Scouts-L Mail Archive for November of 1998: Re: Possible "new" Eagle requirement
Re: Possible "new" Eagle requirement
Mon, 16 Nov 1998 11:55:10 -0500
Ron Raab-Long wrote
>At Roundtable last week, our District Advancement Chair went over the
>new Eagle requirements. He added that, while the information found
>here and other internet sites/forums wasn't official - it was right!
>My concern, and that of a great many other people, was not changes in
>the MB requirements, it was on what types of service projects will be
>approved after 1 January, 1999. He explained that no projects will
>be approved that constitute "normal maintenance", regardless of the
>needs of the organization being served, and that the project must
>help more than one person.
Ron, it states in the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook (BSA #
18-927) under Limitations.
"Routine labor (a job or service normally rendered) should not be
considered. Work involving council property ot other BSA activities is
not permitted. The project also may not be performed for a business,
be of a commercial nature, or be a fundraiser. (Fundraising is
permitted only for securing materials or supplies needed to carry out
>From your example, your District Advancement Chair may mean routine
labor / "normal maintenance. This is not a new requirement. I am not
aware of any new Eagle requirements other than the MB's. Your council
may be changing the procedures which is their option.
>The example he gave was a scout who went to his church and asked his
>pastor what service he could perform. The pastor pulled out a list
>of people in need, and recommended the scout work with a particular
>older lady who needed several things taken care of. The scout
>organized a group of people, gathered materials, and spent several
>days fixing up this lady's home. Our AC told us that as of next
>this will not be acceptable. One, because it's "normal maintenance"
>and two, because the pastor told him what had to be done.
I would applaud the Scout for taking the initiative and talking with
the pastor to determine if there was a project that would meet the
requirements. That's exactly what he should be doing. It is difficult
to state if a project is "worthy of an Eagle" based on a couple of
sentences. There's too many Scouters and parents who compare what they
think the project is to someone elses based on limited knowledge. Many
questions have to be asked to fully understand the project. In your
example I don't know if the Scout is fixing up the home as "test" for
a trainng manual that he will use to educate fifty other volunteer
groups of how to get involved in community service or if the materials
he is going to gather are rakes and bags and the several days he spent
was raking leaves. As I said, I'm not qualified to determine if the
project is worthy of an Eagle based on what you've stated.
>Also, no landscaping projects will be approved unless the scout plans
>everything associated with the project - what to plant, where, why,
>etc. If effect, the scout has to have professional landscaping
With the above mentioned caveats, he landscaping project you define is
routine labor I would not approve it either. Now if the Scout PLANS,
gives LEADERSHIP (caps are my emphasis) to the project you describe
then it may get approved. Remember what the requirement is:
"While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to......"
Does he need to have professional landscaping skills? Absolutely not,
but if the project requires landscaping skills then part of his
leadership would be to find someone who does.
>The kicker, in my opinion, was that he further explained that
>*council* would reject these projects, even if they had been approved
>by the district and completed by the scout.
Check on this one fast. Clear communications maybe lacking here....in
his reference to the word *council*, did he mean the administrative
side, the professionals or the Council Advancement Committee. If he
meant the Council Advancement Committee, that's him. All District
Advancement Chairs are members of the Council Advancement Comittee.
So, is it that the "*council* would reject" because they are going to
be doing the project approval? That's valid. It's a council level
decision as to Eagle project approvals being perfomed at the District
or Council level.
Is it "*council* would reject" because you have council level Eagle
BoR and the project is done in a manner that doesn't meet the
requirements? Again, valid. A Scout can fail to qualify for Eagle if
the BoR determines the project was not conducted as described.
I'm not talking about minor changes as allowed for, I'm referring to
the situation where the project blatantly did not meet the
requirements (after approval the Dad does the work, not the Scout).
If neither apply and the "*council* would reject" AFTER a Scout
successfully completes his BoR, I as an Advancement Chair would be at
the council offices before they hung up the phone finding out where
the problem is. When there is District approval at the BoR, typically
the council function is an administative one only.
If *council* would reject" because it wasn't refers to projects that
have been approved prior (grandfathered), IMO this is definetely not
keeping with the Spirit of Scouting. The Scout is working on a project
properly approved and then being penalized because the adults changed
the rules. I guess that would make sense to some people but doesn't
make much sense to me.
>It seems to me, and to many others, that this is adding another
>requirement. Historically, Eagle project approval came from the SM,
>Troop Committee, and District Advancement Committee. Now our Council
>is saying that they have final approval - but don't even see it until
>after the boy is done!
Not necessarily adding another requirements but perhaps redefining the
procedures without a good communications plan.
Please get a copy of the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook (BSA #
18-927, 1998 printing). There are four approvals required for the
project plan. The final one is the Council or District Advancement
Committee. So, yes they may be changing the rules. Anytime that rules
are changed there must be well thought out, well planned and positive
over communications. Sounds like this area needs a little work real
>Has anyone else heard of this in your Councils?
If education, communications, etc doesn't provide for a program of
quality in all the Districts, then council approval of projects is an
option. Not one that I would like to see implemented.
Colin M. McConnell email@example.com
Having so much fun I can Bearrrrrly stand it
District Advancement Chair, Northridge District, Detroit Area Counci