Homepage Forums Boy Scouts (Scouts BSA) Downloading the latest Eagle Scout Service Project workbook

This topic contains 65 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Todd Fromme 11 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #37644 Reply


    Does anyone else have issues trying to save/open/download (anything!) the Eagle Scout project workbook?

    I have tried on four different computers, and have the latest version of Adobe Reader, but still cannot get the document to open:


  • #37649 Reply


    It would not open in my web browser. I had to download it and open it in Adobe Reader.

    I strongly recommend that your scout save the .pdf for his workbook and other files like the Eagle application in his own dedicated folder on your family’s PC. He should rename any downloaded documents with his initials in the name.

  • #37650 Reply


    The PDF downloaded fine for me. There are four things you can try:

    1. Left-click on the file link
    2. Right-click on the link and then select “Save as”
    3. Right-click on the link and then select “Open in new window”
    4. Open any document folder in Windows, click a blank area in the address bar, and paste “http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/512-927_fillable.pdf”

    It’s a 3MB file, so if you have a particularly slow Internet connection, it may take a while.

    • #53144 Reply


      Thank you for the instructions, Tim! It worked great! Finally got it to download after many attempts.

  • #37656 Reply


    Tried them all 🙁

    Would love for my scout to be able to save the PDF on his computer, but if he can’t even open the file, he’s stuck.

    Why can’t it be a downloadable file?

  • #37657 Reply


    … and I have updated to the latest version of Adorable Reader on all four computers (both PC and Mac)

  • #37740 Reply


    My issue is resolved. Although I tried it on several computers, I didn’t think to try it in different browsers. I was unable to download it using Chrome, but could do so using IE. Go figure – the one browser I absolutely refuse to use…

  • #39725 Reply


    I keep getting the same information that Susan got. I can’t open it in Chrome, Internet Ex. or Foxfire. This is so frustrating! I’ve tried to open it for two days and ran the Adobe updates at least a dozen times.

  • #43310 Reply


    I received the same error message.

  • #43572 Reply


    I’m getting the same message. Why is there no answer yet on this site? People from May 20 and July 20 indicated the same issue. I can’t open from IE, Foxfire, or Chrome.

  • #43573 Reply



  • #43574 Reply


    It sounds like Adobe Reader isn’t set as the default PDF application in any of your web browsers. To fix that in Firefox, click Tools | Options | Applications, and make sure that Portable Document Format (PDF) and Adobe Acrobat Forms Document are both set to open with Adobe Reader.

    If that doesn’t work, here’s one more suggestion: launch Adobe Reader on your computer and click File | Open. In the File Name box, paste “http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/512-927_fillable.pdf” (without the quotes) and then click Open. It’ll take a minute for the 3MB file to load.

  • #44928 Reply


    I was having the same problem and just figured it out! Maybe this will be the solution someone else needs…
    Right click on Adobe Reader
    Click Properties
    In the Compatibility Tab, choose “Run this program as an administrator”

  • #46400 Reply


    This is still a problem. I used Chrome to download the file, as instructed. Then opened the file to find the “Please wait” screen noted above. Only when I saw Susan’s post about using IE, did I try that, and had success.

    BSA, this can’t be so hard to fix. Surely someone can figure out a way to post a version of this file that can be downloaded successfully by the world’s most ubiquitous browser. This does not speak well for the technical prowess of the BSA.

    My Eagle candidate is finding it a little harder to be proud of an organization that forces him to use an antiquated browser to access their stuff.

  • #46522 Reply


    Many of the problems reported in this thread are likely due to a Web browser not playing nicely with Adobe Acrobat Reader (or not at all in the case of Chrome). By default, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari use built-in PDF viewers which are not capable of displaying the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook. Even if Adobe Reader is installed, a browser may still be using its built-in, “lightweight” viewer.

    So, what can be done? The quickest solution is to save the PDF file to disk WITHOUT trying to open it in a Web browser or any other program. How? As a wise sage once said: “When all else fails, follow the directions.”

    Here are the instructions posted on the “Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook Procedures” page for PCs:

    “Ensure you have Adobe Reader 9 or later [installed].” [Adobe Reader DC is the latest version.]

    “Right click on this workbook link: Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, No. 512-927.

    “Once the dialog box appears, click on “Save target [or link] as…”

    “Another dialog box will appear for you to name your “Save As” file and to choose where you would like to save it.

    “Once you have saved the workbook to your computer, open Adobe Reader. From within Adobe Reader, click on “File,” click on “Open,” enter the saved file name, and then enter or click “Open.”

    If Adobe Reader has trouble opening the saved PDF, the file might be corrupted. Try saving it to disk again.

    Why all the problems? The “Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, No. 512-927” is a complicated, fillable PDF document. It was produced with Adobe LiveCycle Designer and recent versions of Adobe Acrobat Reader seem to be the only free PDF readers that will handle the document properly. (I typically use Foxit Reader, and while Foxit opened the PDF, the formatting was off and not all of the features worked.)

    Since following the posted instructions achieves the desired goal of saving a copy of the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, any problem a browser has displaying this PDF is, I think, best ignored.

    Regarding @Mark’s post, which I recognize was written in frustration, the BSA’s “technical prowess” is not an issue here. Instead, the main issue is the “prowess” of a browser’s built-in PDF viewer. Another issue is that the “world’s most ubiquitous browser” is not compatible with Adobe’s PDF plug-in (See tinyurl.com/na9vr4y), while Firefox, IE, and Safari are compatible. Unfortunately, the new Edge browser in Windows 10 is also not compatible.

    Finally, I hope that @Marks’s Eagle candidate will read this post and, understanding that he was not being forced by anyone to use “antiquated” software, will continue to be proud of the BSA.

  • #48386 Reply


    UGH, After numerous failed attempts, many late nights, 3 crying fits, and clumps of hair pulled out, while trying to download the newest version of the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, I stumbled across this website. Logged onto scouting.org using INTERNET EXPLORER and Workbook downloaded in a matter of seconds, thank you all so very much for your input 🙂

    • #190153 Reply


      I am highly embarrassed by all the people blaming BSA for something they are providing as a courtesy: (There used to be numerous scanned PDFs out there that you could not fill out online at all before.)
      1. You can always do it by hand on a printed copy.
      2. Chrome is the issue. Anything related to google and Chrome do not play nice with many things. I stopped using years ago. While Internet Explorer is not a good choice due to hacking and viruses, Firefox can usually open everything that IE can and that Chrome can not.
      3. Follow directions. These same rules apply to many forms you must fill out online with Adobe. Download and save as your name BEFORE filling out. As many forms if you fill out first online and then try to save, you will lose the information you just entered. Save, open up enter scout’s name, save again, close, then reopen to make sure your saves are working BEFORE allowing scout to fill it in.

  • #49022 Reply


    BSA could certainly help with this issue.

    I understand that the file was written for Adobe Acrobat Reader and was written using a particular version. So the stars have to line up “just right” to have flawless usability. And moments after it is published it is out-of-date because someone in another galaxy has “revised” their browser, or operating system.

    So why can’t BSA publish the file using several different formats? The primary one, with the most bells and whistles, being Adobe? USScouts.org uses two different formats for accessing the most up-to-date Merit Badge worksheets and requirements. The web site allows users to select either a Word or PDF format.

    In today’s day and age of computers and so many different flavors of web browsers and operating systems, this would seem a logical fix for users having so many problems accessing the file. I did not have any problems getting the file downloaded, however, my printer does not play nice with Adobe. It will print 3/4 of a page and the rest will be printed on a new page. Much fun and time has been spent trying to get the file to print out properly. This would not have been an issue if the file was in a Word format.

  • #49539 Reply


    Completing this form has to be one of the most frustrating requirements of the past 10 years. There has to be an easier way.

  • #49795 Reply


    Having all the same issues and have tried multiple computers, multiple browsers and with no luck. My son had the document and had been able to use it. He tried to open it yesterday and now he is unable to open it to edit it. Opening and sustaining access to the workbook should not be the most difficult part of earning Eagle. Come on BSA, figure it out!!!!

    PS: STILL can’t back to the workbook and sadly, did not print it out thinking it would have to be reentered. Assuming, of course, that it can EVER be opened.

  • #51959 Reply


    I am fascinated as well and it looks like you BSA have not resolved the issue with adobe reader and the http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/512-927_fillable.pdf. This is something that by now should have been taken care of as I am seeing posts well into 2015 and it is now the 4th month of 2016 a full year later.
    I have tried multiple times and my son has tried multiple times to no avail. Please just put a regular pdf up of the workbook without the fillable file option and we can fill it in with our own computer systems and have peace of mind that we are retaining the information once we have it and/or receiving the information in the first place.
    In a regular business this would not be allowed to go on this long, we are committed to your organization and I would guess most of us are also financial donors to Friends of Scouting and to the organization, why would you frustrate your most committed contributors now or ever? Please make it a point to correct this issue.

  • #51989 Reply

    John Marsh

    My son too has had enormous difficulty filling this out. It is buggy and hard to use and makes an undue additional burden especially for scouts with dyslexia. When he had to modify his project he basically had to (slowly) re-enter all the data again because it was locked up. BSA needs to fix this and make it easier…I agree an opne standard is the way to go.

  • #53551 Reply

    Bill Berklich

    It’s not a BSA fault. You need to set Adobe to NOT open in protected mode. My son struggled with this for about a year before o finally figured it out.

  • #53652 Reply

    Jacob Knowles

    I have downloaded, filled out and saved the .pdf file with no problems, however it does take awhile to load, especially when opening on a Mac instead of my Windows computer. But, here’s my problem. I added 5 pictures in the PROPOSAL section of the workbook-no problems. When adding pictures to either the PLAN section or the REPORT section, they come in rotated counter-clockwise. There is no rotation tool. I even saved a copy of the pictures rotated to see if it would make a difference. The only thing I can do when clicking in that area is replace the picture or delete it. Some do import facing the right direction. I don’t know what the difference is between the two .jpg files to cause this.

    I am also frustrated with the fact that you cannot re-order any steps to the processes if you want to add something or rearrange something. Same with the pictures.

    I have tried on several browsers and on both a Mac and a PC. Please help. I don’t want to publish it with my pictures sideways. I did learn, though to compress all my .jpg before adding and that helped with the file size.

    Jacob soon to be Eagle scout if the software will cooperate.

  • #53699 Reply

    Joon Kim

    I cannot open the file after I had downloaded it. When I went to go see if I could open it and print it, it came up with a cant open message. Help… This is important to me, since I am very close to being Eagle.

  • #53784 Reply

    Dan Olson

    Ten years ago the project application was a Word Document. It was easy to use compared to the current form. It used to be a better planning tool when it was only two sections instead of the current three sections. Scouts don’t fill out the “Final Plan” until they are done with the project. That progress.. I guess.

  • #54047 Reply


    Hello All,

    The link works great. Just follow instructions as posted.
    Make sure you save the file, then open Adobe, OPEN THE FILE FROM ADOBE.
    While in Adobe Reader, click on “File,” click on “Open,” enter the saved file name, and then enter or click “Open.”select “file” from menu bar, select “open” the select 512-927_fillable.pdf

    From Scout website….
    Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook Procedures

    For PC Users
    From the Advancement Resources page:
    Ensure you have Adobe Reader 9 or later
    Right click on this workbook link: Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, No. 512-927.
    Once the dialog box appears, click on “Save target [or link] as . . .”
    Another dialog box will appear for you to name your “save as” file and to choose where you would like to save it.
    Once you have saved the workbook to your computer, open Adobe Reader, From within Adobe Reader, click on “File,” click on “Open,” enter the saved file name, and then enter or click “Open.”

    • #56885 Reply


      THANK YOU for this post; it’s the only thing that worked after struggling for days to get the link to download. Thank you for suggesting right-clicking on the link and saving the link to my desktop. It then opened up in Adobe Acrobat Reader without a hitch. Thank goodness!

  • #55526 Reply

    Shelley Baranet

    We got the workbook downloaded (the most frustrating thing ever). BUT we are having a problem with editing. My son entered the wrong amount for the “How much was spent?” he went back to correct it and now it will not accept any amount (it now blank). Anyone know why and how to fix it? We need answers ASAP. He want to go in front of the board August 22 and our council requires the workbook be turn a month prior.

  • #55725 Reply


    This does not work on Mac systems. I have no problem on an hp computer, at work but at home it is impossible to get this to download. Extremely frustrated that this is not user (of all types of computers) friendly!

  • #56660 Reply


    Has anyone had any trouble adding a row to any of the charts in the Project Plan? I have more items to list but am limited by what appears to be a locked chart.

  • #56662 Reply


    Have not done that, I have just added and additional page.

  • #57293 Reply

    Patrice Kuby

    The site does not work properly. Internet Explorer is a waste. I suggest staying off BSA site. Go to an outside site to print the form and hand write. This gives your scout enough room to write whatever he feels needs to be listed or said. Scan it and upload the document. Sometimes technology isn’t the best way. My son was very frustrated with what he couldn’t write.

  • #58007 Reply


    Need a little help please. My son finished his project and was able to do the work plan and final plan with pictures and get signed off. Now he’s trying to write his final report is can’t get the pictures to insert. We’ve tried adobe pro and adobe reader dc – no luck. Any suggestions?

    • #58012 Reply


      Put the pictures in a separate document, print it separately, and staple to the end of the report.
      In the body of the report he could type something like “see pictures in appendix.”

      Do not let flawed tech get in the way of your son communicating his pride in his work.

  • #58064 Reply


    My son (finally? FINALLY!) downloaded and started filling out his Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook earlier this week. He got it from National’s website and by following the instructions has had no problems so far. He’s only gotten into the proposal phase at this point but hasn’t had any issues adding additional pictures or with downloading, opening or saving files. Hope that it continues to go well.

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  • #59610 Reply


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  • #61809 Reply

    George OSullivan

    Internet Explorer worked. Struggled with Chrome and Firefox. Couldn’t get either to work.

  • #62259 Reply

    Jeremy Adair

    I was getting an error message when opening the file, and the issue had to do with Adobe Reader. The website says that you need 9 or later, and I had a version of 10, which would not open the file. Adobe DC opens the file when it is saved via either IE or Firefox

  • #63222 Reply


    I have no trouble downloading and filling the workbook. My issue has been saving what I enter. Sometimes it sticks, and sometimes it doesn’t. My son has lost HOURS of work entering and re-entering information, pictures, and answers that just aren’t there when he pulls the “saved” file back up again. The whole document isn’t lost, just pieces of it. SO FRUSTRATING!!

  • #63523 Reply

    Doug Davila

    I’m a very frustrated Mac user. We can download and edit the file, but get display error messages when we try to email the form. This is really frustrating and basic tech that should work. The boys don’t need issues like this compounding the work that goes into an Eagle project. Anyone get this thing to work?

  • #63853 Reply


    Why is it so ridiculously impossible to get this workbook to open. Is it to test the worthiness of the candidate? If so he is a better human than I because it is driving his Mother insane. My Scout was unable to get this workbook to open so he asked me to give it a try. My older son did not have this nonsense with his Eagle workbook. I have a Mac and my son a PC both with updated Adobe. Would it be possible to come up with an easier download process because this is truly a test of faith and perserverance.

  • #72654 Reply


    So, I’ll start with the fact that I’ve encountered the same problem and I’m using a MAC. I was never able to click on the downloaded file and have it open.

    FIX: I was able to open Adobe and choose FILE > OPEN and find the file and open it without any issue.

    Not sure I can explain the logic or technical reasoning behind it. But, like many, sometimes I don’t need to know how the sausage is made! 🙂

    Good luck

  • #75105 Reply


    Still an issue. Yes, it is a BSA problem. I use/open/edit 10-50 .pdfs daily. NEVER had a problem with any of them saying I am out of date and not opening. We have done 2 prior Eagle projects without a problem…now the newer form is killing us. My son had to try to do his Troop board of review off the a computer since we couldn’t print. We can pull up and edit the file, but we can not print for the same warning/problem.

    Yes, I have loaded from an already open Adobe. I have mailed copies to myself for other computers to open. I have saved on a jump drive and tried other computers. I have saved to the cloud to pull on other computers…always the same. Therefore, this IS an issue unique to the BSA form…not to a computer/browser/etc. It may be a complex document but either make it work or make it less complex!


  • #76235 Reply


    We were able to get the pdf to download eventually and save – we had to follow the directions exactly. Our issue now is sending the dang thing! We have been trying for DAYS to email it to the Scoutmaster for approval. You can’t just print it, because if you type a lot, it does not all show up in the field. Every time we email it (Chrome, Firefox, saved to Google Drive, saved to thumb drive, burned to disc, IE… Everything!) we get the same error that the file cannot be opened.

    WHAT’s THE DEAL!?!

    He would rather fill out a paper form 900 times than spend days and days trying to send this electronically, and we were told it HAS to come in electronically. There is no paper form anymore.

    HELP! What can I do?!

  • #76604 Reply


    This is one of the most frustrating pieces of the advancement process I’ve ever had to deal with. The Fillable PDF has a host of issues, most notably:
    a) It is not sendable via email to many types of computers
    b) It is not compatible with my laptop, a Chromebook
    c) It cannot be edited from multiple locations, and different versions being saved creates all sort of hassles
    d) Formatting on the document itself sucks
    e) It is quite unique, acting like no sort of file I’ve ever dealt with

    BSA is an organization with millions of dollars and millions of members, yet it cannot bring one person to bear to create word document, or google doc that is compatible with most computers? I mean, Word is compatible with most everything!

    BSA, c’mon. You’ve wasted hours of my life on a form, hours I could’ve put towards something constructive.

  • #76788 Reply


    Now, the scouting.org/filestore/pdf… only goes to the http://www.summitbsa.org front page. Really, BSA? You can’t make this stuff up.

  • #76914 Reply


    This form is the biggest pile of garbage I’ve encountered in decades of scouting.

    We downloaded the silly thing. Did a save as. Filled in SOME of the fields. Some fields like “project name” were unable to be filled. Submitted it to my sons scoutmaster for first review and got his comments. Now we’ve gone back in to try and make edits and NONE of the fields are editable. Not a single dern one of them.

    BSA! You must do something to fix this trash. Months and months of people complaining and you do nothing?!?


  • #80882 Reply

    Irene Harris

    2018 and the document is STILL horrible to download. Maybe this should be an Eagle project for someone to fix…

  • #81714 Reply


    yes, same issueI have the latest version of adobe acrobat reader but can’t download the eagle project file
    did you find a solution?

  • #81718 Reply


    Bryan on Scouting is the BEST scouting information website

    Downloading the BSA Eagle Project Workbook is a BIG problem, and it is a BSA problem.

    I download fillable PDF all the time, no problem, I have latest version of Adobe reader and acrobat but the BSA link to download the eagle workbook keeps defaulting me to “download the adobe reader 9.0 or higher” which I tried and confirmed I have version 10. Very frustrating.

    I found 2 workaround options:

    1. Using IE, set your security to Medium, and you might get lucky and be able to download. I did.

    2. There are some non-BSA websites that provide an easy download of the BSA eagle project workbook. I found 2 and downloaded one, the workbook was exactly the same as the BSA workbook at this site https://eagle-scout-project-workbook.pdffiller.com

  • #85092 Reply

    Randy Olinger

    The root cause of this issue is that this is not a normal PDF file, but an Adobe fillable form. These are only (and I do mean only) usable on the proprietary Adobe Reader software which is written for Windows PC, and might actually work on Mac’s, I don’t know. Many systems and sub-systems use open source PDF readers, but they do not have the proprietary code to open and manage the files. Google Chrome is one such case, but it could happen in Firefox as well if you don’t have the proper plug-in set up. Plug-ins compound the problem because they trick the browser into trying to open it in a tab, rather than downloading it and opening it with the native software. All in all, it is a support nightmare.

    Don’t even try to open it using a freely available and open source OS like Ubunty or Fedora.

    Bottom line, you are stuck with it until the BSA recognizes the problem and takes steps to let the form out in a more open format, like RTF (Rich Text Format). Until then, your best bet is to DOWNLOAD the file (don’t just click on it) and save it somewhere on your file system. (Like you Documents folder). Then, navigate to that folder in explorer and double click the file. This should open it in the native Adobe Reader program.

    Good luck!
    Randy Olinger

  • #88765 Reply

    Lewis Ridgeway CPA

    Yes,, it is the biggest pain in the neck ever, even simply trying to find it took an excessive amount of time. I am still unsuccessful in downloading it.
    I have tried two different browsers, (Chrome and Microsoft Edge) I have downloaded the very latest Adobe Acrobat ( version 10) and I am still getting a message that I need to download the latest version of Adobe.

    This website suffers from to much data and not enough information !!!!

    Lewis Ridgeway

  • #107125 Reply

    Kevin Burns

    I am wondering why the BSA chose to use a proprietary system (ie Acrobat)? There are other non-proprietary ways to make a fillable PDF form. I am a Troop Advancement Chair and our town school district is fortunate enough to have a fantastic 1 to 1 computer policy, so every student in the system from Grades 7-12 is given (loaned) a laptop by the district. So all of our Eagle candidates have their own laptop, which they can’t use for their Eagle Workbooks because the school system does not load any Adobe products on their computers, and they can not downloads apps on their own. It is unbelievable given the current state of technology and everything being in the cloud and moving away from desktop applications that this form is stuck in a proprietary system not available to all.

  • #112955 Reply

    Cindy Upah

    Help! I have been able to get it to work to have my son fill it in, but it will not print. When I try to open it on any other computer, I get the error message that I need the most up to date Adobe Acrobat, which I have. Even his leaders cannot open the form to sign it digitally. This is so frustrating. He spent hours of work getting his proposal done in this, and the council doesn’t want a hand written form. What are we supposed to do?

  • #114121 Reply

    Mark Barton

    Even if you download it and then run the latest Adobe Acrobat DC reader on Mac or Windows, we still fight with entering data in the costs table, where the form refuses entry of numbers until you close and reopen the PDF for each cell. Once the photos were added the file was over 25MB and could no longer be emailed for review. A style guide would be more practical than asking scouts to document their project in a proprietary Adobe form. I’m ok with the contact sheet being a normal PDF form, but the whole project workbook does not make sense as a single form.

  • #115667 Reply


    It’s terrible that they are requiring Adobe. Just give me a standard PDF. Hopefully my son’s computer can open this terribly made file as I can’t on my machine (Adobe is not an option on my Linux box).

    I tried the 3rd party site and I was able to get it to open, but it looks like I need an account and send in payment so I can save the file. I didn’t want to change anything, just save it in something I can use!

  • #119658 Reply


    we have downloaded the form and filled it all out. my son has lost all of his work once so far b/c of issues with saving it. Now the form is about 90% done and the form will not save. we keep getting an error msg that says ” unable to save document. bad file handle”. I have not been able to find any way to resolve this. anyone encounter this problem?

  • #125314 Reply

    Ethan Kilian

    I haven’t had a huge problem downloading or entering info in the pdf. However, I’ve just finished my proposal, and all I want to send is the information pages (I want to leave the rest of the workbook out, including the contacts page). However, apparently you have to do an annual subscription to extract pages, which costs 12 or 13 dollars a month – 150 dollars a year! I’m not happy with the BSA right now, as I’m trying to get this done fairly quickly (I just turned 17).

  • #129778 Reply

    Troy Brindle

    We had to use Internet explorer. Save often.

  • #139702 Reply

    Mark P. Clemons, MD

    Being a leader for 22 years, I don’t understand why downloading the Eagle Scout workbook needs the skills of an IT professional I see this has been going on for at least 4 years. No excuse for not fixing this. None.

  • #176727 Reply

    J Morrison

    Not working here with firefix, IE, or chrome. Scout truied multiple times and adove says it is the most current…. Frustrated scout and now frustrated parent. Maybe this has not had enought time for them to address the problem yet, after all it has only been 2.5 years sine this thread.

  • #195132 Reply

    Tess Johnson

    Same problem. Now 3 years.

  • #196023 Reply

    Todd Fromme

    Unbelievable. Son had it done…hours upon hours of work, and the entire file is now gone. Wow.

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