Eagle Scout Medal

Golden Gate Area Council Home of The GGAC Eagles Nest

Life to Eagle Trail

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.

Trail Advisory

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] .

Table of Contents

Historic Eagle Scout Trail

  • It is more than a medal.
  • You have a chance to be a part of history.
  • Now, it is your time to seize the day and write Scouting’s next chapter.
  • Americans from all walks of life know that being an Eagle Scout is a great honor, even if they don’t know just what the badge means.
  • The award is more than a badge. It’s a state of being and character. You are an Eagle Scout – ‘never were’. You may receive the badge as a young person, but you earn it every day as an adult. In the words of the Eagle Scout Promise, you do your best each day to make your training and example, your rank, and your influence count strongly for better Scouting and for better citizenship in your troop, in your community, and in your contacts with other people. And to this, you will pledge your sacred honor.

Trail Basics and Safety

Use The Buddy System

Find an Eagle Advisor

  • It is highly recommended to use an Eagle Advisor
  • Meet with your Unit Leader to determine who might be able to partner with you.
  • Your Advisor should be:
    • Familiar with the current Eagle Scout requirements
    • Has a working relationship with your District Eagle Coordinator
    • Is someone you like working with

Trail Advisory

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.

The Trail Basics

  • Once you earn your Life Rank, you’re in the last stage of your Trail to Eagle.
  • This page is a valuable source of information and was made for you; use it!
  • You are aiming for Scouting’s highest award. Always conduct yourself appropriately.
  • Wear your field uniform any time you are representing Scouts BSA. This includes but is not limited to:
    • Review boards
    • Meeting with your beneficiary
    • Soliciting donations
  • Observe all normal communication courtesies and Youth Protection policies.
    • Use email when contacting people and always ‘cc’ a parent or other adult.
    • Always provide your first & last name along with your Troop number in all communications.
    • Do not engage in one-on-one communication (texts,  phone calls, emails, etc.) with adults. There should always be at least two adults engaged in any communication.
  • Identify your District Advancement Administrator and any district-specific instructions.
  • Read all forms and other informational material carefully – especially the Service Project Workbook.
  • Begin logging your Eagle Service Project hours and those of anyone who helps you, starting now.
    • There is no minimum number of service hours.
  • Leadership is about getting people to do something. You are on your own as a leader, but you are not alone. Figure out how to effectively use your resources (people, material, time, and locations). It’s the mark of someone who is an Eagle Scout. Hint – begin with your Advisor!
  • Fundraising, Be Prepared – read the guidelines in the Service Project Workbook.
  • Submit requests for required council/district reviews according to your District’s procedures.

Plan Your Trek

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.

  1. Be active in your troop for at least six months as a Life Scout.
  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. Earn a total of 21 merit badges (10 more than required for the Life rank), including these 14 merit badges:
    1. First Aid
    2. Citizenship in the Community
    3. Citizenship in the Nation
    4. Citizenship in Society
    5. Citizenship in the World
    6. Communication
    7. Cooking
    8. Personal Fitness
    9. Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving
    10. Environmental Science OR Sustainability
    11. Personal Management
    12. Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling
    13. Camping
    14. Family Life.

    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.

Trail Advisory

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

  1. While a Life Scout, serve actively in your troop for six months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility:
    • Scout troop: Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, troop guide, Order of the Arrow troop representative, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, junior assistant Scoutmaster, chaplain aide, instructor, webmaster, or outdoor ethics guide.
    • Venturing crew: President, vice president, secretary, treasurer, den chief, historian, guide, quartermaster, chaplain aide, or outdoor ethics guide.
    • Sea Scout ship: Boatswain, boatswain’s mate, purser, yeoman, storekeeper, crew leader, media specialist, specialist, den chief, or chaplain aide.
    • Lone Scout: Leadership responsibility in your school, religious organization, club, or elsewhere in your community.
  2. While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. (The project must benefit an organization other than the Boy Scouts of America.) A project proposal must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your Scoutmaster and unit committee, and the council or district before you start. You must use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, BSA publication No. 512-927, in meeting this requirement. (To learn more about the Eagle Scout service project, see the Guide to Advancement, topics through
  3. While a Life Scout, participate in a Scoutmaster conference.
    • In preparation for your board of review, prepare and attach to your Eagle Scout Rank Application a statement of your ambitions and life purpose and a listing of positions held in your religious institution, school, camp, community, or other organizations, during which you demonstrated leadership skills. Include honors and awards received during this service.
  4. Successfully complete your board of review for the Eagle Scout rank.12 (This requirement may be met after age 18, in accordance with Guide to Advancement topic

Check Your Paperwork

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.

Trail Advisory

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.

Trail Section: Eagle Project

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.

Remember… Anyone can do a service project; not everyone can plan, execute, and lead one

Get the Trail Guide

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.

  • Go to the BSA website and follow the instructions for downloading the pdf file containing the Workbook: Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook
    BSA requires Eagle Scout candidates to use the official Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook.
  • Save the file to your computer.  Fill in the sections – text only. If you need extra space for your description, along with any drawings, sketches, photographs, etc., create a supplemental document. Keep all this documentation in an online (Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive) folder.
    • You are the owner of the online folder. As such, you control access to its content. We recommend that the sharing option is only active prior to a review board. After the review, you should revoke sharing. If we need to revisit, we will ask your permission to allow access.
  • Read through the whole document paying particular attention to pages 2 through 5 and the section titled ‘Navigating the Eagle Scout Service Project’ at the end of the document. Now, repeat the process with your parents!

Trail Advisory

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.

Picking Your Path

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.

  • Projects tend to fall into one of four broad categories:
    • Conservation
    • Construction
    • Collection
    • Creative
  • Beneficiaries are usually non-profit organizations. However, BSA does allow for exceptions where there is a clearly recognizable community benefit.
    Guide to Advancement: Section
  • As you contemplate what you want to do, consider the following:
    • Make sure it’s going to be fun to do
    • Make sure it will meet the requirements outlined on pages 4 – 6 of the Workbook
    • Are you passionate about it being done?
  • Need ideas? Be resourceful, talk to Eagle Scouts, determine what projects need to be performed, and review previous projects. Check online resources such as:

Define Your Path

Getting Started

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 prepare a detailed plan.
  • Confirm with your Beneficiary that your Proposal meets their expectation.
  • You will need to provide sufficient information so your Unit and District reviewers, so they evaluate what you’re proposing. Your Advisor can help you determine the appropriate amount and scope of the content you provide.
    Remember, all projects are worthy, but not all projects meet the requirements of an Eagle Project.

Trail Advisory

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.

Get Your Permits

Initial Signatures

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.

  • Now that you’ve prepared your proposal, you need to get the following signatures on the Approvals page of your workbook:
    • Beneficiary,
    • Unit Leader
    • Committee Chair

Trail Angels


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 Guide to Advancement section is the primary source of information related to Fundraising Issues.
  • The Service Project Workbook defines two categories of contributors. The fundraising application form is not necessary for this Exempt Group:
    • The candidate, their parents or relatives, the Unit or it’s Chartered Organization, the Unit’s Parents or Members, or the Beneficiary.

Fundraising Application:

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.

  • Complete a Fundraising application for any proposal where the proposed budget is $1,000 or greater, and any part of those funds are not contributions from the Exempt Group.
  • District Advancement Administrators approve the application.
  • District Advancement Administrators may authorize Crowdfunding under the provision that a Scout’s parent or guardian, unit leader, or beneficiary host the campaign. The host should read and understand the crowdfunding website’s “fine print” concerning fees and terms of service.

Trail Advisory

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.

Park Rangers

Project Review

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.

  • Arrange for your review board, using your district’s process.
  • Once approved, project planning may begin.

Trail Advisory

What to expect at your proposal review:

  • Wear your field activity uniform
  • Come prepared with your complete workbook
  • Attended with your Advisor
    • If your Advisor is unavailable, then another adult leader in your unit.
    • The unit leader should have familiarity with your proposal
    • This should not be a parent or a relative

Let’s Get Hiking

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.

  • Once District Reviewer(s) has approved your proposal, you may proceed.
  • Begin by completing the next section of the Workbook – The Service Project Plan. While all elements are important, pay particular attention to Safety and Resource planning.
  • Review your project plan with your Advisor as it evolves.
  • Review your project plan with your Beneficiary as they can cancel at any time.
  • Review your plan with your Unit as Unit Leaders are responsible for adherence to BSA policies such as SAFE Project Tool Use and SAFE Project Planning Checklist.
  • When you think you’re ready, schedule the project work.


Remember, you are the project leader. Make sure everyone understands that – especially adults!


Trail Journal

Project Completion

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.

  • You’ve completed the project and your Beneficiary and Unit Leader agree your project is complete. 
  • Now it’s time to complete the Service Project Report. Evaluate yourself rigorously because this is where your review board is most likely going to focus its questions. Remember, leadership is about “getting others to do it”.
  • Be prepared to talk about your use of resources, delegation, communication, coaching, listening, and other tools of leadership.
    • What went wrong? What would you do differently? What surprises were there?
    • How did you handle unexpected events? What went right? What did you learn?
  • OK, the project’s done, the report’s done. What next?
    • You, your Beneficiary, and Unit Leader sign the report.

Trail Advisory

Are you Ready for paperwork?

The False Summit


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.

Apply for the Award

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.

  • Work with your Unit Leader to create a Scoutbook report: Eagle Scout Application which uses the data recorded from Unit reports.
  • All the requirements through and including Requirement 6 MUST be completed before your eighteenth birthday. You must meet all requirements since joining Scouts BSA will be checked before the council staff verifies your Eagle Scout Rank Application.

Your Trail Story

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.

  • Requirement 2 requires references writing your board of review about how you follow the Scout Oath and Scout Law in areas of your life.
  • It is strongly recommended that you download and print a copy of the council Letter to References, bring it to them, and have them read it.
  • If they agree to write a letter, prepare an envelope addressed in a manner described by your district for them and put their contact information on your application.
  • You can’t be involved in the delivery process, but you may be asked to remind a reference of their agreement to provide it.

What’s Your Next Trail?

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:

  • A listing of positions held in your religious institution, school, camp, community, or other organizations, during which you demonstrated leadership skills.
  • Include honors and awards received during this service.

Let’s Finish This Thing

Submitting Paperwork

To hike to the summit, you must tell them you are coming. Turn your paperwork in to get a board of review date.

  • You will need to mail your Rank Application and Statement of Ambitions and Life Purpose to the Council Service Center to get Council’s verification signature.
  • Verified Eagle Scout Rank Applications will go to District Person(s) responsible for recruiting boards of review. Email is expected to be the transmission method.
  • No verification signature, No review board!

The Eagle Summit

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.

  • For your review, you will need your completed Eagle Scout Application form, Statement of Ambitions and Life Purpose, and your Workbook, including supplemental information.
  • Wear your Full or Field uniform
  • Be accompanied by a Unit Leader.
  • Unit Leaders may also talk about the unit program, and your Scouting journey, not just the Eagle process.
  • No two review boards are the same, and it’s entirely possible that what you experience is not necessarily what you were expecting . . . and this is meant in a positive sense.
  • For review board approved rank advancement, the candidate’s review board chair is responsible for submitting a fully signed application form to the Registrar for subsequent Council and National processing. It is usual to send a copy of the signed form to the Scout, their advisor, and scoutmaster – this list may vary from District to District.
  • On verification of the application, the National Office sends a Scout’s Certificate to the Council’s office, where it becomes the responsibility of the appropriate District Executive to deliver it to the scoutmaster.

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…

The Eagle Nests


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.

Trail Delays (Extensions)

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.

  • Form Request for Extension of Time to Earn the Eagle Scout Rank (required)
  • Details of how each of the three tests listed in the Guide to Advancement, Time Extensions, section, have been met (required)
  • *List of all requirements completed and status of requirements remaining.
    • Which merit badges remain? Have they been started?
      • What is the status of the ones with lengthy requirements?
    • Is the six-month tenure as Life Scout complete? If not, when will it be?
    • Is the six months in positions of responsibility complete? If not, when will it be?
    • Has the project proposal been approved by the district? Has work begun?
  • *Letter from youth requesting extension, reason(s), details of circumstance and impact
  • *Scoutbook Scouts BSA History Report for
  • *Letter from unit leader and/or other adult leader(s)
    • Include confirmation of requirement status, their opinion on scout’s progress before the unforeseen event, and whether or not they support the extension
    • Letter from Eagle Scout coach or others with knowledge of what caused the delay
    • Letter from parent(s)
  • Timeline of important dates and events, if appropriate
    Project workbook and/or letter from benefitting organization, if applicable
    Statement from health professional, if cause is health-related
    • Include extent of illness or injury, when expected to return to normal activities
  • Other supporting documentation or letters

*strongly recommended

Communication for Extensions should be sent to [email protected].


Eagle Scout Project Showcase
Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook
www.scouting.org/programs/scouts-bsa/advancement-and-awards/eagle-scout-workbook/ Request for Extension of Time to Earn the Eagle Scout Rank
GGAC Letter of References
Guide to Advancement, No. 33088 (PDF)
Merit Badges | Boy Scouts of America
NESA’s Eagle Project Idea Generator
Page Updated On: March 16, 2024