Now the trail is getting a little harder, and more is expected of you. You need a total of eleven merit badges to achieve Life rank, seven of which must be Eagle-required. But the biggest hurdle is probably not the merit badges. You are expected to teach. You are expected to lead. You are expected to handle your own advancement. In short, you are expected to be developing into an accomplished, senior Scout. And you must serve as a Star Scout for six months before you can advance.
Hopefully, you have also advanced to a more demanding leadership position. When I look back on my own Scouting career, earning Eagle was a wonderful accomplishment, but my experience as a Patrol Leader and Senior Patrol Leader probably had more to do with developing my leadership capabilities than anything else. It was a real-world laboratory, where sometimes my theories just did not pan out. OK, if it didn’t work, I was back to the drawing board! At a minimum, I urge you try your hand as Patrol Leader before your Scouting career is over. As a Patrol Leader, you will be juggling more things than you thought possible!
Don’t forget the steady pace on merit badges, concentrating on the Eagle-required. I suggest that you let Personal Management and Personal Fitness wait until you are already a Life Scout, tackling them as your very last Eagle-required merit badges. All the other Eagle-required merit badges should all be within your grasp now. See the Merit Badge section on this website for some specific suggestions.
And hopefully, the Scout Oath and Law have a little more meaning for you than they did as a young Scout. You can see how they help you get things done and interact with people, in and out of Scouting. And now you are comfortable with the hours of community service required for each rank, and your contributions to your community are now probably part of the fabric of who you are.
If you have the opportunity to go to a high adventure base, or perhaps a Jamboree, I absolutely urge you to go. Trust me, the memories you will bring home will last forever! Traveling, challenging yourself with a tough adventure, meeting Scouts from around the country and perhaps the world… well, it doesn’t get any better than that!
And when you finally reach Life rank, it will dawn on you that Eagle Scout rank is actually within your grasp.