Golden Gate Area Council
Home of The GGAC Eagles Nest
Congratulations and welcome to the Golden Gate Area Council’s Life to Eagle Trail page. If you are a returner, welcome back, and we hope your journey to the rank of Eagles is going well. If you are new to this page, congratulations, you are about to attempt the trail to Scouts BSA’s highest rank or accompany a scout on their way. The purpose of the page is to serve as a guide and reference for all striving for the rank Eagle Scout. This page does not serve as an official record of requirements. For Up to date requirements and national policies please visit scouting.org.
Be on the lookout for advisories throughout the web page. These are created to draw your attention to specific information or point out changes. As an example:
The information below has been gathered by volunteer members of the GGAC’s Advancement Committee, the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) Committee, and District Eagle Coordinators. Questions regarding the content of this page, additions, or edits can be directed at [email protected] .
Camp Royaneh | June 18-24, 2023
Eagle Requirement Camp is an intensive week-long Scouts BSA Summer Camp program focusing on advancement in many of the specifically-required merit badges for the Eagle Scout rank. Scouts who prior to camp, have completed all the prerequisites for merit badges such as Personal Management, Family Life, etc., may be able to earn several merit badges during the week.
Find an Eagle Advisor
Eagle Advisors are there to advise and guide you in the Eagle Scout Service Project Process. At no time are they supposed to do your work or make your decisions for you.
Eagle Scout Requirements
As you would with any hike, it is important to plan your trek ahead of time. The same applies to your journey to Eagle. Review the most up-to-date rank requirements then make a plan to complete each of them. Keep in mind, many merit badges have significant time requirements. Be Prepared, plan ahead.
Eagle Scout Requirements as of January 1, 2021.
You must choose only one of the merit badges listed in categories h, i, and k. Any additional merit badge(s) earned in those categories may be counted as one of your eight optional merit badges used to make your total of 21.
The Boy Scouts of America launched the Citizenship in Society merit badge, its newest merit badge. The new badge encourages Scouts to explore essential topics around diversity, equity, inclusion, and ethical leadership and learn why these qualities are necessary for society and Scouting. Beginning July 1, 2022, the Citizenship in Society merit badge will be required for any youth seeking to achieve the Eagle Scout rank. Read More
Obtain a Member Profile
Now that your trek is planned out, it’s time to make sure your paperwork is in order. A backpacking trek would include ensuring you have all your campsite reservations, trail permits, etc. For your trail to Eagle, obtaining a member profile is the best way to ensure that your plan matches your national advancement needs. Often you will find clerical errors in your member profile that will take some time to sort out. Be Prepared and start this process early.
An April 6, 2022 update to Scoutbook affected all Eagle Scout Candidates attempting to produce a rank application before July 1, 2022. Learn more about the issue and solution here.
Eagle Scout Service Project
Your Eagle Scout Service Project is one of the most well-known and prominent sections on the trail to Eagle. Most individuals in public do not know how many merit badges it takes to become an Eagle Scout but are aware of the Service Project portion of the requirements.
Service Project Workbook
In your preparation for a long backpacking trek, you would buy trail guides to learn about popular sections of the trail. The Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook is your trail guide to completing your Eagle Project. The workbook is set up for success, be sure to follow all the steps and read all the instructions.
Scouts unable to provide an online folder should work with their Advisor and their District Advancement Chair to establish an alternate way of making their documentation available.
Choosing A Project
Now that you know what the trail will look like ahead, it’s time to pick your path. Choosing your project should be unique to you and something you find interest in. Then, just like the trail, if you don’t like the path you are on, you can always pick a different one.
You have an idea of where you want to go and how you’re going to do it. Now it’s time to talk to those involved in this section of your hike. You’ve identified your project and benefitting organization, and you’ll need to meet with its members and scope out its general outline.
Do not make any commitments to when you will do your project. You can do so only after your Unit and District have approved your proposal.
It is almost time to start on the Eagle Project section of your trek. Make sure you get all your permits in order before heading out on the trail. This is your final check-in with your Unit Leaders and Beneficiary before proposing your project to the District.
A trail angel is a hiker’s best friend; they provide hikers with extra supplies along their journey. In some cases, you will need a friend or two to donate materials or money during your project.
The Eagle Scout Service Project Fundraising Application is located after the Eagle Scout Service Project Plan and before the Eagle Scout Service Project Report sections of the workbook.
The Beneficiary retains any excess funds. In the event the Beneficiary is unable to accept those funds, they will designate a suitable charity or allow the Unit to retain the funds. The Unit must not influence this decision.
It is not uncommon to run into a park ranger while on the trail. They are there to make sure your paper is in order, and you are where you are supposed to be. A project review has the same function. Remember, all projects are worthy but not all projects meet the requirements of an Eagle Project.
What to expect at your proposal review:
Plan the Project
It’s time to tackle this section of your Eagle Trail. Be sure to use your workbook along the way and check in with your advisors and beneficiary as needed.
Phew, that was one heck of a hike, and I am sure you are glad it is over. Despite all your preparation, I am sure you had to make some changes along the way or found things you would do differently. This is the purpose of the Service Project Report.
Are you Ready for paperwork?
As you know, a false summit is a peak that appears to be the pinnacle of the mountain, but upon reaching it, it turns out the summit is higher. That is precisely what paperwork is on the trail to Eagle. Do not be discouraged; you are almost there. Just keep going.
Eagle Rank Application Form
It is not uncommon for trails to have awards for completing them. Shockingly enough, there is not a person waving a checkered flag at the end of the hike. Therefore, you must let the trail or, in this case, the council know your intent to finish the process.
Letters of Reference
You are getting closer to the summit, but not everyone with you knows your whole journey. Therefore, your letters of reference are essential, and they will help paint a fuller picture of who you are for your Eagle Board of Review.
Statement of Ambitions and Life Purpose
As you see the upcoming summit, what is next? This is what your Board of Review is going to want to know. Part of the Eagle Scout application is to complete a Statement of Ambitions and Life Purpose.
A statement of ambitions and life purpose should include:
To hike to the summit, you must tell them you are coming. Turn your paperwork in to get a board of review date.
Board of Review
One last peak to climb to complete your journey. The work is done, much of the trail is behind you, you are prepared, time to finish.
Your board has a responsibility to make sure they are satisfied you meet all the criteria associated with someone worthy of being called an Eagle Scout. There are no trick questions, there’s no re-testing. There will be challenging questions so…BE PREPARED!
You’ve done it! You have climbed the mountain!!! Welcome to the peak; you are officially a member of the Eagle’s Nest and one of the newest Eagle Scouts of the Golden Gate Area Council.
Extension of Time to Earn the Eagle Scout Rank
A request for an extension of time to earn the Eagle Scout rank is not granted lightly. There must be compelling documentation that the Scout was making sufficient progress to complete all requirements before their 18th birthday, when an unforeseen circumstance or life-changing event came to be that now precludes that completion. The circumstance must be completely beyond the control of the youth, and one that cannot be resolved in time to meet the deadline.
While the COVID-19 pandemic initially met these requirements, after more than two years it is a fact of life. It may have been a contributing factor and can be included as such. Similarly, all youth must manage their time, and choosing to spend time on other activities is not a sufficient reason for an extension.
Each case is unique and will be judged on its own merits.
The more documentation and details provided, the better the reviewers will be able to evaluate the Scout’s situation. The application should contain the following information, and in as much detail as possible.
Communication for Extensions should be sent to [email protected].
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