6 improvements in the revised Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook

The Eagle Scout Service Project is tough enough. Confusing paperwork shouldn’t make it even harder.

Fortunately for aspirant Eagle Scouts — and the parents and Scouters supporting them — the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook (No. 512-927) is regularly refreshed to make it easier to use and understand.

That latest upgrade came on May 20, 2014. Find the new workbook (and tons of other useful documents) on the BSA Advancement Resources page.

The previous version of the workbook is no longer available, though Scouts who have already downloaded the previous workbook may continue to use it — even if their proposal hasn’t yet been approved.

What changed? Nothing earth-shattering, just lots of subtle improvements.

Mike Lo Vecchio of the BSA’s Content Management Team tells me the informational parts have been reorganized, and functionality has been improved. Wording has been clarified in several areas.

Here are the six key improvements:

  1. All general information including the Message to Scouts and Parents or Guardians and the Excerpts and Summaries from the Guide to Advancement is now contained in the front of the workbook.
  2. The Contact Information page is included with the proposal. Note the instructions at the top of the page which indicate that only information that is reasonably required needs to be included.
  3. In some cases, functionality has been included to allow certain information from title pages and from the Contact Information page to auto-populate fields elsewhere in the workbook.
  4. Some additional tables have been included (e. g. Other Needs) and functionality improved to allow certain fields to expand to accept additional text. Note in some cases, field expansion is not unlimited since only a reasonable amount of information is needed for those answers.
  5. A project description and impact section has been added at the beginning of the project report.
  6. The Navigating the Eagle Scout Service Project – Information for Project Beneficiaries document has been added to the back of the workbook. It is intended that the Eagle Scout candidate will provide this document to their project beneficiary and discuss it with them when they approach the beneficiary with their project idea. Note that there is a box on the proposal for the beneficiary to indicate that they received a copy of the document.

Still see something in the workbook you’d improve if you could? Lo Vecchio says recommendations for changes or other improvements should be sent to: advancement.team@scouting.org.


  1. Yes, Don, the beneficiary signs the proposal and the final report.

    One additional improvement is needed: there is too much unusable space between the sample entries for tools, equipment, and materials, and the actual entry fields.

  2. I wish this new workbook would go away and we could revert back to the old system that actually required a Scout to plan a legitimate, well-thought-out project. This new system, with no approval of the final plan itself, is a complete disservice to Scouts. Eagle Candidates no longer held to the same level of standard that existed previously — the bar has been lowered.

  3. I completely agree that the new workbook and lack of approval on the final project diminishes the hard work previous Eagle Scouts have performed and somewhat weakens the prestige of the rank in my opinion.

  4. I’m sorry….. Did you say they do not have to get the final plan approved?? So they just have to get the “idea” approved. Rise up fellow Eagles and make sure this doesn’t happen with your local scouts or troops. We can put a wrench in the gears and make sure things are done correctly. The whole point is to come up with a legitimate, Eagle worthy project and execute it. Having approval at ALL levels is certainly part of that. Don’t stand for the “car wash” and “brush cleanup” projects that seem to becoming rather common. We can always be involved in the approval and execution of the projects. Ask the questions and make sure that the candidate does what you deem necessary for the rank of Eagle.

  5. my candidate has/had a project that required handcrafted metal work to fabricate a utility horse for a therepeudic stable providing rehab for various patients. He drew the plans and secured the materials and worked on the actual peice. it could not involve the general all hands call for the Troop due to safety and overall skill level. He provided leadership to 2 other Scouters with tools and skills to complete. Does that pass the test?

  6. The article needs some clarification. Is an eagle candidate permitted to use any previous versions of the Eagle Project workbook or just version 5 (version prior to 5/2014)? Does a district advancement committee have the right to require an eagle candidate to use the most recent versions (version 5 or 6) before approving the project?

    Leader Needing Clarification

  7. I would like an answer to the last question. If I can require our scouts to use an older version I’ll do so. I do not like the 2014 edition. It leaves too much out of the equation.

  8. I agree in concept that this new form could let some scouts slide by.

    Let me counter by saying it can work the other way as well and set poor expectations for the scouts. My son is currently going thru this process and it has taken way longer than necessary. He has a legitimate project (building a climbing wall at a local playground) which will require planning, design, safety considerations, permitting, etc.

    He got signoff on his project from the sponsor only to have the sponsor then contact the Troop with concerns. The sponsor has worked with prior Eagles before so he is used to the old format but of course my son doesn’t realize that. So now he has more to do when he thought he was on his way to get council approval and THEN do his final design. Yes, it struck me odd that there was no final signoff but what did I know.

    The scout has to plan the project in detail anyway at some point (or plan to fail based on failure to plan), so why not just state it up front?

    On Page 1-5 under “Preparing the Project Proposal” it says “Your proposal must be completed first. It is an overview, but also the beginnings of planning.

    On page 2-2 the first sentence of the proposal states “Briefly describe the project. Attach sketches or “before” photographs if these will help others visualize it”

    How does this tell the scout that a comprehensive, detailed plan and design (if necessary) is required for signoff up front? It doesn’t.

    In my opinion as a professional project manager, why not have two levels of approval – one for concept, one for final design/plan. This way the scout gets approval to begin design and not invest too much time in his project before getting a go-ahead to do more.

    As is stands now my son may invest a ton of time finalizing plan and design and still not have his project accepted by council. To me that is not fair to the scout.

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