By Pualani Graham
Oct 29, 2013

Eagle Rank About the Journey, Not the Eagle Project

The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.  The aims of Scouting states that “Every Scouting activity moves boys towards three basic aims: character development, citizenship training, and mental and physical fitness.”  [1]

There are eight methods used by Scout leaders to help boys fulfill the aims of the BSA.  Advancement is only one of those methods.  The other seven methods are: the ideals of the Scout Oath and Scout Law, patrols, outdoor adventures, association with adults, personal growth, leadership development and the uniform.

As a young man works toward the rank of Eagle, he needs to know that it is not about the Eagle badge, it is all about the journey.  What did he learn on the way to Eagle?  How did he grow through the experience?  What characteristics did he develop? What did he learn about leadership?  Did his Eagle project make him stretch as an individual?  Did he develop good relationships with those with whom he came in contact?  What did he learn about communications?

We know we are on the right track when we see youth accepting responsibility, demonstrating self-reliance, and caring for themselves and others; when they learn to weave Scouting ideals into their lives; and when we can see that they will be positive contributors to our American society. [2]

Author: Pualani Graham | Advancement Chair, Volunteer, Utah National Parks Council


1. See Scoutmaster Handbook

2. See 2013 Guide to Advancement

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