Westchester-Putnam Council Eagle Scout Rank Application Process
Every Scouts BSA participant is eligible to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. However, the Westchester-Putnam Council Advancement Committee feels strongly that in order to fully meet all of the requirements for the rank of Eagle Scout, the Eagle candidate should display maturity and leadership throughout this Eagle process. Taking charge of the Service Project from beginning to end, taking accountability for accurate and complete information on the Eagle application form, personally communicating directly with references and maintaining a productive, meaningful presence within the unit are all important factors related to maturity and leadership that the Board of Review is encouraged to consider when an Eagle candidate appears before it. Eagle Scout is not just another rank in the Scouts BSA advancement program; it is awarded to recognize mastery of Scouting which is itself a demonstration of character, fitness and citizenship. No Eagle candidate will be denied if he/she meets all of the requirements; however, it is very difficult to meet all the requirements without being a leader.
To help Scouts focus their efforts as they pursue their Eagle Scout award, the Council Advancement Committee has prepared the following guidelines to ensure a smooth procedure for the Scout, the unit leadership, the local council, and the volunteers who are to conduct the Board of Review. Eagle candidates should share these steps with their unit leader so that they can fully understand the procedures that must be followed. We invite all Eagle candidates to pursue this goal and offer our full support.
- Complete All the Requirements
- Prepare the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook
- Complete the Application
- Obtain Required Signatures
- Submit to Council Service Center
- Council Verifies Application and Board of Review Scheduled
- References Contacted
- Application Returned to Council Service Center
- Council Sends Application to National Advancement Team
- National Advancement Team Returns Credentials
Here are some links to documents that you will need:
Message to Scouts and Parents or Guardians
In addition to reading the entire Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, the candidate and his/her parent or guardian should consult the Guide to Advancement, No. 33088, beginning with section 184.108.40.206. The “Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook”, No 512-927, The “Guide to Advancement”, No 33088, along with the current "Scouts BSA Requirements book”, are the only official sources on policies and procedures for Eagle Scout service projects.
The Westchester-Putnam Council has established the following limited local procedures as necessary; however, all of this is done in harmony with the official sources mentioned above.
220.127.116.11 The Eagle Scout Rank Application Process
The following steps for preparing and submitting the Eagle Scout Rank Application and accompanying materials to the local council will help the Scout, his/her parent or guardian, or any adult leaders or advancement administrators from the unit, district, or council to prevent delays in securing National Council approval and certification.
18.104.22.168 Complete All the Requirements
Confirm all requirements have been completed before the 18th birthday: merit badges, service project, active participation, Scout spirit, position of responsibility, and unit leader conference. Note that the unit leader (Scoutmaster) conference need not be the last item accomplished. The board of review may be conducted after the 18th birthday. For details, see "Boards of Review: An Overview for All Ranks," 22.214.171.124. A candidate must be registered through the time the Scout is completing requirements but need not be registered thereafter or when his/her board of review is conducted.
126.96.36.199 Prepare the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook
The most current workbook must be used. It can be found here.
The workbook shows the project proposal was approved ahead of time, and then properly accepted by all parties when finished. Ideally, it will be a proud reminder of a significant accomplishment. See "Use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook," 188.8.131.52.
184.108.40.206 Complete the Application
The Scout must complete the official Eagle Scout Rank Application, No.512-728. No other form or application method is permitted. A fillable PDF can be found here.
Careful review and thorough proofreading will help prevent delays. Remember, everything is verified by the local council; discrepancies and errors will lead to a form's return. Pay special attention to the following red-flag items:
1. Dates: Became a Scouts BSA, Venturer or Sea Scout; First Class and Star boards of review; birth date; Life board of review (on both the front and back); all merit badges earned; position(s) of responsibility since earning Life rank with "FROM" and "TO"; Eagle service project finished; Scoutmaster(unit leader) conference; and applicant, unit leader, and unit committee chair signatures.
2. Signatures: Applicant, unit leader, and unit committee chair. (Remaining signatures come later.) Note that signatures need not be dated before the Scout’s 18th birthday.
3. References: Must list all six (five if not employed).If not affiliated with an organized religion, then the parent or guardian provides this reference.
4. Merit badges: Dates as mentioned above; check the unit number in which each badge was earned. Attach the Application for Alternative Eagle Scout Rank Merit Badges, if applicable.
5. Position of responsibility: Must be one of those listed in Eagle Scout rank requirement 4, and must relate to the unit where the Scout was registered and active at the time service was rendered. For example, "SPL" would not be used by a crew member unless he/she was, or is, also registered in a troop. For a Scout who has transferred from a troop to a Venturing crew or Sea Scout ship, any qualifying position(s) held after the Life rank board of review in the troop or team shall count, and the six-month element of the requirement may be met through a combination of non concurrent positions served in the troop, team, crew, or ship. See also "Boy Scout Advancement in Venturing and Sea Scouts," 220.127.116.11.
6. Attachments: Service project workbook, statement of ambitions and life purpose, and listing of positions, honors, and awards.
Scouts must submit the official Eagle Scout Rank Application, No. 512-728, found at www.scouting.org/advancement. No other form or application is permitted. Special worksheets or spreadsheets have been created in some councils that when filled out electronically produce a completed application. Because the official application changes from time to time, and because submitting out-of-date applications can cause confusion and delays, Scouts must not be required to use these tools. If they do use them, they still must complete and submit the official Eagle Scout Rank Application.
18.104.22.168 Obtain Required Signatures
The unit leader and committee chair signatures represent approval for the candidate to move on to a board of review. In providing them, the signers carefully check the application. It may be helpful to compare the application to the Scout's current advancement profile obtained through Internet Advancement or to a printout from ScoutNET obtained from the local council service center. If there are "red-flag" issues such as time spans between ranks that don't meet the requirements, then the dates should be confirmed. If they are correct but do not fit the requirement, then the Scout, parents, or unit leader should contact the district advancement chair for guidance. Usually, as with unavoidable discrepancies, a letter of explanation will be helpful in addressing the issue. Note there is no requirement that the signatures of the unit leader and committee chair must be dated before the Scout's 18th birthday.
If either of the approvals from the unit leader or the committee chair is withheld, the Scout, if he/she desires it, must still be granted a board of review. For details, see "Initiating Eagle Scout Board of Review Under Disputed Circumstances," 22.214.171.124.
126.96.36.199 Submit to Council Service Center
A copy should be made of the application, service project workbook, and the other attachments. Once copies are in safekeeping, the originals should be delivered promptly to the council service center. The candidate should not have to wait. Timeliness is especially critical if he is approaching, or has already turned, 18. Sending materials late can imply the work continued afterward. If possible, everything should be hand-delivered. Otherwise it should be sent by registered or certified mail. There is no requirement that the application must be completed or submitted before the Scout's 18th birthday. Councils do not have the authority to reject applications submitted on or after that date.
*NOTE: The Westchester-Putnam Council has established a local procedure here:
Life Scouts going for the rank of Eagle must have the contents of their application verified immediately following their Scoutmaster Conference and prior to Board of Review.
Immediately following the Unit Leader (Scoutmaster) Conference, the candidate or a representative for the candidate must hand deliver or send by registered certified mail the ORIGINAL Eagle Rank Application to council to have all Rank Dates, Signatures, References, Merit badges and Position(s) of responsibility checked against council records. It is suggested that blue cards be sent along to address any discrepancies.
An Appointment is not necessary.
If there are no issues, the candidate will be contacted within a few days that the application is ready to be picked up.
Questions? Contact WPC.Eagles@Scouting.org; Pat Elliot (914)449-2604
188.8.131.52 Council Verifies Application and Board of Review Scheduled
Everything is checked against council records. If information in ScoutNET or council files is incomplete, the Scout or the unit will be asked to provide certificates, blue cards, or other suitable proof that merit badges and ranks were earned and that dates are accurate. The regular use of Internet Advancement as described in section 6 will help expedite this process. If everything is correct, the council provides a certification signature, files a copy of the application, and sends the original with the service project workbook and other items (such as reference letters received) to the board of review chair or other designated volunteer. The board is scheduled only after the council-certified application is received.
*NOTE: The Westchester-Putnam Council has established a local procedure here:
If information in ScoutNET or council files is incomplete, the Scout or the unit will be asked to provide certificates, blue cards, or other suitable proof that merit badges and ranks were earned and that dates are accurate. If everything is correct, the council provides a certification signature. (Ideally, this will concur with #5) The board is scheduled only after the council-certified application is received.
The Eagle Scout candidate is responsible to confirm any related material is correct and up-to-date. Immediately following Council verification, the Eagle Rank Application, Service project workbooks and related material should be delivered to the Troop Advancement Chair or Committee Chair for safe keeping until the Board of Review.
Board of Review Scheduled
Generally, the Unit Advancement or Committee Chair will schedule the Eagle Board of Review with a District Advancement Representative at a time at is mutually convenient for all parties. The Board of Review may occur, without special approval, up to 3 months after the Scout's 18th birthday.
It is the policy of the Westchester-Putnam Council that Eagle Boards of Review be conducted at the unit level under the supervision of a District Advancement Committee Representative. An Eagle Board of Review shall consist of 1 District Advancement Committee Representative plus 2 to 5 local unit representatives. One representative from the Unit serves as the Eagle Board of Review Chairman. All persons MUST be at least 21 years old and need not be registered with the Boy Scouts of America, but they must have an understanding of the rank and the purpose and the importance of the review. An Eagle Board of Review must have a minimum of 3 members, a maximum of 6 members. A board of review cannot be denied or postponed due to unresponsive references. For details, see Guide to Advancement “Boards of Review,” 184.108.40.206.
220.127.116.11 References Contacted
Council advancement committee members—or others designated—have the responsibility to secure recommendations from the references appearing under requirement 2 on the Eagle Scout Rank Application. This maybe done by letter, form, or phone call. For reasons of privacy and confidentiality, electronic submissions are discouraged. It is acceptable to send or deliver to the references an addressed envelope with instructions, and perhaps a form to complete. The Scout may assist with this, but that is the limit of his/her participation. The Scout is not to be responsible for follow-through or any other aspect of the process.
It is up to the council's designated representatives to collect the responses. If after a reasonably diligent effort no response can be obtained from any references, the board of review must go on without them. It must not be postponed or denied for this reason, and the Scout shall not be asked to submit additional references or to provide replacements.
Completed reference responses of any kind are the property of the council and are confidential, and only review-board members and those officials with a specific need may see them. The responses are not to be viewed by or returned to the Scout. Doing so could discourage the submission of negative information. For the same reason, those providing references do not have the option of giving the reference directly to the Scout and shall not be given the option of waiving confidentiality. Once a review has been held, or an appeal process conducted, responses shall be returned to the council, where they will be destroyed after the Eagle Scout credentials are released or the appeal is concluded.
In Scouts BSA, advancement references are required only for Eagle Scout rank. The council determines methods of contact.
*NOTE: The Westchester-Putnam Council has established a local procedure here
Everyone listed on candidate’s Eagle application in requirement #2 should write a recommendation letter. The letters of Recommendation are confidential and not to be returned directly to the candidate. Letters should be sent or delivered in a sealed envelope with candidate’s name to Unit Committee person designated to collect Eagle recommendation letters.
References will not be contacted unless it is necessary to do so. Letters of reference are confidential; they are used by the Eagle Board of Review to determine whether the candidate has met the requirements to become an Eagle Scout. The Eagle candidate should have contacted those individuals listed as references before including their names on the application.
The Eagle candidate should not be involved personally in transmitting any correspondence between persons listed as references and the members of the Board of Review. These reference checks are confidential, and their contents are not to be disclosed to any person who is not a member of the Board of Review. Completed reference responses of any kind are the property of the council and are confidential, and only review-board members and those officials with a specific need may see them. The responses are not to be viewed by, or returned to, the Scout. Doing so could discourage the submission of negative information. For the same reason, those providing references shall not be given the option of waiving confidentiality. Once a review has been held, or an appeal process conducted, responses shall be returned to the council, where they will be destroyed after the Eagle Scout credentials are released or the appeal is concluded.
18.104.22.168 Application Returned to Council Service Center
If a board of review approves a candidate, ONLY the signed application, reference letters and other confidential information are returned to the local council by the Unit Chairman of the Board of Review or their designee. Whoever makes the delivery to council must maintain the security of these items keeping in mind the confidential material may not be shared with anyone other than the Board of Review members. The service project workbook along with any exhibits and statement of ambitions and life purpose (requirement 6, Eagle Scout Rank application) are returned to the Scout. The scout must maintain security of these items until the Eagle Award has been approved by National. If approval is denied, all materials are returned to the Council. The statement of ambitions and life purpose, as noted on the Eagle Scout Rank application, is an official rank requirement. It will be added to the requirements shown in official literature.
22.214.171.124 Council Sends Application to National Advancement Team
At the council the Scout executive signs the application, certifying proper procedures were followed. The application is then entered into the BSA system, filed locally, and then extracted from the BSA system by the National Advancement Team. In special cases, such as those for Lone Scouts or Scouts more than six months past their 18th birthday, councils must submit applications via mail, email, or fax for manual processing.
126.96.36.199 National Advancement Team Returns Credentials
The national Advancement Team validates all applications received. Then the National Distribution Center generates the credentials and prints, packages, and mails the certificate, pocket card, and congratulatory letter to the council. Applications sent for manual processing go to the national Advancement Team and take several weeks to complete.
The unit designee will be contacted when the credentials have been received. Credentials should be picked up from the Westchester Putnam Council Service Center only by a person authorized by the unit.