On this day in 1912 the first Eagle Scout award was given to Scout Arthur Rose Eldred. The award, which is the highest rank a US Boy Scout can achieve required  a Scout to earn a total of 21 merit badges and to appear in front of a Court of Honour. Eldred completed his 21st badge in April 1912 and appeared before the the ‘Court’ in September. Unlike subsequent Court of Honours, his consisted of a panel made up of the Chief Scout, a Chief Scout executive, the national commissioner and a member of the Volunteer Life Saving Corp. He was passed his interview with the distinguished guests but was told he would have to wait until Labor Day (a day celebrated in the US on the first Monday in September) to receive his award as they had not yet finalised the design or had any made. He finally received his award on September 2nd.

Arthur Rose Eldred, the first Scout to receive the Eagle Scout Award

Today the Eagle Scout award remains the highest rank a Boy Scout can earn and in 2013 was awarded to 56,841 Scouts. The Boy Scouts of America state that since Eldred approximately 2.3 million have achieved this honour. To complete the award today Scouts must

    • Progress through the ranks in the following order:
      • Tenderfoot
      • Second Class
      • First Class
      • Star
      • Life
      • Eagle
    • Earn 21 merit badges, including:
      • First Aid
      • Citizenship in the Community
      • Citizenship in the Nation
      • Citizenship in the World
      • Communications
      • Environmental Science
      • Personal Fitness
      • Camping
      • Family Life
      • Personal Management
      • Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving
      • Cycling, Hiking, or Swimming
    • Serve six months in a troop leadership position.
    • Plan, develop, and give leadership to a service project for any religious organization or any school or community.
    • Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.
    • Successfully complete an Eagle Scout board of review.

Famous Eagle Scouts include Neil Armstrong, Gerald Ford and Stephen Spielberg

Eldred's Eagle Scout AwardToday's Eagle Scout Award