Re: Eagle Project Question
Mike Murdock (Mike_Murdock@UNT.EDU)
Thu, 1 Dec 1994 11:38:44 CST6CDT
> From: John Pannell <PANNELLJ@DELPHI.COM>
> Subject: Re: Eagle Project Question
John, others on the list have echoed your sentiment and I
have only included your message as a starting point while I amble
up to the soap box. :)
> In my district, IMO, such a project is not likely to be approved.
> As another writer has commented on; the key to the Eagle project is
> Leadership. Here it would be question whether the Life Scout, by nominally
> running a campaign that already happened before he camme along,
> leadership. He might say he is in charge, etc... , but in actuality it is
> the Red Cross, or other such sponsoring organization that is really running
> the show.
> There is a reluctance here to approve Eagle projects, that are identical to
> service projects/campaings done by non-Scouting organizations. That last
> sentence does not make too much sense -- hard to express -- but what it
> means is this:
> The Red Cross already does blood drives, they have occurred without the
> Scout's leadership in the past. The Scout would "take over" an existing
> blood drive. Therefore he is following some prescripted plan and not
> demonstrating leadership.
So then, does that mean that an Eagle project must demonstrate
leadership in an action that has not ever been performed?
Leadership in a UNIQUE community project is what is required? If
that is true, then the value of many projects used for the Eagle
requirement could be questioned.
One of the occupations that I have had in my past was that of Donor
Recruitment Director for a Red Cross Blood Services division. It
was my job to make certain that blood donors were available for each
blood drive scheduled in the state (not here in Texas!). I had a
staff of 7 field recruiters and 11 telephone recruiters. We were
paid employees. We canvassed the state. Each County had a Red
Cross chairperson who made certain a Blood Drive Committee was
active and invovled in the recruitment effort. Yes, I followed a
generally prescripted plan handed down to me from the Red Cross and my
predecessors. Yes, I had assistants. BUT ...
1) Each and every blood drive was made possible ONLY by the
efforts of volunteers who PLANNED, MANAGED, and LEAD others in the
local blood drive. We had numerous instances when a blood drive was
held and less than ten people donated because the local leaders
failed to do their part. Successful blood drives can only be
successful if, at the local level, they are planned and organized.
This requires significant leadership. (As many of you know, leading
volunteers is not a trivial undertaking.)
2) Each blood drive had its own stamp of uniqueness placed upon it
by the person(s) who PLANNED and MANAGED the blood drive. With each
drive, my staff and I would learn something new and often innovative
from the local blood drive leader(s).
Please don't be to quick to discredit a blood drive for an Eagle
project. It is true that the Red Cross has tried and tested methods
of organizing a drive which are available to the drive sponsors, but
opportunities abound for the leader(s) of such a project to
demonstrate innovation and leadership. The Red Cross offers a list
of guidelines to the blood drive sponsors. Beyond this, the
leader(s) of the blood drive have free reign and ample opportunity
to exhibit leadership so long as they don't embarass the Red Cross.
Does the assumed lack of uniqueness in such a project out-weigh the
value of such an action? I certainly hope not.
Having been on the planning end at the state and local level, I
can say that I would not dismiss a blood drive as not being a good
Eagle project. I would require the Eagle candidate to show
innovation in finding donors and perhaps tracking the retention of
those donors. The major challenge in ANY blood drive is getting
donors. Posters don't do the job. Donors have to be personally
contacted and asked to donate. "Not being asked" is the #1 reason
people surveyed give as the reason they do not donate blood.
Organizing a group whose job is to personally contact potential
donors could be a good project. Retention of blood donors is whole
additional project. This is also a very difficult task and would IMO
make a fine Eagle project.
BOTTOM LINE: Opportunities abound for a good Scout to teach
those old Red Crossers some new tricks. :)
Please excuse the scuff marks on the soap box. Ok, ... next.
Yours in Scouting,
Oh give me a home where the Buffalo roam ...
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City