National Eagle Scout Association

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The National Eagle Scout Association, commonly referred to as NESA, is an organization for a Scout what have achieved the Eagle Scout rank. Founded in 1925, NESA began as the Knights of Dunamis growing to 110 chapters at its height. The Knights of Dunamis was dissolved and, in May of 1972, the National Eagle Scout Association was formed.

Eagle Scout knot
(NESA Life Member)

Eagle Scout knot
with silver border
Level:NESA life members



Membership is restricted to Eagle Scouts in good standing. Applications for NESA membership are cross-checked against the national Eagle Scout register maintained by the Eagle Scout Service.

Members receive the Eagletter – a bi-monthly magazine that keeps NESA members informed of what Eagles are doing around the country and developments in the Scouting movement.


Regular. A five-year new or renewal NESA membership is available for $25. A basic plastic wallet card and wall certificate are provided with this membership level.

Lifetime. The NESA life membership is available for a one-time payment of $180. Members will receive an attractive, full-color plastic wallet card and wall certificate. Life members may wear the Eagle Scout NESA Life Membership Award which is a red, white, and blue knot on tan with silver metallic border, item #18902

Regular Membership Special - A NESA membership is avaliable at a reduced cost to new Eagles.

"The national NESA Committee has voted to increase NESA membership fees effective July 1, 2011. This is the first increase in nearly 20 years. The current fees are only $25 for a five-year membership and $180 for life membership. Beginning July 1, the fees will increase to $35 for a five-year membership and $250 for life membership." — Official announcement from NESA (March 10, 2011)

NESA scholarships

More than 5,000 NESA scholarship applications are received each year, and fewer than 100 are awarded, so the competition is stiff. Plans are being formulated to greatly increase the amount of funds available to award NESA Eagle Scout scholarships through future years.

There are two types of nationally-awarded Eagle Scout scholarships:


Academic scholarships include a varying number of $3,000 scholarships awarded each year by the National Eagle Scout Association and a varying number of Mabel and Lawrence S. Cooke Scholarships.

The Mabel and Lawrence S. Cooke Scholarships are awarded annually and include four $20,000 scholarships (payable at $5,000 per year) and one $48,000 scholarship (up to $12,000 payable for four years), plus a varying number of others. Scholarship committees are formed each year in each of the four BSA regions (Northeast, Southern, Central, and Western) to recommend recipients of these scholarships, with the final determination made by the national NESA Scholarship Committee.

Academic scholarship applicants must be Eagle Scouts graduating high school and entering college in the year for which they apply for a scholarship. Scholarships are awarded only to those who graduate from high school in the calendar year in which scholarships are presented. (Exception: Scouts whose Eagle Scout boards of review are held the same year of their high school graduation may apply in that calendar year.) They may receive a scholarship one time only.


The other type of national Eagle Scout scholarship is the Hall/McElwain Merit Scholarship. Each BSA region reviews applications and awards a varying number of these $1,000 scholarships.

Merit scholarship applicants must be Eagle Scouts graduating high school or undergraduate college students no farther than completion of the junior year. Recipients may receive the scholarship one time only.

National NESA Committee

Nationally, NESA is overseen by the National NESA Committee.

NESA Administered Awards

External Links

National Eagle Scout AssociationOfficial BSA website

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