After the contents of an application have been verified and appropriately signed, the application, service project report, and reference checks will be returned from the council service center to the chairperson of the Eagle board of review so that a board of review may be scheduled. Under no circumstances should a board of review be scheduled until the application is returned to the chairman of the Eagle board of review. Reference checks that are returned with the application are confidential, and their contents are not to be disclosed to any person who is not a member of the board of review.
The review is not an examination; the board does not test the candidate. Rather, the board should attempt to determine the Scout's attitude and his acceptance of Scouting's ideals. The board should make sure that good standards of performance have been met in all phases of the Scout's life. A discussion of the Scout Oath and Scout Law is in keeping with the questioning, to make sure that the candidate recognizes and understands the value of Scouting in his home, unit, school, and community. The decision of all boards of review is arrived at through discussion and must be unanimous.
The board of review for an Eagle candidate is composed of at least three but not more than six members. The board of review members should convene at least 30 minutes before the candidate appears in order to review the application, reference checks, and service project report. At least one district or council advancement representative must be a member of the Eagle board of review if the board of review is conducted on a unit level. A council or district may designate more than one person to serve as a member of Eagle boards of review when requested to do so by the unit. It is not required that these persons be members of the advancement committee; however, they must have an understanding of the importance of the Eagle board of review.
The candidate's unit leader introduces him to the members of the board of review. The unit leader may remain in the room, but does not participate in the board of review. The unit leader may be called on to clarify a point in question. In no case should a relative or guardian of the candidate attend the review, even as a unit leader. There is no set of questions that an Eagle candidate should be asked. However, the board should be assured of the candidate's participation in and understanding of the program. This is the highest award that a boy may achieve and, consequently, a thorough discussion of his successes and experiences in Scouting should be considered. After the review, the candidate and his unit leader leave the room while the board members discuss the acceptability of the candidate as an Eagle Scout. The decision must be unanimous. If the candidate meets the requirements, he is asked to return and is informed that he will receive the board's recommendation for the Eagle Award. If the candidate is found unacceptable, he is asked to return and told the reasons for his failure to qualify. A discussion should be held with him as to how he may meet the requirements within a given period. Should the applicant disagree with the decision, the appeal procedures should be explained to him.
Immediately after the board of review and after the application has been appropriately signed, the application, the service project report, reference checks, and a properly completed Advancement Report are forwarded to the council service center.
"Guidelines for Earning the Eagle Rank" by Joe Sinniger (used with permission)