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So, I was discussing this with hubby & son who are on our district Advancement board. They pretty much agreed with me, but added a current case that drives this home more.
Scout started his Eagle project, and raised money for it bought some supplies. Then just stopped. Rumer now is he does not plan to finish.. So, now it is getting the money and materials from him to their rightful owner, which is Parks and Recreations.. Scout is not responding.. (Sort of like families who sold popcorn, and never turned in the money.)..
This may get into a legal issue if not resolved, where if they can not get the stuff from the scout, it may then also fall onto the troop who sponsers the troop to cover the missing money raised for Parks and Recreation.
I guess those are the situations the new Eagle guidelines are trying to avoid by requiring money be held by the beneficiary or the troop.
But you can easily turn that around where the Scout gives the money to the beneficiary, buys the materials then discovers the beneficiary is slow to pay. Or their treasurer wasn't in on the project and won't pay. Or spent the money on something else.
Or what happens if the Scout started the project, totally screwed it up and ruined several hundred dollars worth of materials? Or just gives up and dumps a pile of lumber off at the beneficiary which has no use for it?
Or. Or. Or.
I understand the reasoning behind channeling all donations and money through the beneficiary, but things were sure easier when the Scout kept all the money in an envelope and the beneficiary was "given" a finished project.
Ours was one of those councils which required massive EP proposals. One of their primary justifications for doing so was to guarantee success of the projects, mainly to avoid the PR hit a failed project created with the beneficiary organization.
I wonder what the real incidence of this is? How often do Scouts raise money in the name of a beneficiary then fail to deliver? How much money are we really talking? 'Cause this strikes me as another case of the admin types creating another bureauracy affecting 100% of those involved in order to fix a problem encountered in a very small number of cases. (I know there's a word for that, but I can't think of what it is.)
This probably goes back to the overall discussion of advancement policy, but should it be a basic principle of policy writing that policies which address particular problems should burden only those who create the problems?
So instead of re-writing national policy for 50,000 Eagles annually, could local councils not solve this by having our own little TARP fund for failed EPs? I'm not talking about another big, hairy program here, but just make it known among council and district advancement and Eagle committee folks that before a failed project becomes a big issue, resources are available to square the deal with the beneficiary. Anyone who has been in Scouting for much time knows who to call to solve these little problems -- a Scout who needs a uniform or money to go to camp -- or for an Eagle project. In your example, Moose, I would sure hope that before things get ugly, someone will step in and fix things. (And, yes, I know it's the Scout's problem, but before he gives the troop or council a black eye....)
So instead of re-writing national policy for 50,000 Eagles annually, could local councils not solve this by having our own little TARP fund for failed EPs? I'm not talking about another big, hairy program here, but just make it known among council and district advancement and Eagle committee folks that before a failed project becomes a big issue, resources are available to square the deal with the beneficiary.
This is a good indication that your council's EPs are getting a little too big for their britches. You don't need TARP equivalents for 50 hour projects that might require two week's fundraising at the most. When a project gets so big that a boy/parent is afraid of the slightest misstep or delay, we no longer have a learning experience.
Mom, you're doing a great job trying to help a frustrated son, but I would suggest he consider the following options:
1. Delay the project. Other SPLs have done that, even folding their project into a troop weekend activity.
2. Rescale the project so that the cost is something you all can absorb if fundraising falls flat.
3. Accelerate fundraising.