The following questions regarding advancement have arisen as we deal with closures, cancellations, or other issues caused by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Although there are difficulties and constraints, advancement can continue. Youth, parents, and leaders should work together to implement creative, common sense ways to facilitate advancement while adhering to the Guide to Safe Scouting and following the rules of Youth Protection training.
Please follow this link to the Guide to Advancement (GTA), which remains the primary source for information related to Scouts BSA advancement. It is referenced throughout the answers provided here.
Please send additional questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Eagle Scout Extensions
Q: Does the National Council grant extensions of time to complete rank requirements beyond the 18thbirthday for the Eagle or 21st birthday for Summit or Quartermaster?
A: Yes, but only for the Eagle Scout rank as described in GTA Topic 18.104.22.168 or for Venturing Summit or Sea Scout Quartermaster as described in GTA Topic 22.214.171.124. Unit leadership must become familiar with the five tests under 126.96.36.199. The tests were designed to accommodate such obstacles as those presented by COVID-19 disruptions.
Q: Will youth who are not yet Life Scouts be allowed to apply for an extension to earn the Eagle Scout rank?
- Extensions are considered only for Scouts who are Life rank. If, once a Scout achieves Life rank, it turns out that COVID-19 disruptions along the way have left them with insufficient time to complete Eagle requirements, then this may be cited when the time comes to submit an extension request.
Q: May local councils grant extensions?
A: Normally, that is not allowed. However, due to the current situation—effective immediately and through September 30, 2020—council Scout executives may grant extensions, or delegate authority to the Council Advancement Committee (send New Birth of Freedom Council requests to email@example.com or (717) 827-4572. The New Birth of Freedom Guide to COVID-19 Extensions is available here) to grant extensions under the following limitations:
- It can be established that COVID-19 disruptions were the only circumstances that delayed work on Eagle Scout/Summit/Quartermaster advancement requirements, such as the service project or merit badges. If any other causes were involved, the extension request must go to the National Council following the process outlined in the GTA.
- Extensions shall only be granted to youth in Scouts BSA who have already achieved Life rank.
- When the council receives a COVID-19-related request for a time extension, the council reviews the request and approves it if appropriate. A written response stating the outcome of the extension request must go to the youth. If approved, the notification must be attached to the youth’s Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster rank application. For Eagle, the extension must not exceed 3 months from the youth’s 18th birthday; for Summit/Quartermaster, the extension must not exceed 3 months from the youth’s 21st
- Upon turning 18, the Scout must submit a completed adult application and successfully complete YPT; their participant code will now be UP for SBSA or VP for Venturing and Sea Scouting.
- Extension requests for more than 3 months beyond the youth’s 18th/21st birthday must be sent to the National Service Center following the process outlined in the GTA.
Note: A “month” in BSA advancement is defined as a day from one month to the next. For example, March 5 to April 5.
The authority for councils to grant extensions is temporary, lasting only through Sept. 30, 2020.
Q: If youth have already received an extension, can they request additional time due to COVID-19?
A: Yes. Council Scout executives may grant extensions, or delegate authority to the Council Advancement Committee to grant extensions under the limitations listed above.
Q: What should be done while an extension request is being considered?
A: Youth should continue to work on advancement in so far as they are able—e.g., independently, or over the phone or videoconference—and at Scouting activities once they resume.
Q: Are extensions required when an Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster board of review must be delayed?
A: No. Councils may grant Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster boards of review up to six months after the youth’s 18th/21stbirthday. See GTA Topic 188.8.131.52, “Eagle Scout Board of Review Beyond the 18th Birthday.”
See also, GTA Topic 184.108.40.206, “Boards of Review Through Videoconferencing.”
Q: Are electronic or digital signatures acceptable for rank advancement or for the Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster packets/applications?
A: Yes. Electronic or digital signatures will be accepted through September 30, 2020.