General Information – Scouts BSA Advancement

Service Projects

Second Class, Star, And Life Service Projects

Service projects are required for Second Class, Star, and Life ranks. For Star and Life ranks, these may be individual projects or as a member of a patrol or troop project, including assisting on Eagle service projects. The Scoutmaster approves the project before it is started.

Scouts BSA Handbook
Scouts BSA Requirements
Selecting Leadership Service Projects
Service Projects (video)

Eagle Scout Service Project

For Eagle Scout rank, the Scout, while a Life Scout, must plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project benefiting any religious institution, school, or community. An Eagle Scout project may not:

  • benefit BSA or any BSA entities or properties,
  • be performed for a business,
  • be of a commercial nature,
  • be routine labor,
  • be a job or service normally rendered, or
  • be a fund-raiser.

Fundraising is permitted only for securing materials needed to carry out the project. There are specific guidelines for fundraising, including a new Fundraising Application; see the Project Workbook for details.

There is no minimum number of hours that must be spent on carrying out the project. The amount of time spent must be sufficient for the Scout to clearly demonstrate leadership skills.

The most current Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook must be used to meet this requirement.

Paper copies of the workbook are available at the Firestone service centers. Only the official workbook is acceptable.

Read (and re-read several times) the workbook and carefully follow each step.

The project proposal MUST be approved by the following PRIOR to starting the project:

  • Benefactor of the project (the project sponsor)
  • Unit leader (Troop Scoutmaster, Team Coach, or Venturing Advisor)
  • Unit committee
  • The district advancement committee (or designee)

In completing the project workbook, be sure to provide all information requested.

Guide to Advancement, Section 9.0.2
Council Life to Eagle Information
Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook
Eagle Service Projects Award

Board of Review

A periodic review of the progress of a Scout is vital to the evaluation of the effectiveness of the Scouting program in the unit.

Not only is it important to review those Scouts who have learned and been tested for a rank, but also to review those Scouts who have shown no progress in their advancement over the past few months.

Tenderfoot Through Life Ranks and Eagle Palms

The board of review for Tenderfoot through Life ranks and Eagle Palms is made up of at least three and not more than six members of the troop committee. One member serves as chairman, usually the advancement coordinator. A Scout’s unit leaders (e.g. Scoutmaster), assistant unit leaders (e.g., assistant Scoutmasters), relatives, or guardians may not serve as members of his board of review and are not permitted at the Board of Review.

The review has three purposes:

  • To make sure the work has been learned and completed,
  • To see how good an experience the Scout is having in his unit, and
  • To encourage the Scout to advance to the next rank

The review should take about 15 minutes (a little less for lower ranks and a little more for higher ranks).


Boards of review for Eagle rank can be done at either the unit level, with a district representative or at the district level. BSA leaves the decision up to the council; Cradle of Liberty Council leaves the decision to the District.

The board is composed of three to six members, 21 years of age or older. These members do not have to be registered in Scouting, but they must have an understanding of the importance and purpose of the Eagle board of review. The Scout may have no input into the selection of the members.

No family members are to be in attendance at the board of review. The unit leader introduces the Scout and may observe, but not participate. The board of review should take about 30 minutes.

Guide to Advancement, Section 8
Boards of Review (video)
Further information and sample questions (Note: this is not an official BSA website. It appears to contain information consistent with BSA policy and is a good resource for sample BOR questions).

Appealing a Decision

There are two sets of circumstances in which a Scout or his parent(s) or guardian(s), acting on his behalf, may appeal a decision:

  • A unit leader or unit committee does not recommend a Scout for a board of review or refuses to sign the Eagle Scout application.
  • A board of review does not recommend a candidate for rank advancement.

All appeals shall be directed to the Council Advancement Committee. If the initial decision is at the unit level, the Committee will decide whether to have the appeal heard by the district advancement committee or the Council Advancement Committee. If the initial decision was at the district level, the Council Advancement Committee will hear the appeal. A decision at either level finding in favor of the Scout shall be final; units have no right of appeal of a decision.

If the initial committee hearing the appeal does not find in favor of the Scout, he or his parent(s) or guardian(s) may appeal that decision to the next highest level, up to and including the national Advancement Team. All requests for appeal shall be made in writing, signed by the Scout and or his parent(s) or guardian(s), and shall set forth in detail the reasons for requesting an appeal. Appeals to the national Advancement Team shall be processed through the local council.

Board of Review (video)

Guide to Advancement, Section 8

Court of Honor

Each time a Scout advances in rank or earns a merit badge, he should be recognized on two occasions. The first should occur as soon as possible after a board of review has approved rank advancement or the merit badge has been earned AND an Advancement Report has been filed with the council office – preferably at the next unit meeting. This recognition should be dignified but simple, involving not much more than presenting the Scout with his new badge.

The second occasion is a court of honor, a public ceremony to recognize Scouts for successful achievement and to describe the importance of the program. The main purposes of the court of honor are to furnish formal recognition for achievement and to provide incentives for other Scouts to advance. At this time, he should be presented with the recognition cards for each of the awards he has received since the last Court of Honor.

When a Scout has earned the Eagle Scout rank, he deserves special recognition. The Eagle Scout ceremony may not be conducted until the action of the board of review has been approved by the National Eagle Scout Service.


  • Troop Program Resources, No. 33588 (includes procedures for conducting courts of honor and special First Class and Eagle Scout courts of honor).
  • has many resources for the Eagle Scout. (Note: this is not an official BSA website. It appears to contain information consistent with BSA policy and is a good resource. However, any specific requirements listed should be verified with the current official BSA documents.)

Comments, Questions, Concerns?

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Please stay safe!

Due to inclement weather, the Firestone Scouting Resource Center and Valley Forge Scout Shop will be closed on Tuesday, February 13, 2024.