You earn the BSA’s Eagle Scout award as a youth (unless you earned it before 1965), but the title stays with you throughout your life.
That’s why you never say “I was an Eagle Scout.” You always say “I am an Eagle Scout.”
The tense makes sense. Earning the BSA’s top honor makes you a marked man for the rest of your life. The title doesn’t go away when you turn 18. If anything, its significance strengthens.
Those two words about your past define your character for the present and future.
Consider this: For most Eagle Scouts, the award is the lone item from their high school years that survives on a professional résumé. Most 30-somethings looking for a job won’t put “high school debate team runner-up” or “third place, county track meet” on there. But you can bet they’ll include “Eagle Scout.”