2014 Guidelines for National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) Committees in Local Councils
The Purposes of a Council NESA Committee
- Support the council’s mission and vision
- Help the council achieve its Journey to Excellence goals
- To find and encourage Eagle Scouts to become active resources for the council leadership and programs
Establishment of a Council NESA Committee
The local council president appoints a NESA committee chair after consultation with the Scout executive. The chair must be an adult Eagle Scout who is a prominent figure in the community. The chair should report directly to the council president.
The chair, in consultation with the Scout executive, appoints committee members, who should likewise be Eagle Scouts and NESA members or be willing to become NESA members. The NESA committee should not be a subcommittee of any council operating committee; it should be on par with the council’s camping, advancement, and activities committees. To be effective, the council NESA committee should include district and community representation and, if available in the council area, as many Distinguished Eagle Scouts as possible.
Note: NESA at the BSA national office has a new council NESA Committee Chairman Guide.
Suggested Duties of the Council NESA Committee
The council NESA committee’s primary role is to provide the council with dynamic and effective leadership to involve adult Eagle Scouts in active Scouting volunteer roles. In addition, the committee shall:
- Assist in the search for adult Eagle Scouts who are not currently involved in Scouting and are not members of NESA. Refer them to www.NESA.org and the Eagle Scout Directory there so their contact information can be added to the national database.
- Ensure that all Eagle Scouts are enrolled in NESA, with particular emphasis on life memberships and to encourage all Eagle Scouts to utilize www.NESA.org, stay in touch with NESA, regularly update their personal Eagle Scout record, and to locate and identify Eagle Scout friends and acquaintances whose records are not up-to-date.
- Be familiar with the benefits of NESA membership and promote those benefits, including awards, scholarships, the members-only social networking component of www.NESA.org, its job search engine and online community.
- Activate ways and means that will result in every new Eagle Scout being presented with a NESA membership at the time of the Eagle court of honor. Be an available and known resource to troops and crews to assist to ensure that Eagle courts of honor are of the proper quality. Offer that a council NESA committee member present the Eagle Scout his NESA life membership certificate if that is available.
- In coordination with the council advancement committee, recommend adult Eagle Scouts be involved in such projects as advancement clinics, merit badge clinics, the merit badge counseling program, and district representation on Eagle boards of review. If asked by the council advancement committee, it would be appropriate for the council NESA committee to sponsor and staff such activities as merit badge shows and clinics.
- In coordination with the council activities committee, be involved with conducting an annual Eagle Scout recognition dinner for young men who have received the Eagle Award during the past year.
- Conduct gatherings of Eagles, such as Eagle Scout dinners or breakfasts, for adult Eagle Scouts involved in each or all of the business professional, religious, academic, and military communities. Such a breakfast or dinner would be a useful networking function. Districts might have “after-work social hours” where Eagle Scouts residing in the area are invited and the district chairman and executive speak with them 2 on 1 about getting involved in Scouting again.
- Review annual applications for the Glenn A. and Melinda Adams Eagle Scout Project of the Year Award, select the council winner, and submit an application for the winner to the national NESA office for consideration for the regional and national awards.
- Identify and nominate Eagle Scouts for the NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout Award by completing and submitting the application (available at www.NESA.org).
- Identify and nominate adult Eagle Scouts for the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award by completing and submitting the application (available at www.NESA.org).
- Inform council Eagle Scouts about NESA scholarships, assist in evaluating applications and recommend adult Eagle Scouts for inclusion on regional scholarship application review committees.
- Conduct various additional community service projects to showcase Scouting and Eagle Scouting.
- Given the benefits and experience Eagle Scouts have received from their Scouting experience, assure all known adult Eagles are involved as volunteer Scouters.
From time to time, the committee should also undertake any other activity approved by the council president and Scout executive that is designed to advance NESA’s objectives or those of the Scouting movement.
Ideas for Conducting Lost Eagle Searches
There are many ways in which council NESA committees can help the council identify Eagle Scouts in their area.
- Utilize the database now available to the council through NESA, identify all Eagle Scouts living in the council territory, and stay in touch with those individuals.
- Place ads in local newspapers and magazines and in weekly or monthly local professional bulletins such as those published by a bar association. A member of the council NESA committee who is an attorney should be charged with finding and compiling a list of all attorneys who are Eagle Scouts within the council. The same would hold true for physicians, engineers, educators, etc.
- Place ads in corporate in-house publications. In this regard, a representative from the major employers within the council should be charged with finding and compiling a list of all Eagle Scouts within their respective organizations.
- An Eagle Scout representative for Rotary, Optimists, Kiwanis, Lions, etc., should be a member of the council NESA committee and charged with finding and compiling a list of all Eagle Scouts who are Rotarians, Optimists, etc., within the council.
- Representatives from each religious denomination in the community should be charged with finding lost Eagles in denominational congregations within a community, for example, Baptist, Buddhist, Catholic, Church of Christ, Episcopal, Islamic, Jewish, Lutheran, Methodist, Mormon, etc.
Once identified, Eagle Scouts should be referred to www.NESA.org and encouraged to join NESA, with particular emphasis on life membership.
National NESA Resource Support for Councils
Since 1912, when the first Eagle Scout ranks were awarded, over 2.3 million young men have earned this prestigious award. Roughly 80 percent of these Eagle Scouts are still living. We have started to tap into that vast pool to help expand support for Scouting nationwide.
In 2008 and 2010 nationwide searches for Eagle Scouts were conducted by NESA, which has identified and updated records for over 1,000,000 Eagle Scouts. As a direct result of this effort, many of these individuals have become re-involved in Scouting at the council level. Many of them already have provided substantial volunteer and financial benefits to councils that have simply asked for their help.
We encourage council NESA committees to become more involved with connecting Eagle Scouts living in the council area. These committees can serve at the grassroots level, as a resource to help find and engage Eagle Scouts in their councils and the Scouting program.
NESA membership applications and posters are available to local councils through the Bin Resource at the National Supply Group in Charlotte, North Carolina. Eagle Scouts may also join online at www.nesa.orgm, under "Join."
Strengthen the Connection
All Scouting alumni—in particular Eagle Scouts—are critical to Scouting’s future. Once the connection is made, we cannot let it fade. Council NESA committees are one way to help ensure Scouting’s future success. Cooperation between you at the council level and NESA at the national office is an important part of the process. Please let us know what you are doing and how it is working, and we will keep you posted with the success stories we discover. Your experiences, both successful and perhaps not so successful, are welcomed to be posted on the Best Practices Portal, at My Scouting, on www.scouting.org.
Contact Ryan Larson, associate director, Alumni Relations and the National Eagle Scout Association, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 972-580-2333.