20 Questions to ask at your next Eagle Board of Review

Forget that sit-down with the hiring supervisor at Subway. When it comes to life-changing interviews for a teenager, you can’t top the Eagle Scout Board of Review.

For some Scouts, the thought of answering a barrage of questions from adults is worse than a trip to the dentist.

Turns out, though, that the boy often isn’t the only nervous person in the room.

Here’s what Kathy, a Scouter from the Northeast, told me:

I’ve just been asked to sit on the Board of Review for one of my students, since I’ve known him since he was in the second grade. If I’m to ask questions, can you give me some insight as to what’s appropriate? I don’t want to look stupid.

Kathy’s certainly not the only one at a loss for words at a Board of Review. So I asked our Facebook friends for their go-to questions.

Here are 20 to try the next time you’re involved in this important final step on a boy’s journey to Eagle: 

20 Quality Questions for Eagle Scout Boards of Review

Each question is listed with the Scouter who submitted it:

  1. What will you do as an Eagle Scout to give back to Scouting? (Mike J.)
  2. What do you believe our society expects from an Eagle Scout? (Andrea P.)
  3. Of all the patches on your uniform, which one means the most or which one of them are you proudest to wear? (Joan G.)
  4. If you could do it all over again, would you, and why? (David T.)
  5. What lessons did you learn from the Eagle process and how do you think those lessons will help you in your future endeavors? In other words, what will you take away from this experience? (Andrea J.)
  6. How would you describe the effort you have put into your Scouting career? Expected response: I did my best. (David L.)
  7. What advice would you give to a new Scout? (Diane S.)
  8. You are about to breathe your last breath. What is the one Scouting memory (beginning with Cub Scouts and going all the way through) that is going to put a smile on your face? (Donna C.)
  9. How do you balance accomplishments you are so proud of such as your Eagle with the peer perception that Scouting is uncool? (Dalton L.)
  10. What is the most pressing issue today? Why? (Kent M.)
  11. What point of the Scout Law do you think is the hardest for the youth of today to follow? Why? (Brian K.)
  12. Please stand up, give me the 12 points of the Scout Law, and tell me what each one means to you. (Michael M.)
  13. Tell me which is more important: earning the rank of Eagle or wearing it? (Ernie H.)
  14. Why should we make you an Eagle Scout tonight? In other words, how have you demonstrated the characteristics of an Eagle Scout and what is our assurance that you will continue to use them throughout your life? (Pat S.)
  15. If you could talk to anyone throughout history, who would it be and what would you talk about? (Tom D.)
  16. If you could change one requirement for Eagle, what would it be? (Scott W.)
  17. If you could add one point to the Scout Law, what would it be and why? If you could remove one point from the Scout Law, what would it be and why? (Greg P.)
  18. What is something you found in Scouting that you can improve upon? (Andrew R.)
  19. What is the moment you knew you wanted to earn Eagle? (Brandy P.)
  20. There are 21 merit badges required for Eagle. If you had to add one more to the required list, which one would it be, and why? (Jen A.)

What else do you ask?

What one question do you ask in every Board of Review? If you’re an Eagle, what was the toughest question you were asked at yours? Share your thoughts below.

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85 thoughts on “20 Questions to ask at your next Eagle Board of Review

  1. I think if you changed the word “make” to “declare” in question #14, it’d be perfect. It allows the Scout free rein to sum up what he understands “Eagle Scout” to mean, how he thinks he embodies those qualities and what he might do with those qualities (hopefully to the betterment of his Troop, family, community and beyond) in the future.

    One I ask to get them to realize what they have accomplished is, “Describe what you were like as a first-year Scout.” and then “How have you changed since then as a result of your Scouting journey?” The answer to the first questions is usually pretty funny, and the answer to the second is sometimes very emotional for the Scout as they realize just how much they’ve changed.

  2. I like the discussion that has followed this post. As an Eagle myself I am enjoying watching my sons go through Scouts. One of the good changes I have noticed is a push is for the review to be not only of the Scout but also the Scouting program. At the point of an Eagle BOR not only should the Scout be asked what he feels would benefit not only his troop’s program but also the entire program of Scouting. What better view than that of those most affected?

    • I’m not sure what you mean. Our Scoutmaster (I am an Eagle and now an ASM)is a lawyer. Are you asking about the Scoutmaster position? Or his profession?

  3. Of the 12 points of the Scout Law, which one best describes you and why? Which one least describes you and why? (We have asked this at every BOR since I have been a part of my Troop)

  4. I always ask what “Good Turn” they did yesterday. Amazingly this “meant as a simple question” has been a real stumper as the candidate trys to read more into it than was intended (I guess).

  5. The question my husband always asks “Tell me what is the difference between getting Eagle and being Eagle.”

  6. I always ask: Do deserve to be an Eagle Scout? The answer I look for is something like: No one deserves to be an Eagle Scout, you must earn it.

  7. I see you wear the Lodge flap. How many lodge activities have you attended in the past year. How about since you completed your Ordeal weekend?

  8. The troop I was with I sat in on most of the BOR, so when a young man is going for his eagle I only have 1 or 2 questions for him. I always ask him why he wants to be an Eagle scout and I may ask him what it means to him to become an Eagle scout.

  9. The first words of the Scout Oath are: “On my honor…” I usually ask them what the word “honor” means to them.

  10. I like to ask which facet of the Oath is most important: Duty to Self, God, or Country.

    Best answer I’ve received was from an LDS scout named Aaron. He said he couldn’t separate Duty to God and to Country because he saw too many kids in high school who had no idea what either of those meant and that, as an Eagle, he could and should serve as an example to them.

  11. The Scout oath is made up of 3 parts, Duty to God and country, Duty to others and Duty to self. You had to earn 21 merit badges to get to this board and 12 of the badges are required. Pick 3 of those required merit badges and tell me how you think they relate to any of the duties described in the Scout Oath.

  12. I asked a scout what he actually thought of his Eagle project. His response was that, after it was completed, he wished he’d done so much more because it felt insufficient, listing numerous ways to make it better.

  13. “Of the twelve points of the Scout Law, which one is hardest for you to keep, and what do you do to help yourself keep it?”

  14. I thought you could not ask question 12. That is testing the scout.

    The Question I like the best is “what question were you worried we would ask you?”

    • In our Troop, our Scouts star all BORs by reciting the Boy Scout Oath & Law. I wouldn’t have the Scout stand & recite them again, but could ask what each means to them. When my Webelos earned their Arrow of Light a year ago, each Scout had to define what each of the 12 points mean to them. It would be interesting to see how their responses changed over the years, but since 12 of the 13 went to other Troops & I can’t sit in on my son’s BORs, I will never know.

    • I am involved with two charters. One Troop as an ASM and its Pack as Cubmaster. The other, I am the COR for the Troop and Pack. My son is in the Troop where I am the COR. Both troops start their meetings with the Scout Oath and Law. In the Troop where I am the COR, my son’s Troop, the Scoutmaster does the Scoutmaster’s minute on one point per meeting, giving either personal experience or a story with examples of that night’s point. When he finishes the 12 he starts over from Trustworthy.

      There is no need to go over #12 in the Eagle BOR. I’ve never asked it and never will. It is demeaning, please remember most Eagle candiates are high schoolers, but asking #12 is like treating them like elemenatry children. Additionally, as an Eagle candidate, he is Life Scout, which has leadership requirements as well as Star; they are supposed to teach the younger new scouts this (actually First Class scouts are suppose to this if the new boys didn’t go through Webelos). How could they possibly teach it if they don’t know it. You’re talking about years of going over this. That is why it is demeaning.

      I prefer examples of living by the Scout Oath and Law. For the past 40 years, since I was a Scout with Scout “rank” through Eagle (we had to earn 24 merit badges at that time), through youth and adult leadership, I’ve always lived all aspects of my life guided by the Scout Oath and Law. I know of my own peronal experiences and as an Eagle (remember this is about Eagle BORs not just “regular” rank advancement BORs of Life and below) candidate he should be able to give his personal experience living the Oath and Law, not what they mean.

      Webelos go over this with the Den Chiefs because knowing each point and what it means is a requirement to earn the Scout badge. I also believe it should not exist on this list. You’ve got to remember the original title is “20 Quesitons to as at you next Eagle Board of Review”. Keep it Eagle oriented. If you don’t get it, you should not sit on an Eagle Board.

  15. Pingback: Board of Review Questions | Scouter Mom

  16. I ask the candidate; What is an Eagle Scout and why do you want to be one? or What is it about Scouting that kept you and what would you tell younger boys about scouting to get them interested in being a scout?

  17. Pingback: An Eagle Board of Review study guide, created by Scouters « Bryan on Scouting

  18. I do a last question. The last question of the Eagle Board of Review is a question asked by the prior candidate. I read the question which I have saved on my phone and then once the question is answered, I ask the candidate what question he wants to ask the next candidate who sits in that seat.

  19. I am an Eagle Scout (earned in 1978). Sorry, I don’t remember my Eagle Board of Review (other interviews over the years are more memorable, particularly those in another language.)

    Through the years as Eagles before me and after me, for those not close to aging out sometimes they just leave. One of my fellow Eagle’s father said he could get his Eagle (he wouldn’t sign the forms) if he promises to give back the same amount of years as you got our of scouting. That was a good thing to hear. I took 4 years to get my Eagle. I gave back 9 and now am giving back again for the past 3 years (since my son has joined Cubs and is now a Boy Scout) and will continue on as long as I am not in the way.

    So at the Eagle Board of Review that I attend, I always ask the candidate, “If you get your Eagle, what are you going to do for scouting after that?” I want to know life after Eagle. If they’re close to college age, I’ll sometimes ask what their major will be and what they hope to do when they graduate. I’ll take one of the references and ask about that.

  20. Pingback: Greatest hits: Counting down my 13 most-read blog posts of 2013 « Bryan on Scouting

  21. When I chair Eagle Boards, just before we excuse the Scout to begin deliberations, I describe the process that the Board will follow, the fact that the vote must be unanimous, and then I ask #14. I have gotten a multitude of answers, including, “I did my best to meet the requirements”.

  22. I don’t remember much of my BOR mine was in 1986. I do remember having a dual review. It was the other Eagle candidates review and I was allowed to attend because the review board lost my paperwork 2 times.

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