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Zaphod

Neglected Eagle Projects

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The Brunswick stew memorial is very cool.

 

When I was a Architecture student I got a small commission to design a large carport in my neighborhood. As I walked the dog past it twice a day I made me feel pretty good. Two years later the next homeowner tore it all down. I hadn't even finished my degree and I had a work destroyed. Made one philosophical. 

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One key difference I see from the Girl Scout Gold Award project vs Eagle Project is the requirement for a long term sustainability plan that doesn't depend on scouts to support it.  

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I have often wondered whether this is a project to show leadership or a legacy monument project.  Sometimes It's difficult to tell.

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I visited the location of my eagle project 20 years after its completion. At the time, it was a relatively unknown trail. The work we did used only wood from the area, there were no signs or plaques erected. In the subsequent 20 years, others had continued taking care of the trail by mimicking our work. It was then I realized my project was not a task to be completed, but the spark of an attitude which manifested into action by others. I am glad my "project" continues, now over 30 years later. Still without a sign or plaque to memorialize it. Instead, the memorial is in the hearts and minds of those who continue it without recognition.

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Don't know if it started as an Eagle project or not,  but there is a troop that has taken responsibility for a local "park" next to a branch library. The "park" is rather small, about the size of a house lot, but it is well maintained and has benches and table in it. Also a sign stating it's maintained by the troop across the street.

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Only Hornaday projects look at the continuation piece.  Eagle projects are supposed to be about demonstrating leadership aren't they?   Not all Eagle projects involve construction after all...

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Only Hornaday projects look at the continuation piece.  Eagle projects are supposed to be about demonstrating leadership aren't they?   Not all Eagle projects involve construction after all...

 

You are correct, I have yet to be involved with an Eagle project that involved fundraising as part of it's efforts.  Either the materials were provided up front or they were not needed.  3 of my top Eagle projects were 1) cleaning up and doing landscaping after a church built on a new addtion, 2) Surveying multiple cemeteries for adequate markings for veterans' graves, and 3) cleaning up a neglected city/county veterans' park.  None of them involved any construction, all of them had lasting value to the area.

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Only Hornaday projects look at the continuation piece.  Eagle projects are supposed to be about demonstrating leadership aren't they?   Not all Eagle projects involve construction after all...

 

I guess it never occurred to me to separate long-term and impact planning from leadership. To me, leadership is more than just organizing a group of people to accomplish a task.... Although it is the most visible part. And if that's all we want to require from our kids at this stage of the game, I see nothing wrong with that. After all, I know nothing about scouting beyond Cub Scouts so I am still learning what it takes to be an Eagle or what should be required of one! I wasn't trying to imply that Eagles should be responsible long term; that's why I asked what Troops do (not individual Eagles).

 

It never even occurred to me until I read that article that Eagle projects often add to the maintenance responsibilities of our communities. But now that I know, I would like to help alleviate that burden whether it's in an official capacity as a scouter or just a parent with scouts.

 

On a side note, I am glad that the definition of modern leadership has evolved to include considering sustainability and long-term impact. Organizations (both private and public) are being pressured to consider their footprint and conduct business in a more responsible manner. It's good for me to know what I should and should not expect from scouting so I know what to focus on at home.

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IMO:  As well it should be...

 

Shh Back Pack, if someone from National reads this I suspect your good idea may suddenly become yet another requirement in the Eagle project workbook. :)

(I just realized this thread is in Issue and Politics, I am moving it to Open Discussion. I suppose it could also go in Advancement but I think it is of more general interest than that.)

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Some of our troop's Eagle projects have been fairly ambitious outdoor construction projects (nature trails, outdoor classrooms, playground equipment).  And some have had simple wooden plaques crediting the troop.  A decade later it disturbs me to see some of the projects in decline.  I have long felt that the troop should maintain a list of such projects and should give Eagle candidates the option of choosing renovation as an Eagle project.  Renovation can require just as much leadership, planning, and execution.

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Some of our troop's Eagle projects have been fairly ambitious outdoor construction projects (nature trails, outdoor classrooms, playground equipment).  And some have had simple wooden plaques crediting the troop.  A decade later it disturbs me to see some of the projects in decline.  I have long felt that the troop should maintain a list of such projects and should give Eagle candidates the option of choosing renovation as an Eagle project.  Renovation can require just as much leadership, planning, and execution.

I have seen many eagle projects which did not create, but instead rehabilitated, or maintained. The most recent which comes to mind was the restoration of a dilapitated pioneer cemetery.

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One has to be careful with the maintenance issue.  Routine or maintenance is not acceptable.  Creating and rehabbing are okay.

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My son does, but he's been finished with it for only about 9 months. It was a landscaping project. He goes by once a month to pull weeds and spray roundup. He plans on doing it until he goes to college, which is still a couple of years away. 

 

The project included hedges and ground cover. Hopefully, as the landscaping matures, there will be less need and can be handled mostly with spraying. The agency's lawn maintenance company is taking care of the edging, which is a big help. 

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Pretty much longer term sustainability is discussed for all projects where it applies.  Project coach, local municipality always provides input on longer term maintenance for projects on their land, and as advancement I will point out / discuss as well.  Many Scouts have already documented post-completion maintenance issues.  Even with forethought it still can be a problem seeing projects several years later in some decline but that's the beneficiaries' ultimate responsibility.  

 

Just last week I approved a project in a state park near a three year old project for another Scout.  I asked the Scout to consider putting some language in his plan if he had too many volunteers show up to his project to send a small crew over to the other project site for perhaps some clean up and maintenance.  He was more than happy to do so since that older Scout was a mentor to him when he first joined the Troop.  That certainly put a smile on my face.  

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