Your Eagle Scout application has been submitted. Now what? After the paperwork has been processed, you will be notified, usually through your unit, that it is time for your Eagle Scout Board of Review. You have had boards of review before, but this one will be different, and very special.
So let’s see if we can prepare you for this big event. To set the scene, a board must have at least 3 members, and no more than six. There must be a District representative on the Board. Most Eagle Boards of Review are no less than 30 minutes, and sometimes as long as 60 minutes.
Re-testing is not part of an Eagle board. (You should not be asked to tie a bowline knot!) As I open an Eagle Board of Review for my District, I ask the candidate to stand before the Board and recite the Scout Oath and Law, as well as the Outdoor Code. Since you have probably been doing this every week for at least 4 years, I hope this will not be an issue! The Board will be concerned with who you are, what you have learned from Scouting, and what you intend to give back. Most questions are designed to make you think, and very few have “right” answers.
I tell the Scouts that I coach that the three most important things to demonstrate to their Board are: (1) Leadership, (2) Leadership and (3) Leadership. That is why a review of your Eagle Scout Service Project will take up a big chunk of the time in an Eagle Board. The project will hopefully demonstrate to the Board your ability to conceptualize a project, plan it to the last detail, assemble the manpower, materials and money to make it happen, and report on the results. But the Board will also want to know how you have demonstrated leadership in your troop and in your other activities. How have you given back to others? How do you live by the Scout Oath and Law? How do you help the youngest Scouts?
My best advice: Relax and take a deep breath whenever necessary. Be yourself. Take your time to think out answers. Before submitting your Eagle Scout application, make your Eagle Scout Service Project workbook as complete as it possibly can be, with plenty of exhibits.
Every member of the Board WANTS to see you walk out of the room as an Eagle Scout. (Your Eagle Scout certificate will be dated with the date of your Eagle Board of Review.) Properly prepared, this should be a wonderful experience, and one that you will remember for the rest of your life.
“Oh, the possibilities!”