In the pantheon of accomplishments for young people, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America stands as a distinctive testament to an individual’s character, determination, leadership, and service. It is the highest rank attainable, earned by a select few who embody the virtues and commitments of Scouting.
This article aims to provide guidance for those privileged with the task of writing a recommendation letter for an Eagle Scout candidate. We will delve into the significance of this letter, the aspects of the candidate’s qualities it should highlight, and provide useful tips and examples to ensure your endorsement accurately portrays the candidate’s merits and contributions.
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What is an Eagle Scout?
An Eagle Scout is the highest achievement attainable in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) program. To earn this prestigious rank, a Scout must demonstrate mastery over a wide array of skills and knowledge, emphasizing leadership, community service, and personal growth.
The Scout must also complete an extensive service project that benefits their community and demonstrates their leadership abilities. Only about 4% of Boy Scouts are granted this rank after rigorous assessment, and being an Eagle Scout is often recognized as a mark of distinction that signals integrity, commitment, and civic responsibility.
Eagle Scout Recommendation Letter Templates
Earning Eagle Scout rank represents tremendous achievement and commitment. Eagle Scout candidates require recommendation letters validating their qualifications. Eagle Scout recommendation letter templates help craft these meaningful endorsements.
The letter templates provide introduction, body, and conclusion paragraph templates. Guidance is given for describing scout attributes like leadership, community service and character. Templates facilitate customization with details on the scout’s accomplishments and potentials.
Eagle Scout recommendation letter templates make it easy for leaders, teachers or parents to advocate for deserving scouts. The templates provide writing guidance while allowing personalization based on relationships with each scout. Candidates appreciate the time taken to thoughtfully praise their growth. For this prestigious honor, recommendation letter templates help convey sincere recommendations that capture a scout’s essence and achievements on their Eagle Scout journey.
What is a recommendation letter for an Eagle Scout?
A recommendation letter for an Eagle Scout, on the other hand, is a document usually written by an adult who knows the Scout well – such as a teacher, coach, religious or community leader – attesting to the Scout’s character, accomplishments, and adherence to the Scout Oath and Law. This letter is a critical component of the Eagle Scout application, providing an external validation of the Scout’s virtues and contributions.
It should offer detailed examples of the Scout’s leadership, service, and personal growth, and it should clearly convey the belief that the Scout embodies the qualities expected of an Eagle Scout. Therefore, the recommendation letter is not merely a formality but a testament to the Scout’s readiness to join the ranks of those who have earned Scouting’s highest honor.
Advantages of writing a recommendation letter for an Eagle Scout
Writing a recommendation letter for an Eagle Scout candidate presents several distinct advantages:
Enhancing a Scout’s Application
Your recommendation letter can provide crucial support for a Scout’s application to achieve the highest rank. By providing detailed accounts of their character, leadership, and service, you can help the review board see the full scope of the Scout’s accomplishments and commitment.
Writing a recommendation letter allows you to serve as a mentor in a young person’s life. By reflecting on their strengths and achievements, you can provide guidance and encouragement that can be pivotal in their development.
In taking the time to write this letter, you recognize and honor the dedication and hard work the Scout has put into their journey. Your acknowledgement can be incredibly meaningful and inspiring to the Scout, reinforcing the values they’ve learned in the Scouting program.
Contributing to the Community
The Eagle Scout rank is more than an individual accomplishment; it reflects a commitment to community service and civic engagement. By supporting a Scout’s application, you contribute to this ethos of service, helping to nurture future leaders in your community.
The process of writing a recommendation letter can also encourage introspection. You can reflect on your own values and commitments, and perhaps gain inspiration from the Scout’s dedication and resilience.
The act of writing a recommendation letter can also serve to strengthen your relationship with the Scout and their family. It provides an opportunity to engage more deeply with their journey and contribute to their personal growth and achievement.
Building a Legacy
Eagle Scouts join a respected group that includes many distinguished figures in various fields. By contributing a recommendation letter, you become a part of this legacy, aiding in shaping future leaders.
What to include in an Eagle Scout reference letter
Writing a recommendation letter for an Eagle Scout candidate is an important task as it significantly contributes to the review process. Here are the key elements you should include in your letter:
Salutation: The letter should start with a formal greeting, addressing the Eagle Scout Board of Review or the specific individuals, if known.
Introduction: In the opening paragraph, establish your relationship with the candidate. Indicate how long you’ve known them and in what capacity. This gives context to your assessment of the Scout’s character and accomplishments.
Evaluation of the Scout’s Character: Discuss the Scout’s character traits, focusing on those that align with the Scouting ideals – trustworthiness, loyalty, helpfulness, friendliness, courtesy, kindness, obedience, cheerfulness, thriftiness, bravery, cleanliness, and reverence. Provide specific examples of situations where the Scout demonstrated these qualities.
Assessment of Leadership and Service: Offer a detailed account of the Scout’s leadership abilities and their commitment to service. Again, concrete examples will make your assessment more credible and impactful. If applicable, you can discuss the Scout’s Eagle Project and the impact it had on the community.
Personal Growth: Discuss the personal growth you’ve witnessed in the Scout during the time you’ve known them. This could be about how they’ve matured, developed new skills, or overcome challenges.
Endorsement: State explicitly your belief that the Scout is deserving of the Eagle Scout rank. Share your conviction that the Scout upholds the principles of the Scout Oath and Scout Law, and that they will continue to make positive contributions to society.
Conclusion and Contact Information: Conclude the letter by offering to provide further information if required. Include your full name, title/position, contact information, and signature.
Formal Closing: Close with a formal sign-off like “Yours Sincerely” or “Best Regards”.
How to write an Eagle Scout reference letter
Here’s a step-by-step guide to writing an Eagle Scout reference letter:
Step 1: Understand the Purpose Before starting to write the letter, take time to understand the purpose of an Eagle Scout reference letter. This letter should portray the character of the Scout, their leadership skills, community involvement, and commitment to the values embodied in the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
Example: The Scout you’re writing about is known for their leadership in community service projects. You will need to convey this in your letter.
Step 2: Gather Information Collect all the necessary information about the Scout. This might include their achievements within the Scouts, involvement in community service, specific examples of leadership, or any anecdote that illustrates their character.
Example: The Scout organized a community clean-up event, showing initiative, leadership, and commitment to environmental conservation.
Step 3: Introduction Start the letter by addressing the Eagle Scout Board of Review. Then, in your first paragraph, introduce yourself and explain your relationship to the Scout and how long you’ve known them.
Example: “Dear Members of the Eagle Scout Board of Review, my name is John Doe and I have had the privilege of knowing Scout Smith as his teacher for the past three years.”
Step 4: Scout’s Character In the next paragraph, highlight the character traits that make the Scout a good candidate for Eagle Scout. Use specific examples whenever possible.
Example: “In the classroom, Scout Smith has consistently demonstrated his commitment to the values of honesty and respect. I’ve seen him intervene in situations where students were not being treated fairly, always advocating for what is right.”
Step 5: Leadership Skills and Service Next, describe the Scout’s leadership skills and commitment to service. Highlight their contributions to community service projects, including their Eagle Scout project if applicable.
Example: “Scout Smith’s dedication to serving his community is truly admirable. Last year, he spearheaded a project to build a wheelchair ramp at a local community center, displaying not only his leadership skills but also his commitment to inclusivity.”
Step 6: Personal Growth Write about the personal growth and maturity you’ve observed in the Scout.
Example: “Over the years, I’ve witnessed Scout Smith’s tremendous growth. He’s transformed from a shy freshman into a confident senior who’s not afraid to lead and take initiatives.”
Step 7: Endorsement Express your belief that the Scout deserves the Eagle Scout rank.
Example: “Given Scout Smith’s dedication to the principles of Scouting and his demonstrated leadership and service, I wholeheartedly endorse his application for the rank of Eagle Scout.”
Step 8: Conclusion Conclude the letter by offering to provide more information if required, and sign off formally.
Example: “I am available for any further information you may require about Scout Smith. Thank you for considering my recommendation. Sincerely, [Your Name]”
Sample Eagle Scout Recommendation Letter
[City, State, Zip Code]
Eagle Scout Board of Review [Address]
[City, State, Zip Code]
Dear Members of the Eagle Scout Board of Review,
I am writing to recommend Scout [Scout’s Full Name] for the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout. As [Scout’s Name]’s [Your relationship to the Scout, e.g., teacher, coach, pastor], I have had the privilege of witnessing his growth and development over the past [number of years you’ve known the Scout].
[Scout’s Name] exemplifies the characteristics promoted by the Boy Scouts of America. His commitment to the principles of the Scout Oath and Scout Law is evident in his day-to-day actions and interactions. I have observed his kindness in the way he treats his peers and his loyalty in the support he provides to his friends. He consistently demonstrates respect and honesty, whether it’s in a classroom discussion or in casual conversations.
His leadership abilities are particularly noteworthy. [Scout’s Name] has led several community service projects over the years, each of which demonstrated his commitment to serving others and his ability to inspire and motivate his peers. His most recent project, the renovation of our local animal shelter, showcased his excellent project management skills and his passion for animal welfare. He mobilized and led a team of fellow Scouts to improve the facilities, creating a more comfortable environment for the animals and the staff.
[Scout’s Name]’s growth over the years has been remarkable. I have seen him evolve from a quiet, reserved individual to a confident leader who is not afraid to voice his opinions or stand up for what he believes in. He has consistently demonstrated his commitment to personal development, always seeking to improve and learn new skills.
I firmly believe that [Scout’s Name] deserves to be recognized as an Eagle Scout. He embodies the Scouting spirit and has consistently demonstrated a commitment to service, leadership, and personal growth. I have no doubt that he will carry the lessons and values he’s learned in Scouting into his future endeavors.
Thank you for considering my recommendation. Please feel free to contact me at [Your Contact Information] if you require further information or clarification.
[Your Full Name]
Do’s and Don’ts
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind when writing an Eagle Scout Recommendation Letter:
- Do Know the Scout Well: Make sure you know the Scout well enough to write a detailed, sincere letter. The more specific examples and stories you can include, the stronger your recommendation will be.
- Do Be Specific: Concrete examples of the Scout’s character, leadership, and service are crucial. These examples bring your words to life and provide compelling evidence of the Scout’s suitability for the Eagle Scout rank.
- Do Highlight Scouting Values: The Boy Scouts of America places a high value on certain qualities, such as trustworthiness, loyalty, helpfulness, and reverence. Highlight these values and provide examples of the Scout living them out.
- Do Offer a Strong Endorsement: Be clear and unequivocal in your endorsement. State explicitly that you believe the Scout deserves the rank of Eagle Scout.
- Do Check Spelling and Grammar: A well-written letter shows respect for the process and the Scout. Check your letter carefully for spelling, grammar, and formatting errors before submitting it.
- Do Sign and Provide Your Contact Information: Remember to sign the letter and provide your contact information in case the Eagle Scout Board of Review has any follow-up questions or needs additional information.
- Don’t Be Vague: A letter that offers only general praise without specific examples is not persuasive. Avoid vague statements and instead focus on specific incidents that demonstrate the Scout’s character and abilities.
- Don’t Focus Only on Scouting: While the Scout’s achievements within the Scouts are crucial, don’t forget to mention their accomplishments and character outside of Scouting. This provides a fuller picture of the Scout as a person.
- Don’t Exaggerate or Make Up Information: It’s essential to be honest in your recommendation. Don’t exaggerate the Scout’s achievements or make up information. Stick to the facts and your personal experiences with the Scout.
- Don’t Rush the Process: Take the time to think about what you want to say and how best to say it. A hastily written letter may not do justice to the Scout’s achievements and character.
- Don’t Ignore the Scout’s Weaknesses: If the Scout has overcome certain weaknesses or challenges, it can be beneficial to mention this. It shows the Scout’s ability to grow and improve, which are important qualities for an Eagle Scout.
Q: Who can write an Eagle Scout Letter of Recommendation?
A: An Eagle Scout Letter of Recommendation can be written by anyone who is familiar with the candidate’s character, such as a teacher, employer, religious leader, community leader, or Scoutmaster. It should not be written by a family member.
Q: How many Eagle Scout Letters of Recommendation are required?
A: The BSA requires a minimum of five letters of recommendation for the Eagle Scout rank. These letters should come from a variety of sources, such as employers, religious leaders, teachers, and community members.
Q: How long should an Eagle Scout Letter of Recommendation be?
A: There is no strict length requirement for an Eagle Scout Letter of Recommendation. However, it is generally recommended to keep it concise and focused, typically around one to two pages.
Q: Should the Eagle Scout Letter of Recommendation be typed or handwritten?
A: It is preferable to type the Eagle Scout Letter of Recommendation for clarity and legibility. Handwritten letters may be acceptable, but typed letters are generally preferred.
Q: Where should the Eagle Scout Letters of Recommendation be sent?
A: The Eagle Scout Letters of Recommendation should be given directly to the Eagle Scout candidate, who will then include them in their official Eagle Scout application package. The candidate is responsible for submitting the application and letters to the appropriate BSA council or district.
Q: Can the Eagle Scout candidate see the content of the Letters of Recommendation?
A: The BSA guidelines state that the Letters of Recommendation are confidential and should not be shown to the candidate. However, it ultimately depends on the writer’s discretion.
Q: When should the Eagle Scout Letters of Recommendation be submitted?
A: The Eagle Scout Letters of Recommendation should be completed and submitted along with the Eagle Scout application before the candidate’s 18th birthday. It is recommended to allow ample time for the letter writers to complete their recommendations.