Be a boy or girl of the appropriate age. (10.5 with conditions or 11 years old, up to 18)Special 2019 note: If you join in 2019, and you are at least 16 when you join, you may qualify for an extended deadline to complete your Eagle Scout rank within 24 months, rather than by age 18. If this applies to you, look into the details.Find a Scouts BSA Troop near your home that serves youth of your gender. Near is not defined, but you want a unit close enough to you that you can get there easily 1 to 2 times a week.When selecting a troop, assuming you have more than one choice, make sure you visit and you like how the unit is run. Youth run troops are ideal. They may feel a bit more chaotic, but they will provide real opportunities for you to learn to lead.Join the troop and get a BSA Handbook.When you are working through requirements, you can learn a lot of things on your own by studying the BSA Handbook, Merit Badge Books, and online resources on your own. Don’t just sit there and wait for someone to come along and teach you something.Whenever your troop is doing things, look for opportunities to complete requirements. Get things signed off in your handbook as you do them (lower rank requirements), or on “blue cards” for merit badges as you do higher rank requirements.When you make First Class, read through the merit badge requirements for all of the Eagle Required Merit Badges. Understand the choices you have. Decide which of the options are the best option for you. (Items 8–12 are not in any particular order.)Camping Merit BadgeStart working on this on your very first campout. Record where you went, the date, and what you did. If you can get an adult who was on the trip to sign next to your line, even better. This will help with several lower requirements, and will also help you to document your 20 days and nights of camping for Camping Merit Badge.Read requirement 9, and look for opportunities to do the things listed there. Most scouts should hike up a mountain at least 1000′ vertical feet and go on a short backpacking trip sometime during their scouting activities.Swimming / Hiking / Cycling Merit Badges (Pick one.)Swimming is the easiest of these for most scouts, if you can swim when you join the program, and even most scouts who learn to swim in scouts. If you struggled to complete the Swimming requirement for First Class, you might want to do an alternate.Hiking Merit Badge requires a series of hikes of 10–20 miles in ascending length. Each hike is in one day, so the longest is most of the length of a marathon. Consider your terrain carefully, especially on the longest hikes.Cycling Merit Badge requires a series of bike rides building up to 50 miles in one day. Again, consider your terrain, perhaps a paved trail that runs downhill.Personal Management / Family Life / Personal Fitness (Do all 3.)Do not leave these for last.These are impossible to do in a hurry, because they each have a requirement that requires 90 days or 12 weeks, and if you aren’t keeping proper records you might need to start over.Doing Personal Management before your personal finances become complicated will set you up to take care of your money AND make earning the badge a lot easier.I did Personal Management in Junior High.When I was preparing to buy my first house, I used the budgeting that I learned in Personal Management to track income and expenses to get in better shape to be ready to buy the house.If you have a part time job, taxes, and car expenses when you are doing Personal Management, you might learn a little bit more, but you will work a lot harder on the badge.Lifesaving / Emergency Preparedness. (Pick 1, but do both anyway.)Lifesaving focuses on water rescues. You need to be a strong swimmer. Most scouts who can do Swimming merit badge their first year at camp do Lifesaving about their 3rd year. This is really important, but would be a super hard badge if you struggled to get through Swimming Merit Badge.Emergency Preparedness builds on First Aid skills and gets you to think and practice applying skills to a much wider variety of situations. All scouts should take this one just for life preparation.Environmental Science / Sustainability (Pick Environmental Science.)Environmental Science was required (no option) for a long time. It focuses on studying the natural world around us, with a particular focus on the interconnection of different natural systems. This requires some attention to detail and ability to write. This is frequently done at summer camp, but could be done on your own if you have a local counselor. There are several observation periods that you need to do in a natural setting.Sustainability is a new option. It is hard to find counselors, and you don’t have to spend time out in nature. Perhaps it is an option for “city scouts”, but even most cities have parks that could work for Environmental Science. I honestly don’t understand why anyone would choose this.Make a plan, work your plan, but be flexible. If a group of your friends are going to work on ____ merit badge, go for it, even if it wasn’t in your plan to do it yet.Most importantly, HAVE FUN. Making Eagle Scout is less about the destination, and more about the journey. Many scouts who don’t make Eagle Scout have life changing positive experiences in Scouting. Virtually all Eagle Scouts do.