Words From The Scout Executive
On February 1, 2019, the Boy Scouts of America began welcoming girls into Scouts BSA. This followed on the heels of nearly 78,000 young girls joining Cub Scouting last year, and we’re off to an amazing start with over 15,000 young women in nearly 2,050 Scouts BSA troops as of April 24, 2019.
One of the characteristics of Scouting—for over one hundred years—is that no matter when you join, or the rank you attain, the Scouting experience prepares you for life. And for some, the pinnacle of their Scouting experience is achieving the highest rank of Eagle Scout.
These are historic times for our Movement – we want these young women to enjoy the journey and share the joy with other young women across the country of being part of the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts. Because we want them to enjoy the journey and all the benefits of such an experience, all girls who join the BSA in 2019 should have an opportunity to earn their Eagle rank, should they diligently and promptly complete all requirements. We also understand that some young women who join in 2019 may not have enough time to complete the journey to Eagle due to their age. Accordingly, after carefully considering recommendations from stakeholders, including feedback from volunteers and professionals, the National Executive Committee of the Boy Scouts of America has approved the following temporary transition rules regarding extensions for youth over 16 but not yet 18 years of age on February 1, 2019 to complete the requirements for the Eagle Scout rank.
To preserve the integrity of the Eagle Scout rank, no exceptions or waivers of any of the requirements for the Eagle Scout rank are permitted under this limited extension, and all requirements must be completed while the individual is a registered member of Scouts BSA, or as a member of a Venturing crew or a Sea Scouts ship after achieving the First Class Rank in Scouts BSA (as specified in the BSA Guide to Advancement).
Since the BSA has determined that the minimum period of elapsed time to complete the requirements of the Eagle Scout rank is approximately 19-20 months, the extension is not available to any youth who is under 16 years of age on February 1, 2019 (as they will have adequate time to earn their Eagle rank before turning 18) nor to any youth who has already turned 18 years of age on February 1, 2019 (as they will be ineligible to join Scouts BSA). Eligible Scouts are encouraged to submit their request as soon as they believe they would like to pursue their Eagle Scout rank, as this extension request process will be limited to December 31,2019.
Below is the process for this limited-time opportunity; the following procedures should take place:
- The Scout, a new member of a Scouts BSA troop, informs a member of the troop’s Key 3 or unit or district advancement chair that they are requesting an extension.
- The troop Key 3 or unit or unit advancement chair will log in to their 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, 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.
- The Scout will be notified via email the amount of time they will receive for an extension; the maximum amount of extension time will be 24 months (the Scout’s parent, unit leader, and the Scout executive will be copied on the email).
- The Scout will continue with the current advancement process up to the rank of Eagle; the application for rank will follow the process as outlined in the Guide to Advancement.
- Boards of review must not occur until after the local council and the National Service Center have verified the application.
- In supporting the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts, boards of review at the council for the inaugural class will take place October 1-31, 2020; to further support the inaugural class, all boards of review will be dated October 31, 2020 by the National Service Center.
- Note that this inaugural class is not just for those who have requested and been granted the extension. This class is open to any female who passes her board of review between 10/1-31/20 and has submitted her postmarked Eagle application to the National Office no later than 11/2/20.
- Credentials (Eagle certificate, wallet card, etc.) for female Eagle Scouts will be sent starting December 2020.
BSA plans to recognize the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts with a special, once in a lifetime item – but we’ll need the Scouts’ help! We are asking each Scout (or Scout parent) to submit a picture of them in their field uniform with their merit badge sash to firstname.lastname@example.org (please ensure that they or their parents have signed the Talent Waiver). We’ll be making a special collage of the entire class that will be signed by the Chief Scout Executive that they will receive in the first quarter of 2021. Be sure they include their mailing address with their photo submission – we’ll be corresponding with this class periodically over the years and may even do an “alumni” edition of the college in future years.
We’re excited to be on this trail with you!
Jim Battaglia | Scout Executive/CE