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Eagle Project Proposal to Committee

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Who decides if a scout is ready to present his eagle project to the committee? Can the scout ask the CC and send a copy of his proposal or does he need the Eagle coordinator to review and set up the timne for committee for review?

I am SM and this is my sons proposal so trying not to get involved directly.

 

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First, IMHO, not every scout has to present his project to the committee. The whole committee presentation was novel to me when our troops merged. (The other troop was doing it, ours wasn't.) As far as I can tell, committee review does nothing to make the proposal any better in the eyes of the district advancement committee.

On the other hand, our scouts who do present seem to like the feedback and encouragement they get.

As far as scheduling things, the more you put in the scout's hands, the better. I would rather the scout arrange the meeting, then ask the coordinator if there's anything else he should refine for his presentation.

I get the desire to stay in the background when your son or daughter is the candidate. However, also keep in mind the nature of the project.  Son #2 felt that I would be the best adviser for his project, and he wasn't entirely wrong. If you're the best guy for the job, step up. If someone else will do just as good, send your kids their way.

 

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Which committee are you referring to as different areas do different things: Troop Committee, or District Advancement Committee? 

Regarding the Troop Committee,  first not every unit has an "Eagle Coordinator." So that is obviously not needed, BUT if he has one, I would use it. From what I have read on the position, they should be helpful. But again I have never been in a unit that had one.

Second, the full committee doesn't need to approve the project, just the Benefiting Organization (BO), the SM, and the CC. So while the troop committee does not need to approve, I do think it is a good idea to talk to them and get their input IF possible. I'll why explain under District Committee.

Third, I would NOT (emphasis) just send the proposal to the CC, or if the troop committee is involved them as well. I recommend setting up a meeting with the CC and/or TC to discuss the project, get ideas on improving the project, get ideas on challenges, etc. If changes need to be made, make them and get the project signed off.

Regarding the District Advancement Committee, or as they call it in my locale 'The Eagle Board," once all the signatures I mentioned above are signed, it then needs District Advancement Chair (DAC) to sign off. The entire district advancement committee does not need to approve it, BUT I do recommend presenting it to them for several reasons.

First, I know of two cases where the DAC either denied Eagle because he did not approve the service project or made it know that he was reluctantly accepting the project because it was approved by his predecessor, and he had no choice to accept it. How do you think those Scouts felt hearing this? I know I was ticked off, and wanted to know the appeal process because I did everything  by the book, and the DAC that approved my project was on the EBOR, so there was no reason to deny it. And my friend was not to happy either. IF the entire committee sat in on the approval process, I do not believe the situation would have occurred.

Second, the full committee will provide input that the Scout, and others they have talked to,  may not have though about. I know when my son presented his project to the district advancement committee for the DAC's approval, they came up  with concerns he and others did not think about that he and I both were glad they mentioned as two concerns would have cause serious issues had he proceed without being aware of the concerns. The delay in approval was only a week, and then it was just a matter the DAC signing off once the questions were answered. That one week saved a lot of money and several weeks of time.

 

1 hour ago, qwazse said:

I get the desire to stay in the background when your son or daughter is the candidate. However, also keep in mind the nature of the project.  Son #2 felt that I would be the best adviser for his project, and he wasn't entirely wrong. If you're the best guy for the job, step up. If someone else will do just as good, send your kids their way.

 

 

Agree with this 110% My son's project was at the hospital I work at. there were a few things I had to act as liaison for him.

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Personally, I like the idea that the scout has to present his proposal to the troop committee.  It's a nice touch.  BUT, it's not officially required and I'm not sure troops can "require" it.  It's just a nice tradition some troops do.

In our troop, the scout has his proposal and finds any way possible (phone, email, face-to-face) to ask the person to look at his proposal.  If there is time immediately available, they do it then-and-there.  If not, then it's a scheduled review.  District approval in our area is fairly quick with a phone call.

I do find it funny when the troop has a large committee presentation, but does not take the district approval as seriously.  I've finally become fully accepting that the troop and committee can approve, but the district can say no.  

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The Troop Committee decides how they want to handle approvals on Eagle Proposals.   GTA 9.0.1.7

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1 hour ago, fred8033 said:

It's a nice touch.  BUT, it's not officially required and I'm not sure troops can "require" it.

I am the SM so trying not to flex on the troop committee on rules but will if I need to. The Eagle Coordinator in our troop is slow to respond and my son only has a small window to get some of his project done. The CC says he wont review the project this month unless the Eagle Coordinator says its ready. I read what my son has written and its better than most I have seen presented at the troop committee meeting so he is good to go in my mind. I just wasnt sure on who contacts the CC that they want a review of their project.

We have a great committee who mostly just provides a prod here or there or a suggestion so its a good experience for the scout.

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Boy Scouts of America

Guide to Advancement

"9.0.1.7 References Contacted

Council advancement committee members—or others designated—have the responsibility to secure recommendations from the references appearing under requirement 2 on the Eagle Scout Rank Application. This may be done by letter, form, or phone call. For reasons of privacy and confidentiality, electronic submissions are discouraged. It is acceptable to send or deliver to the references an addressed envelope with instructions, and perhaps a form to complete. Scouts may assist with this, but that is the limit of their participation. Scouts are not responsible for followthrough or any other aspect of the process.

It is up to the council’s designated representatives to collect the responses. If after a reasonably diligent effort no response can be obtained from any references, the board of review must go on without them. It must not be postponed or denied for this reason, and the Scout shall not be asked to submit additional references or to provide replacements.

Completed reference responses of any kind are the property of the council and are confidential, and only review-board members and those officials with a specific need may see them. The responses are not to be viewed by or returned to the Scout. Doing so could discourage the submission of negative information. For the same reason, those providing references do not have the option of giving the reference directly to the Scout and shall not be given the option of waiving confidentiality. Once a review has been held, or an appeal process conducted, responses shall be returned to the council, where they will be destroyed after the Eagle Scout credentials are released or the appeal is concluded.

In Scouts BSA, advancement references are required only for Eagle Scout rank. The council determines methods of contact."

 

"9.0.2.0

The Eagle Scout Service Project 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 must benefit an organization other than the Boy Scouts of America.) A project proposal must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your unit leader and unit committee, and the council or district before you start. You must use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, BSA publication No. 512-927, in meeting this requirement. —Eagle Scout requirement 5"

Edited by TAHAWK

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8 minutes ago, PACAN said:

Oops. 9.0.2.7

"The unit committee is responsible for an approval
of the proposal. It is acceptable for a troop, crew,
or ship committee to designate representative(s) to act on its behalf. This is a unit decision. Neither the district nor the council may institute restrictions, such as how many committee members are to be involved"

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9 hours ago, PACAN said:

The Troop Committee decides how they want to handle approvals on Eagle Proposals.   GTA 9.0.1.7

Yes and no.  The troop committee does have great latitude to decide how.  The scout can provide the Eagle Project workbook proposal section to the committee and meet with the committee ... if that's the troop's choice.  But the troop can't require additional presentation materials or powerpoint slides. 

The real challenge is "intent".  I often read BSA's advancement news published by the BSA national advancement committee for clarification.

          https://www.scouting.org/programs/scouts-bsa/advancement-and-awards/advancement/

A consistent narrative exists in BSA's explanations / clarifications in articles such as "jumping the gun" and "Eagle Project Proosal Approval:  Keep it Simple, Make it Fast".   For example, the jumping the gun article empahsizes it's the project that is required.  The signatures and paperwork are only supportive materials that enable the project, but signatures and paperwork are not what is required.  It's the project that is required.  (Nov-Dec 2017)  ... https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/advancement_news/2017_Nov-Dec.pdf

The keep it simple, make it fast points out that the approval should be done in one sitting ... if possible.  If there is truely content that is important that the scout has missed, then let the scout write it in during the meeting.  (Aug-Sep 2013) says "Therefore, reviewers at all levels should strive to approve proposals in one meeting if at all possible. If there is something truly important the Scout has considered but failed to write down, let him add the information right then and there. Give him a couple of minutes to handwrite the necessary information onto the proposal form, and then give him the approval. This way the Scout can get on with more detailed planning, and then execute his project. In the event there is a valid reason the proposal cannot be approved in one meeting, and it is necessary for the Scout to go back and put more effort into it, then the reviewer should provide a clear explanation, preferably in writing, of what needs to be done to gain approval."  

Also, BSA GTA 9.0.2.7 does explicitly say ... "It is important to be as considerate of an Eagle Scout candidate’s time as we expect him or her to be of ours. The Scout is probably just as busy. Every attempt should be made to complete the approval process in one meeting." ... BSA also suggests examples of the troop committee assigning approvals to the advancement chair.  

The very thing that BSA is trying to avoid is having project paperwork be a major delay or a factor that puts the scout's project at risk or the scout's advancement at risk.  

So, yes troop committees do have flexibility to require the scout to present to the "committee".  It's just not the intent of the process.  It can definitely have positives, but it also risks negatives.  

I'd also strongly argue that to meet BSA's intent, the troop committee should make itself available to the scout for presentation fairly fast.  I'd argue on a weekly basis or so.   Introducing a month of delay for proposal approval is wrong.  BSA does say in BSA GTA 9.0.2.7 to be considerate of the scout's time as the scout is probably just as busy as the adults.  

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10 hours ago, TMSM said:

I am the SM so trying not to flex on the troop committee on rules but will if I need to. The Eagle Coordinator in our troop is slow to respond and my son only has a small window to get some of his project done. The CC says he wont review the project this month unless the Eagle Coordinator says its ready. I read what my son has written and its better than most I have seen presented at the troop committee meeting so he is good to go in my mind. I just wasnt sure on who contacts the CC that they want a review of their project.

We have a great committee who mostly just provides a prod here or there or a suggestion so its a good experience for the scout.

I agree that you should not "flex" on the troop committee.  This is not a fight worth fighting ... if the troop is running well and your son will be able to advance.  

I'm writing as it's worth knowing the intent.  

10 hours ago, TMSM said:

The CC says he wont review the project this month unless the Eagle Coordinator says its ready. ... I just wasnt sure on who contacts the CC that they want a review of their project.

This is where I have the issue.  Who contacts the CC for review?  Your scout.  When does he contact the CC?  As soon as your scout thinks he's ready to contact the CC.  In fact, your scout should talk with the CC early and let the CC know the proposal is coming.  ... To grease the wheels for smoother approval.

I really don't like the "slow to respond".  In that case, the troop should have a different Eagle Coordinator or let an adult that can respond find a time slot that works with the Eagle Coordinator.  The number one thing an Eagle coordinator needs to do is be available to the scouts in the troop.  

I really don't like the "this month" as it puts major delays into the paperwork and it's just not considerate of the scout.  We are trying to encourage the scouts to give service and be leaders.  We are not teaching them beaurocracy.  

"Eagle coordiantor says it's ready" ... BSA GTA 9.0.2.7 does say "Every attempt should be made to complete the approval process in one meeting."  ... This is repeated throughout BSA advancement news.  I'd strongly argue that if the troop has an Eagle coordinator reviewing proposals and giving the scout feedback, then that's the first review meeting.  Most scouts should leave that meeting with a committee signature.  There should be no CC waiting to schedule the review until the Eagle coordinator says it's ready. 

I'd also argue it adds another invisiible signature (aka a multi-phase committee approval process.  It's exactly what is not intended.  IMHO, if you have an Eagle Coordinator, give him the power to approve the projects.  Or let scouts directly ask the CC (or advancement chair) for ten minutes at the next committee meeting to present his proposal.  Or let the Eagle coordinator directly schedule the troop committee reviews.  

Edited by fred8033
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This has as much to do with how you want to shape the troop culture. In general, I don't want adults indulging scouts' foolishness, but I do want them responding to scouts' industry. In practical terms this means I expect them to raise a high bar for behavior and accountability, but don't turn that bar into a wall.

If the Eagle coordinator is any good, then the CC just needs to read and sign. No meetings necessary. At the next meeting, the CC then reports the gist of any projects that were approved. If the EC percieves any real hurdles (e.g., scout will need 500 laborers and you all have 50), then he should talk to the CC.

If the EC is still cutting teeth, the scout should feel free to let the CC know that he has a good proposal and would like to present it to the committee at the earliest possible convenience.

But, if this is not your troop culture right now, your scout should get on the phone with the EC and ask if he/she thinks it can go to committee as is. If not, identify revisions, make changes, and repeat the cycle until the proposal is good to go.

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We did just change Eagle Coordinators and the comittee does not focus on building any written guidelines for this part of the Eagle project. EC has not responded to emails or texts but the CC has stated he wont put this on the agenda next Monday unless EC gives a thumbs up. The CC doesn't know the EC is slow to respond and most likely thinks the EC is working to help the scout fix a few things. 

I like the idea of my son letting the CC know hes ready to go. As SM I have learned quite a few tricks to help boys make decisions and act on them without directly telling them what and how to do it so I'll use that to help him.

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14 hours ago, qwazse said:

... I expect them to raise a high bar for behavior and accountability, but don't turn that bar into a wall.

Great phrasing.  Expect a higher bar, but don't turn the bar into a wall.  

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@TMSM,

Sounds like you are really concerned about showing favoritism and/or interfering with your son. I was in that situation a few months ago. After my son presented his project to the Eagle board, and got it tentatively approved, I had a chance to speak with one of the board members who is a long time friend about my concern of interfering.  He reminded me how I helped his son with his Eagle project back in the day, and simply said do the same things I would do for any other Scout.

So if one of your Scouts came to you saying he was having challenges with the Eagle coordinator, how would you handle it for them?

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