The Value and Benefits of Earning the Eagle Scout Rank

Eagle Scout awards in a box

Rennet Stowe / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

The Boy Scouts of America's highest rank is the Eagle Scout. This prestigious award is widely recognized throughout the country even by those who aren't familiar with the requirements. The fact that the rank is based on accomplishing a set of national standards rather than some arbitrary qualifications makes being an Eagle Scout worthwhile. 

Eagle Scout Requirements

Becoming an Eagle Scout takes perseverance and work. Boy Scouts have to earn all of the ranks in order starting with Tenderfoot (soon to be Scout). Here is a list of the activities that the Boy Scout will complete on the ​journey to Eagle Scout:

  • Earn 21 merit badges.
  • Serve a minimum of 6 months in a leadership position.
  • Propose, plan, and carry out an Eagle service project.
  • Attend a Scoutmaster conference and pass a board of review.

That's a pretty tall order for teenage boys. In fact, only about 6.5% of all eligible Boy Scouts earned their Eagle rank in 2018. Since it takes so much work, why do boys do it? Some are mature enough to understand the impact that having the award will have on their lives. Others are encouraged by their parents and Scoutmasters. 

Benefits of Earning the Eagle Scout Rank

The biggest benefit that a young man gets when he earns his Eagle Scout rank is that he is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. He embodies the Scout Law, and that makes him a person of strong character. These traits will help him in everything he does, from husband and father to employee to community leader.

Eagle Scouts value perseverance, discipline, motivation, leadership, accountability, and achievement. And those lead to tangible benefits.

  • College admissions: Admissions officers recognize the award and consider it in their decisions. Being an Eagle Scout won't make up for poor grades, but it will give an applicant an advantage. The officers may not be familiar with other awards a student has won or organizations he's in, but they recognize the Eagle Scout rank. 
  • Scholarships: Eagle Scouts are eligible for many scholarships. Unigo, a network for future college students, offers a list of Eagle Scout-only scholarships.
  • Military rank: Every branch of the U.S. military allows Eagle Scouts to enter at a higher rank and pay grade than people who aren't Eagle Scouts.
  • Career: Many employment recruiters look for "Eagle Scout" on a resume. Employers are looking for the traits that Eagle Scouts possess. 

Earning the rank of Eagle Scout will continue to open employment doors throughout life. It is often the only high school accomplishment that is listed on a resume regardless of age. 

When a Boy Scout becomes an Eagle Scout, he enters into a community of Eagle Scouts united by their commitment to the ideals of Scouting. George Crowl said it best in his Welcome to a New Eagle charge:

"In the years to come, you will casually meet men who are Eagles too, there will be an instant bond of comradeship. For you have each shared a common experience. You each know the other can be trusted, as a friend and as a brother Scout. The comradeship among Eagles extends throughout the nation, yes even around the world."

Boy Scouts don't earn their Eagle Scout rank for accolades and benefits. They do it because they are living the Scout Law every day. 

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  1. Boy Scouts of America. Eagle Rank Requirements 2019.

  2. Wendell B. Eagle Scout class of 2018: A comprehensive look at the numbers. Bryan on Scouting. Updated February 20, 2019.