Originally posted on Bryan on Scouting:

(Updated Feb. 19, 2013) Earning the Eagle Scout Award is something to write home about — literally.

Politicians, astronauts, celebrities, and other recognizable figures have been sending hand-signed letters to new Eagle Scouts for, well, 100 years.

The very first congratulatory letter was sent in 1912 when the first Eagle Scout, Arthur R. Eldred, received a note from James E. West, the first Chief Scout Executive.

Today, parents and Scout leaders can request these scrapbook-worthy keepsakes from pretty much anyone with a mailbox.

But who is known to respond, and how do you contact them? And when do you send off these requests anyway?

To help, I searched the Internet and consulted a source closer to home — my dad, who sent away for the letters included in this post when I received my Eagle.

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