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A scout's Eagle project scope/challenge should be ...

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  • A scout's Eagle project scope/challenge should be ...

    Sometimes the discussion in other threads comes off critical of certain projects because institutions in our communities often are prepared with nuts in bolts in store ... all they need is someone to organize a labor force. That seems to make it easier for the boy (although sometimes I suspect it complicates things). When you advise your Life scout, what do you suggest regarding his project's scope/challenge should be? Discuss.
    2
    greater than all projects recently done for Tenderfoot through Life,
    0.00%
    0
    greater than projects the troop does routinely (e.g. scouting for food, conservation projects ...),
    0.00%
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    greater than anything the boy has done so far,
    100.00%
    2
    similar to wht his unit already does, except the Eagle candidate takes point.
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    0

  • #2
    Shouldn't it include all of the first three? As for the fourth, I think it would depend on the troop. Very few of the non-Eagle service projects that our troop does would qualify as Eagle projects.

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    • #3
      The boys in my troop noticed that they needed 1 hour of service project requirement for FC. So PL called up the local State Park and asked for a project. They needed a trail cleared. So the patrol as a whole (mostly PL) got everything together and they went over to the park and cleared about 1/4 mile of trail. It took them about 6-7 hours.

      I'm thinking that could have easily been worked into an Eagle Project given a boy's proclivity to BS'ing the paperwork.

      So? Well none of the boys at that time had yet earned the rank of Scout. So where do these boys go by the time they reach Life and start looking for a "Real" project? By then they ought to be able to lay pavement for the Park's parking lot after building a new Nature Center.

      Stosh

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      • #4
        Where's the invalid survey choice?

        The scout chooses the project. BSA says there are no minimum hours. If the project requires planning and allows the scout to show leadership and does something good for a beneficiary, it's a good project.

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        • #5
          The project should challenge the scout's ability to lead without putting an overly high probability of failure on the young man. When we start comparing projects between scouts is when we go off the rails into the realm of adult drama. A young man that is a natural, charismatic leader with loads of self-confidence should be held to a higher bar than a young man that struggles with social skills. The thing we should be judging is not the objective challenge of the project itself but the subjective challenge it presents the individual scout. If the scout is challenged to stretch and lead to the best of his abilities and completes a project the sponsor is happy with then everybody is successful. If we choose to judge Eagle Scouts by objective standards then any of us that haven't been President of the United States, Secretary of Defense or walked on the moon are clearly failures in our adult lives.

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          • #6
            I don't like the choices either. It should challenge the Scout (so maybe that's "C"), provides a meaningful service to the community, provides the Scout an opportunity to demonstrate his ability AND is something meaningful and significant to the Scout.

            That last point is too often overlooked. I see far too many boys who just build picnic tables and drop them off at any ol' park or non-profit who thinks someone may use them some time. The best projects are those for which the Scout has a passion and commitment to the cause/organization. My older son knew from the third grade on his Eagle project would focus on literacy. We have a Scout who just finished his EP which was a continuation of his Star and Life service projects. At Star he asked the troop for donations of books which he cleaned and sorted and donated to the local after school program. For Life he collected and donated about 800 books. His Eagle project has been to outfit a whole reading room at the center with shelves and he has collected about 6,000 books. He is now putting together instructions for Star and Life Scouts to continue collecting books for their service projects to keep the program going.

            That is passion and commitment.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by fred johnson View Post
              Where's the invalid survey choice?
              If the boy wants to survey invalids, let him!

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              • #8
                dcsimmons ... Where does BSA say the project has to challenge a scout's ability?

                twocubdad ... similarly ... Where does BSA say it has to be something meaningful or significant to the scout?

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                • #9
                  Fred,

                  I know that when I and my buddies did their Eagle projects back in the day, "meaningful or significant to the scout" were part of the discussion on doing projects.

                  And as others have stated, if you have a passion fro what you are doing, you will be doing a heck of a lot better a job.

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                  • #10
                    Eagle94-A1 ... I agree. I'm just trying to distinguish between "a good idea" and "the rules". I'd absolutely guide scouts to projects that are meaningful and significant to them. And, I'd challenge them to stretch themselves.

                    BUT ... There is no such rule or direction that I can find from BSA saying the project has to stretch the scout or be personally relevant.

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                    • #11
                      @fred johnson: My old scoutmaster handbook includes the following as the first sentence under the advancement section:

                      "The Boy Scout Advancement Program encourages boys to meet significant challenges that lead to personal growth."

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dcsimmons View Post
                        @fred johnson: My old scoutmaster handbook includes the following as the first sentence under the advancement section:

                        "The Boy Scout Advancement Program encourages boys to meet significant challenges that lead to personal growth."
                        Yeah, like getting one's Eagle rank without ever having had to start a fire, let alone with just 1 match as was the BSA tradition years ago.

                        Stosh

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                        • #13
                          Yah, hmm. I intended the question to be something "in between the lines". Based on some previous posts, scouters were inferring about what qualifies as a good project. (A few years ago there was an obsession over man-hours.) I'm not trying to be judgmental here, but if you don't have Life (and lower rank) scouts coming to you asking about project ideas, you're just weird. And if the only reply is some quote from a workbook, you're even stranger. This question not a policy quiz, it is about how you advise your candidates in the context of how your troop runs.

                          Although he clearly didn't vote, based on Stosh's replies I'd put him with #4. In other words, his troop should always be doing projects. Boys should always be leading them. At some point a boy will lead a project just like he and his buddies always have, only this time a workbook gets filled out and he has it (along with his career as Life scout) reviewed by a bunch of old farts.

                          I personally have been at #3, but wonder if I should move to #4. We have older boys, many of whom have ignored advancement. Some wont be Life by age 17.5, so they won't be required to be a project lead if that's the only time we let them. A healthy step for us may be asking a 1st class scout to take point in, say, Scouting for Food. Our adult who runs it would then take a back seat.

                          For NJ's sake, I'll try and change the survey to allow multiple selections.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by qwazse View Post
                            I personally have been at #3, but wonder if I should move to #4. We have older boys, many of whom have ignored advancement. Some wont be Life by age 17.5, so they won't be required to be a project lead if that's the only time we let them. A healthy step for us may be asking a 1st class scout to take point in, say, Scouting for Food. Our adult who runs it would then take a back seat.
                            This is how we do it. But I've implied several times that we don't use rank to drive the program. Each scout has different dreams, ambitions and desires from the scouting program, so rank would actually limit many scouts from parts of the program like leading a project. I would be surprised if a scout in our troop had reached 1st Class without leading some kind of project. We also used service projects to train new adults to how a boy run troop works. They are basically guided to the skill of stepping back instead of stepping forward. Because we do so many service projects of some type, the Eagle projects tend to be pretty big and complicated. I personally don't like that because it can be a lot more than the intent of what the project is trying to prove. But the scout usually get them done. I guess because they have done so many in the troop.

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                            • #15
                              Fred --

                              BSA rules and policy say an Eagle project can take as little as an hour.
                              BSA rules and policy say an Eagle project can demonstrate leadership with only one other person.
                              BSA rules and policy say an Eagle project can be performed with anyone helping, including parents.
                              BSA rules and policy say an Eagle project does not have to have a long-term impact.

                              So you and your mom spend an hour dusting bookshelves at the local library and call it good.


                              Qwazse --

                              I advise my Scouts to select a project which is important and meaningful to them.
                              I advise my Scouts to find a project which provides a significant, long-term service to the community.
                              I advise my Scouts to take on projects which challenge their abilities and resources.
                              I advise my Scouts to look for a project which should take +/- 125 man hours (but we don't worry if it come in under that).
                              I advise my Scouts to look for a project which takes multiple work sessions so they have time to analyze and adapt to problems.
                              I advise my Scouts to recruit workers outside their immediate circle of friends as that provides a varied leadership challenge.
                              I advise my Scouts to keep the adults - parents included - in advisory roles or where safety rules require adult help.

                              Do they have to follow all my advice? No. Do they have to follow a good bit of it? Yes, if they want me to sign the application.

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