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ItsBrian

Scouts Deciding On Their ES Project

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I have just read a article posted by @WisconsinMomma regarding 11 Eagle Scouts in one year. 

One had gotten the idea to make dog beds after overhearing a humane society employee.

It made me think, how do most scouts figure out their project?

I found mine by visiting a adult day Center through clinical hours at my vocational high school. 

For those Eagles, parents of Eagles, or even future Eagle, how did you figure out your project?

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1 hour ago, ItsBrian said:

I have just read a article posted by @WisconsinMomma regarding 11 Eagle Scouts in one year. 

One had gotten the idea to make dog beds after overhearing a humane society employee.

It made me think, how do most scouts figure out their project?

I found mine by visiting a adult day Center through clinical hours at my vocational high school. 

For those Eagles, parents of Eagles, or even future Eagle, how did you figure out your project?

In our unit guys typically come up with their own projects. Some have known since they were Cubs what they wanted to do. Others got ideas later in their career. Some have zero clue what they want to do. We had one kid who knew what he wanted to do since Kindergarten. True story. Even made it on to the Boys' Life Eagle Project idea site.

Locally, we have several resources the boys use to get ideas:

  • Our CO. Sitting down and asking them what they need is a big help to both.
  • Our local school district or the schools themselves.
  • Local city departments (e.g., parks, community centers, etc.).
  • Senior centers or homes.
  • The boys' own religious institution.
  • Neighborhood centers (private) or communities (e.g. community pools, playgrounds, sanctuaries, museums, etc.).
  • Food banks or other non-profits.

I am sure I am missing a bunch but this is where most of the end up benefiting. 

Edited by Col. Flagg

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My son's project was inside the city park playground just a few blocks from our home. 

The other 3 Eagles from our Troop were:

1) An outdoor class at the Elementary school that he the scout had attended. 

2) Covered pavilion at the Church that is the Charter Organization for the Troop that  the scout and his family is also a member off..

3)Moving the location of a flag pole from a Cotton Mill that was being torn down, across the street so that the flag pole was next to a WWII monument  that listed all the citizens of the community that died in WWII.

One of the other Troops in our area has had several different scouts that built covered Bus stop pavilions in different locations around town so that student do not have to stand out in the rain waiting on the school bus.

I have been on several Eagle Boards were the scout came up with their project from just calling the Army Corp of Engineers that are over a local lake. 

Edited by ValleyBoy

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They are literally everywhere, if the Scouts look.  We encourage them to look at organizations they are involved with if possible so there will be a higher sense of ownership and buy in.  Also many have come from relative that are involved with shelters, schools, etc and the scouts take on those

- Schools

- Churches

- Sports groups

- Parks

 

Image result for projects are everywhere as far as the eye can see

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1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

They are literally everywhere, if the Scouts look.  We encourage them to look at organizations they are involved with if possible so there will be a higher sense of ownership and buy in.  Also many have come from relative that are involved with shelters, schools, etc and the scouts take on those

- Schools

- Churches

- Sports groups

- Parks

 

Image result for projects are everywhere as far as the eye can see

Exactly. There are ES projects that can be done at almost any community organization.  

 

To answer the topic of the thread, I've noticed that ES projects are varied in how they come about.  I gave an idea to my oldest son--outdoor Stations of the Cross at our Parish.  The Parish loved it.  My youngest son was asked to build a fire pit on our Parish church grounds for use by the youth group and the Easter vigil fire.  The Parish also loved it.  Another Scout talked to the Priest, and lucked out in that the Church was having a bat problem, found while they were fixing the roof.  He built bat houses to house the bats after they got booted from the Church.  Another scout built cat shelters for a feral cat rescue.  Another of our scouts determined that his neighborhood had a flooding problem, due to hurricane debris in some drainage ponds.  His project was to clean out the drainage ponds.  

Edited by perdidochas
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My boys are years away from doing Eagle projects, but I have  a few back pocket ideas that they will probably reject, and that's OK.   Our older son is a nature boy and doing something for our school forest is in his range, or doing a project at either of two nature centers that he really likes.  Middle son loves dogs and helping animals is right up his alley.   Youngest is still a cub scout but he plays hockey and his hockey club home rink looks like it could use some updating and maintenance help.   Just a few ideas, but we'll see what they come up with later!  

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My project came to me when I was a Star and talking to my cousin at Christmas. She worked in a pediatric ICU unit, and told me some stories. Long story short, my project was collecting toys for the kids at her hospital's pediatric ward.

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I suggested a few projects to my son, but he settled on an idea of his own.

He has a lot of school pride and wanted to do something for his school that would have visibility to his peers on campus. The school headmaster suggested they could use a new Lost and Found shed. The project was completed just last month. My son was excited that it was recognized during morning announcements and also featured in the school newspaper. A personal thank you letter also came from the school principal.

A weakness of this project is that it required the use of many power tools to construct the shed. The BSA Tool Usage Guidelines necessitated more adult hours than was ideal. Take note of that when considering construction based Eagle projects.

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14 hours ago, perdidochas said:

Another scout built cat shelters for a feral cat rescue.

Funny - we had a Scout in our troop do this exact same project just last year. He also raised money to buy cat food for the feral cats.

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17 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

My project came to me when I was a Star and talking to my cousin at Christmas. She worked in a pediatric ICU unit, and told me some stories. Long story short, my project was collecting toys for the kids at her hospital's pediatric ward.

Any sort of "collection" project is generally frowned on in my district.  The one Scout in our troop who had a  collection project approved was a Scout I have written about before in this forum, who has cerebral palsy and is wheelchair-bound, and I assume that was done as an accommodation for him.  He did a good job though. 

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Just now, NJCubScouter said:

Any sort of "collection" project is generally frowned on in my district.  The one Scout in our troop who had a  collection project approved was a Scout I have written about before in this forum, who has cerebral palsy and is wheelchair-bound, and I assume that was done as an accommodation for him.  He did a good job though. 

I don’t like collection drives either. It doesn’t prove Leadership and it’s nothing meaningful in my opinion. My troop has two clothing drives a year, but don’t see us using it as a Eagle Scout Project.

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I think that there are times when collections drives can work as Eagle Scout projects, but they are more than just collecting items.  Here are a few examples:

Bryan on Scouting:  Reminder about nontraditional Eagle projects was music to this Scout’s ears

This Scout did more than just collect donated musical instruments.  He also got them repaired and refurbished.  In addition, he organized local musicians who came in and gave a 1-hour lesson to the foster kids who would be getting the new instruments.

Bryan on Scouting:  An Eagle Scout project doesn’t have to be permanent

When this Scout was younger, he only had black trash bags to carry his belongings from one foster home to another. :(  So the Scout put together a duffel- bag drive for foster kids.  He filled 100 high-quality duffel bags with blankets, flashlights, and stuffed animals.

Bryan on Scouting:  Eagle Scout service project benefits those on four legs

Here's another one where it included a collection drive, but the Scout also organized an adoption event and raised awareness about retired racing greyhounds.

 

One way to come up with Eagle Scout project ideas (and they are everywhere, as others have already pointed out) is for the Scout to think about who would benefit from the project?  Foster kids, veterans, children's hospital / ward, local park, wildlife refuge, zoo, etc.

If the Scout has some kind of "connection" with the service project, that's great, too.  For example, this Scout's twin brother has Autism and is legally blind, so he decided that he wanted to do a project to help kids with special needs: a sensory room specially designed for kids with Autism.  The room included special lighting, padded floors, and educational toys.

Bryan on Scouting: 2017 Eagle Project of the Year:  He built sensory rooms for kids with autism

 

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My problem with collection drives is that Scouts rarely know what their goal is. "Collecting stuff" is not a goal. So we always challenge them to come up with a goal, just like any other project. If collecting food, they can use SFF donations by unit statistics from district to gauge how much might be realistic. Clothing drives can contact local shelters and missions to see what their efforts usually obtain.

But just collecting stuff without a goal (and one that is hard to reach too) is usually frowned upon in my area too.

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If it has a personal meaning and have a valid reason behind it, then I’d be onboard. But doing it because it’s the “easiest and least effort” Project is not the right attitude.

I had a bigger project planned but my beneficiary ended up asking me to change it due to them wanting to keep items as a memory.

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Project had meaning and wasn't because it was easy effort. Heard some Christmas horror stories about poor kids, in the hospital, for Christmas. That got the idea going. Good bit of work advertising, collecting, and especially cleaning ( was collecting new and "gently used" toys and had to be cleaned to hospital standards, and even then, I think they took them somewhere to be sterilized) the toys. Then distributing them. That was heartwrenching. 

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