Chester County Council BSA Cites the Three Ds of Becoming an Eagle Scout


Eagle Scouts
Image via Chester County Council, Boy Scouts of America.
Chester County Council Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scouts.

There are many reasons one may want to become an Eagle Scout.

A family history in scouting may be one.

But, over the years, this author has seen the three Ds — desire, dedication, determination — play out as motivators to becoming an Eagle Scout.


The first D is desire. The desire to gain leadership skills. An Eagle Scout candidate may want to become a leader in his or her community, school, or among friends. A scout often feels the resolve to achieve a self-set goal.

The Eagle Scout embodies the organization’s 12 fundamental characteristics:

  • Trustworthy
  • Loyal
  • Helpful
  • Friendly
  • Courteous
  • Kind
  • Obedient
  • Cheerful
  • Thrifty
  • Brave
  • Clean
  • Reverent

A scout desires, and frankly needs, support from others. That uplift could come from multiple sources: family, friends, peers, the community. But a successful Eagle Scout will almost always note that he or she was able to achieve the honor due to the encouragement received.


The second reason for becoming an Eagle Scout is dedication. Scouts, wishing to become an Eagle Scout, need to be dedicated to a project. They need to identify a project that means something personally and stick with it until completion.

Part of dedication is accountability.

The scout must be prepared to devote the time and effort it takes to work on a chosen project. The scout needs to network with, and lead, others who can assist in achieving the goal of project completion. The realization that it is perfectly acceptable to request assistance in completing their identified project is a vital lesson in the project process.

Leadership is another aspect of dedication. Over a year of leadership in a scouting unit is required to achieve Eagle Scout.

Scouting creates great leaders by placing teenagers in positions with real responsibility and genuine consequences. Unlike a managerial role in an office, leadership positions in scouting have a safety net. Participants won’t get fired if they mess up as senior patrol leader. But they will learn a lesson for life.

A great leader is a role model, a good person, a servant leader, a good observer, and a humble person.

In addition, leaders are trusted. Trust is earned. Leading by example sets the tone for a successful Eagle Scout. Show by doing. Do not just talk the talk. Walk the walk. One who leads with confidence and follows with humility is one who will likely achieve Eagle Scout.

The service requirement for achieving Eagle Scout includes earning merit badges that include:

  • Citizenship in the Community
  • Citizenship in the Nation
  • Citizenship in Society
  • Citizenship in the World

Being a solid citizen and representing the scouting community bodes well for achieving Eagle Scout. Whether one provides service to a local Veterans Affairs medical center, church, township or city community, the service needs to mean something to the Eagle Scout candidate.

This scout needs to be fully engaged and inspired for the service he or she is providing.


The third quality is determination. The scout needs to be determined. He or she needs to:

  • Be motivated to achieve project goals
  • Understand that the project plan may need modifying along the way
  • Stay on track to finish the project, even as change may affect progress

The scout needs to stay resilient against any barriers that arise.

Once the achievement of being recognized as an Eagles Scout has been completed, I have observed the sense of pride is evident on their faces and in their future actions.

Reflections on Attaining the Eagle Scout Rank

The following comments are taken from those who have achieved the distinction for themselves or guided close family members through its rigors.

This feedback underscores the three Ds that shape the trail to an Eagle.

Overcoming Random Roadblocks

“For me, becoming an Eagle Scout was a testament to persevering over the challenges that we face growing up, and working hard to achieve the goals we’ve set for ourselves.

“This sheer grit and determination may not seem like a lot when you’re in college, or in your early career, but inevitably, everyone faces challenges in life, and the lessons of overcoming the random roadblocks along the way in scouting reinforces that determination to finish the job and move forward toward achievement in our adult lives and careers.

“The trail to Eagle is long, with a lot of steps and challenges along the way. Some may say that it’s just a series of requirements that you have to meet, do some stuff and it’s yours.

“Yet, when approximately four percent of youth who join scouting are the ones to attain the rank of Eagle, it comes across as much more than that: 96 percent of their peers didn’t see it through. They couldn’t or wouldn’t overcome those challenges to keep climbing on that Eagle trail.”

Matt Griffin, VP of Program, Chester County Council Boy Scouts of America. Eagle Scout since 1996.

Highly Valued Persona

“The trail to Eagle is not about the project, the merit badges, or the skills.

“Rather, the lessons, truths, and memories gained along the way give Eagle Scouts the persona that is valued very highly in society. To me, being an Eagle Scout means being prepared to tackle any moral, mental, or physical challenges that may manifest, with confidence knowing what I have been able to accomplish before.”

Bevan Watson, Eagle Scout since 2019.

Premier Leadership Development

“The Scouts BSA program is nothing short of the premier leadership development program available to American youth. It is an opportunity like no other in our society.

“The symbolic peak of this opportunity is our highest rank: Eagle Scout.

“Eagle Scout is not about the badge you wear on your breast pocket. Rather, it is the symbol of the opportunities before you. The opportunity to give back. To help and to guide. The strength of our scouting program is directly dependent on the strength of its leadership.

“That starts with each and every Eagle Scout. As you transition from scouts to adulthood, you will begin to see the true reward of this honor and the value of this program.

“As an Eagle Scout you will be exposed to opportunities that you could have never imagined. The skills learned in this program, on the path to Eagle, will open doors for the rest of your life.”

Nathan Motel, Eagle Scout since 2017.

Tools to Tackle Life

“I have three Eagle Scouts. I know that it fills me with pride, when I share about my scouting experiences.

“I feel as a parent that scouting gave my sons tools to tackle life with an advantage most youth don’t get outside of scouting. They will carry those with them through life. What mom wouldn’t want that for any of their children?

“Being a mom of an Eagle Scout makes me feel like I did the best for them, to help them succeed as a productive and respectful member of society.

“It’s been five years since my youngest son earned his Eagle, and I still stay involved because I know in my heart what a great program scouting is and what it offers youth.”

Sherry Seace, mother to three Eagle Scouts.

Final Thoughts

“The look of pride, and feeling of accomplishment, expressed by my husband when working for the scouts, shows me just how much being an Eagle Scout means to him.”

Lynn Watson, wife of an Eagle Scout

More about Scouting in Chester County is online, as is the registration site for the Eagle Scout & Council Recognition dinner. For additional details, email Kristin Conran, Director of Development.


This 2019 video from the Chester County Council, BSA, captures some of the pride that comes with an Eagle Scout honorific.

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