit badges. Allowing the completion of the 21 merit badges required to attain the rank of Eagle Scout through utilizing the principles of leadership, citizenship, and personal development.