In light of the closures, cancellations, or other issues caused by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) questions have arisen, especially from Life Scouts, parents and leaders about how this will impact the opportunity to earn the Eagle Scout Rank. 

We cannot diminish or alter in any way the Eagle Scout Rank Requirements spelled out in the current Scouts BSA Handbook.  The Guide to Advancement (GTA) does include policies where through no fault of their own the Life Scout is not able to actively participate in the Troop meet all the requirements by their 18th birthday.

To help our Life Scouts answers many of their questions, we provide the following information from the GTA.  Additionally the FAQs provides guidelines to allow Scouts BSA advancement to continue during the COVID-19 restriction.  Some relate specifically to the Eagle Scout Service Project and Eagle Scout Boards of Review.  At the end there is the Extension Request Form for those who need it.

Guide to Advancement 2019

Active Participation

GTA 4.2.3.1: “if a unit takes time off it must count that time toward the Scout’s active participation requirement.” So, time missed due to canceled unit meetings still counts toward active participation.

Position of Responsibility

GTA 4.2.3.4.3: While meeting a unit’s expectations, “if a unit takes time off, such as during the summer months, it must count that time toward service in a position of responsibility.”  Therefore, if youth are unable to meet the expectations of their positions because of COVID-19 disruptions, then units may need to waive or rethink the expectations.

Time Extensions beyond the 18th birthday

GTA 9.0.4.0: “A [Life] Scout who foresees that, due to no fault or choice of their own, it will not be possible to complete the Eagle Scout rank requirements before age 18, may apply for a limited time extension.”

If a Scout has previously received an extension, they may apply for additional time due to these unusual circumstances.

NOTE: The BSA has delegated MDSC the authority to approve these requests through Sept 30, 2020 to expedite the processing.  To request an extension where COVID-19 disruptions were the only circumstances causing requiring the extension, complete the National Capital Area Council Time Extension Request.  [This form may also be used for Summit and Quartermaster Award extensions extension beyond the Scout’s 21st birthday.]

When a time extension is requested, the Scout should continue working on the requirements as they are able—e.g., independently, or over the phone or videoconference—and at Scouting activities once they resume, while processing occurs

Eagle Scout Boards of Review Through Videoconferencing (VC)

GTA 8.0.1.6: “1.  The local council must grant permission to hold a videoconference board of review for the Eagle Scout rank.”

For VCing an Eagle Board, an Eagle Scout candidate needs NCAC approval – an e-mail is preferred to the NCAC Advancement & Recognition Chair, but a call would also suffice.  Please provide the Scouts name, BSA ID#, unit, and district in the request. (see the Guidance document linked above)

The intent for VC is when a Scout is remote or a delay could be several months AND the Scout has exhausted the allowable time to have the board of review in person (6 months after 18th birthday with council approval).

Electronic or digital signatures on the Eagle Scout Rank Application

The BSA has authorized electronic or digital signatures be accepted through September 30, 2020.

For questions about the Eagle Scout Rank, or other advancement  questions, please contact your District Advancement & Recognition Chair.

Eagle/Quartermaster Extensions

Please follow this process for a COVID-19 related-extensions.

  1. Please complete the Request for Extension of Time to Earn Eagle Scout Rank Form found here: https://mdscbsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Eagle-Scout-Rank-Extension-512-077a.pdf. Please note that the information, like names/phone numbers for the Council Advancement Committee (CAC) will be completed once the form is turned in.
  2. Write letters detailing the need for the extension. These letters need to come from the Scout, their parent/guardian, and a member of their Troop Committee. These letters do not have to be long, they can be a few sentences.
  3. Scan and email the form and letters to Mark Woodman at the Pleasant Hill BSA Service Center at mark.woodman@scouting.org.
  4. Mark will forward the information to the Council Advancement Committee (CAC) Chair and our Scout Executive for approval.
  5. Once approved, the Scout (or their parent) will receive an email from our CAC Chair with approval documents attached. These documents must be presented to the Eagle Board of Review Members before the BOR takes place and the documents are to be turned in with the completed Eagle Scout Rank Application so that they can be included in the information going to our National Office for final verification.
  6. Upon the Scout’s 18th birthday, they will need to turn in an Adult Application with the Scouting Position as Unit Participant or “UP” and complete Youth Protection Training.