Advancement Questions and Who can benefit from Eagle Project
(no name) ((no email))
Thu, 11 Jun 1998 12:48:27 -0700
(Long post warning, I did it again . . .)
The merit badge counselors where dad lives will only be a problem from the
Council stand point of view if 1. Unregistered Counselors are used and 2.
If the your Council checks to see if all counselors used are registered.
(They will not be registered locally in most cases.) I would recommend
that he work with a unit during the Summer and get you the Scoutmasters
phone number so you can talk with the Scoutmaster of the unit in New York
You may have some insight for the NY Scoutmaster to help him working with
the Scout and he may have some information to help you work with the Scout
when he returns. If he does not transfer his membership back and forth, or
dual register (register in the troop in NY while keeping his registration
in your unit) then all advancements will have to go on your units
advancement forms. I recommend this anyway, to facilitate record checking
when the young man applies for his Eagle Scout Award.
>have his parents - not registered with the program - sign off on >certain
activities with my guidance.
The keys words here are "with my guidance". A lot of people will disagree
with me, because they cannot imagine parents signing off Boy Scout
requirements, yet it is the standard practice in Cub Scouts. (Hey, we try
to train em right early on ;-) From my point of view, I prefer the person
to be registered, but parents are part of the troop by default and they are
frequently used on camping trips to help with the 2nd and 1st class
requirements, registered or not.
Since this family does a lot of camping, then there is a good chance they
have to skills and knowledge to pass their son for his 2nd and 1st class
requirements. Talk to them about this and get a feel for the parents. If
you think they will rubber stamp things, this may not be a good idea. On
the other hand, I have seen parents who go to the other extreme and require
perfection from their sons. Would I let this Scout do this if he were in
my troop? It all depends on the parents and the Scout. In some cases I
would say yes and others no. If you think the parents would be fair and
honest (no more, no less) then I would let them do this and maybe allow
that the Scout check in at the meetings during the Summer between his
weekend trips to go over what he did and review what he learned.
The only other fear I would have is that the Scout will develop the habit
of having Mom and/or Dad sign off on his requirements and he would not be
getting the benefit of working with other Scouts and Scouters on his
requirements. If you think this is developing this could be a bad idea.
On the other hand, when the Scout is with the troop he works well with the
other adults and Scouts on his requirements, it could also be a non-issue.
I do not have enough information to give you a definite answer. In fact,
how you go about this is probably going to be decided by your gut feelings.
We have to keep reminding ourselves that we are working with individuals
and two seeming identical situations are not identical. Which leads into
the next topic: Who can benefit from Eagle Scout Projects?
I think you are on the right track. For guidelines I try to follow what
National has published. I also try real hard not to add anything to what
national publishes. The reason for working in this fog of nationals rules
and not trying to make things more concrete will be found in the previous
The project, per the requirement, is done for "Your Church, School, or
Community" with the specific exclusions that have already been noted.
If a Scout comes to me with a project to fix up the home of an elderly or
disabled person who cannot do the work themselves, I will usually comment
that this is a worthwhile project, but I do not believe it is an Eagle
Scout Project. The reason, I do not see a church, school, or community in
the home of one person or family. If a Scout can then convince me that the
work for this one home will benefit the community, I will approve the
project. It has not yet happened, but if a sharp enough Scout came along,
I already know how it could be done. Most of the time, when a Scouts
project is not initially approved or I have to ask him to clarify how his
project will meet the requirement, the Scout will re-read or read for the
first time :-( what it says in the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook.
Frequently after reading the requirements and getting an explanation, they
will understand why the project cannot be approved or they figure out how
to argue for its approval.
To try and answer your question:
>So, what are the criterion differentiating a "good-will" operation
>in the community, private or public, (which I would allow a
>service project to benefit) as opposed to a business doing business >under
any of a number of fronts or permutations.
The Scout is the one that has to convince you that the project is within
the guidelines and appropriate. If he reads and understands what is stated
about doing projects for businesses or of a commercial nature, then he will
be back to explain how this group qualifies or he will be back with a
different project after he clarifies things with the benefiting
organization. You and your advancement committee (if you have one, use
there help here) are going to have to decide if the project is within
National guidelines when presented. You need to be flexible and open
minded, but try real hard not to let them make you stretch the rules. (Is
his proposal within the spirit of the rule is a good guide.) Do not worry
that someone may come to you latter and state, you allowed this project by
John, but you turned down the same project by Bill. When this happens to
me I generally say to people that John presented me with an Eagle Scout
project and Bill did not. A lot that has to do with Eagle Scout projects
is not easy to measure with fixed formulas and specific measures. How the
Scout presents a project and his plans to execute the project can make or
break it. I have seen Blood drives as good Eagle Scout Projects and as bad
Eagle Scout Projects. As the last person in line to approve the Eagle
Scout Project, I have to make sure the Blood Drive project has a plan to be
a good Eagle Scout Project before I will approve it. (Of course, the Scout
still has to execute a Good Eagle Scout Project.)
>From Bob Reeder
>Most of the councils that I have been associated with have had
> strict rules about service projects in that a specified number
>of hours is recommended (becomes required).
I have been trying to avoid doing this for quite a few years now (first as
District Advancement Chair and now Council Advancement Chair.) The reason
is simple. The requirement revolves around clearly demonstrating
leadership, not producing a certain number of man hours. I prefer to keep
my flexibility and explain as I have above. The reason I think a lot of
people do what you describe is because they cannot deal with the
subjective. They have to have a measure to clearly tell them leadership
was displayed, regardless if it was there or not.
Long again sorry. I know, I probably need to get a life, it is just that
things have been real slow at work lately. I am trying to do something
about it, so I will not be this bad all the time. Also, this time I come
with a disclaimer. What is presented here are my views and how I try to
interpret what national has provided as guidelines. I guarantee that your
mileage will vary.
;-D (big silly grin).
Chris Haggerty, Sierra Vista, Arizona
Catalina Council Advancement Chairman
Instructor Trainer for Water Safety, American Red Cross, Ft Huachuca Station
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City