BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA

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Eagle credited merit badges for rank advancement

I’m reprising a question that was asked in the old forums but not really addressed. Bill W asked about the problem of Scoutbook crediting merit badges as Eagle for rank advancement when they are Eagle alternatives. For instance, Cycling, Hiking, and Swimming all being credited as Eagle for rank advancement to Star or Life. They are Eagle merit badges but 2 won’t count for Eagle. Do others consider this a problem or not? This leaves a scout with even more Eagle merit badges to complete after Life rank.
Can this be corrected in the system or give control to remove it as an Eagle required merit badge?

We asked the advancement folks at the BSA about this and they said Scoutbook is properly crediting Eagle Required Merit Badges to Star and Life.

Star requirement 3 says “Earn six merit badges, including any four from the required list for Eagle. You may choose any of the 17 merit badges on the required list for Eagle to fulfill this requirement. See Eagle rank requirement 3 for this list.”

Life requirement 3 says "Earn five more merit badges (so that you have 11 in all), including any three additional badges from the required list for Eagle. You may choose any of the 17 merit badges on the required list for Eagle to fulfill this requirement. See Eagle rank requirement 3 for this list.*

Neither requirement says the Scout can only earn 1 of the “group” Merit Badges to fulfill these requirements. Both say you may choose any of the 17 merit badges on the list required for Eagle to fulfill this requirement. There is no restriction on which of the 17 may be used, thus a Scout could earn Cycling, Hiking and Swimming plus one other Eagle Required merit badge for Star (for example).

BSA policy prohibits anyone from changing requirements, thus a unit may not place further restrictions on which Eagle Required merit badges are used for Star and Life. Scoutbook will not be making any changes in this area.

Thanks for the detailed information. Our scoutmaster was concerned that he was letting scouts advance when he shouldn’t be.

7.0.4.5 Earning Eagle-Required Merit Badges for Star or Life Rank

Candidates for Star or Life, in the selection of “any four” or “any three,” respectively, of the merit badges required for Eagle, may choose from all those listed, including where alternatives are available: Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving; Cycling OR Hiking OR Swimming; and Environmental Science OR Sustainability. For example, if a Scout earns Cycling, Hiking, and Swimming, all three of them count as Eagle-required for Life rank. Only one, however, would serve toward the required merit badges for the Eagle Scout rank. The other two would count toward the optional merit badges required to make up the total of 21 merit badges.

Note that Star and Life requirements each allow two non-Eagle-required merit badges. It is the Scout’s decision, however, to earn more—or all—of the merit badges for the Star and Life ranks from the Eagle required list.

BSA Guide to Advancement