Eagle Rank Frequently Asked Questions

The following information may be read directly on this page, or for convenience, click here to download as a PDF file.


Boy Scouts of America (BSA) defines the rules for advancement in Boy Scouts. BSA delegates some responsibilities to the individual Councils. Councils can delegate some responsibilities to the Districts. Districts can delegate some responsibilities to the Units. These shared responsibilities can be confusing. This document helps to explain these responsibilities. Note that the Council and District rules described here apply to only the Capitol Area Council and Bee Cave District. Other Councils and Districts can choose different rules, where BSA allows.


In this document, rules defined by various organizations are noted:


Eagle Rank Questions

1. Requirements must be complete before the Scout’s 18th birthday.

This is true for all rank requirements for all ranks, except the Eagle Board of Review. There are exceptions in some special cases where some Scouts need more time to complete the requirements. Refer to the (GtoA) for these special cases.

2. What form is needed for letters of reference for the Eagle board?

There is no form specified or required by BSA for the letters. Some Councils, Districts or Units may have forms to give guidance to people who are unfamiliar with the requirement. Any such form should state the exact BSA rank requirement, shown below. Those who are writing recommendations should report on their interactions with the Scout and not be directed to a specific form or topics.

Requirement 2: As a Life Scout, demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Tell how you have done your duty to God, how you have lived the Scout Oath and Scout Law in your everyday life, and how your understanding of the Scout Oath and Scout Law will guide your life in the future. List on your Eagle Scout Rank Application the names of individuals who know you personally and would be willing to provide a recommendation on your behalf, including parents/guardians, religious (if not affiliated with an organized religion, then the parent or guardian provides this reference), educational, employer (if employed), and two other references.

3. The last two rank requirements are the Scoutmaster conference and the Board of Review.

BSA does not require that the Scoutmaster conference be the last requirement completed before the board. The conference can be completed any time that the Scout is qualified to complete requirements for that rank. It could be the first requirement completed. Some units like to have the conference sequentially before the board, so the Scoutmaster can discuss completed requirements. That is allowed, but sometimes there are reasons to avoid this local rule. In some cases, the Scoutmaster may not be available at the later date, but is available earlier. If a delayed board puts the Scout in jeopardy of completing a rank due to his age, then the Scoutmaster should arrange to have the conference at an earlier date.

4. How many letters of recommendation has the district received for the Scout?

Bee Cave District keeps a list of letters of recommendation received, and other District Eagle interactions on a public web page available here:


To ensure privacy, the Scouts’ names and recommenders names are listed as initials only. The Scout should know the names of the people from whom he has requested letters. This document is useful also for unit leaders, because it lists dates that the Scout has met with District representatives.

5. Do all letters of recommendation need to be received before the board can be scheduled?

No.  The (GtoA) states:

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.

It is up to the district Advancement chair to determine what constitutes 'a reasonably diligent effort.'  While it is acceptable to proceed with a board without having received all (or any) requested letters of recommendation, I always like to see the parent’s letter.

6. Who schedules Eagle boards of review?

In Bee Cave District, the units schedule Eagle boards. BSA allows Councils to schedule Eagle boards. CAC delegates this to the districts. BCD delegates this to the units.  There is a district representative on all Eagle boards, but the unit schedules the board, in coordination with the Scout, the district member and other board members. The Scout will work with his unit to schedule a date for the Eagle board.

Other districts in CAC and other councils may have different procedures.

7. Do I need to fill out an Eagle project Fundraising form?

The Eagle project workbook has instructions for the circumstances where the fundraising form is required. If the form is required, it needs to be signed by the beneficiary, unit leader and the district representative. The form does NOT need to be completed or signed when the project proposal is signed.  See the (GtoA).

8. How long does it take to get a meeting with a district representative?

There are around seven district representatives who meet with Scouts. It can take a week for the district advancement chair to find a district representative who is available to meet with the Scout and for the representative and Scout to find a time to meet. If the Scout needs to meet sooner than that, then the Scout needs to make his time requirements known to the district advancement chair, in his email to the chair.

9. How long does it take to get a response from the district advancement chair?

You should normally expect an email response within 24 hours. It may occasionally take 48 hours but that should be rare.

10. Why does BCD check the paperwork before the Eagle board?

There is occasionally a problem that the paperwork or the signatures on the paperwork are incomplete. If this is found during the board, then the board cannot proceed. By checking the paperwork before the board, we eliminate this potential delay.

The meetings with the district representatives is also a time for the Scout to ask questions about the Eagle board or other parts of the Eagle process. The paperwork check gives the Scout an opportunity to discuss these with the district representative.

11. What should the Scout expect at the Eagle board?

The board should be a conversation between the Scout and the board members. The Scout should be prepared to discuss details about his Eagle project, his experiences with the unit (campouts, etc.), leadership roles both within and outside Scouting, and his plans for his future (as in his life goals essay).

12. Can a person who wrote a letter or recommendation sit on the board of review?

Yes.  BSA does not prohibit it. Unit leaders who normally sit on boards often have had experience working with the prospective Eagle Scout. That experience can contribute to the discussions during the board.

13. Why does the Advancement Chair not have their phone number listed as a contact?

Due to workday limits, email is the best, fastest and most reliable method to contact the Advancement Chair.

14. If a parent will write a religious letter of recommendation, does that parent need to write two letters, one as a parent and one as a religious reference?

One letter from one parent will be adequate. The parent writing the letter should address topics from both a parental viewpoint and a religious viewpoint. If both parents want to write letters, that is fine also.

15. How long does it take a Scout to complete Eagle rank requirements?

Every Scout is different, but the district has statistics. The Scout first contacts the district when he needs his project approved. The time from that contact until his Eagle board of review has been as short as three months and as long as three years. On the average, it is about 11 months.

16. How early can the Scout request letters of recommendation?

The Scout can request letters as soon as he achieves the Life rank. There is no need to wait for any other milestone.