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Eagle Scout Letter of Recommendation Template

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Eagle Scout Letter of Recommendation Template

Updated August 24, 2023

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 references, or five if the applicant has no previous employer. The applicant will then request that each reference write a letter of recommendation to be sent to the District Eagle Scout Board of Review for assessment.

Table of Contents

What to Include

Like any letter of recommendation, the goal is to highlight virtues in a credible and succinct way.

The Boy Scouts are a values-driven organization that emphasizes leadership, integrity, diligence, and other elements of good character that are spelled out in the Scout Oath and Scout Law. The letter of recommendation should be written with its audience in mind and should include:

  • An explanation of how the author knows the scout
  • Personal accounts that illustrate the scout’s character

Whenever possible, try to show, rather than tell. It is easy to trumpet the scout’s character, but more effective to illustrate with specific examples. Keep the Scout Law and its 12 points in mind, and try to imagine how the reader might connect your letter to these fundamental values.

How to Apply for Eagle Scouts (4 steps)

  1. Register as a Boy Scout
  2. Be a Leader in Your Troop
  3. Earn Your Merit Badges
  4. Get Tested and Reviewed

1. Register as a Boy Scout

Becoming an Eagle Scout may seem like a distant goal, but the first step is to register as a scout. The good news is that the Boy Scouts of America make it easy with online registration . There are more than 250 scout councils covering the entire United States, so you should have no trouble finding a local troop.

2. Be a Leader in Your Troop

Leadership is a cardinal virtue in the Boy Scouts. If you’re aiming for Eagle Scout, look for opportunities to take responsibility. Volunteer to help out with projects, and make it known that you are always willing to lend a hand.

3. Earn Your Merit Badges

To qualify for Eagle Scout, you must earn at least 21 merit badges, including 13 required core badges. This is no easy task, so be strategic and set a long-term plan to completing this requirement.

4. Get Tested and Reviewed

A Board of Review is the gatekeeper for promotion for all ranks, including Eagle Scout. Once the scout has completed all requirements, he must appear before a Board of Review, which will evaluate his candidacy for Eagle Scout and make a final decision.

This is high-stakes, but take comfort in the years of preparation that have led up to this day.

Who to Select

The applicant must list six references (five if not employed) who 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 references. The candidate will then contact these six (or five) individuals by phone, mail, or email, to inquire if they would be willing to provide a reference. There is no requirement that states that any of the references must be 21 years or older.

* If the boy doesn’t attend a church or temple, he will be required to write an essay detailing his moral beliefs instead and a parent/guardian will provide the reference

How to Write (Format)

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 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.

Example 1

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.

Example 2

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.

Body Paragraph(s)

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.

Example 1

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 than what he was used to.

Example 2

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.

Example 1

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.


Mark Belafonte
547 Park Ave.
Lincoln, NE, 68501
(563) 549-6584

Example 2

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.

God Bless,

Stephen Goodman Sr.
4214 Caroline Ave
Wimberley, TX, 78676
(673) 983-0909

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.

Sample 1

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.

Steve Columbine
History Teacher, Belleview High School
123 Main St
Cincinnati, OH, 45203
(123) 456-7890

Sample 2

Dear Eagle Board of Review,

I enthusiastically offer this letter in support of Jonathan and his application for the rank of Eagle Scout.

I have known Jonathan for nearly ten years. He and my son Hugh became fast friends when Jonathan’s family moved in as our neighbors on our small street in Evanswood. Their friendship seems to have only become richer with each passing year.

While my son has been blessed with a tight-knit social group that’s remained largely intact since his early school years, Jonathan has been a steadfast pal and most dependable fellow traveler. He is Hugh’s trusted confidant and a steady voice of reason and right.

Growing up can be difficult. Teenagers are forced to make increasingly complex and thorny decisions, and face myriad temptation and distraction. One particular example that highlights Jonathan’s strong values comes to mind:

During finals period at the end of last year – the boys’ sophomore year – an illicit copy of the chemistry exam circulated among the students in this class. A copy arrived in the email inboxes of Hugh and Jonathan while they were hanging out at our house. While Hugh vacillated over whether to open the email (a difficult decision for any stressed-out child with grades on the brain), Jonathan put his foot down, counseling Hugh to destroy the email. Both boys deleted the email before opening it, and then disclosed the matter to the school administration.

There was no clear incentive for Jonathan to act this way. But his clear sense of right and wrong shined through.

I would be happy to speak with you more about Jonathan if helpful.


Paul Stanton

Sample 3

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.


Jamie Hardwell
12 Wittpickett Ave,
Southern Pines, NC 28387
(837) 234-9473