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Eagle Board of Review Scheduling

Requiring the candidate to contact each reference and requiring the candidate to provide postage paid envelopes to the references are additional requirements. While those steps may make sense, those steps are the responsibility of the district.

Help me understand how these aren’t extra requirements?


Matt.Johnson and Stephen_Hornak


The plain meaning of GTA References Contacted at the second paragraph indicates the practice is anticipated and permitted where, “ It is acceptable to send or deliver (emphasis added) to the references an addressed envelope with instructions… “ and, “Scouts may assist with this, but that is the limit of their participation.”

GTA Mandated Procedures and Recommended Practices note at page 2 is instructive where, “Recommended best practices are offered using words like “should,” while other options and guidelines are indicated with terms such as “may” or “can.”

At GTA Section Council Advancement Committee Responsibilities item 13 the Committee is charged with determining methods of collecting Eagle Scout or Quartermaster references. The mechanism describing the Scout’s involvement is compliant and within the discretion afforded the Council Advancement Committee.

No one cares who buys the stationery and stamp.

I guess we will have to disagree. If one changes a may to a must, it is adding a requirement.

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I have found that when reading rules and guidance it is useful to read all of them.

I agree with that one should read the entire rules and guidance. Following them is key.

I agree with Eric - IF a council or District has it in place this is how it is done it is within the parameters set - I do think it goes against best guidance and standards. When I make a hire I do not have a 3 way call with the applicant and their reference. And it is also stated that the Scout is not supposed to see the references letters either (the self-addressed covers that).


One may not like the mechanism, but it is incongruous to think it goes against policy and guidance when in the same paragraph the Scout’s limited involvement is specifically allowed.

In an earlier post I asked to hear from Scouters doing the work of obtaining references by other methods and have seen no responses. With 200 plus Eagle candidates a year in council that’s over 1,000 cold calls and/or 1,000 mailers depending on how diligent the effort. Anybody staffing a call center and processing contact summaries, or preparing and paying for sending out those letters?

Please see GTA Paragraph 2

“It is up to the council’s designated representatives to collect the responses. If after a Reasonably diligent effort no response can be obtained from any references, the board of review must go on without them.” (emphasis added)

So lets break this down for a minute.

Every district should have an eagle committee. So if your council has lets say 6 districts now you are down to 33 eagle applications you are responsible for. Now not all of those eagles will come in the same month so in a given month lets say 3 (33/12=2.7). So now we are down to 15 phone calls, emails, or letters every month. If your district has lets say 3 people on the eagle committee, that is down to 5 phone calls, emails, or letters every month, or 1 eagle scout.

This seems like a manageable number without a call center to me.


The bottom line is that this process is a confusing mess. Imagine an average 14 -17 year old Life Scout trying to negotiate this. The sections read poorly because they were likely written at different times, by comittee, edited over and again and turned into what it is.

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The good news is that each one of them has an army of volunteers like yourself willing to translate and coach them.


Hence the role of Life-to-Eagle Coach to help them manage it. If you have a Scout trying to do this alone, you’re doing it wrong.

Life to Eagle coaches are just as prone to being uninformed or not well trained like the rest of us especially with vague guidance from BSA. Further many rural units dont have the resources that large units do. It sometimes does fall to the Scout and SM to navigate alone.

@DanielBreedon - I really do not understand what is vague… the words in the GtA are clear. I am still not convinced that your issue holds any merit. I have been through a decade of Eagle scouts and yet to have experienced the confusion and issues you note. I just do not understand the disconnect.

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If you dont find the thread productive then I guess you can ignore it?

What is confusing? The applicant fills out their references. It seems like some districts require move above that, but I assume they explain that. If your district doesn’t, then they fill out the info as requested. Nothing more to it than that.

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@DanielBreedon - i do find the discussions productive but still fail to understand your concern. If as a committee chair your are disappointed or displeased with how your district or council handling things then complain to them. Beyond that the GtA explains the process. It is not any more complicated than that.


I would not post if I thought it was unproductive.

Thanks appreciate your insight.

We have had district shortages and yeah sometimes we go it alone.

We all operate with shortages at one point or another. This is yet another reason why having a strong commissioner corps is so important. I am speaking as a parent of an almost eagle (waiting on board of review) in a rural unit and a commissioner for a rural district. I made sure that I was well versed on the GTA for my son and this makes it so I can help the other units in my district as a commissioner as well. I have learned a lot in the process and there is still more to learn for me. All I can do is be as prepared as I can for as many scouts as I can reach.