The Eagle Scout Award, the highest award in Boy Scouting, has been awarded to young men for 100 years. Since 1912, around 4 percent of men who were Boy Scouts have earned the award. More than 2 million young men have earned the rank of Eagle Scout since it was first awarded.
Over the years, requirements for the Eagle Scout Award have changed to meet the needs of the era; however, certain elements of the program have remained true from the original Eagle Scout requirements. A boy must demonstrate citizenship and caring for his community and others, leadership qualities, and outdoor skills that show his self-sufficiency and ability to overcome obstacles. Today, a boy must earn 21 merit badges, 13 of which are required: First Aid, Camping, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Personal Management, Personal Fitness, Swimming or Hiking or Cycling, Communications, Family Life, Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving, Cooking and Environmental Science.
Beyond the merit badges, a candidate must also plan and carry out a service project to benefit the community. In addition, he must have held a troop leadership position during his Scouting tenure. Finally,the Eagle Scout candidate undergoes a rigorous board of review in which his district, council, and troop leaders evaluate his attitude and practice of the ideals of Scouting. Achieving the rank of Eagle Scout must happen before a boy’s 18th birthday.
To earn the Eagle Scout Rank, a Boy Scout must:
Progress through the ranks in the following order:
Citizenship in the Community
Citizenship in the Nation
Citizenship in the World
Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving
Cycling, Hiking, or Swimming
Serve six months in a troop leadership position.
Plan, develop, and give leadership to a service project for any religious organization or any school or community.
Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.
Successfully complete an Eagle Scout board of review.