Guest Author - Erik Moeller
What makes a good Eagle Scout project?
Your son has been in Scouting for several years. He has progressed through the ranks, gone to summer camp, attended a merit badge college or two and is beginning to focus on getting his Eagle. He has earned most of his merit badges, but he has put off tackling his project. For most Scouts the “PROJECT” is a daunting proposition because it is unlike anything else they have done- either in or out of Scouting. For a select group there is even more pressure (I had two sons in this select group) because their 18th birthday is looming in the not to distant future.
The purpose of the Eagle Project is not to get shelves built at the local women’s shelter or get books for the children’s area of the local hospital or to plant flowers at the church that sponsors the troop. The purpose of the Eagle Project is to demonstrate leadership. A good Eagle project is any project that gives the Scout an opportunity to demonstrate leadership.
What are some of the project guidelines:
o The BSA can not benefit from the project (it can not benefit a Scout camp, etc.)
o The project can not benefit a business or be of a commercial nature
o The project can not be a fundraiser (The Scout can, however, have a fundraiser to provide funds for his project. The fundraising can not be used to demonstrate leadership as part of the project.)
o The project can not benefit an individual
o The project can not be routine labor (sweeping the floor of the library)
Except for these rather specific exceptions, the project can be almost anything. Ideas for a project can come from many sources:
Parks and Recreation department in your city
Your sponsoring organization
The local hospital
Local shelters or food banks
There is no minimum number of hours required to complete the project. The Scout needs to have a project that is complicated enough that he can clearly show leadership in the completion of the project. Projects must be individual projects. Two or more Scouts can not work on the same project. Two projects can be in the same area. If the church wanted a new volleyball area, one project could be to level the area and build the court. A second project could be to build a fence around the court.
The approval cycle of the project is established to help insure that the project the Scout has proposed will allow him to demonstrate leadership. The Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures manual states, “The pre-approval of the project does not mean the Board of Review will approve the way the project was carried out.” A Scout must demonstrate leadership in completing his project.