Ask the Expert: Why is the Eagle Scout age requirement 18?

A boy must complete all requirements for the Eagle Scout Award by his 18th birthday, but why?

That was the question posed by Scouter Kim. H. She writes:

“Why do Scouts have to complete their Eagle requirements by their 18th birthday rather than by the time they graduate from high school?”

Some Scouts graduate high school early or late, so I’m sure fairness for all guys has something to do with it. But for the official answer, I asked the expert, Chris Hunt, team leader of advancement at the BSA National Office.

Here’s what he told me:

At the age of 18, in the Boy Scout and Varsity Scout programs, a young man is considered an adult, and thus no longer eligible to earn a youth member’s rank. At that age he may register as an assistant Scoutmaster, and assist in providing adult-level supervision at meetings and on outings.

So there’s your answer, Kim. I hope that clears things up.

Have a question about the BSA? Send it to me, and I’ll try to track down the answer.

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