Re: Eagle Service Projects
Andrew Hagemann (hagemann@VISI.NET)
Sun, 9 Feb 1997 10:54:21 -0500
Like Matthew Baldwin's Troop, my Troop has a "house rule" of 100
manhours for Eagle projects, but we're a 45-Scout Troop with at least a
dozen actively involved adult leaders, so we can "get away" with such a
large number. All of our adult leaders tell the Scouts to find a
project that is substantial enough so that they can go back to see it
when they're adults and say "I helped make this."
In recent years several of our Eagle candidates have taken the "easy"
route and arranged to plant trees on city watershed property, but we
still expect them to spend the bulk of their 100 manhours actually
planting trees and managing the crews. But we've also had some truly
innovative projects: we've refurbished a number of bicycles for Toys For
Tots; made several dozen small, oak-floorboard, souvenir crosses from
our sponsoring church's old parish house's ripped-out floorboards;
sorted thousands of trading cards into 25-card packs for Toys For Tots;
built a *big* log bridge in a memorial park; built and installed
wooden-box water channels in hiking trails to prevent rain water run-off
from making muddy trails in our city's largest park; designed, "begged"
the lumber and nails, then built and hung scores of bat houses; and
built a number of large, raised planting beds for our SPCA. Next
Saturday we're going to cut saplings and use them to erect
18th-century-style field fortifications (gabions and facines) for the
Yorktown Victory Center State Park. Neat, huh?
Why are we getting projects like this? Because we have a tradition of
excellence and the Scouts strive to meet or exceed the other Scout's
projects. So you say, "We're not an old troop, and we don't have such a
heritage." My answer to that is: Did we, back in 1925?
Be firm, fair, and consistent in your expectations of your Scouts. Be
willing to send back "weak" project plans for rework. After three or
four of your Eagle Scouts have successful, involved, projects like the
ones I described above, the others will begin to fall into the same
Some of these projects were executed in a single day because we had a
big turn-out. (Good advertising and long-lead planning made this
happen. Fliers were handed out at the meetings for several weeks in a
row.) Sometimes our projects take longer to meet the 100 manhour rule
because of a low turn-out of Scout helpers. (Word of mouth advertising
and too-short lead times caused these projects to have low turn-outs.)
No matter what the initial turn-out is, we are firm in our desire to see
that project takes at least 100 manhours to complete. And it works.
Rosamond -Rusty- Taylor wrote:
> I am concerned about the quality of some of the Eagle Service Projects that
> boys in our ward that have submitted and will be submitted in the future
> for approval. the advancement guidelines (Eagle Service Project packet)
> state there is no minimum number of hours required, no minimum number of
> people, etc.
> the projects I have seen are usually executed in one day and tend to run
> along the lines of tree planting(I guess it is good to plant trees), where
> minimal organizational skills are being demonstrated and almost without
> exception a one day project. I get the sense that the boys are trying to
> get by with the minimum amount of effort, rather than demonstrating their
> leadership skills and investing some time to do a more significant (?)
> project and "do my best".
> Is my concern valid? if so, how might I approach correcting the situation.
> I sent one package back to the boy for additional information because I
> felt it was not adequately described.knowing what I know at this time, I
> would not have approved the project. the boy complied and I signed off
> after having the committee review it.
> Bob Taylor
Andrew Hagemann <email@example.com>
SA, Troop 6
Colonial Virginia Council
A "Charging" Buffalo, SR-158
Jamboree '97 Metal Work MB Booth Coordinator
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City