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packsaddle

The minimum Eagle project that can be approved at the SM conference

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OK folks, another curve ball and I need some suggestions. Help me out if you can.

What do you consider the absolute minimum that an Eagle project can entail?

What guideline does a SM follow during the SM conference so that he can fairly judge whether this project met the requirements?

 

For example, if a boy has a project approved at all levels and he proceeds to complete the project (say, a web site for a school) on his own, with no outside assistance...can that qualify? If not, why not? Is there an official guideline for such judgement?

What is the minimum involvement that will qualify as a leadership component?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

 

Edited part: followup question - if the web site didn't meet the requirement and there is still time, what measures should be taken to fix this situation. Remember, the project as approved for the workbook is done.

(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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My first question would be: what leadership did he demonstrate?

 

Doing the project by oneself demonstrates absolutely no leadership. Gotta have at least one other follower there.

 

My second question would be: why are you worried about the minimum?

 

Somehow I get the "feeling" that this project is being done just to get by and not because it's of value to the boy or any challenge to his leadership skills.

 

What needs to be done is more of limiting the boy to the maximum rather than pushing for the minimum. I had one boy I told he had to stop what he had done and write it up. In fact he did more than twice what I would have considered a very substantial project.

 

The last boy I discussed a project with asked me if he could do more than what he had originally designed in his write-up. We compromised, he will write-up his project and finish it out and then go back with the troops help and do the extra work that came up after the original project was designed.

 

I guess I would rather counsel a boy to focus his project down to a reasonable, workable project rather than trying to get the boy to beef it up to get buy.

 

To give one an idea of what projects our Eagles have taken on, 3 park picnic pavilions, a wooden lookout observatory, veteran grave identification and replacement, painting storm sewer warnings. building picnic tables for park placement, benches along walking trails, training equipment in a city park, re-construction of hiking trails in a state park, and lead/steel shot survey in a heavily used area of a lake for the DNR. I don't think any of the boys ever worked on the projects unless they could get a crew of more than 5-6 boys to make the time worthwhile.

 

Stosh

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boy, that's a tough one. Others can speak to the formal criteria better than I could. However, depending on how it was approached, I can see many opportunities for a boy to show leadership while developing the school website. Among other things, he may have needed to get the relevant school officials (principal, teachers, superintendent, maybe school board members, student body representatives, etc.) and perhaps also community members (parents, PTO members, etc.) together and bring them to agreement that there should be a website (done by a kid!) at all. Then there's discussion as to content, design, accessibility, and any number of other features. If the boy played an important role in starting and facilitating that discussion, then this is all leadership in action, in my view.

 

On the other hand, if he did the project solo, seeking little or no input from the various interested parties, then I can also see where this might have been a tech project plain and simple, and NOT a leadership project of appropriate nature for an Eagle project.

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Packsaddle,

From the requirements:

 

While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. (The project should benefit an organization other than Boy Scouting.) The project idea must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your Scoutmaster and troop committee and the council or district before you start. You must use the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook, BSA publication No. 18-927A, in meeting this requirement.

 

It seems as you describe it, this internet project may not be of enough magnitude. not leading others and could be done "as a job" or "routine labor", it may be too easy.

 

In short, the scout should provide leadership to others, do a project, the thing should involve more than html and 1's and 0's

 

G

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In another thread we are talking about "Pet Peeves".

One of my pet peeves is hearing people go on about how Eagle Scout projects are not as big and as good as they used to be.

OK, so I hear it all the time from Mother-in-law Dearest!!

Of course I don't know this Lad.

I don't know what information he intends putting on the site or where he will get it from or if he is sending others out to do the leg work?

I kinda think that the SM and the District Advancement Team member need to have a chat with him, ask some leading questions and find out if he really thinks that this project is worthy or not. -It is after all his Eagle that he is working toward.

Having said that, from what has been posted.

I'm having a hard time seeing how a Lad working alone on any project is really showing leadership. Who is he leading? Or is the site a leadership tool?

A lot depends on how "Leadership" is defined?

Going back into the dark ages...

1/ UNDERSTANDING THE NEEDS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GROUP.

2/ KNOWING AND USING THE RESOURCES OF THE GROUP.

3/ COMMUNICATING.

4/ PLANNING.

5/CONTROLLING GROUP PERFORMANCE.

6/EVALUATING.

7/SETTING THE EXAMPLE.

8/SHARING LEADERSHIP.

9/COUNSELING.

10/REPRESENTING THE GROUP.

11/ EFFECTIVE TEACHING

Were the leadership skills we used to teach,I would hope that any true leadership project would have the leader using most of these skills.

Ea.

 

 

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Thought:

I hope this wasn't an IT class project.

 

Fait accompli?

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Whoaaaaaa.

 

Are we on the front-end or the back-end of this?

 

The Scoutmaster has the obligation, IMO, to make sure an ELSP will meet the parameters of the District Advancement Committee. That's a front-end responsibility. Part of that is seeing how the Eagle Candidate will lead others (be they developing individual web pages or helping set bricks).

 

On the back-end, the Scoutmaster is making sure the Eagle Candidate did the work, and he should be actively mentoring that the candidate extracts all the lessons he can.

 

As to scope of the project: Around here 100 man-hours actual project time seems to be the low number. With front-end and back-end work, that means a project of around 150-200MH total.

 

If you approved it on the front end, why would you revisit it on the back end? Did the Candidate lead others in doing the work, or did he not?

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Lisabob, I don't completely disagree with your point of view on this, sometimes the coordination and approval process is more work than the actual project. :)

 

But coordination and approval are not Leadership processes they are Management processes. Even if it does take some Leadership to convince those whom one is coordinating with to agree on certain points and to give their approval. :)

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John-in-KC, Your closing question is a really good question. Unfortunately, according to what I've read (this is not the problem I'm dealing with, though) the BOR does not have to conclude that the project was sufficient, merely because it did everything that was originally approved. By inference, the SM doesn't have to sign off on the SM conference merely because he approved the project, although in my mind it seems a contradiction. In this case the SM conference is the potential problem that I am trying to fix before the problem emerges. I intend to do this by knowing the details of the project and meeting with the SM to lay some groundwork. I have done this before for another scout and the SM, bullheaded as he is, nevertheless is susceptible to reason if I can present a sufficiently good case.

That's the essence. I'm trying to run interference in a mix of bad communications and personality conflicts.

 

This scout is not a slacker. In fact, he is one scout with whom I'd be glad to share a long trail. He is very accomplished in scouting and highly motivated, very smart, and almost totally in conflict with the SM. There is no resolution likely, I hope for truce.

 

The scout did an outstanding project. It required clearance all the way up to the top of the school board. He successfully competed for a grant from a government agency to fund it. And it was his own very original idea. Then he did the project, even the SM admits the project is amazing, but he did it almost solo with only a little help outside the troop.

The problem is a perception that the troop MUST be involved in every Eagle project and that the troop wasn't involved this case. My personal view is that (along the lines of what Lisabob said) there is sufficient evidence of leadership. I am trying to find a way that this situation doesn't blow up and a good scout can have a great Eagle experience rather than a tragic and needless conflict.

 

Thanks for the comments, they help. I will meet with him today and then with the SM probably a few days later. I'll give this a little time to cool and maybe get some more pointers from the forum. See...this is the real reason I like this forum.

Thanks again.

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The District Advancement (or Council) Committee approved this project as well?

 

Speaking from what was presented, it was a very good idea, well executed but not along the lines that the District I reside in would call an Eagle project

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I am the ASM in our unit charged with guiding Life scouts to Eagle.

Project approval is a district level responsibility, its really out of the hands of the unit.

 

Our process for Eagle projects is a follows...

Scout gets the workbook from the district website.

Scout meets with me to discuss ideas.

I narrow down possible projects to ones that I think will meet district requirements or give guidance to "tweek" the project so that it does.

Scout writes up the proposal.

Scout presents the proposal to the unit committee and SM.

Scout obtains unit approval signature.

I request a district advancement advisor assigned to the scout.

Scout meets with district advancement advisor (not from our unit) to gain pre-project district approval.

Scout works with district advisor throughout project.

Theoretically, the scout doesn't need to involve anyone from unit during this phase, but typically, they come for guidance and labor.

Scout submits completed project writeup to district advisor for approval.

Once district signs off on completion, its a done deal until the EBOR.

 

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If we are talking about a SM having a conference with a youth before his EBOR, then why would the SM object to the project. As part of the process of getting his Eagle Project approved one of the fist steps was to have the SM approve it. Then the Troop Committee, the organization for which the project was being done for then the District Advancement chair or committee. Once the project was completed the youth would have a SM's Conference. At this point in time the SM does just that, have a conference (ie: talk about how the project went, what are the youth's plans for the future, how the board of review might go, and give confidence to the youth.) not discuss if the project was good enough, that was done before it was approved.

Dancin

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Packsaddle said: The problem is a perception that the troop MUST be involved in every Eagle project and that the troop wasn't involved this case.

 

The boy's TROOP doesn't have to be involved in working on the project, just SOME other people (you can't lead yourself). I can see minimal/no troop involvement for a project done over the summer or for a project done relatively far from the where the troop meets (e.g., boy goes to church an hour away, and project is done at his church.) My sons have worked on Eagle projects for boys in other, small, troops - those troop had minimal involvement, but scouts from other troops were involved.

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Yah, this is da reason for the pre-project approval process, eh?

 

How individual councils and districts interpret the leadership project expectations varies. Your District Advancement Chair can give you a hand with questions if you don't know. Most of the councils and districts I've worked with would not approve a project like this, because there's an expectation that the leadership project requires demonstrating leading others (of various skill levels) in completing the project, eh? Or, if the project seemed really worthy, they'd work with da lad to turn it into an acceptable leadership project by doin' things like requiring him to subcontract different parts of the website, get at least 10 different people to write the content for different sections, etc. - turn him into a real production leader, rather than just a designer/programmer.

 

Yah, all that should have happened in the approval process. Not fair to change the rules of the game now. Of course, if he took a left turn along the way and did somethin' different than what the board thought they approved, then the board should rightly send him back to do more work so as to demonstrate leadership/management of others (maybe spend 3 months teaching others how to update/maintain the website so it is an ongoing positive thing).

 

As SM, you have to prepare him for that, perhaps. Talk to your DAC, share your concerns, get some direction. At your SM conference, I'd go through things, congratulate him on the work done, but also raise the concern. Maybe have him come up with a follow-up plan in case the board tells him he needs to. "Yes, Mr. Packsaddle told me that might be an issue; here's where I think I showed leadership of others, but if that's not enough, here's what I'd like to do to follow up."

 

Then figure out if or where your unit committee blew it in the approval process, and make sure everyone learns from da mistake, eh? ;)

 

Around here, typical projects are about 100 man-hours of work, with about 20-30% of that being the boy himself (includin' planning time). Minimum expectation would typically be him supervising at least 5-6 others in accomplishin' the project, with parents/relatives contributin' not much more than any other Joe.

 

Beavah

 

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Thanks folks, This is one I get as a legacy issue. I was only recently made the Eagle coordinator (whatever) for the troop and this project was started a long time ago. I'm just trying to keep the train on the tracks after it left the station.

 

I just went through the timeline and workbook for the scout.

Not including family involvement, there were a total of over 235 hours of time by a total (not including the scout) of 19 persons, about half of whom were other scouts. I just mentioned the "web site" as an example of a project that could be completed by one person. This project, it turns out, was far more extensive in both time and effort. It involved landscape planning, grant writing and submission, webcam siting and installation design, fairly basic construction, as well as web development to get everything running.

 

I'm seeing this thing as a tempest in a tea pot. However, in anticipation of a problem that hasn't yet happened:

If the SM is obstinate and refuses to sign off, what recourse does the scout have? Do another project?

What kind of approval power does an ASM have in this case?

Can an ASM approve anything involved in the Eagle rank?

 

Thanks again.

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