While you are a Life Scout, you must plan, develop and give leadership to others in a service project. The project should be helpful to your church, synagogue, school or community. It must be approved in advance by each of your:
- Unit Committee Chairman,
- and District Advancement Chair or District Eagle Advancement Chairman.
The following steps should be followed in sequence:
- Read all information thoroughly before starting your service project.
You must use the Eagle Service Project Workbook, No.512-927 and available in the download section of this site, in preparing and recording your project. You may, of course, add to it. If you have any questions, ask your unit leader or District Advancement Chairman or District Eagle Advancement Chairman.
- Select and plan the project.
In selecting the project, you will learn the most when you do creative thinking on your own. A key objective of planning and leading the project is to demonstrate leadership. Try new ideas and original approaches. The key to finding such projects is to look for unusual needs. Don’t hesitate to ask for suggestions in doing your research, but it’s up to you to evaluate the prospects for the project, expand on the idea and pursue its development. The project should challenge you enough to stretch your capabilities, demand your best efforts, and perhaps require a new skill. The undertaking must definitely be of service to a church, synagogue, school or community; performed unselfishly, without pay or reward. It cannot be of direct benefit to Boy Scouts. Once you have selected a project, discuss the concept with your unit leader and the appropriate person(s) at the religious institution, school, or community. You should avoid “clean-up” jobs and custodial functions, or jobs which would otherwise be performed by regular employees. The project scope should be broad enough to require a minimum of three helpers at all times. Remember, this is a project which you plan, develop, organize and, above all, lead. Although there is no minimum amount of time which must be spent on completing the project, you should expect to spend a minimum of 30 hours of your own time planning and leading the project.
- Develop your project planning details.
As outlined in the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook after you have selected and planned your project, discussed the concept with your unit leader and the representative from the organization or institution for whom you will perform the project, it’s time to put your plan down in writing. How the work will be done, what materials will be required and how they will be obtained, the number of helpers needed, safety considerations, and the amount of time expected are essential parts of this step. Development of these details will enhance your skills as a leader and organizer. You are not limited to the space provided on page 3 of the Life-to-Eagle packet. It would be good if you could provide a listing of the people who will be resources for you (provide guidance and information, as opposed to those who will be helping with the actual labor). A step-by-step description of how you plan to execute the project from start to finish will show that you have a good grasp on the planning. The listing of materials you will need should be as complete as possible and include price estimates in order to allow those funding the project (normally the benefactor) to have a clear understanding of the dollar cost of the project. A time-phased manning chart will show how many people of what skill level will be required on each day of the project and will give those reviewing your project a good idea of the total number of man hours your project will require. Providing leadership is a very important part of the project. You will need to use and develop leadership skills and report on how successfully you accomplished this at the conclusion of your project. If you need ideas concerning leadership skills, the Junior Leader Handbook (BSA Publication 33500) is an excellent source. Skills you need will include project management, time management, communications, leadership, and teaching. These should be addressed in your project plan and again in your project report. It’s your project. Eagle projects can’t be jointly planned, developed, or carried out by two or more candidates. Feel free, however, to ask other candidates to serve as project helpers. Consult with others, including your unit leaders and individuals from the organization benefiting from your project, but they should neither choose nor organize your tasks for you. It’s also your job to recruit your helpers and make sure that they have the information and materials needed to carry out your project, and that safety issues are addressed. Enlist the assistance of adults to help with any transportation needs.
- Obtain the necessary approvals before carrying out your project.
Complete the project description and planning details sections of the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook then have your project plan approved by a representative of the organization benefiting from your project, your Scoutmaster/Coach/Advisor, Unit Committee Chairman or his designee, and District Advancement Chairman or District Eagle Advancement Chairman. ALL FOUR SIGNATURES MUST BE OBTAINED BEFORE YOU MAY START THE ACTUAL WORK ON YOUR PROJECT.
- Carry out your project.
Finishing the project, particularly on schedule, is the final test of your perseverance and drive. The project must involve others in a way which will reflect your leadership ability. Although other troop members will probably be involved as helpers, you are in full charge of your project at all times. Rather than doing all the work yourself, you are directing the efforts of others. Good record keeping is an important aspect of carrying out the project. Take notes and pictures for your report. If there are any last-minute changes to the original project, those changes must be noted along with the reason for the modification. If, for some reason, you are not able to carry out the project which you planned originally, you may have to start the process over again. This means that a new project plan, approvals, etc., may have to be obtained. Discuss the situation with your unit leader, District Advancement Chairman or District Eagle Advancement Chairman. Your project must be completed before your 18th birthday, in fact, it should be completed in time for you to hold your Eagle Scoutmaster’s Conference before your 18th birthday. Make sure that the representative of the organization benefiting from your project and your unit leader verifies completion of your project by signing page eight of the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook along with your signature. Record the date on which you completed your project on your Eagle Scout Rank Application.
- Prepare a written report of your project.
Once you have completed the project, you must prepare a final written report describing all phases (from planning to completion) of your project. Any pictures, letters of approval or commendations, newspaper clippings, etc., should be included in your report.
- Submit your project report.
Although the concept for your project was approved before it was started, your Eagle Board of Review must approve the manner in which it was carried out. Be prepared to discuss questions such as how you demonstrated leadership, how the work was performed, how the project benefited the organization or community, and how the plan was followed. Troop 336, your report is submitted concurrently with your Eagle Application but is reviewed during your Eagle Rank Scoutmaster Conference.