Finding an Eagle
Leadership Service Project
are two main purposes for the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project.
provides service to the community and helps fulfill the part of the
Scout Oath "to help other people at all times". Eagle
Projects provide many millions of hours of community service every
year. This has a significant impact on our communities.
is an opportunity for you to demonstrate, hone, learn, and develop
leadership skills. Related to this are important lessons in
project management and taking responsibility for a significant
are two key criteria for an Eagle Leadership Service Project.
must be a significant contribution to benefit the
community. This might be for a religious institution, school,
municipality or other community organization. It should be of
sufficient magnitude to be special and challenging.
must be large enough to allow and require you to demonstrate
significant leadership. Projects that must be done with only
a few people; require significant adult labor; or for organizations
that are not willing to let a boy plan, develop, and lead the project;
do not make good Eagle projects.
Eagle Leadership Service Project can not be:
involving council property, or other BSA
activity. The Boy Scouts can not be the beneficiary except in
the most indirect way.
shared with any other Eagle
candidate. Only one Scout can receive credit for a
project. It is possible for two Scouts to do independent
projects for the same organization if they are different projects,
separately planned and carried out.
routine labor is not normally appropriate for a
project. This might be defined as a job or service you may
provide as part of your daily life, or a routine maintenance job
normally done by the beneficiary (for example, pulling weeds on the
football field at your school).
performed for a business or an
individual. Normally the beneficiary organization will be a
501(c)3 non-profit or a governmental organization, but not
always. Ask if you are not sure.
of a commercial nature. While
projects may not be of a commercial nature or for a business, this is
not meant to disallow work for community institutions, such as museums
and service agencies (like homes for the elderly, for example), that
would otherwise be acceptable. Some aspect of a business
operation provided as a community service may also be considered - for
example, a park open to the public that happens to be owned by a
a fund-raiser. In other words, it may
not be an effort that primarily collects money, even for a worthy
charity. Fundraising is permitted only for securing materials
and facilitating a project, and it may need to be approved by your
council. See Eagle Scout Service Project Fundraising
Application included in your Workbook.
a solo project. If the project
requires, or you end up carrying it out by yourself or just you and
your parent, it does not qualify for an Eagle project. It
must be carried out with you providing leadership to a group (minimum
of 2, typically 5-10) youth (Boy Scouts or others) who are
carrying out the project under your direction.
If you have any questions about
whether a project idea would meet the requirements, contact your
district representative. See
looking for, and evaluating, project ideas, be sure to pick a project
can successfully carry out. Here are some things to keep in
mind as you
You will need to be able to lead the
project. Consider your strengths and weaknesses.
Since you will be using youth labor who are probably less skilled than
you, be sure that you will be able to teach them the skills needed to
carry out the project. You probably will need to advance your
skills as part of the planning process, but stay within a reasonable
reach. If you are good with wood tools, a construction
project might be good, but if you are not sure which end of a
screwdriver to pick up, would you be able to teach others how to build
a storage building for a church? If all you can do with a
computer is turn it on and use a word processor and the internet, you
should not offer to install a school district wide computer network
with custom web site and training materials and classes (yes, this was
an Eagle project).
You will need to be allowed to run the
project. Some organizations insist that they provide someone
to "supervise" while you supply a pool of labor to do the
work. If they are not comfortable to let
you run the project, after they have approved your
proposal, then you need to find a different project to qualify for an
You will need to recruit the labor to carry out
the project. If you are from a small troop and have few other
youth to draw from, don't pick a project what will require 10 people at
a time for many days. The time of year and available schedule
may also affect the availability of your labor pool. Your
Scoutmaster or Project Coach may be able to help you figure out how to
You will need to buy or acquire the needed
materials. Often the benefiting organization will pay for the
materials, within some budget. If not, be sure you have a way
to come up with the materials through fund-raising, donations, or paid
for out of your own pocket.
The project should be a significant challenge
to you. Pick a project that will be significantly more
difficult than anything you have ever done before, but not something
that will be impossible to carry out successfully within your
capabilities. The average size project in Chester County
Council runs about 200 total man-hours, with most between 150 and 250
man hours. I have seen a project that took over 1500
man hours. Ask yourself if this is as challenging a project
as you can handle. If your answer is that you really could
handle a more challenging project, then you should probably be looking
for a more challenging project. There is no specific minimum
number of hours.
If you are building something like picnic
tables or birdhouses, you should build them in quantity.
Except in very unusual circumstances, a minimum of 6 picnic tables or
30 bird houses should be built and installed. If the
organization does not need that many, do something additional or do
work for more than one organization.
Although not a requirement, consider whether
the project you are looking at will really help someone who needs
help. Helping to rehab a house for an organization that helps
battered women get a new start in life is probably more significant to
the well-being of the community than building fish habitats so sport
fishermen will be able to catch more fish. Ask yourself how
significant your project will be to the lives of the people less
fortunate than you, and whether you can really make a difference.
Your sponsoring organization makes it possible
for your Scout troop to exist. Eagle projects done for your
sponsoring organization are one way the Scouts can give back for all
this organization does for you. They may not need anything
done, but this is often a good source for project ideas.
Be Advised ... in most cases the organizational
representative approached by you knows little or nothing about the
"expected standards" of an Eagle project. Therefore, you must
determine if the suggested project is acceptable. It might be
helpful to print out "The
Organization's Guide to an Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project"
and give it to the organizational representative you are working with.
An extracted version of this document is now included in the Eagle
Scout Service Project Workbook.
The project does not have to be a construction
project. Consider service projects such as collecting,
sorting, repairing, and redistributing equipment to the
handicapped. Schools and other organizations might have ideas
for special programs you could prepare and run for bicycle safety,
math, science, or other subjects. Consider researching some
piece of local history and teaching the public about it through
demonstrations, publications, exhibits, or
Borough, or County. Try contacting the township or borough
manager, the parks and recreation board, or police chief.
(don't forget elementary schools). Try contacting the
principal, PTO, teachers (for both construction projects and special
programs), and the board of education.
Institutions. Don't forget church related facilities for
retired church workers, orphanages, and other religious service
United Way. Ask for the names and contacts at organizations
they support that might be able to use your help. This is a
good way to find out about organizations that may be vital to your
community but which you may not be aware of.
Troop's Chartering Organization
Societies or Museums
Centers or Conservancies
League or Athletic Association
for children, aged, homeless, indigent
are lots of lists of project ideas to get you thinking. Talk
Scouts in your troop, and your Scoutmaster and Eagle Advisor.
They may be
able to describe some projects that other Scouts in your troop have
Here are some places to go for lists of ideas:
you have one or more ideas, you need to decide if it (which one) is
you. Review the criteria and restrictions above.
Evaluate the ideas
in light of your real abilities to plan and then teach others how to
the project. Discuss your ideas with your Eagle
Advisor. If there is
any question about whether a potential project would qualify as an
project, check with your
Advancement Chairman. Be sure you completely
understand what the organization wants you to do. Be sure
the process, that you will prepare a detailed plan for their approval
you will execute the plan using people you recruit to do the work. Be
understand that the complete process will take some time to
will, of course, keep them informed on the schedule and progress as the
everyone is satisfied with the project selection, you are ready to prepare