The Benefiting Organizationís Guide to an
Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project
Thank You and Congratulations
The support from community organizations is very important to Scouting, and an important part of Scouting is giving back to the community by helping organizations like yours. If you are reading this, you are probably considering working with an Eagle Scout candidate on his Eagle Scout Service project. This information is to help you understand what the Scout can and cannot do for you, and what he needs from you to make the project a success for everyone involved. This is a two-way street, so thank you for doing what will be required of you, and congratulations on having the opportunity to benefit from the hard work of the Scout and his helpers.
The Eagle Scout Rank
The Eagle Scout Candidate giving you this information is working to achieve the highest rank in Scouting, which is attained only by Scouts who demonstrate strength of character, resourcefulness, determination, and leadership skills. As one of the requirements to attain this rank, he must plan, develop, and lead a service project that benefits a religious institution, a school, or his community (where community is very broadly defined). The purposes of this project requirement are both the service aspect and the leadership aspect. The primary goal is growth of the Scout. Note that the Scout MUST lead the project. It is important that you should be working with the Scout, not the adult leaders or parents. If the project is such that it cannot be carried out with the Scout leading a group of youth carrying out the project with a minimum of adult involvement, or if you are not willing to let the Scout run the project, then the project is not a good choice for an Eagle project. Just because a Scout has asked you if he can do a project for your organization, do not feel obligated to think of a project for him. Any project should be something that is truly needed. There are many projects in every community that are worthy of an Eagle Scout service project.
In order to meet the Boy Scout requirements, some types of projects are not allowed. It cannot be routine labor or a job or service normally rendered. The service project may not be performed for a business or an individual, be of a commercial nature, or be a fund-raiser. Normally, but not always, this means that the project should be for a government entity, religious organization, school, or a 501(c)3 or other tax exempt organization.
Size of the Project
There is no fixed definition of how large a project must be, and no minimum number of hours required. It must be a significant challenge to the Scout, particularly his leadership, and must have a significant benefit to a religious institution, school, or the community. Many projects involve 150 to 250 hours including the planning, but sometimes have exceeded 1000 hours. The project can be a combination of several related tasks to make a significantly challenging project. It also must be something that is within the capabilities of the Scout to complete. Please note that the Scout is not responsible for maintenance of the project after it is completed.
Some projects take only a few months to plan and carry out, while some Scouts take a year or more between the time the project is first discussed and the time it is finished. If you need the project completed by a specific time, be sure the schedule is feasible for the Scout. Once he has written a proposal for the project he must get several approvals and then do any final planning needed. If the project cannot fit into this kind of schedule, it may not work for an Eagle project. Be sure you make any scheduling expectations clear to the Scout when you discuss the project with him.
In any case the project, including the Scoutís report and other steps to complete the Eagle Scout requirements, must be completed before the Scoutís 18th birthday.
Planning and Approvals
Please let the Scout know before he starts his planning what you need to have done, and any limitations you have on how or when it is to be done. Once he has written his initial project proposal, he will ask you to approve that proposal. Be sure he has a thorough understanding of the scope of the project you expect, and any other requirements, before you sign off on the proposal. Remember that he will be planning and leading the project, and will probably be using unskilled youth to do most of the work. He should be able to present enough details of the plan to you that you are comfortable that you will be happy with the result after he carries out the project. If he is not ready to this degree, ask for corrections before you sign that you have given your approval to the proposal.
You should encourage regular communication with the Scout as he plans and carries out the project, including any changes he feels are needed. You may want to review the final plan details before work starts on the project.
Building Permits and Authorizations
If the project will require building permits, you will at least need to inform the Scout, and either obtain the permit or support or assist him in this process. The building permit should be issued to your organization.
If he needs to obtain approvals from others in your organization, be sure to let him know and assist him in this process.
In many cases, the organization that is benefiting from the Eagle Scout Service Project provides any necessary funding, but this is not a requirement. In some cases the Scout may fund the project himself, or he may include fundraising in the project to provide funds for materials. In some cases he may be able to get donations or discounts on necessary materials. Should any donors want documentation of a donation or a receipt, this must be provided by you, the project beneficiary, not the Boy Scouts of America, as the funds are being raised in your name.
You must be willing to let THE SCOUT run the project. He will recruit the labor (Scouts or other youth) and lead them in carrying out the project. The Scoutís unit will provide adults that will be present while the project is being done. While you may need to be present to provide access to your facility during the work, HE must be in charge and directing the project. Over the years, many Scouts have been very successful in leading projects. He must be allowed to have this leadership experience as part of fulfilling this requirement. If your requirements, the nature of the project, or your willingness to give up control, are such that you are not willing to have the project done this way, then please do not agree to work with this Scout on his Eagle Scout Service Project.
Part of his proposal requires him to identify any safety issues he might encounter during the project. The Guide to Safe Scouting puts some limitations on what Scouts are allowed to do for safety reasons. If you are aware of any safety issues, or if you see something being done in an unsafe way, please inform the Scout as soon as possible.
At the completion of the project, the Scout will come back to you for your final approval. If you have any questions about what he has done, do not hesitate to be fully honest with him. This is not the time to change the scope of what he is to do, but you should hold him to your mutual agreement about what the project was to include and how it was to be done, as you approved before the work started. If your reasonable expectations are not met, you should not sign the work as completed.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact any one of the local District Advancement Chairs who are listed at www.eaglescout.itgo.com/contacts.htm, contact the Scoutís Scoutmaster, or call the Boy Scout council office at 610-696-2900 for contact information.
This guide was prepared by the Chester County Council Advancement Committee. It is not an official publication of the Boy Scouts of America.
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This web site is a work-in-progress. If you find any mistakes, links that don't work, typos, or other inaccuracies, please let me know. If you have any suggestions of additional material that would be helpful to boys in earning their Eagle rank, I would always appreciate your input (Tom@Stalnaker.com).
Web site last updated 4/14/2015