New changes in Eagle Scout Service Project requirements

Learn why the BSA changed the Eagle Scout Service Project requirements.

Boy Scouting’s most difficult advancement requirement—the Eagle Scout service project—is also its best documented. Scouts have long used the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook to plan and report on their projects. But the latest revision, published last fall, adds a wealth of important information, including the changes noted here.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE EAGLE PROJECT? To give the Scout an opportunity to “plan, develop, and give leadership to others,” as noted in the requirement. Eagle Scout projects are evaluated on the benefit to the organization being served and on the leadership provided by the candidate. There must also be evidence of organized planning and development.

DOES THE EAGLE PROJECT HAVE TO BE THE LAST REQUIREMENT FINISHED? No. A Scout can begin planning his project as soon as he becomes a Life Scout. That said, many Scouts find it helpful to focus on merit badges first and the Eagle project second (or vice versa).


CAN A PROJECT BENEFIT AN INDIVIDUAL? Only if the larger community also benefits.

CAN IT EARN MONEY? No. However, a Scout can conduct a money-earning project to pay for project materials.

MUST THE SCOUT LEAD A CERTAIN NUMBER OF PEOPLE? He must lead at least two other people, who may or may not be involved in Scouting.

MUST THE SCOUT WORK A CERTAIN NUMBER OF HOURS? Councils or districts may not require a minimum (or maximum) for the scope of the Eagle Scout service project.

DOES THE PROJECT HAVE TO HAVE LASTING VALUE? No. While projects such as building nature trails are popular, projects like planning community festivals are equally valid.

CAN OUR DISTRICT MODIFY THE PROJECT REQUIREMENT? No council, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add or change requirements or to require additional forms.

HOW MUCH PLANNING MUST THE SCOUT DO BEFORE HIS PROPOSAL IS APPROVED? The new workbook offers a major change: that only a high-level plan is required before the project begins. This proposal represents the beginning of planning, and it must be detailed enough to show reviewers that the project meets the requirement, that it’s feasible, that safety issues will be addressed, and that the Scout has considered his next steps and seems on the right track for a positive project experience.

WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE? Besides the Eagle Scout Project Workbook (No. 512-927, 2011 printing), the best source is the Guide to Advancement 2011 (No. 33088), which is available at Scout Shops and online at

Wonder why these requirements changed? Reader Dan Rusin of Havre de Grace, Md., sent us a letter to the editor inquiring why the BSA revised the workbook’s requirements. Christopher Hunt, team leader at the BSA’s program impact department, responded with the following message:

The Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook was rewritten to provide definition on the BSA’s intent for this important requirement. It is true the primary reason had to do with a variety of standards implemented across the country, but especially those standards which called for unnecessary detail. According to the new Guide to Advancement, “It is inappropriate to expect a Scout to invest the time required for detailed planning, only to face the prospect of rejection.”

Councils or districts now approve a project proposal, which represents the beginnings of planning. Further planning as necessary for success continues to be important, but is evaluated as part of the project at the Scout’s board of review.

When we look at any advancement requirement, we consider it from the perspective of our three aims. The Eagle Scout service project provides a lesson in each of them. Planning and development is a mental exercise relating to Fitness; giving leadership—as a Scout deals with different people in different situations—tends toward Character Development; and carrying out a helpful project helps build Citizenship.

To assure this multi dimensional result, each of the three project elements, and their related aims, receives equal treatment. Thus, planning is not over emphasized with detail beyond what is necessary.

Training on the changes related to the Guide to Advancement 2011 and the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook has been created and is currently being tested.


  1. As a member of the local Eagle Board, I can tell you we anguished over the new document and process at the beginning of the year. We have already dedicated an entire Roundtable to dissecting the document line by line. but are having only moderate success implementing it. Personally, I expect it will still take up to a year to get everyone on the same page locally.

    My comment is regarding the last note on this page, that “training on the changes…is being tested”. Shouldn’t the training have preceded the changing (or at least the implementation of the changes)?!? The current sequence of events is kind of like jumping off a cliff and asking someone to measure how deep the water is on your way down!

  2. The major change, proposal vs project plan, minimizes the effort the Life Scout has to do for the project.
    For example: A Scout comes to the board with a proposal to build picnic tables for the Church that sponsors the troop. Plans are shown, Donations are noted. Plan is approved….Problem, the tables are built with CCA lumber. A more detailed plan and discussion would have found this problem, however, what to do now?
    Another example. The Blood Donor Drive is an example used in the workbook. Saving lives is a great goal. Giving and showing leadership to Professionals that actually draw blood? Can a Candidate tell them they are doing it wrong? Who accepts the accountability of tainted blood or problems with storage? Just putting flyers on cars in a parking lot or setting an appointment with the church and The Red Cross does not rise to the level of an Eagle project.

  3. The new process has gutted our successful District Eagle Program, which had never failed to approve a serious Eagle project plan in the ten years I have doing District Reviews. (About 70 new Eagles a year in our District). The process always made sure that safety rules, building requirements, and other standards were met – and that the Scout had the ability to successfully and safely complete his project. We are now told that we have to pass every plan no matter how bad but we can then fail the Scout at his Eagle Board of Review if the project is not successfully completed. The whole thing is a “dumbing down” of the Eagle process and has upset a lot of very dedicated Scouters here. Some (like me) have opted not to to continue sitting on the Review Boards at all.

    • Recently had a project where the sketch included showed the boy had no clue how to construct it. Nothing was right, materials, design. I did not approve it asking for more information. But the decision was made at council level to approve it. Had to wonder how you can lead a project when you don’t have a plan that will work and a clue how to fix it. Maybe the national people need to re-look at what the scope of the planning should be.

  4. I’m with Joe B. on this. We didn’t receive word on this significant change until well after it had been implemented. Locally, we only received training in April on the new book…which while improving some areas seems to be muddling others.

    BSA has to spend more time and an overall better job letting us know about UPCOMING changes. There’s an expression…I believe it has something to do with a horse and a barn door that applies.

    There are aspects of the new book that are nice to see implemented. Time will tell, but if I wanted to make some money I’m sure we’ll see this book, quietly modified over a short period of time with LITTLE forewarning or notice – just as the BSA has done with other documents they’ve released in the past few years. (Medical forms, anyone?).

    • Hey it’s a change! Quit crying about it and making it more difficult than what it really is. I had a scoutmaster tell me there was a MINIMUM of 75 to 100 hours for an Eagle Scout Project. Sorry, no minimum by BSA rules. I challenged him on this by calling counsel. He got angry and said he didn’t appreciate me going over his head. He then told me after the fact that my son wasn’t mature enough to go for his Eagle Scout. My son is 14 and is 10 times more mature than his scoutmaster!

  5. This is one of my disappointments in the Scouting organization. We have reduced the requirement to a point where almost anything goes. As an organization, we should really look at developing a high standard a leadership, planning, and service- with a focus on producing quality and not quantity Eagle Scouts. At a certain point, and I think we are close, the Eagle Scout Rank will just become a paper mill award. As it stands there is a reason why people outside of scouting do not regard the Eagle Scout Rank as much of an achievement- it’s because some of the young men we are giving the award to are not imbued with the quality of skills associated with the award having prestige. If this trend continues it may very well a sign of the decline of scouting.

    -Eagle Scout Class of 2004
    Troop 26, Fort Drum, NY

  6. I have been an Eagle Coach for 7 years now and an Assistant Scoutmaster for 13 years. Like Charles Series, we have also had problems ensuring that the Life Scout is using the correct materials and doing proper planning BEFORE it is too late. However, I am coming round to the new workbook, but there is a fundamental problem with it.

    The workbook is a pdf which is does not allow for inserting pictures, adding additional space to boxes where required or adding additional lines in the many tables. Of course, you also cannot use bold for headings etc.

    I appreciate the intent is that the Scout will insert pictures, continue tables etc on additional pages as needed. However, the effect of this is a very bitty workbook which scouts are struggling to complete, especially if they have any difficulties such as dyslexia, ADHD, etc.

    We had another issue recently, which I would also put down to being a pdf. A Life Scout was using my laptop to write up his Plan section during one of our coaching sessions. He made great progress and I emailed it on to him the next day. When he tried to use the workbook, it had locked the fields. Now he has had to re-type several pages of the Plan.

    Adobe Acrobat is not meant to be a wordprocessing package. This workbook would be much better if it could come in a Word, OpenOffice or Rich Text format which scouts could use to properly work with. Please BSA – bring out a proper wordprocessing form of the workbook for the sake of the sanity of Eagle Coaches everywhere!

    • Fully agree! PDF is Not appropriate for eagle forms. Word would be a significant improvement for authoring,reviewing and saving eagle project forms.

    • well, It’s been 6 years ….. seen a change yet …… still PDF….. still a pain to use from BSA.

    • Wouldn’t it be great if someone in 2018 could find a way to convert a pdf into a Word document and then back to pdf again? THAT would be a really handy tool. ; )

      • Not sure what the issue was either earlier PDFs, but the one in 2019 and later works very well. That and few students have any experience with Word, they use Google Docs and PDF in school.

  7. I agree with the posts above. The new process, while somewhat clearer, has severely reduced the requirements for an Eagle Project. Anything goes, and there is no way to apply standards or minimums that can’t be ignored. Get two signatures based on minimal information, forget the details, and off they go! Try to push back, and you have no ground to stand on. This goes hand in hand with the “participation” standards. Make no campouts or meetings,? No problem! Pick up your rank on the way out the door!

    • Here in Decorah, Iowa, it seems Troop 66 scouts will all achieve “Eagle Scout” status because they suggested a bench, a simple bike rack, a bike tool station on our trail system. Some of the ‘plans’ submitted were done in pencil on torn out notebook paper when presented to the local park board for consideration. I’m 58, the kids I knew who achieved “Eagle Scout” status put in a TON of work themselves and the projects were much larger, and they did the work. I just feel like it’s become part of the ‘everybody gets a trophy’ culture. Does it really challenge today’s scout? Does it really prove their ability to be a strong leader? If there are exception for disabilities, I totally get that, but there’s been a boom of “Eagle Scout” projects on our trails and it begs the question, “Is that really where we are now? Is Eagle Scout really that easy to achieve now?” Maybe I’m just old-fashioned and hardcore, and I am not involved in scouts at all, so maybe it doesn’t matter.

  8. As Mike Dubrall said above, moving a review of the detailed plans from the initial approval to the final Eagle review seems misguided – if it’s undesirable to reject a plan in the first review, then surely it would also be undesirable to reject it after the project is complete!

    It seems like the Final Plan *should* get a formal review before the project work begins.

  9. Ok, so I’m a mom of 2 current Cub Scouts and one that will start scouting in 2013. I have always heard and regarded the Eagle Scout title as something to strive toward. That by becoming an Eagle Scout you really do stand above the rest. With the new changes, is it following the politically correct thing to do by making it so EVERYONE can do it therefore making it worthless in the end? After hearing even just the decision to change the requirements makes me reconsider if it is worth the time and effort for have my boy earn this award and even keep them in scouting. I agree with Robert Rasmussen’s statements. There is a prestige with such a title and to make it easily attainable then it won’t be anything special. What a slap in the face to all the hard working successful Eagle Scouts who have shown the difference between boys and men.

    • I find it hard to believe that the workbook change is creating that much of a difference in the manliness of achieving the Eagle rank, ALL of the other requirements for the rank are still in place. The project is only one element. As I see it the book provides clarity that protects the scout from the over-reach of leaders who try to make the project into more than the BSA is asking for. The project has always been descibed simply as: a service project that benefits the community, with the stipulation that the project requires the scout to demonstrate leadership in planning and carrying out the project.
      Over the years over zealous volunteer leaders have unfairly imposed on scouts all kinds of extra requirements and unnecessary details to make the project meet their own descriptions of what they believe the project should entail.

      • All too ture. It things are too easy scouts will leave, From the projects I have seen scouts enjoy a challenge and put in a great deal of time an effort. Mentors and eagle coaches can guide.

  10. As stated, the project proposal takes several signatures including the Scoutmaster and Committee Chair. This means if a “bad” project is sent up, the unit has failed! If an “Eagle Coach” allows a “bad” project ot be sent up, then he has failed.

    This means that WE must be involved and mentor the youth a little more. Maybe we should do more than just sign it….we might actually need to TALK to the youth and using EDGE methods learned in Scouting, help him through the process after the proposal is accepted… For example, we should KNOW that he is going to use CCA lumber…and tell him to rethink it!!!

    I wanted to allow my son to plan his project by himself. He did. And, I rejected my son’s first idea for a project. What i reliazed was that he needed guidance. We then spent many hours looking together for a new project and planning his new proposal. The proposal allowed him to really plan step-by-step what to do. After approval, we made sure the materials and ideas were environmetally sound…and off to work he went.

    It might just take more than that “one hour a week” to make the program a little better. It might mean US mentoring and teaching instead of earning knots to go over our left pocket!

    So…get off the high horses…and make the process work! Complaining is the weak and lazy… DOING is what makes Scouting so great

    • Thank you! This is my problem in my troop…I am currently working on my proposal, and am stuck because the adults say “come to me when you are ready.” Well, youth really need a lot of guidance; this is often the biggest project we’ve done, and there’s a happy medium between no guidance and coddling us. The Eagle coach is a great suggestion.

  11. The changes in the Eagle Project continues to show the lack of knowledge of what scouting is truely about. Looking back at the changes made over the year a Life Scout no longer has to have final approval before beginning a project. Only an IDEA. No longer does the Eagle Candidate have to give back to the community that helped that scout earn his advancement. Now the scout can do anything even if it is in another country. A scout doesn’t have to directly supervise anyone. A wink and a nod will do. No longer does the project have to have a lasting effect on the community or organization that was helped. The political correctness that prevails in Texas only makes advancement requirements ar too easy. The fact that Eagle advancement has risen from 2% to 4% in no way indicates that the Eagle Scout is truely prepared or worthy. When was the last time a scout had to polish a brass buckle and slide for inspection? Do what to what for what? Texas, your destroying scouting. Easing requirements only defeats the building of Character, Honesty and Integrity. I guess there is way too much money passing hands to do otherwise.

    • As I see it the book provides clarity that protects the scout from the over-reach of leaders who try to make the project into more than the BSA is asking for. The project has always been descibed simply as: a service project that benefits the community, with the stipulation that the project requires the scout to demonstrate leadership in planning and carrying out the project.
      Over the years over zealous volunteer leaders have imposed on scouts all kinds of extra requirements and unnecessary details to make the project meet their own descriptions of what they believe the project should entail.

  12. WOW – can ya’all be a little more negative? Did you read the entire workbook before you jumped to a conclusion? I am an Eagle Scout and have been involved with boys getting their Eagle award in three different districts in three different councils. One followed the spirit of the requirements, one gave the Eagle Scout award to anyone, and one required college level writing and 75+ pages of writeup before they would even look at the proposal. (Because of the strict requirements the parents ended up writing most of the projects – which defeats the purposes of the Eagle).

    We needed a national standard, as this is a national award. The requirements are the same. The Unit and Eagle Coach should be involved the whole way to ensure the project is a success.

    We all need to remember that it is an Leadership project, we are not trying to make a permanent structure. It should be easy enough that a 13 year old can accomplish it (albeit they will have to stretch).

    I believe the “new” requirements are EXCELLENT! They are very clear, and leaves less subjective-ness to the whim of the district.

    • I agree. I see the new book as an effort to make sure that the boy scout is not subjected to extra requirements by those who really have no authority expand the scope of what the BSA has intended for the project.

    • The above comment is right on! The requirements have not been diminished, and the books makes everything clearer for leaders and scouts.

    • Thanks for providing a clear understanding of what the Eagle Award is and is not. It’s disappointing to read that even today, there are many adults in the movement who do their best to substitute their judgment and vision for that of the national organization.

      • I also agree that the new workbook helps the scout and the leadership visualize the complete process. However I also feel that the choice to use Live Cycle to manage the workbook was not the best choice. I understand the desire to manage the documentation process but Live Cycle creates technical hurdles that can be daunting for many youth and adults not well versed in communication technology–or with limited access to technology. A better path would have been a role based web application with a responsive design that the Scouts and leaders could access from any device that can mount a modern web browser. Perhaps national could rethink this aspect of the process.

    • EXACTLY!! I am fighting a council rep right now that wants the Proposal like a contract proposal from a fortune 500 company

  13. As a Scoutmaster and District Eagle Project Reviewer, Round table Staff member and with an Eagle Scout Son, Life Scout Son soon to be Eagle and Life Scout myself (I failed my Eagle BOR in 1975 as I lead “Non-Scouters” and that wasn’t accepted and I never performed a 2nd one) – I am working with the new system this year and have signed off on at least 10 “Proposals” so far. We have two other adults reviewing as well so maybe 30 proposals total or so in 2012. There are a few issues/challenges we are facing – 1. Scout gets a signature on proposal and jumps right to project. No more planning. Have had scouts tell me they are starting their project on Saturday when they are getting my signature on Wed. or Thur. evening (during school year!). When asked about completing their plan they say they will get it done before Saturday, this during the school year. The scout is compromising his integrity (maybe not even intentionally in some cases) via the process with his decision to jump right in rather than take the final planning step. Probably has good intentions but there is no experience base at this age group to know what project planning really entails and how time consuming it can be and is. Doing this goes right at violating “trustworthy” and “Obedient”. 2) District Reviewer Can NOT reject a Final Plan so there is no oversight/approval on helping a Scout complete the final plan and provide a project management “Tool” (that is all the plan is by the way) that will help the Scout be successful and have a smoother project and most importantly LEARN more about good project planning. I believe the new process has taken away a significant learning aspect about project planning skills that would help them for rest of their life. Yes there is supposed to be a “Coach or Mentor” but in reality for the projects I review there has been an apparent lack of coaching/mentoring in almost every case so again there is a lack of learning experience which is just as valuable (if not maybe more so in my opinion) as showing leadership or giving to the community, and that is not to take away from the importance of those items. 3) Relying on subjective evaluation from an Eagle Board of Review to “reject” a plan at this stage of the process – will they do it, Doubtful. For the BOR’s I have sat on so far this year, many of the members have not been trained in the new process of 2012, to evaluate the “Project Plan” in its final form and determine “Did that Scout fulfill the Eagle Scout Project Requirements” as it specifically relates to the planning process of an Eagle Scout project. Most Eagle BOR’s I have sat on take about 40 minutes with the Scout. Usually there are 15 min before the BOR to review the Scouts Project workbook (completed supposedly) and then after the BOR a 10 min discussion to approve (or not). What constitutes “enough” planning? If you want to get technical you could truly read every sentence of the workbook (I have) and break it down item by item (I have) or you can stay at a higher level and say “well… that looks good enough”. Most Eagle BOR members I have sat with do not truly know the requirements of the Eagle Project Workbook at any kind of a detail level. This is not to discount the importance of these members review, knowledge and commitment at all. These are dedicated Scouters who care about the program and the young man setting there. It only highlights that there is very little guidance which leads to inconsistencies in evaluating what is “good enough”. Food for thought here – In the past, I signed off on an Eagle Scout Project Plan and that usually took 2 meetings, maybe 3 multiplied by about 40 plans approved in past few years. With that said, and now with no one actually reviewing and signing off on an Eagle Project Plan until the Eagle BOR, how many of those Scouts should be turned down for lack of doing a “complete plan? Does this diminish the rank of Eagle Scout? Are we “dummying down” the program and the legacy of all Eagles? Or was I too tough/harsh or unreasonable in the previous 40 or so project plan approvals I have worked closely with those Scouts as an Eagle Project Reviewer to get to an “approved state? So that leads me to this which someone commented earlier… We can set back and whine or we can move forward and do… I am doing, working at the District and Troop level to try and educate Scoutmasters as to the importance of Coaching. Also when approving the “proposal” it takes about 15 minutes now. Then I offer them “unsolicited advice”, if they would like to stay and receive it on their next step, the plan. Most of them stay for 45 minutes to another hour and go through the elements of the Final Plan and I also provide them “tools” That they can use, OR NOT, and then I send them on their way and I hope I have done enough to encourage them to finish their plan before they start their project. That has not always been the case but in the end I really hope that no Scout I ever advise gets before an Eagle BOR without a complete project plan and gets turned down at their BOR because of that. Best Wishes to all of the Life Scouts and please please please… Do your due diligence and complete your project plan and use it as part of the effective communications tool it is for your project team when you begin executing… In the end the Plan is only as good as you make it and will only help you if you use it.

    • No there should be accountability planning etc. Getting Eagle brings opportunity with its designation along with responsibility. The standards need to be kept high because job duties later given are with the expectation of the long standing credentials knowledge hands on and application achievements expected by superiors. Ie. A soldier is given higher rank. Companies expect knowledge an responsible man when hiring an Eagle. Do not compromise on these standards an later have the credential diminished.

  14. I have been my troop’s Eagle Advisor for 11 years and guided 42 Scouts successfully through the process and had 4 who didn’t make it.
    I have two issues with the new plan/process.
    First, the fact that the final adult approval is at the concept/idea point where there are not enough details to ensure safety and decent planning.
    For example, we had a Scout build a 10’x12′ shelter for his church. This involved sawing, concrete work, leveling 2×10 and 2×12 PT lumber 10′ in the air, roofing and shingling, etc. His concept was fine and he had a professional architect helping. We (troop adult leaders) reviewed the idea and approved proceeding to the planning phase, but expressed concern about the complexity. His dad said he’d help, so we agreed. As he moved into the detailed planning, it was apparent he was over his head and his dad was right there with him. After 3 months of emails and meetings, he had a detailed plan that we knew could be executed safely. The shelter got built and is an outstanding project.

    I fear that the current process will allow a Scout to “leap out” with insufficient planning and get some Scout injured or killed. 14-18 yr old boys just don’t have the experience to recognize all the problems they are likely to encounter.

    I believe this could all be fixed by adding one more mandatory set of approvals after the detailed planning is done. The first set protects the Scout against random rejection and gives the troop some assurance the Scout at least has an idea, The second set of approvals protects the boy, the troop, the sponsoring organization, the organization receiving the project, and the BSA against at least some level of claims and lawsuits.

    Second… the PDF is awful. It can’t be edited easily, it has no advanced typing features like bold, italics, indenting, etc. Having to go to separate pages for tables, drawings, photographs, makes editing more complex than it needs to be. Why didn’t the BSA just surrender, go Microsoft Word, and let us use the features?
    To help, I asked my daugheter to build a duplicate of the official form our of Word so we can use the features, We take that all the way to the final approvals and then the Scout transfers the information to the official, manadatory, unfriendly PDF, with the Word leftovers being the attached continuation pages. Not pretty, but it works.

    So, in summary: Understand the goal of standards and such, but the BSA is setting themselves and their Scouts and Scouters up for accidents and eventual legal action. The form is awful and actually hinders Scouts.

    • I hope you can reply soon. My son is so frustrated with new 2013 workbook. We called everyone including the council, and it seems they are saying that you have to figure this out.

      Please email me and give me your phone number. My son needs help asap.

      • What type of info are you looking for? My older son completed his project under the old rules and my younger son under the new rules and I found that there was much more emphasis on how my younger son’s the project would show leadership. We went through several rounds of review before the Eagle Advisor was willing to submit the proposal and then he was still asked for more detail. I do not like the new rules but unfortunately that is what we are stuck with now.

    • This is also teaching the scout how to work within parameters that a job application and or format is restrictive. It helps them to build an understanding an practical application in today’s real world that not everything is sit type print out. Many jobs have attachments add on etc. Many organizational applications although it may be minimal gives a hands on to understanding how this can be put together added on an more. Scouts get van under standing of paperwork along with computer work which in many professions happens on a daily basis. Young men can progress into a work situation better with having this knowledge an application.

  15. As a coach and mentor to young men striving to earn the rank of Eagle Scout; I can say that the new document caused me some concern until I started to use it and see the benefits. Since its inception I’ve seen better growth and results as the young men work on their project. And as a side note, I’ve seen the extraordinary and unnecessary requirements that would burden the young man go away. This is an exercise in leadership, planning and thinking! These young men are not licensed construction engineers. After mentoring 37 young men, through many years, to earn their Eagle rank, I for one appreciate the change. And by the way, I’m from Texas.

  16. Coaching is the key. I just finished coaching my first Eagle Scout who’s board of review was three days ago. I agree with the comments whereby the document needs to be more user friendly. But I would like to emphasize that if the coach allows a project to go forward without a thorough review then shame on him/her. I met with my Life scout numerous time and requested numerous changes prior to allowing the project to move forward. It wasn’t that it the project was not a good project but i thought his “plan” was a little lite in the initial details. It turned out to be a great project, building and installing multiple owl nests for a local nature group, with built in steps to ensure longevity. This is where i have a problem with the projects. I have seen many projects where if you go back one year later the projects intended use is no longer. But back to the main problem which concurs with other comments….let’s have a document that is user friendly on computer os changes can be made easily and things like pictures and drawings can be easily inserted into the document and eliminate the needs for appendix or additional pages at the end or in the middle of the document to show progress and completion. Have a great day!

  17. As a proud mother of an Eagle Scout class of 2010 and a mentor for many other scouts, I am shocked at the changes in the Eagle Scout Requirements. I hate to use the words ” dumby downed” but it is apparent the next generation of scout will earn the rank easier. This will only “devalue” the rank of Eagel Scout!
    The new workbbok is like filling in job application. It is in many ways easier than some Merit badges, The scout no longer has go through the process of planning a project, from idea to approval, to writting a complete plan before actually imlpicatiing it, and ” jumping through the loops”, all of which builds character and gives a Scout a better understanding of why the Eagle Rank is considered a outstanding achievemnent. The Eagle project must truly show leadership ability, and that quality is bought out in a young man ( 15 +) who can truly plan a project on his own and implicate it with the help of others. I am a true believer in that the project must truly benefits the scouts community and will have a lasting value. Than it is a project worthy of being called an Eagle Scout Project accomplished by an Eagle Scout! as a Life Scout said to me the other day – ” this is easy, all I need to do is plan a project and fill in a few spaces, it’s easier than taking a test in school” If that doesn’t devalue the rank what does!


    • As I see it the book provides clarity that protects the scout from the over-reach of leaders who try to make the project into more than the BSA is asking for. The project has always been descibed simply as: a service project that benefits the community, with the stipulation that the project requires the scout to demonstrate leadership in planning and carrying out the project.
      Over the years over zealous volunteer leaders have imposed on scouts all kinds of extra requirements and unnecessary details to make the project meet their own descriptions of what they believe the project should entail.

    • @J on – Given the numerous typos, fractured metaphors and lack of any coherent argument, your comments about the new workbook are lost. How can you expect anyone to pay attention to what you have to say when you can’t complete a sentence or know when to end one?

      An Eagle Project is NOT about teaching boys how life in badly run organizations is. This is not a way to teach them skills for hoop (not loop) jumping in their future jobs. In fact the new workbook is a tool they can carry with them and modify for planning many activities in life.

      The new workbook provides them a structured outline to plan a project and see it through to the end. It reminds me very much of the 5 paragraph operations order that is the foundation of Army planning. When MS Word allowed leaders to build forms that simplified writing an OPORD we didn’t see it as dumbing (not dummy) down anything. We saw it as a process improvement that generated more uniform OPORDs, saved time and allowed leaders to use mental capacity else ware. If I had a junior leader who tried to hand write an OPORD from memory I would fire him for being too dumb to use modern tools. If I had a Scout who insisted on writing his plan from scratch instead of using the workbook I would question his judgement too.

      You display one of the most corrosive attitudes in any organization – belief that everything was harder when you did it and everything is easier now. It is nothing more than a veiled attempt to devalue and minimize the achievements of others and that is in no way a Scouting value.

      That Life Scout you were talking to is in for a rude awakening – one you should have advanced – when he realizes that execution is a lot harder than filling in some blanks. I have yet to see a plan execute itself or execution to follow the plan exactly. He will earn his Eagle by putting plan into action and modifying his plan as needed in reaction to challenges. This is exactly what your son had to do and exactly what every other Eagle has had to do.

      Congratulations on raising and mentoring an Eagle. Please review the values that he was supposed to learn and apply them instead of belittling those who follow in his footsteps.

    • To be honest there are fewer and fewer scouts. Making things too difficult to accomplish will deter many scouts from completing what could be considered a once in a lifetime accomplishment. I am glad they have the workbook and lay out the steps needed to ensure less confusion for the scout. Not every young man can easily take on such a challenge without supports. I am sorry your son took it lightly but there are many scouts out there that will embrace the project as the final step in the journey that taught them lessons that will carry each man through his life.

    • I totally agree. Why would a scoutmaster waste his time if every life scout automatically makes Eagle. It should be an earned rank. This dumbing down has got to stop. I want all my scouts to achieve the rank also, but it has to mean something. It is sad when people come to me and tell me they know for a fact that certain scouts never worked on their projects. Their Dad or Uncle did everything. This just sends more kids to soccer instead of staying in scouting. They do not give they a goal just because they want one…….

      • Kudos to Linda Goodman! I have been a Scouter volunteer for a gazillion years, give or take a year. Since 1976 we have had 6 Eagles in my family. This, as well as being an ASM, has kept me engaged in the Eagle Project process for many years. It is disturbing to see the “dumbing down” of the requirements and a slap in the face to those who have climbed the trail to the top of Eagle Mountain. Jon (Eagle 1976)

  18. It seem to me that the new workbook is very easy to understand. As I see it the book provides clarity that protects the scout from the over-reach of leaders who try to make the project into more than the BSA is asking for. The project has always been descibed simply as: a service project that benefits the community, with the stipulation that the project requires the scout to demonstrate leadership in planning and carrying out the project.
    Over the years over zealous volunteer leaders have imposed on scouts all kinds of extra requirements and unnecessary details to make the project meet their own descriptions of what they believe the project should entail.

  19. I completed Requirement 5; my Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project and accompanying Workbook in 2010, long before the new rules and guidelines came out. I have recently finished the last of my merit badges and am now completing my Eagle Scout Rank Application. The application says “you must use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, No. 512-927, in meeting this requirement”, but that is the new workbook – not the old one. Do I have to go back and redo my entire service project workbook? I don’t see how that can be done without redoing the entire service project itself.

  20. Other than my son being in BSA I don’t have much involvement in scouting. So this Eagle project workbook is new to me. My son just finished his project. This is how it went for us. I have been checking his progress as he moves forward. Phase one was finding a project worthy of being an Eagle project. We worked together to think of ideas and he finally called the city to ask them if they had any projects that they would like to see done. We didn’t want to start the road of a project that was not going to be approved and have to start all over. Chapter two of the workbook was helpful in getting the proposal in front of the scout leadership to ensure he was on the right track. A bridge, when is that not a good project? So with minimal time investment he was off and running. He started phase two, chapter three- final plan. I handed him my old ranger handbook and directed him to the chapter with the operations order and told him to read the chapter and learn how much detail he should put in his plan. I drove him to the bridge site several times so he could formulate his detailed plan and figure out how much lumber he would need. When he was done he presented his detailed plan to the Eagle Scout advisor. I was present and proud of how well he knew his plan and answered all the detail questions asked. The advisor did help him with some added info on the rails to his bridge. An hour and 45 minutes well spent. As I am looking over his service project report I am finding the workbook VERY user friendly. It seems to me that rather than make this a service project paperwork nightmare it is more about the project itself. 24 foot walking bridge and 100’ X 4’ gravel path complete; and the workbook has built in spell check…really nice.

  21. As a scout master I’ve been involved in the Eagle process with several scouts through the years. I like the newer format overall, but I’ve had one problem with the concept. Since less planning is required, the scouts are prone to try to get ideas approved that aren’t detailed enough. Even if after I discuss a project with the scout and understand his idea, I sometimes find that the Eagle advisor or higher levels see the proposal differently than I did and we can have problems. I suggest getting the scout to at plan at least enough to reduce any ambiguity before he takes it to the Eagle advisor. For example, “making educational presentations for….” can mean making posters with markers or permanently places acrylic and wood displays. Listing materials and costs is more than he has to do at the first stage, but it makes it clear which of those approaches he’s talking about.

  22. My son just received his Eagle Badge. The new requirements to him, and us, were clear and concise. My son easily understood the leadership aspect of the requirements and had no problem from start to finish with the instructions given. I have been on a regional council for years as well as being on board of reviews and welcomed the new changes. These changes did not
    “dumb down” the meaning of Eagle Scout, in my opinion. It actually, to me, made it more meaningful. It is only difficult if the planning is poor and the physical scope of the project is too massive and overwhelming. Our son learned how to utilize his time and personnel is an orderly way through using the said requirements. He told me that he could see the benefit of the pre-planning phase as it directed the size and scope of what he was trying to accomplish: it narrowed his focus in order to cause greater impact on the community and kept him from straying off into other tangents.

  23. I have read all the comments about the new eagle workbook and other concerns express by many. There are so many different views on project scope, leadership requirements, hours worked etc,etc,etc. This book does not lower the standards but helps the scout to better understand what needs to be accomplished and how. Like one of the gentleman before said, nothing happens until someone(scout) makes it happen. Read page 46 of scout handbook. That is the start of any leadership and can never be minimized.

  24. Doing an Eagle project used to be serious business. Now it is so watered down it is no longer the most difficult requirement to becoming Eagle. With all the merit badge factories in place, and these new ”watered down” eagle project requirements it is actually more difficult to make 1st class then Eagle.

  25. I am appalled that the BSA would continue to dumb down their program. I understand that we are in competition with video games, but making the program “easy” for everyone is utter nonsense. In the past it was a great accomplishment for the young man to earn his Eagle Scout rank, after all only 4% made it. He became part of an elite group. Now that it is so easy to get eagle, it’s not so special. I have sat on eagle boards for over 15 years and have worked with life scouts to help them along the trail. I have seen a lot of projects and can tell you some of the scouts need a little help thinking it through, but now we throw them to the wolves. I don’t like it and seeing the other blogs neither do a lot of people. I have always said that when BSA fails to uphold high standards, then it’s time for me to find a new program. I am in the program to build young men, life is not always fair and everyone does not always win. The world is very competitive, jobs are not handed to just any person, an employer looks for qualifications and reliability, like the eagle rank he will have to work to honing his skills for whatever position or occupation he wants to go into. I also feel that it is giving employers and schools a misconception if they see eagle on an application. They expect high standards; they will be disappointed when they find out that the program is not what it should be. I do hope you read these blogs and respond, I would not like to change from bsa to royal ambassador or some other such program, but I will. I am Scoutmaster and have been involved with scouting for 22 years; our troop is the oldest in the district with 86 years. I hope you don’t disappoint my boys.

  26. I am the mother of three grown daughters, the sister of two brothers, and the daughter of a scoutmaster. Growing up, I saw how the scouts developed into men by their hard work and fortitude, and I’ll say there were not a heck of a lot of them that attained the rank of Eagle. To be an Eagle Scout meant you were in a small group of the best of the best. I’m appalled by the new “requirements” to become an Eagle. My daughters reached higher goals as Brownies. Truly, I continue mourning the loss of my father, BUT he died around the time of these changes, and I’m so glad he didn’t have to witness it. I was recently asked to be involved in two different Eagle Scout projects. The first one was something a brain-dead child could have pulled off, and the second was accomplished by the boy’s mother. WHERE ARE THE STANDARDS??

  27. Most Adults join in the Scout Oath during Flags. ‘Trustworthy’, ‘Loyal’, ‘Obedient’. If you choose to not follow the new rules for Eagle projects, you should respectfully resign from your position. I have seen too many adults who are, frankly, dishonest, and try to circumvent the new rules. The biggest problem is that too many of the boys understand these rules; they KNOW that you are not obedient to BSA rules and see you as dishonest and not trustworthy. I have seen a number of worthy Scouts quit scouting due to dishonest adults trying to force requirements that are contrary to BSA policy.

    At the same time, I have seen Troops who ‘get it’ and make it work. It is NOT about building something. It is NOT about ‘the plan’. It has VERY LITTLE to do with these things. The entire Eagle project is about one thing: You have boys with years of service and leadership – the Eagle project PROCESS gives them the tools and experience they would need AS GROWN MEN LATER IN LIFE to see a need in their community and do something about it.

    If you focus on ‘building something’ and making a blue print, you are missing the entire point. If you don’t get it, find a Troop that IS making it work and listen their stories. There IS a formula for success for the boy and the Troop – other folks ARE making it work.

  28. So, from what I have been reading and seen in local Eagle Scout projects, that the Scout himself, doesn’t have to really do the “work” but several hands do the real part while the Scout just does requirements up to it and sets a plan of action? My three boys were scouts, a long time ago, and it sure was different then. They didn’t go on to be Eagle Scouts, though the oldest had been given some ideas, which was then given to another Scout and he got the Eagle instead of my son. He did go on to become the highest in OA though. A higher honer to me since he did this totally on his own.

  29. The requirments will be the same because this is the one thing that every scout should strive towards and it shouldent be easy. Scouting is to teach young boys how to be responsble and that not everthing is just going to be handed to you>

  30. I would like to ask advice in a particular eagle scout case. We had an eagle scout candidate present a project to our school PTA/PFC in August. We liked the idea of playground lost of found cubbies and let him go ahead with it. He requested $1000 and we dropped it to $500 and approved the amount. When he dropped it off in October, it was incomplete and poorly constructed. We had parents asking us why it was dropped in our school yard, was it vandals, was it being moved to trash? It was embarrassing and difficult to tell parents in our community that it was an eagle scout project. All expressed disbelief that a scout would drop off a project in that condition and consider it completed.
    We asked him to finish it before our principal signed off on the project and he pressured our principal into signing it because “he needed it signed off by that week” and that he could not take it back and complete it because the team would be difficult to gather together again because the actual buildout of the project had been completed in a single day, in 6 hours. So our principal signed off, and then spent almost two months, teaching him basic carpentry, teaching him how a proper cabinet should be reinforced, and allowing him to use his personal tools to complete the project (on school grounds no less).
    Six months later – the resulting project is an eyesore: the chip board is separating, the paint is peeling, the shelves are falling down, and is not used at all. We in all likelihood will throw it away. I feel that this scout did not display integrity or citizenship in this project. Is it ok to contact the district eagle counselor and ask for a review on this project?

  31. Awe come guys your new ways for advancement to eagle are to military ish they are still yet kids or teens im sorry you folks in deciding how eagle will be acchived are way over the top yes eagles go on in community as adults as presidents managers eagle scouts advance to E2 right away in military but soften the regs you sound like drill sargents Also iam in the Knights of columbus and my counsil is planning on giving financial help as a sponsor for supplies coffee donuts for the workers its allready been made a motion on our floor under new bus its being discussed if theres extra money left over what does my friends son do with the extra green as we said he can put it in his BSA account toward trips etc

  32. In my opinion the changes are making it too easy for Scouts to earn the rank of Eagle. It is supposed to be hard work and a difficult process; that’s what helps make it worth the effort. Many things in the Guide to Advancement have made Scouts more a place holder and as an Eagle Scout I feel these changes put a damper on the work done by previous generations.

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