Council Guide Book - The National Eagle Scout Association

Table of Contents

Council Guide Book


WELCOME and CONGRATULATIONS on becoming your council’s NESA committee chair or NESA committee member! Your selection is due to your council’s faith in your commitment and diligence as you carry out this important position.

The concept of Eagle Scout associations began as early as 1925 when the Knights of Dunamis was formed with chapters across the country. It continued as an independent organization until the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board authorized the formation of the officially affiliated National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) in May 1972. The express purpose of NESA is to bring together Eagle Scouts of all ages so that they might be of greater service to their local councils, their communities, and themselves.  With NESA, Scouting created a unique organization—a powerful resource with a membership potential of more than a million and a half living Eagle Scouts.

We wish you the best as you embark upon your journey. We trust this Council NESA Chair Orientation Guide will assist you and serve as a reference as you assume your role as council NESA chair. We know you will succeed. You will be working with and for those who already have a proven track record in achieving Scouting’s highest rank— Eagle Scouts!

Council NESA Committee Purpose

Once an Eagle Scout, always an Eagle Scout. Yet in the past, Scouting lost track of many Eagle Scouts once they left home for a job, college, or the military. While many Eagle Scouts continue to serve in leadership roles in Local Councils, there is always room for many more. After all, good Scouts, good citizens, and good leadership character supports the aims and methods of Scouting.  What better role models than successful Eagle Scouts? The local council’s NESA committee can help maintain an Eagle Scout’s connection to Scouting no matter what their season of life may be. This continued association can be a mutually beneficial relationship for both the Eagle Scout and Scouting by providing social and business networking opportunities and service to youth in the community. The council NESA committee can work in tandem with the Boy Scouts of America Alumni Association (BSAAA) committee to find all lost Scouts, because the adage “Once a Scout, always a Scout” is true as well.

Experience teaches us that a new NESA Committee should carefully select initial actions to support a local council, rather than try to implement every idea at once. Completing and implementing all that is listed in this guide can take as many as five years. The toughest part of this process is answering the questions, “What is important for our council?” and “What is most important for us right now?” Look over the guide and get started. Do what you can with the resources you have within your council. Develop your own plan of action to get the entire process accomplished. A good plan over a few years is better than a rush job that fails.

You may already be taking some of the actions listed in this document! Use them as a base and expand on them.

For example, an annual Gathering of Eagles, Eagle Recognition Dinner or other functions might well be your main NESA Committee sponsored event. You may want to consider using your dinner committee as the starting point for your council NESA committee. Look for existing programs or activities you can leverage into a successful Eagle Scout engagement program.

Keep in mind that the purposes of a council NESA committee are as follows:

  • To support the council’s mission and vision
  • To help the council achieve its Journey to Excellence goals
  • To find and encourage each Eagle Scout to serve as an active resource for the council’s leadership and programs

Establishment of the local council NESA committee

The local council president appoints a council NESA committee chair after consultation with the Scout executive. The chair must be an adult Eagle Scout. They should also be a prominent figure in the community and either be a member of NESA or agree to join NESA. The chair reports directly to the council president.

The chair appoints committee members, who should likewise be Eagle Scouts and NESA members or be willing to become NESA members. The NESA committee should be equal to the council’s other committees, such as camping, advancement, and activities. Ideally, the council NESA committee should include district and community representation and, if available in your council area, as many Distinguished Eagle Scouts and/or NESA Outstanding Eagle Scouts as possible. Further, each district chair should appoint a representative who is an Eagle Scout to serve on the committee.  However, the committee should provide a representative to the council’s Boy Scout Alumni Association (BSAA) committee to better coordinate with other affinity groups and the council’s overall Scouting alumni engagement effort.

The Scout executive should also appoint a staff advisor to the committee and make every effort to appoint an Eagle Scout to fulfill that role.

You may find that service on NESA Committee is a good initial volunteer role for future Council Board members.

Naming of the local council NESA committee

The local council NESA committee should be called (Council Name) NESA. For example: Miami Valley NESA, Pacific Harbors NESA, Crossroads of America NESA.

A recommended committee should include the following positions or subcommittees:

  • Council NESA committee chairman
  • Council staff advisor
  • Awards subcommittee:
    • Adams Eagle Scout Project Award nominations
    • NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout Award nominations
    • Distinguished Eagle Scout Award nominations
  • Events subcommittee
    • Annual council Eagle Scout class recognition
    • Speakers bureau
    • Social events
  • Service projects subcommittee
    • Service to Scouting projects
    • Service to the community projects
    • Scout to Eagle assistance
  • Communications subcommittee
    • Eagle Search
    • E-communication
    • Scholarships
  • Membership/district liaison
    • Membership outreach
    • District relations
    • Eagle Scout Court of Honor assistance

These positions and their responsibilities are covered in more detail below.

    Council NESA Committee

(Suggested organization chart)

Suggested duties for council NESA subcommittees 

Awards subcommittee

  • Identify and nominate adult Eagle Scouts for the NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout Award (NOESA) by completing and submitting the application.
  • Be available to assist the council president and Scout executive with nominations for the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.
  • Establish a goal of awarding at least one NOESA each year, and bestow the award. Presentations should be made in a dignified manner at NESA-sponsored or other Council level events to recognize the achievement.
  • Assist in NESA scholarship promotion and review as requested or needed.
  • Promote and encourage Adams Award Eagle Project of the Year nominations
  • Should be consistent with Council and National policies

Events subcommittee

  • In coordination with the council activities committee, this subcommittee should be involved with conducting an annual Eagle Scout recognition event for young men and women who have received the Eagle Award during the past year. A separate subcommittee should be established to plan, organize, and carry out the recognition event.
  • Conduct other gatherings of Eagle Scouts, such as Eagle Scout dinners or breakfasts for religious, academic, or military communities. These events could also serve as useful networking functions. Ask the Awards sub-committee to consider naming an Eagle Class honoree each year.
  • Should be consistent with Council and National policies
  • Use small, low-cost events (after-hours parties at local watering holes, bowling events, trips to see major league sporting events, etc.) to reach out to Eagle Scouts who are otherwise not engaged.
  • Ensure that events encourage Eagle Scouts to continue their involvement by investing their time in Scouting in some capacity.
  • Quarterly events and activities should be planned and held in various counties across the council in order to engage Eagle Scouts and promote NESA activities. Distinguished Eagle Scouts often volunteer their time as hosts, speakers and presenters, and can offer impressive testimonials. They could also serve as a “host” for the event as a means of engaging them.
  • Should be consistent with Council and National policies
  • Other possible events could include:
    • After-hours events
    • Luncheons or breakfasts
    • Tours of facilities, businesses, etc.
    • Job fairs 

Service projects subcommittee

  • Mobilize Eagle Scouts in the council or in districts to help with service projects that fulfill Scouting’s mission.
  • Conduct various additional service projects to showcase Scouting and Eagle Scouting in the community.
  • Plan and market an annual Eagle Scout day of service.
  • Determine ways to serve local units.
  • Submit application for NESA committee service grant.
  • Should be consistent with Council and National policies

Communications subcommittee

  • Establish NESA Web presence through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, council Web pages, and other channels.
  • The council NESA website, as well as Facebook, LinkedIn pages, and other social network sites, should be kept up to date to promote and encourage Eagle Scouts to get involved in Scouting locally.
  • The NESA council website—www.(Council)—should be utilized to add members to a mailing list, promote and offer registration for events and activities, give valuable news and information, and provide a direct link to the website.
  • Gather information about Eagle Scout projects and other Eagle Scout news, and share it with local news organizations and community blogs.
  • Inform council Eagle Scouts about NESA scholarships and deadlines, assist in evaluating applications, and recommend adult Eagle Scouts for inclusion on regional scholarship application review committees.
  • Ensure links to all NESA scholarships are placed on the council website, and information is included on social media to keep Eagle Scouts aware of deadlines, descriptions, and more.
  • Should be consistent with Council and National policies

Membership/District Relations Subcommittee

  • The council NESA committee should seek out Eagle Scouts who may or may not be active members of the Boy Scouts of America, and work to provide them opportunities to get involved in both Scouting and NESA, and encourage them to join.
  • Eagle Scout search advertisements should be created in various sizes and posted in internal and external publications such as the council newsletter, council website, and local community newspapers.
  • A member of the NESA committee should work with the BSAA committee to ensure that all Scouting alumni are identified and contacted, and that Eagle Scouts are contacted by NESA.
  • Ensure that all Eagle Scouts are enrolled in NESA, with particular emphasis on life memberships. Encourage all Eagle Scouts to utilize, stay in touch with NESA, regularly update their personal Eagle Scout records, and locate and identify Eagle Scout friends and acquaintances whose records are not up to date. Encourage friends who are not members to join NESA.
  • A list of Eagle Scouts who are not currently registered in Scouting positions should be shared on a regular basis (for example, every other month) with Scouting volunteers on the district level, encouraging them to contact the Eagle Scouts and get them involved on a district or unit level.
  • Devise and implement methods that will allow every new Eagle Scout to be presented with NESA membership at the time of their Eagle
  • Include a NESA application and a letter in each new Eagle Scout parent’s packet. In the letter, congratulate the Scout and his parent, and encourage the parent to purchase a NESA membership for their Eagle Scout. In addition, the letter should include a link to the Eagle Scout ceremonies book at Encourage all parents and Scoutmasters to include NESA membership as part of the Eagle Scout court of honor.
  • In coordination with the council advancement committee, recommend adult Eagle Scouts become involved in such projects as advancement clinics, merit badge clinics, the merit badge counselor program, and district representation on the Eagle boards of review. At the council advancement committee’s request, it would be appropriate for the council NESA committee to sponsor and staff such activities as merit badge shows and clinics.
  • Conduct an annual Life-to-Eagle advancement clinic to help guide Life Scouts on their journey to the Eagle Scout rank. The goal would be to allow current Eagles to support and connect with Life Scouts who may need assistance with support, ideas, or other matters. NOTE: Special care must be taken to ensure the coordination of all these activities with the council advancement committee. At no time is the council NESA committee to assume any role in the advancement process.
  • Given the benefits and experience Eagle Scouts received from Scouting, ensure that all known Eagles are involved as volunteer Scouters in some capacity.
  • Council-level prospects should be shared with the Scout executive and council president in an effort to recruit them and utilize their talents on a council level.
  • Should be consistent with Council and National policies.


NESA Stores

To build recognition of the organization we have created stores (Trading Posts) to sell items related to NESA and Scouting Alumni. These range from clothing items to event and organization patches and of our affiliate partners. This is a perfect way to show your pride in the Scouting and your organization and can be used as a recruitment tool or recognition. They also have gifts for a new Eagle or someone who has been in Scouting for 75 years.

Here are the links to the two stores:

Does your council want a patch, neckerchief and or logo. Yes, but please a few rules, you must adhere to the BSA Branding rules and you cannot modify the NESA or Alumni Logo or change colors. Any logo design must be submitted for approval to NESA or Alumni Association, please submit to All designs must be submitted to BSA Licensing for approval and must be purchased from an authorized BSA Vendor. Need help from what is allowed to design to getting approvals or purchasing? Please contact Joe at

Local NESA Committee Addition or Update Request

Use of this email will be for internal NESA Communications and will not be public facing.
Use of this email will be for internal NESA Communications and will not be public facing.