A young person doesn’t have to become an Eagle Scout to have a life-changing experience in Scouting.
But you can bet some Scouts in your troop will set their sights on that shiny Eagle medal.
And chances are some of those Eagle hopefuls will join your Scouts BSA troop this year as 16- or 17-year-olds — meaning they traditionally might not have enough time to earn Eagle before their 18th birthday. (Completing the Eagle requirements takes at least 19 to 20 months.)
That’s less-than-ideal timing for the 16- or 17-year-old girls who were previously not eligible to join Scouts BSA — the Boy Scouts of America program previously known as Boy Scouting.
(And join they have. In less than three months since Scouts BSA launched on Feb. 1, 2019, more than 15,000 girls have registered in 2,049 Scouts BSA troops across the country!)
It’s also not ideal for the 16- or 17-year-old boys who registered in a Scouts BSA troop on or after Feb. 1, 2019. Perhaps some boys waited to join until their sisters were eligible to join their own troop.
All of that explains why the BSA’s volunteer-led National Executive Committee is offering a one-time, limited exception to the BSA’s age requirements for the Eagle Scout award. (We first announced this move on the blog in January. We also shared some insight into the rationale behind the decision.)
Those who apply for the extension will have just 24 months from the initial date of registration to complete all requirements for the Eagle Scout award.
Do you have a young person who is asking for this extension? Here’s the process.
How a Scout requests this limited, one-time Eagle Scout extension
1. The Scout informs an adult leader of his or her request.
Like everything in Scouts BSA, this process is youth-led.
The Scout, who is a new member of a Scouts BSA troop, informs one or more of the following adults that he or she is requesting an extension:
- Unit committee chair
- Chartered organization representative
- Unit advancement chair
- District advancement chair
2. The adult leader checks the eligibility requirements.
- To be eligible, the young man or young woman must be at least 16 but not yet 18 on Feb. 1, 2019.
- What about those under 16 on Feb. 1, 2019? They’ll have adequate time to earn their Eagle before turning 18 and don’t need an extension.
- What about those over 18 on Feb. 1, 2019? They’re considered adults and aren’t eligible to join Scouts BSA. (But should absolutely join Venturing or Sea Scouts!)
- Also, to be eligible, the young man or young woman must register as a member of Scouts BSA on or before Dec. 31, 2019. He or she must also make the request for an extension by Dec. 31, 2019.
- In the interest of fairness, these temporary transition rules apply to all youth joining Scouts BSA during 2019 — both girls and first-time-joining boys.
- Boys who were members of a Boy Scout troop before Feb. 1, 2019, aren’t considered first-time-joining boys and therefore are not eligible for the extension.
3. The adult leader logs into my.Scouting to make the request.
The adult leader will log into his or her My.Scouting account, select the appropriate unit (if they are affiliated with more than one unit), navigate to the troop roster and select the youth’s member profile.
Once there, the unit leader will click the edit profile icon to see where the extension request can be selected.
The amount of time a Scout will be granted for the Eagle extension will be based on the Scout’s joining date and date of birth.
4. The BSA notifies the Scout by email.
The BSA will inform the Scout by email of how long he or she will receive for an extension. The maximum amount of extension time will be 24 months.
The Scout’s parent, unit leader and the local council Scout executive will be copied on the email.
5. The Scout continues his or her progress toward Eagle.
The Scout continues working toward Eagle, following the standard process and completing the requirements as written in the Guide to Advancement.
6. The Eagle board of review is scheduled after the OK from the council and National Service Center.
Boards of review must not occur until after the local council and the National Service Center have verified the Scout’s Eagle application.
For the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts, all boards of review will take place between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31, 2020. All boards of review for this inaugural class will be dated Oct. 31, 2020.
That means any girl in this inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts will have that date as the date she officially earned Scouting’s highest honor.
Note: This inaugural class is not just for girls who have requested and been granted the extension. This class is open to any girl who passes her board of review between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31, 2020, and has submitted her postmarked Eagle application to the National Service Center no later than Nov. 2, 2020. That means, for example, that a 15-year-old girl who completes the requirements and passes her board of review by Oct. 31, 2020, will be included in the inaugural class.
7. The Scout waits for his or her Eagle credentials.
Waiting’s tough, but these young people earned it.
Eagle credentials will continue to be sent by mail.
For female Eagle Scouts in the inaugural Eagle class, these credentials, which include the Eagle certificate and wallet card, will be mailed starting December 2020.