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20 Questions to ask at your next Eagle Board of Review

Forget that sit-down with the hiring supervisor at Subway. When it comes to life-changing interviews for a teenager, you can’t top the Eagle Scout Board of Review.

For some Scouts, the thought of answering a barrage of questions from adults is worse than a trip to the dentist.

Turns out, though, that the boy often isn’t the only nervous person in the room.

Here’s what Kathy, a Scouter from the Northeast, told me:

I’ve just been asked to sit on the Board of Review for one of my students, since I’ve known him since he was in the second grade. If I’m to ask questions, can you give me some insight as to what’s appropriate? I don’t want to look stupid.

Kathy’s certainly not the only one at a loss for words at a Board of Review. So I asked our Facebook friends for their go-to questions.

Here are 20 to try the next time you’re involved in this important final step on a boy’s journey to Eagle: 

20 Quality Questions for Eagle Scout Boards of Review

Each question is listed with the Scouter who submitted it:

  1. What will you do as an Eagle Scout to give back to Scouting? (Mike J.)
  2. What do you believe our society expects from an Eagle Scout? (Andrea P.)
  3. Of all the patches on your uniform, which one means the most or which one of them are you proudest to wear? (Joan G.)
  4. If you could do it all over again, would you, and why? (David T.)
  5. What lessons did you learn from the Eagle process and how do you think those lessons will help you in your future endeavors? In other words, what will you take away from this experience? (Andrea J.)
  6. How would you describe the effort you have put into your Scouting career? Expected response: I did my best. (David L.)
  7. What advice would you give to a new Scout? (Diane S.)
  8. You are about to breathe your last breath. What is the one Scouting memory (beginning with Cub Scouts and going all the way through) that is going to put a smile on your face? (Donna C.)
  9. How do you balance accomplishments you are so proud of such as your Eagle with the peer perception that Scouting is uncool? (Dalton L.)
  10. What is the most pressing issue today? Why? (Kent M.)
  11. What point of the Scout Law do you think is the hardest for the youth of today to follow? Why? (Brian K.)
  12. Please stand up, give me the 12 points of the Scout Law, and tell me what each one means to you. (Michael M.)
  13. Tell me which is more important: earning the rank of Eagle or wearing it? (Ernie H.)
  14. Why should we make you an Eagle Scout tonight? In other words, how have you demonstrated the characteristics of an Eagle Scout and what is our assurance that you will continue to use them throughout your life? (Pat S.)
  15. If you could talk to anyone throughout history, who would it be and what would you talk about? (Tom D.)
  16. If you could change one requirement for Eagle, what would it be? (Scott W.)
  17. If you could add one point to the Scout Law, what would it be and why? If you could remove one point from the Scout Law, what would it be and why? (Greg P.)
  18. What is something you found in Scouting that you can improve upon? (Andrew R.)
  19. What is the moment you knew you wanted to earn Eagle? (Brandy P.)
  20. There are 21 merit badges required for Eagle. If you had to add one more to the required list, which one would it be, and why? (Jen A.)

What else do you ask?

What one question do you ask in every Board of Review? If you’re an Eagle, what was the toughest question you were asked at yours? Share your thoughts below.

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85 thoughts on “20 Questions to ask at your next Eagle Board of Review

  1. I believe the question that I recall most distictly was the very last questions asked of me: “Do you feel you are worth of being an Eagle Scout?”

  2. At mine they asked me “What do you think about girls?” It took me by surprise, but looking back it had a deep strong meeting.

  3. I like nearly all of them except number 14. Boards of Review do not “make” Eagle Scouts. Any adult that asks an Eagle candidate that question should not be on the board as they do not understand the that a scout EARNS the rank through his accomplishments only.

    • I agree, Andy. That is equivalent to a teacher asking a student, “Why should I give you an A?” Teachers don’t give A’s, students earn them.

    • Lone Scouting is a program, not a person. Unless his buddy was Tonto. Then his first name was…Ke-mo sah-bee, which means “trusty Scout.” But in the original show, the Lone Ranger didn’t have a 1st name… he was simply Ranger Reid.

  4. With all the many other activities competing for a young man’s interest or attention & the fact that so many young people see Scouting as “uncool”; have you ever thought about quiting? And if so, what made you stick with it?

    • That’s a good question for the Scouting Heritage MB, but has little to do with the requirements for becoming an Eagle Scout.

      • Steve,

        An Eagle Scout should know the history about how Scouting came to America. Especially when the Do A Good Turn Daily is the reason we even have Scouting, which the slogan has everything to do with becoming and Eagle Scout.

        • I agree that a Scout should know the history. I think this should be a lower rank requirement such as 1st or 2nd Class. However, even though that chance meeting in London was the basis for starting Scouting, I think it would have eventually made it to America just as it has made it to dozens of other countries.

  5. I sit on Eagle boards fairly regularly, and am always looking for better questions. There are certainly some good ones here, but would like to add these as food for thought. Leadership – “Did you ever have a Scout refuse to comply with a request to perform one of his duetes? How did (or would) you react?”; Outdoors – “What outdoor experience have you had that you wish every Scout could have?”; Future – “If you are awarded the Rank of Eagle, the charge requires you to give back more than Scouting has given to you. What are your Scouting plans from here and how will you fulfill this charge?”

  6. I find it rather astonishing that none of the 20 questions above address leadership, which is a key element in the advancement requirements for Eagle Scout. The first questions I ask at an Eagle Scout Board of Review come straight out of the ESSP workbook Project Report (pg 19): “What did you learn about leadership from the Eagle Scout Service Project?”; “What was the most difficult thing about being the leader?”. I also ask, “What was the most difficult obstacle you had to overcome and how did you resolve it?”.

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  8. I think there is too much focus on leadership in the scouts. Too many chiefs, not enough indians. We should spend more time on teaching good followership instead of leadership. A good team is composed of people who listen to each other, work together, and compromise. Teamwork does not happen when one is achievement hungry and needs to be in charge of everything they do.

    Please STOP teaching leadership.

    • I think this is wrong. Leadership can be fellowship. Leadership is not only being a chief, it’s also knowing when to be an indian. Leadership is knowing when to ask for help, knowing when to step in, how to push and prod. It’s not about being in charge. Scouts does not teach people how to be in charge.

      • Earning the Eagle Scout rank has Everything to do with leadership. Having all those boys in a room you will see who automatically can take charge and volunteer to lead. Others will always follow those who can teach and lead. All of those Board of Reviews you had to do had a specific meaning behind them, if you did not get that then you should not be where you are today.

    • Someone needs to be in charge. If there are “too many chiefs” the SPL needs to change that. If the SPL cannot do it on their own, the SM needs to give him some sage advice to do so. Followership is part of leadership. Leadership can be broken down into 16 dimensions: (1) Mental (2) Physical (3) Conceptual (4) Interpersonal (5) Emotional (6) Technical (7) Tactical (overall knowledge for a Scout) (8) Communicating (9) Decision Making (10) Motivating (11) Planning/Preparing (12) Executing (13) Assessing (14) Developing (15) Building, & (16) Learning. A good Troop would be helping all their Scouts to do this at various levels depending on their age, rank, & position in the Troop. Without leadership, it would be anarchy.

    • Before earning his Eagle, my son went to multiple BSA Leadership training programs. He had been leader of his patrol and was eventually elected as SPL. As SPL he learned that being the leader was not for him. It was a good lesson.

      Scouts taugh him leadership and he has effectively lead using those skills. More importantly, he knows how to FOLLOW. He now, is an invaluable member of the teams he is on outside of scouting. The reason, he knows how to lead and therfore, knows how to follow.

      Bottom line. To teach good “followership” you teach good “leadership”.

    • Leadership… I see you missed some things as you became an Eagle Scout. So let me upgrade you a little.

      1. Leadership is not about being in charge and barking orders. It is about understanding those whom you lead. A Scout is Obedient and Courteous.

      2. Leadership is about following because we all have someone we have to follow. Being able to follow is the first quality of a good leader and a Scout is Loyal.

      3. Leadership is responsibility. When you are a leader you are responsible for all those who follow you and you are responsible to those in which you follow. A Scout is Helpful.

      4. Leadership is about trust. If those that don’t follow you don’t trust you nothing will ever happen. A Scout is Trustworthy.

      5. Leadership is about sacrifice and being loyal to others. A good leader is a servant to his followers and he puts them before himself. A Scout is Loyal, Friendly, and Kind.

      6. Leadership must know their people in which they lead. You must play to their strengths, develop their weaknesses, and limit diversity. Doing this makes the team perform to it’s maximum potential. But this isn’t easy, someone has to be in charge, assess the group, help them grow. A Scout is Brave.

      Scouting is about leadership but only after you the indivdiual is willing to work on your followership as you call it. The individual has to be willing to follow the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, and others who are in charge.

      I would be willing to bet that if you really stood back, looked in the mirror, the cause of your comment with the leadership taught begins with the person you are staring at. Ask him did he follow first and display this behavior so that others could see that it was ok to follow those in charge? Maybe by doing so you would have learned the final bit of leadership: Leaders lead through example. They follow when necessary, lead with understanding that what they do impacts others. Not all are up on stage leading from a place on high, most are leading through their daily example of following.

      6.

    • If you take NYLT or Wood Badge, you will learn about Servant Leadership. That’s the type of leadership that BSA is trying to teach. It has nothing to do with “needs to be in charge of everything”. That is about 180 from Servant Leadership.

    • Really? You SHOULD have learned that being a good leader means knowing when to step back and support the program. A good leader teaches a skill and once the pupil understands he steps back and lets THEM lead. All the while giving support. I don’t know how you earned Eagle without learning that. If you don’t want to learn leadership, stay in Cub Scouts.

    • I strongly disagree. People look to Eagle Scouts to lead them. Grooming a young mans leadership skills is a gift he will be greatful for. I know I am.

  9. These are great questions but my favorite is: If the Board decided tonight that you weren’t ready for Eagle, what would you do? This one really shows the Board AND the Scout how important achieving Eagle is to him. Just watch!

    • I think such a tactic is akin to your boss calling you in to discuss an anticipated promotion/raise, and then him/her asking “How would you feel if I didn’t promote you/give you the raise you’re expecting?” That’s not insightful or introspection-generating, it’s just plain cruel.

    • I agree with Carrie. Anyone can handle a situation that goes according to plan. The true test of character is how you handle it when things go wrong.

    • First of all, for him to answer this, he would need to know WHY the board felt he was not ready for Eagle. This is a very OPEN ENDED question and in my opinion, Should not be asked. If you boss denies you that raise or promotion, they tell you why.

  10. I usually ask something about Scout spirit, such as, “How do you exemplify Scout spirit in you daily life?”, or, “How are Scout spirit and integrity related?”

  11. I was asked to interpret scripture at mine, and I wasn’t even in a church troop. I’m still trying to figure out why.

    • Maybe because the 12th point of the Scout Law is to be reverent, but I agree it probably was not a good question.

      • You can be reverent without scripture (which, by definition refers to the bible). There are many other faiths out there.

  12. I just got back from sitting on an Eagle Board. One of the most important things to me is that the boy understands what characteristics all Eagle Scouts share and that society has come to expect of Eagle Scouts. They must recognize that they represent all of Eagle Scouts.

  13. Being a Eagle Scout I think to much is drilled into the scout to have a big and over the top project. We have forgotten that the main purpose of the project is to show leadership. The board is to make sure the scout did all the planning and see if he had any problems and how he over came them. We should just be glad that we helped a young adult reach the goal of being a Eagle Scout.

  14. River Trails District apparently asks them to ‘report’ and provide a scout salute to the board as if they are in the military and then perform a class A inspection. What are your thoughts?

    • Sounds like someone is adding to the requirements, which is not allowed. They Scout is suppose to be in his Field (Class A) uniform to the full extent that he has one. I just finished reading the Guide to Advancement last weekend & did not see anything in it about “reporting” to the BOR.

    • Well, the uniform is one of the Methods of Scouting (the tools we use), and is not a measure of the results of those methods.

      As EBOR chair, I went to get our candidate. As is somewhat typical, he seemed a bit nervous. As we walked to the conference room, I noticed his uniform with no rank patch! Well, we had a good laugh about the need for him to start over again as a Tenderfoot. And he relaxed.

      Within a few minutes, it was quite clear that the young man before us was truely an Eagle Scout. About an hour later it was oh so clear that while he may have been a bit lax in one of the 8 methods of Scouting, he clearly was another fine example of the results of the application of those methods over time. He and the board could have talked all night about Scouting, life, and adventures. What a fabulous Scout.

  15. My favorite question…what is the significance of this date in Scouting History? Blank stare occurs…I answer for him…It’s your Eagle Rank Date…congrats

    • I hear this question over and over and I wonder each time why? It’s like asking which one of the 10 commandments would you remove? Not at all relavant.

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  17. I have recently been asked to conduct Eagle Board of Reviews the comments and questions have given me thoughts to use thank you one and all.

  18. With my son only about a year away from earning Eagle, it is nice to know the kind of questions that get asked in an Eagle BOR. I am a member of our Troop BOR and we have a group of questions we normally ask the Scouts. It would be great to include a couple of these questions to get them thinking about their Scouting experience along the way…

  19. That first question is the most important. What will you give back? It is so disappointing to see kids get their Eagle and then disappear – leaving all the younger scouts behind to find their own way.

    • I agree with this. In our troop over the last 3 years, we have had 8 boys earn the rank of Eagle. Of those 8, only 2 have had Eagle Court of Honors (our troop leaves it up to the boys if they want one) and only 2 are still active in Scouting. You have heard the term “Sash and Dash”, now here we have the term “Eagle and Fly Away”, never giving back to Scouting once they earn it.

      • We use integrated patrols (I’m ASM, so I take no position on Stratified vs. Integrated patrols) – but during that period at the beginning when we’re trying to teach Webelos how to be Boy Scouts (that magic bridge never works) – I would KILL for a team of Eagles to come back and be hands-on Troop Guides to the new guys.

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