How to Assemble an Eagle Scout Binder

"Binder" sounds so inconsequential, but when your child is halfway through his Eagle Scout application, the Eagle binder becomes everything. Divided into four parts, it includes the formal application, personal data, letters of recommendation, and a section for the Eagle project report. Here's what needs to go inside.

1

Eagle Application

Eagle Scout
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The first section of the binder is devoted to the formal Boy Scouts of America Eagle Rank Application, which includes:

  • A list of references, with contact information
  • The 21 badges and dates earned
  • Leadership positions
  • A list of all the required documents
  • Signatures of approval from the applicant, his scoutmaster, unit committee chair, council official, Eagle board of review; and scout executive
2

Eagle Scout Personal Data Sheet

The second section opens with the Eagle applicant's personal information. This sheet of paper should include:

  • Academic history: Schools attended and school activities, including leadership
  • Religious record: Church or temple membership or a "no affiliation" statement
  • Extracurricular activities: Athletics, music, etc.
  • Scouting record: A listing of Cub Scout and Boy Scout involvement, including years, leadership positions, awards, community service projects, Camporee involvement, summer camp, and any High Adventure trek participation.

Keep a master list of your scout's activities, starting with his cub days. It will help you remember exactly when they received their Arrow of Light, for example, or attended a particular camp.

3

Advancement Record

Include a copy of your scout's advancement record, which should include all advancement dates (i.e., when your scout became a Tenderfoot) and merit badge information, including dates that each was earned.

4

Essay: Life Purpose and Ambition

This required statement of ambitions and life purpose focuses on the scout's history in scouting, his family, his influences and his passions. It should end with a statement about what the future holds.

5

Letters of Recommendation

The letter from the scout's parents go into this section, along with—eventually—five letters of recommendation from teachers and other adults. These letters are sent directly to the troop leadership, who will insert them here later on.

6

Eagle Project Report

Start by filling in the Eagle Scout project workbook, including a project description that includes exactly what your son plans to do, details on the community or organization that benefits from the project, and the dates when it was first discussed with troop leadership and with the benefiting organization. In addition, it should include:

  • Description of the various phases of the project
  • Materials required
  • Funding plans
  • Brief listing of who will work on the project
  • Potential hazard assessment
  • Brief description of the difference the project will make for the beneficiaries
  • Signatures of approval from the benefiting organization, scoutmaster, committee chair, and council
7

Project Show and Tell

If a picture is worth a thousand words, make sure to include at least 10,000 words' worth. Take plenty of before, during, and after photos to illustrate the Eagle project.

Your son should also include copies of any research he did while undertaking the project, whether it was construction plans or pricing data. Include copies of any expense receipts too. Clear plastic binder sleeves are a good way to organize this entire section, by the way.

8

Project Timeline Breakdown

Your scout should include an accounting of all the hours spent on the project by date, task, participants, and man-hours. An Excel spreadsheet works well for this.

This project breakdown is required for the Eagle binder, but fellow Scouts who participate in the project can use those hours to satisfy their community service hours requirements as well. Your son should make sure a copy of the spreadsheet goes to his troop's advancement chairman too.

9

Conclusion

Complete the binder by adding a short essay summarizing the project, explaining how it all turned out, expressing gratitude to those who helped, and describing the project's impact. The conclusion needs three signatures—the scout's, the scoutmaster, and a representative from the group that benefited from the project.

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  1. Boy Scouts of America. The Eagle Scout Rank Application Process. Updated January 2019.