Scouts-L Mail Archive for August of 1999: How to Find an Eagle Scout Service Project
How to Find an Eagle Scout Service Project
Settummanque, the blackeagle
Mon, 2 Aug 1999 21:28:18 -0500
Davis Watkins (if you're here, Davis, raise your hands high!!) took a
posting that I wrote a couple of days back over at rec.scouting.usa,
reformatted into Microsoft (tm) Word, and spell and grammer checked it.
*grinning*. I'm posting it here so that those other Eagle Scout candidates
can receive some ideas...and of course, so that OTHERS out there with
additional ideas, can add to it!
The question posed was this: a young man, an Eagle Scout candidate, lived
in a small community. He was wondering what kinds of Eagle service projects
he can do in his small town.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Davis Watkins) and email@example.com
Here are a few suggestions on how to find a good Eagle Scout Service
First, go to the public library. Do this on a day and time that you've got
a LOT of time, don't try to do this in a rush!
You're going to take a look through your community's newspapers, for at
least TWO MONTHS prior to that day. Bring a pad and pen or pencil to write
down the information or use their copier machine to photocopy the stories.
Which stories? The ones that explain some problems, issue or lack of
attention by the community. Look in the news section, in the editorials, in
the sports section, and in the "community news sections". Write down the
details, what is it that seems to be a problem, who's taking care of it or
who's trying to take care of it, where is it and the biggie "the impact on
kids?" Things like road repair, new community buildings or fire protection
doesn't really impact kids as much as truancy from schools, cracks in
sidewalks, handicapped accessibility, and things like that would.
Second, after your review of the papers, set up interviews with your mayor
or county judge-executive, with the community's fire chief and chief of
police. Do each on separate days. During your interviews, stress the
importance of you DEVELOPING, PLANNING, LEADING AND EVALUATING this project.
This isn't their time to "put you in charge as a figurehead but they do all
of the work". No buddy, YOU'VE got to do this stuff. Take their ideas, and
DO NOT COMMIT to anything. You're still in the input stage.
Next, sit down with a group of your peers. This is going to be hard, so
don't make it sound like "you're having a meeting". Rather just ask them,
"if they had all of the resources available in our town, what would YOU like
to see different or changed or added?" You'll get a lot of
suggestions...write them ALL down. Even the ones that sound REALLY nutzoid
(like "a brand new swimming pool" or "every Friday off from school"!)
Finally, sit down with your Scoutmaster, your parents or a trusted adult
friend. Explain what all you've collected and with that adult, go through
them and see which ones appeal to you AND which the adult feels you can do.
Keep this in mind. YOU are the final determination of what project YOU are
to do not the adult. The adult is there as a "sanity check", that's all.
If the adult says that ALL of the projects are bogus, then you've got to go
and find another project or seek another adult's input. In a nation whereby
teenage boys and girls can lead packs of boys and girls to terrorize and
kill people, destroy property, and cause fear among its citizenry. Surely
YOU as a young adult can lead a pack or boys and girls to build, strengthen,
and develop property and cause happiness among your citizenry. Keep that
Once you've settled on FOUR projects, then its time for you to do an outline
of what it is that you like about those four. One of them (or maybe two)
will stand out in front of all of the others. That's your initial service
project. Now, you're ready to meet with your District or Council
Advancement chair and complete the Life to Eagle Service Project booklet.
If he or she turns down your project, don't feel dejected, go back, put
together the second best idea, and go back.
(Now do you know why I said "four"?)
EVERY community in America, has problems or things that can be solved by the
leadership and direction of a young person. Service projects DO NOT have to
involve building or painting something, those are easier to find. Look for
other ways to extend what you've learned through Scouting with your
community: a literacy program, a computer teaching program, an after-school
workout program, an arts and crafts fair, a leadership development workshop,
and there's more. If your papers are complaining about the lack of salaried
workers at the public library or other community centers, how about setting
up a volunteer program. If the papers are complaining about the lack of
lighting downtown, come up with a plan to add more lighting and with your
city planners, do it.
There's simply NOTHING that you as an Eagle Scout candidate cannot do to
better others in your community. Don't limit it to just playground
building, or painting walls or sitting and coaching younger kids. You're a
LEADER, this is your time to PROVE IT to your adults and to your fellow Scouts.
Take the time, don't rush it, and use your community's resources to assist
you in finding a problem, researching the problem, and finding several
solutions and pick the best one. Then SOLVE it.
Use your resources.
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
Joint Information Bureau Deputy Director
US SOUTHCOM FCE (Enhanced New Horizons)
APO Miami, AA 34042 (Soto Cano AB, Honduras)
personal inquiries via firstname.lastname@example.org,
blackeagle@SCOUTER.net or email@example.com
professional inquiries via firstname.lastname@example.org or
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