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Eagle Project Unsigned

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I have an Eagle Candidate who started working on his service project last summer.  He had verbal approval from the beneficiary, email approval from his crew advisor & SM on the idea, even presented the project to our parent committee.  The project is now complete but in reviewing the workbook documents, there are no signatures on Page E of the project plan.

Any advise on how to handle this?

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Tough one.  They are not allowed to do more than preliminary planning until all signatures - including the District/Council representative - are in place.  The page specifically says that the District/Council approval is last and thus it would not have been provided without the others being present.

I say it is a tough one because, based on the information you provided, I would not accept the project.  It is a really tough lesson for a Scout to learn but it was his own mistake.  His SM or Eagle Adviser should have warned him not to do the work but he also should have read and understood the workbook and known he could not start yet.

As for how to handle....  Undoubtedly it will come up (either here or within the unit) that he can just get the preapproval signatures now, allow the work that has already been done and continue with the post-project signatures.  In my mind, that is not a valid option - the rules are very clear that work cannot begin until the project is approved.  That would be like accepting work done before a Scout earned First Class to satisfy a requirement that says "while a First Class Scout, do..."

Good Luck.  I look forward to reading other opinions and how it turns out.

 

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Contact your district or council advancement chairman. You might not like hearing what he/she has to say. But he/she is the one who schedules Eagle boards of review.

In general, I have been coming across more 17 year-olds who just don't do paperwork. We had a boy come back to us in consecutive weeks with an incomplete Eagle app. You'd think at SMC #1 when we said, "Go home, look at all of your blue cards, and fill in the dates," he would do that that very evening, call the SM the next day for a signature, and take that paperwork downtown as soon as office hours opened! But, evidently that's not how post-modern nomads operate.

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I think the first question is, did the council/district reviewer actually approve the proposal before work started on the project?  Could there be a version of the workbook somewhere that has the council/district signature on it?  Or an email indicating approval?  Or a verbal approval and the reviewer will sign the workbook now?  If any of that is true, I think this situation may be salvageable, and the reviewer and/or the district advancement chair should be consulted to find out how to go about doing that.

If, on the other hand, nobody on the council/district advancement committee has ever heard of this project, then the Scout may be stuck.  But I still think the district advancement chair should be asked if there is a way to repair this.

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We had a similar situation in our district. The lack of signature/approval from the district was not noticed until the Eagle Scout application was submitted. The District Advancement Chair was understandably quite peeved. Lots of blame to go around. They decided to hold a special EBOR with 5 reviewers instead of the normal 3 (I know of this because I sat on that EBOR). The grilling was quite intense, but he ultimately passed.

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26 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

I think the first question is, did the council/district reviewer actually approve the proposal before work started on the project?  Could there be a version of the workbook somewhere that has the council/district signature on it?  Or an email indicating approval?  Or a verbal approval and the reviewer will sign the workbook now?  If any of that is true, I think this situation may be salvageable, and the reviewer and/or the district advancement chair should be consulted to find out how to go about doing that.

If, on the other hand, nobody on the council/district advancement committee has ever heard of this project, then the Scout may be stuck.  But I still think the district advancement chair should be asked if there is a way to repair this.

It would be a not-unreasonable request but wow what a risk (and am Eagle-killer for a deathbed Eagle attempt). A big problem would be if there was anything major wrong with the proposal or worse yet for a non-eligible beneficiary. We had a similar issue once with a 'horse farm for sensory students' (autistic kids would get horse therapy). Scout (who often avoided meetings and scouters on his race to Eagle) jumped ahead on his project (building a pole barn for said farm--good project) without any discussion with the Troop leaders. He did not get the District Eagle project approval and it ended up that the farm was a private business rather than a non-profit and it would not get approved anyway. Upon discovery he had to redo his project (I think a lame canned food drive that just met the letter of the law). But IF he had followed the procedures we would have taken the time to review and help and much pain would have been avoided.

Alas the pole barn was pulled down for work without permits by the City  as well.

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54 minutes ago, qwazse said:

In general, I have been coming across more 17 year-olds who just don't do paperwork.

I have encountered the same, but it is more than a paperwork problem. Some of these 17 year-old candidates have been inactive in Scouting for several years and are just coming back for some last minute cramming to get their Eagle. Their cramming approach is reflected in all they do (missing approvals and signatures, rushed project, incomplete paperwork, shoddy uniform, etc). There is nothing of quality.

I call them "deathbed Eagles", and I'm definitely not a fan.

Edited by gblotter

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1 hour ago, bstone said:

I have an Eagle Candidate who started working on his service project last summer.  He had verbal approval from the beneficiary, email approval from his crew advisor & SM on the idea, even presented the project to our parent committee.  The project is now complete but in reviewing the workbook documents, there are no signatures on Page E of the project plan.

Any advise on how to handle this?

  1. Read the Guide to Advancement starting at page 67.
  2. Meet with Scout and SM. Find out why this proceeded without signatures.
  3. Set up meeting with the Council/District rep to discuss how to proceed.

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BSA recently addressed situations like this.  First of all, I assume the issue is in the "proposal" as the plan is not approved.

BSA wrote Nov-Dec 2017 Advancement News an article about "Jumping The Gun".   https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/advancement_news/2017_Nov-Dec.pdf

A few key statements...

  • Proposal approval is to be a "benefit" to the scout to avoid later issues.  It is not meant as a legalistic hoop to jump through.
  • Completing project without prior approval is counter to project requirements.  
  • BSA also wrote ...
    • "However, if circumstances are compelling, the proposal or project can be approved after the fact if (1) it appears that the project was well led, (2) completed to the beneficiary's satisfaction, and (3) would probably have been approved in advance if the Scout had followed proper procedures."
    • "When considering which of these options is appropriate in a specific case, everyone involved in the decision should keep in mind that write-ups and signatures, though important, are simply supportive. It is the project that we require. Ultimately, it is up to the Scout's board of review to determine if the project itself met the requirement. Boards of review should use common sense when reviewing the following: Did the project meet the requirements or not? Was there planning and development? Was there leadership of others?

This is consistent with BSA Guide To Advancement 2017, PDF page 70.

  • "From time to time Scouts will “jump the gun” and begin fundraising efforts—or even work on the project itself— before a proposal is approved. This is counter to the requirements and well covered in multiple documents, but still it happens. Normally then, a Scout should select a different project. If circumstances are compelling, however—indicating leniency can be extended and a lesson learned without significant detriment to fulfilling the project’s purpose—the Scout may be allowed to carry on and have his proposal or project approved after the fact."

With all that said from BSA and their advancement team, it's all really just confusing.  But EBORs have discretion and scouts can advance even without pre-approval of their Eagle project.

So in another words, talk to the district advancement team.  Let them know what's going on.  Let them know about BSA's clarification.  See what can be done.  Support the scout as appropriate to the situation.

Edited by fred johnson
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