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  • Eagle Project for your Chartered Organization

    Sorry if this is somewhere else but I could not find it.

    Does anyone know of any restrictions that do not allow a Scout to do an Eagle project for his chartered organization?

    I have looked at the workbook and the advancement committee book and I find it in neither location. It seems there is a myth or fact in our district that we do not allow this. I am on the district committee and we are trying to clean-up and put some consistency in our Eagle Boards and if this is not an actual requirement then we need to know so we can stop this from happening. I called our DE and he said it was not the case but is going to get back to me after he checks on it.

    Now don't get me wrong I am not going to advocate to our Scouts to only do projects at our CO but it might be nice if we give back on occasion.

    Is anyone aware of this being fact or not????

  • #2
    Without the chapter and verse, I think one will find that the project must be done to benefit something/one that is not Scout related. For the CO? Possible, but not new shelving in the Scout closet in the CO's basement. Paint the classrooms, but not the Scout room. New picnic benches and landscaping/sidewalk/BBQ fireplace/outdoor pavilion/ but not the Scout sign outfront.


    • #3
      ABSOLUTELY NO restrictions on a ESLP benefitting the CO. In fact, it should be encouraged.

      And I disagree with SSS regarding an indirect benefit to the Scout troop. If the church owns and maintains the scout house and an Eagle candidate wants to paint the building, that's a perfectly acceptable ESLP, in my view. Painting the building is a church responsibility, so making that and ESLP benefits the church. The money the church saves by not paying professionals to paint the building can go to other church needs.

      On the other hand, a project is to build shelves in the troop storage room and that is a responsibility the troop would normally undertake itself, then no. The beneficiary there is the troop, not the church.

      There can be a lot of grey areas, but I would tend to lean very heavily in favor of allowing project for a CO, even if the unit receives some secondary benefit.


      • #4
        Enh... I'm torn on this one.

        We have a group of boys (around 80 units) that continuously do service projects at their CO's campground. There's always a list of projects to do, and when the boys get to the EBOR, it seems like the boys felt it was free labor for the CO. Is that really benefiting the community?


        • #5
          I'm going to make an edjumacated guess as to why your district has followed this myth (and it is a myth). I think in many cases when doing a project for a CO, the project is or is pretty darn close to being what would be considered routine maintenance, which is not something that is allowed. Painting the building - whether interior or exterior and whether it's at 1, 5, 10, 20 year cycles, is routine maintenance. When it comes to building maintenance, there aren't necessarily time limits on what is considered routine maintenance. Replacing the roof every 25 years is still routine maintenance, even if you only do it once. It's important to replace the roof when neccessary to keep the building intact - and since everything has a life span, routine is considered based on the building's time, not human time. Unfortunately, many Eagle project proposals for CO's tend to fall into that routine maintenance realm - so some districts just spread the myth that projects can't be done for a CO to avoid having to deal with the issue.

          But there are still a lot of things that can be done for a CO as an Eagle project that is not routine maintenance. Perhaps a church wants to have a labyrinth built on their property (many people find walking a labyrinth to be soothing, reflective and healing) - sounds like a great Eagle project to me. Maybe the local American Legion hall wants to convert one of their rooms into a food pantry - sounds like a great Eagle project to me. And since neither of them would be considered routine, why should they not be able to tap into a unit they sponsor looking for someone who might need an Eagle project?

          You can certainly allow projects for CO's - you just have to make sure the project doesn't fit into a definition of routine - and that's something that needs to be guarded against whether the beneficiary is a CO or not - to just ban projects for CO's because it's more likely that a project for a CO would be routine just sounds to me like adults not wanting to have to make decisions.


          • #6
            They want some book shelves built in their children's area. No where routine maintainence. Thanks for the input.


            • #7
              Sounds like this could be a good Eagle project but it seems a little light. How may bookshelves? How are they building them? Bunch of other questions rambling around my head, too.


              • #8
                To answer your original question, there are no restrictions so long as the project benefits the community and the scout demonstrates leadership in carrying out the project.

                We are chartered to a church, and regularly do service projects as a troop for the church to repay them their hospitality. There are generally maintenance or cleaning related, such as grounds cleanups or painting. We also have some scouts who are members of the church who have done their Eagle projects there. So far they have built a new brick walkway, remodeled a sacristy, and built fitness stations along a trail the church has. So no difference in who benefits, only in the scope (and cost) of the project. Generally the Eagle projects were much more involved, involve construction of some sort, and take more than 1 weekend to complete. (These are not requirements in themselves, only what the projects entailed.)


                • #9
                  Lots of Eagle projects are routine maintenance. Which are perfectly fine, as long as it is for an non-profit organization. In my troop I think about half are routine.

                  Here are some of them.

                  Clearing walking paths.
                  Redoing signage for the towns 40+ graveyards.
                  Painting Fire hydrants.
                  Redoing footbridges over a swampy area.
                  Painting a very Large old classroom with coat closet. (Room was about 3 or 4 normal classrooms with old high ceilings.)

                  Routine Maintenance doesn't make the project unacceptable. It still benifits the community.

                  To the original question.. As long as it doesn't benefit the troop, the project is acceptable.

                  One boy did an eagle project that involved the room we met in. The project came out nice, but to truth, while making it the way the church wanted, it kindof hurt how the troop used it. they took down room dividers and made one big room. The small rooms helped keep parents quiet if they wanted to talk, or each patrol could divide into one of the 3 rooms. There were other parts of the project like build 5 or 6 large rolling cabinets (that the troop did not use, so no benifit to them.) So the project was tied to something the scouts used, but it really didn't benefit them..

                  As someone stated if it majorly benefits the CO, but minorly benefits the troop. That is fine too. Just shouldn't majorly benefit the Troop.


                  • #10
                    Moosetracker I disagree with you. Routine labor DOES make it unacceptable. In the Eagle Project Workbook under limitations the first bullet point states:

                    'Routine labor (a job or service normally rendered) should not be considered.'

                    So painting or mowing or ...... is not to be considered.


                    • #11
                      I guess we then disagree on the meaning of routine labor then. There is routine, and there is routine. Thank goodness my council agrees with me. You would kill half (maybe more of the Eagle projects that are acceptable.)

                      Mowing the lawn I would agree would be under that rule. So would things like publishing the church bulletion, or Service at a Soup Kitchen, or cleaning the stalls at an animal shelter. These are things that are routinely done by someone weekly or monthly.. They are jobs that are so routine that the job should go to an employee or someone who is a permanent volunteer.

                      But for those items that need refurbishing once every 10 or 20 years, those have always been passed and approved by EBOR's and for good reason. Once done, yes it may need to be redone 10 years down the road by some other volunteers. But you have not taken a job away from someone else by doing this project, and the organization will not be floundering for someone to pick up the job the minute you step down on completion of your Eagle project.

                      Clearing overgrown trails has to be the most popular type of project scouts do.


                      • #12
                        There are times when we all lament that National doesn't do a better job of defining terms - though we know they do it to provide councils with some flexibility and because they figure people should be smart enough to know what is meant. Unfortunately, it leaves a patchwork of acceptablity throughout the franchise. There are some councils where clearing an overgrown trail or painting a church would never be allowed as an acceptable Eagle project because they classify them as routine maintenance while there are others that do allow overgrown trail maintenance or painting to be allowed as Eagle projects. We will never solve that conundrum here - but we do need to understand that we will all have different opinions of what is routine. Some will suggest that routine means something done on a weekly or monthly basis while others will take a broader view of routine and suggest that while it includes those weekly and monthly tasks, it also includes those tasks that may not need to be done weekly, monthly, even annually or every 5 or 10 years, but if deferred, leads to the deterioration and/or inability to use a property.

                        For instance, redoing signs for cemetaries could mean a couple of things - if they're taken down and simply repainted, there will be many that would consider that routine maintenance (just because the maintenance was neglected doesn't make the project unique). However, if the signs are removed and replaced with brand new signs designed and built as a project, I think most (if not all) would consider that to be non-routine.

                        Clearing walking paths? Many will consider this deferred routine maintenance - something that a Scout Unit should take on as a Unit service project. Create new walking paths, or redeveloping an existing walking path (perhaps by turning it into a disabled access trail) - most will agree that it is non-routine.

                        Painting fire hydrants? If it's simple repainting, it may benefit the community but many will consider it routine maintenance, but if the hydrants are repainted with the NFPA color scheme to identify the hydrant pressure (so that fire departments can tell at a glance what the hydrant they've pulled up to is capable of delivering - somthing many departments have been suggesting for the past 10 years or so), many would consider that non-routine.

                        Repainting a room? If that's all that is being done, many will consider that routine maintenance (deferred perhaps, but still routine). Repainting the room as part of a larger project (where perhaps the room is being repositioned for another use)? Most will agree non-routine.

                        As suggested above, it's pretty easy to take even projects that might be considered routine by many and turn them into something non-routine. Of course, there are all kinds of other caveats and circumstances that could come in to play. Repainting a bunch of school or church rooms in a poor community without a lot of resources and with deteriorating properties would probably change a lot of minds on whether it's considered routine or not while repainting a bunch of school rooms in an affluent community that isn't dotted with deteriorating properties and whose schools are well supported by the tax payers might make all of us wonder just what the heck were people thinking in approving that project.

                        This is why I've suggested that spreading myths about CO's not being able to benefit from Eagle projects is just adults not wanting to make decisions. No matter what any of us believes about Eagle projects, when we get right down to it, our decisions on the acceptability is all based on the situational analysis we put into it - and some of us prefer clean lines of absolute rules rather than the fuzzy grays of situational analysis.


                        • #13
                          As a long time member of the District Advancement committee I often get quesitons on what would be a good Eagle Project, when asked I often reply, depends on how its written up. Edited phrases such as Painting a Room, doing a drive, all dont mean much. I need to see the fleshed out proposal and go from there.

                          On another note, and the OP question. Of all the Issues we seem to get here, a dis-affected CO seems to be pretty common. The CHurch or other group that doesnt seem to know they "own" the Scout Troop that meets there. Why in the world would you not want that Troop to help out its CO? What is accomplished by not allowing the Troop to do that CO a service?


                          • #14
                            I recently ran into this issue with our Troop committee. I was always under the impression that projects should not benefit the troop - they should benefit the community. I was not aware of the routine maintenance not being acceptable issue.

                            Our troop is rather old (76 years) and the vast majority of the troop committee is comprised of members that have no children or even grandchildren in the troop. The main focus of our committee meetings is our Scout Cabin. The cabin is owned by our CO and is 'technically' called the Sunday School Cabin. It is always called the 'Scout Cabin' in general conversation. The cabin is very rustic and is used by our unit and a few other scouting units (both boy and girls) I never heard it called the Sunday School Cabin until I questioned why Eagle Projects were being approved for work at the Scout Cabin. I suggested that these projects should be stopped going forward as they only benefit scouts. I also mentioned that the project itself isn't something that the community would see in general and Eagle projects are great advertising for our movement.

                            I was told that because the cabin is owned by our CO and not the Troop itself it is ok, because it is the Sunday School Cabin it is ok, and because other people use it - not just Boy Scouts.

                            I replied that I think the committee should discuss the issue at our next meeting as I brought it up right at the end of the night.

                            Based on this, does this sound like an acceptable place for Eagle projects to happen?

                            For example, the last project that was approved involved repairing a concrete foundation that is being washed away by a small creek and the installation of a new concrete pad and privacy fence to allow us to place a porta-potty near the entrance of the property.

                            I understand that if Eagle projects are not allowed to occur back there that the cabin itself will suffer. It is the only way it gets any true upkeep. I don't believe that is good enough of a reason to allow this to continue.

                            I appreciate any advice on this.


                            • #15
                              The reason many think of the restriction of no Eagle Projects for the CO is that before the 1990s, it was a restriction.
                              I became a Scoutmaster in 1984 and the Eagle packets then stated that the project could not be a benefit for the CO. It changed some time in the 90s and projects for the CO were allowed.

                              In our area, a project that calls for just painting, no matter how large an area, would not be approved. This is considered regular maintenance work. If the project included some remodeling, with the necessity of painting, then it might be approved.

                              Any routine maintenance work that the benefiting organization should be doing should not be allowed as an Eagle Project. While many do allow it, it is really make do work and rarely shows any leadership.