Is Eagle Scout "worth it"? After reading all of the postings above, I would have to say "yes it is." However, I have a different slant on the answer than most of you have. I realize that the young man who asked this question did so some six or so years ago, so this is for someone else who will "happen to trip over" this line of discussion.
I also realize that this is a physics, and not a Scouting-related discussion area. All the better, for our nation needs more physics -- and if that person is both a physics major and an Eagle Scout, that is purely exceptional!
In 1976 I received "permission" from an Army officer to date his 16-year old daughter after what I called a "grueling interrogation". It ended when he asked me "what ELSE do I need to know about you before I tell you to hit the bricks?" I got up, extended my right hand and said "It was nice talking with you sir; I just happen to be an Eagle Scout. Good night." I pulled down my hand after noting that he would not shake it.
I started for the door and he grabbed my right shoulder and said "Please stop!" I did. I turned around and looked him straight in the eyes. "You not only have my permission to see my daughter, but you also have my permission to stay here overnight any night of the week as long as it's okay with your parents." He then extended his right hand and as we shaked, he added, "I'm also an Eagle Scout -- class of 46."
I dated his daughter for two years off and on. She was white; I was not.
My first job was given to me basically because I had earned that $11.75 medal. I outlasted four other candidates for a job to show people around the base on Saturday mornings.
I became an Army officer myself, and the first real job I had was one reserved for senior Captains. I did not get it because I'm an Eagle Scout; I got the job as Scoutmaster of the base's Troop because of that fact. That role was more important than my "8-5" job for pay as at that time, every military base in Europe was "graded" not only on their military ability but also their concern for their families. My general's base was in a sinkhole because it had no Scouting program. I got it out of that sinkhole and when the three-star General came to visit, he "insisted" I was to be available to shake his hand and accept his challenge coin. I was the only communications officer in southwestern Germany who was neither fired nor relieved -- I knew and did my military job well. But more than that, important people placed their confidence in me and my ability and I exceeded their challenge and expectations.
Leaving active duty, I had a period of time in which I was unemployed -- almost a year. When I was hired, the director not only started me the following Monday, but increased my salary 40 percent simply because "no Eagle Scout should have to try to play catch-up on income he lost." That 40 percent was the difference between us living on the streets or being able to pay off all of our overdue, late and stagnant bills and still have money to eat and live with. I stayed with that firm for close to three years before I accepted a teaching job which paid a bit more. The director even vouched for me, saying that "if you don't hire him, I'll take him back at the same salary you are offering him. He's an Eagle Scout, if you don't know."
I have run into lots of fellow Eagle Scouts in my life. No certificate on the wall, nor a paperweight told me -- it was their attitude, their smile, their "I may not like it here but I'm here to help you" way of doing things. I've had to remind a couple Eagles of what they swore to way back when and one actually appreciated the reminder.
I earned Eagle in 1975. Almost 40 years later, it still remains one of the five most important things I have done in my life. Was it worth it? Yeah. What did I do with it? Nothing.
I allowed others -- others who knew the value of that $12 or so medal in real terms -- to be of service to me. Now, with balding gray hair and overweight tummy, I'm now out here giving back my service to others.
May you find a new usage for all of the plastics found in our landfills. May you find a new compound, a new chemical to make our lives better. May you develop the nanoportal to teleport our ways across the globe. May you find a way to "help other people at all times." You don't need to be an Eagle Scout to do any of those things.
Being an Eagle Scout, however, would not hurt -- and may get you that date which moves you from child to man.