The Eagle Scout letter of recommendation is a letter that supports a Life Scout’s candidacy for Eagle Scout, the highest achievement in the Boy Scouting Program of the BSOA (Boy Scouts of America). Under section 2 of the Eagle Scout Rank Application, it states that each applicant seeking to join the ranks of Eagle Scout will be required to choose six (6) references (five if applicant has no previous employer). The applicant will then request that each reference write a letter of recommendation to be sent into the District Eagle Scout Board of Review for assessment. These letters of recommendations are, for the most part, character references which demonstrate that the candidate lives by the principles held in the Scout Oath and Law. Below we’ve detailed how to write a successful letter of recommendation and we’ve supplied a few sample letters to use as guides.
Table of Contents
- Who to Select?
- How to Write (Format)
- Sample 1
- Sample 2
- Sample 3
The applicant must list six (6) references which know the candidate on a personal level and can attest that he lives by the principles of the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. The prospective Eagle Scout must provide the name, address, and contact information of a parent/guardian, *a religious official, a teacher/principal/school counselor, an employer (if applicable), and two other adult references. The candidate will then contact these six (or five) individuals by phone, mail, or email, to inquire if they would be wiling to provide a reference.
* If the boy doesn’t attend a church or temple, he will be required to write an essay detailing his moral beliefs instead.
Due to the informality of an Eagle Scout recommendation letter, the format and structure of this character reference is fairly loose. However, it must still speak to the candidate’s character, integrity, leadership, and general accomplishments. While each reference will vary based on the individual providing the letter, every writer should review the Scout Oath and the Scout Law in order to produce examples of how the applicant has lived up to the morals and values adopted therein. If the writer is aware of the Eagle Scout Project that the boy has completed, or if they’re familiar with the requisite badges the applicant’s accumulated, they can use either to support their argument for his candidacy. Often, the aspiring Eagle Scout will send a package to their references of choice that will include a form/questionnaire to serve as a recommendation, complete with instructions and a copy of the Scout Oath and Law. Below we’ve detailed what to provide in a letter of recommendation should the form not be delivered to the reference.
If no questionnaire or template has been delivered to the advocate, the reference letter should start off like any other. The introduction should include the candidate’s name, the relationship held between the writer and the Boy Scout, and the duration of their relationship. Also, the author should supply a sentence or two explaining why the candidate has earned a positive reference.
Dear Eagle Board of Review:
I am delighted to be able to provide this character reference for Charlie Gray, a long-standing member of St. John’s Lutheran Church. As his pastor for the past nine years, I have had the pleasure of watching this boy mature into the young man he is today. He is faithful in his religious duties, attentive and helpful during weekly service, and respectful of the beliefs of others. Charlie’s reverence for our Lord and Savior makes him fine example for anyone seeking a closer relationship to God, and a valued member of the community.
Dear Eagle Board of Review:
From the time we signed Harrison up as a cub scout to this very day, three weeks before his eighteenth birthday, Scouting has proven to have an extremely positive impact on our son’s life. He’s committed to providing his Daily Good Turn, he does his best to help out at home and at school (according to all of his teachers), and he’s a positive role model to his younger brothers. My husband and I couldn’t be prouder of our son as we watched him earn all 27 of his badges and successfully complete his Eagle Scout Service Project. I am confident that my son, Harrison Kowalski, displays the principles held within the Scout Law and Oath in all aspects of his life.
The first example above is from a reference letter written by a pastor. In it the writer speaks briefly of the boy’s commitment to the Church and his reverence to God, both of which display the qualities of an Eagle Scout. Our second example comes from the applicant’s parents who highlight the constructive impact the BSOA has had on their son’s life.
A few body paragraphs will elaborate on the qualities stated in the introduction and provide, ideally, direct examples of how the Boy Scout has exhibited the qualities and morals held within the Scout Oath and Law. Here are a few examples.
Brandon has always been an impressive young man from the day I first met him. He moved to our small town, and into my English class, when he was 16 years old and had no connections to speak of. Within six months, thanks to his experience with the Boy Scouts, he had established a loyal friend group. His friendly attitude, continuous kindness, and sympathy for others enabled him to integrate himself into our school community. Brandon entered this unfamiliar atmosphere with an open mind, ready to relate to customs and ideas different that what he was used to.
When DeAndre says he’s going to do something, he does it. When he began walking my dogs at the beginning of last summer, he made a connection with my father who’s now living with us permanently. My father has suffered from Alzheimer’s dementia for some time now but that didn’t stop DeAndre from promising that he would stop by every weekend once the school year started up again. It’s been 8 months now and he hasn’t missed a visit. What is most endearing is that he asks for no money in return, and states that he enjoys the afternoons they spend together.
Notice how the first example, written by an English teacher, focuses on the boy’s interpersonal qualities such as kindness, friendliness, sympathy for opposing views, and loyalty. These are all listed off in the Scout Law. Our second example here leans heavily on the young man’s trustworthiness, which is the first Law listed.
The conclusion should summarize the points made within the letter and restate the writer’s strong support for the aspiring Eagle Scout. Below the conclusion, the reference should provide their full name, address, contact information, and signature.
Jeremy is a loyal friend, an active community member, and a dedicated Life Scout who will undoubtedly continue to have a positive impact on the lives of the people around him. His advancement to Eagle Scout is a natural progression as he already lives by the Oath and Law as stated in the handbook. Our family wishes him the best of luck with his submission, he has our full support.
547 Park Ave.
Lincoln, NE, 68501
Our son is a fine example of what it means to be an Eagle Scout; loyal, reverent, helpful, friendly, and kind. His involvement in our church, his wonderful group of friends, and the precedent he sets for his younger siblings are all a testament to Stephen Jr.’s character. As a proud parent, and an Eagle Scout myself, I look forward to seeing my boy attain this remarkable achievement.
Stephen Goodman Sr.
4214 Caroline Ave
Wimberley, TX, 78676
Both paragraphs do a fantastic job of reiterating their admiration for the boy in question to ensure that the reader leaves with an extremely positive impression of the Life Scout.
Dear Eagle Board of Review:
I am honored to be able to provide this reference for Jimmy Johnson, who’s been a student of mind here at Belleview High for the past 2 years. It is evident that this young man has learned a great deal from the Boy Scouts of America and it is my belief that he exhibits the qualities and leadership of an Eagle Scout on a daily basis. His integrity and his overall kindness should be an example to us all.
I have had the distinct pleasure of having Jimmy in both of my History classes the past 2 years. Both years he brought to class an infectiously positive curiosity which would often result in hugely educational debates between students. While these arguments on morality often derail when they occur among teenagers (and adults alike for that matter), Jimmy could mediate them so effectively, with such kindness and respect for opposing perspectives, that I was often able to sit back and watch as my students learned from each other. It was truly a joy teaching this admirable young man.
It became apparent, within the first week of class, that Jimmy was a Boy Scout, and an exemplary one at that. He regularly helped a young disabled student of mine with his work after his own was completed, even going as far as to draw up queue cards. He always offered to help after class with any clean up, or was the first to help hand out quizzes and papers when necessary. When other students would tease him for behaving obsequiously, he would simply proceed with a quiet confidence that I witnessed slowly inspiring many other students to do the same.
Aside from his obvious intelligence and discipline as a student, Jimmy is an extraordinarily kind, respectful, and helpful boy who undoubtedly holds the qualities of an Eagle Scout. It is without hesitation that I can give this character reference and I look forward to seeing this young man continue to make a positive impact on the community.
History Teacher, Belleview High School
123 Main St
Cincinatti, OH, 45203
Dear Eagle Board of Review:
When I received Ranbir Kahn’s reference letter request I was touched and honored. He has been landscaping for my company for the past three summers and he’s become a valuable member of my team. Due to his trustworthiness, obedience, and courage when it comes to gaining new responsibility, it is with great pleasure that I can provide this character reference to assist him in becoming an Eagle Scout.
I’ve dealt with a number of young landscapers, most of which come to me with a preconceived notion that the job is easy and requires little to no training. Ranbir was different; I quickly realized that I could depend on him to perform the entry level tasks without complaint and without me having to look over his shoulder. He would also let me know when he didn’t know how to complete a task, an act of humility I rarely see from my young employees as they are usually too proud to admit when they don’t know how to do something. He’s a worker with integrity who is willing to comply with the demands of his employer without question.
Knowing that I could trust Ranbir was the first step, the second was providing him with more difficult tasks carrying with them greater liability. For example, we have a client who is very specific about how her lawn is mown; she demands that it look like a fairway of the golf course she frequents. When I knew that I could trust Ranbir to let me know if he needed further assistance, and I knew that he would give the task his all, I assigned him the duty of mowing her lawn on a weekly basis. He accepted the challenge without so much as a blink of the eye despite being fully aware of the temperament of our valued client.
In conclusion, there is no doubt in my mind that Ranbir would make an exemplary Eagle Scout as he already possesses the necessary qualities and exhibits them daily on the job site. He’s obedient and humble while simultaneously courageous. I look forward to continuing working with this fine young man, he will always have a spot on my team should he need it.
Kansas Outdoor Living Inc.
45 Malahat Drive
Topeka, KS 66606
Dear Eagle Board of Review:
I am pleased to be presented with the opportunity to provide this letter of recommendation for my son’s best friend, Kevin McAllister. This outstanding young man has become an honorary member of our family as he’s spent countless nights here in our home. He is always a kind, courteous, and respectful house guest, and a wonderful influence on our son. It is with such joy that I can recommend Kevin to join the ranks of Eagle Scout.
Kevin was nine years old when he befriended our son Baron (7 at the time) through the Cub Scouts program. While this age difference is less significant now, it seemed profound to our boy at the time. Here was an older kid who was willing to give him the time of day, who was friendly, kind, and patient (though our son may not have recognized his patience at the time). Baron was, and still is, a late bloomer and he’s had his fair share of bullying. Kevin has always been there to support him, a loyal friend through and through.
I personally was able to witness Kevin complete his Eagle Scout Service Project; a free basketball camp for 100 kids of low-income parents. Kevin has always been a gifted athlete, but more than that he’s a compassionate community member. Our son explained how Kevin spent weeks planning and organizing the summer basketball camp, assembling a day-by-day itinerary, calling high school and middle school coaches, and asking favors from his fellow teammates to volunteer their time. In the end, the camp was a great success and it inspired Baron to follow in his footsteps when it comes time for him to advance up the ranks.
It’s been a pleasure getting to know Kevin over the years and watching him grow into the man that he is today. I have no doubt that he will continue to make valuable contributions to his community as he exhibits the principles held within the Scout Oath and Law on a daily basis. Thank you very much for your time.
12 Wittpickett Ave,
Southern Pines, NC 28387