In which month do the most Scouts earn Eagle?

Turns out there’s an Eagle Scout month.

Sure, Scouts can — and do — earn the Eagle Scout award all year long. But what might surprise you is that one month stands out as the busiest. For three of the past four years, more young men earned Eagle in that month than any other. In the other year, it ranked second.

(Note: The date a Scout officially earns Eagle is determined by his Eagle Scout board of review date, not his ceremony date.)

So which month shall forever be known as Eagle Scout month?

December.

Mike Lo Vecchio, the BSA’s stats wizard, shared the data with me. You might expect, as I did, all 12 months to be about equal, with each accounting for 8.3 percent of the year’s total (1 divided by 12).

But in 2011 to 2014, the years for which these detailed statistics are available, December has accounted for between 10.7 percent and 13.1 percent of Eagle Scouts. A statistical anomaly or something more? What’s your thought?

As for the rest of the year, here are the months ranked from most Eagle Scouts to least — again from 2011 to 2014.

  1. December
  2. October
  3. November
  4. January
  5. August
  6. May
  7. September
  8. March
  9. June
  10. April
  11. February
  12. July

Seeing the top three makes me wonder if there’s actually an …

Eagle Scout season

The end of the year — October, November, December — accounts for a larger-than-expected number of Eagle Scouts. Why?

We know the only deadline for earning Scouting’s highest honor is a young man’s 18th birthday, and Scouts have birthdays all 365 (or 366) days of the year. So it’s probably not deadline-based.

Could it be that a return to school in the fall prompts Scouts to finish that remaining merit badge or wrap up their Eagle project? What’s your theory?

The numbers

Here’s the raw data. Note: Because some Eagle Scout award applications are entered manually, the yearly totals don’t equal the numbers I shared previously.

Month 2011 2012 2013 2014 Total Rank
January 3,868 4,160 4,530 5,814 18,372 4
February 3,568 4,335 3,750 4,510 16,163 11
March 4,250 4,343 3,983 3,921 16,497 8
April 4,085 4,265 4,135 3,746 16,231 10
May 4,341 4,801 4,759 3,878 17,779 6
June 4,249 4,527 3,965 3,614 16,355 9
July 3,436 4,161 4,131 3,548 15,276 12
August 4,362 4,925 4,649 3,867 17,803 5
September 4,264 3,972 4,292 4,141 16,669 7
October 4,434 5,462 5,270 4,893 20,059 2
November 4,933 5,587 5,005 4,255 19,780 3
December 5,683 7,438 7,292 5,529 25,942 1