2017 update: The Spirit of the Eagle Award is now reviewed, approved, and processed by the local council. The National Service Center is no longer involved. Learn more in the 2017 Guide to Advancement.
It’s a tragic reality that some Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturers are taken from us before their time.
These young people who die in an untimely accident or illness leave behind two grieving families: their actual family and their Scouting one.
To help bring these families a small bit of comfort, the Boy Scouts of America created the posthumous Spirit of the Eagle Award. It memorializes the contributions to Scouting these young people made during their time with us.
A recent, devastating example came out of the Sandy Hook school shooting in December 2012. Two of the victims, Chase Kowalski and Benjamin Wheeler, were Tiger Cubs, and the BSA’s Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock personally presented the families with the Spirit of the Eagle Award. It was a touching gesture that helped these families heal.
If, God forbid, a Scout or Venturer you know dies, there’s a process for applying for this award.
Unit committees submit an application to their local council, which reviews the request before submitting it to the National Court of Honor. The award is only eligible to youth members under the age of 21, and the application must be submitted within six months of the youth member’s death.
Learn more and find the application at this link.