Tag Archives: eagle scout

Q&A: Eagle Project

Hello I am a life scout in America and I was wondering what was your eagle project and the reason I am asking is because I am looking for things to do, and have a good idea of what I can do. Thank you

The actual answer might not be useful to you; I moved a library. More specifically, I recruited, and organized volunteers to move the stacks from the old library building, which had been in continual use for nearly a century and was in dire need of full renovations, into a new facility half a block away.

This may sound slightly strange, but good Eagle Projects are “opportunistic.” They depend on knowing what’s going on around you, in your community, and finding someplace where you can step in and facilitate something that needs to be done.

Repair or restoration of a city park is one common goal. More than one Scout camp is maintained by the joint efforts of Eagle Projects and OA events.

This may be as simple as repainting camp structures (though, depending on how much effort is involved, your board may want something a bit more ambitious), or it may be more extensive, like tearing up and renovating a trail. (I have participated in the latter.)

There’s a weird possibility that organizing a recruitment drive of new scouts might be something your Review Board would be willing to sign off on. Provided you can convincingly argue that it is to the benefit of your community.

Ultimately, all of this rests with your Eagle Board. Your project is a demonstration that you’re learning how to function as a leader. Sometimes that means asking for advice and help. Being a leader doesn’t mean having all the answers; it often requires knowing when you need to ask others for their input, and understanding where to fill in the blanks when those answers are incomplete.

Once you have a plan in mind, then you can go through the additional necessary steps.

One major change, from when I did my project, was the amount of required planning before the Board would sign off. I had to have an entire project detailed out, only to then find out if it was suitable, needed minor reworks, or was outright rejected.  That’s not longer true. You can present an overall plan of what you want to do, and get direct feedback, before you invest a lot of time into the project.

Ultimately, your Eagle Project is going to be a reflection of your community, and what you can do to contribute to it. That is part of what the project is testing.

-Starke

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What’s an Eagle Scout

It’s the highest available rank in the Boy Scouts of America, and represents a considerable amount of time and dedication. Unlike lower ranks, Eagle requires a lot of personal initiative to earn (though this does vary between Troops). The exact statistic varies by year, but roughly 5% of scouts ever reach that rank.

If you’re asking, what did that actually teach me? Then the answer would be, Scouts is where I got my introduction to firearms. It’s where I learned the basic first aid that allows me to talk about what violence does to people medically, even though I’m not a medical professional. It was where I got my first introduction to police procedure and criminal investigation. Also where I first learned about VIP protective details. I can’t remember if my exposure to Archery was for the purposes of earning a merit badge or not. Also, there’s a lot of wilderness survival training squirreled away in the back of my head that I genuinely don’t think about often.

In short, the rank encompasses a lot of skills, and there is some variance between the training two different Eagle Scouts will have undergone. There is also a lot of core elements that are universal to any Eagle.

It’s probably worth saying, since someone will inevitably bring it up, I don’t always agree with the organization’s politics. I find the BSA’s longstanding ban of gays deeply distasteful (to put it mildly), and at odds with the BSA’s stated goals. I understand why it’s there; many of the sponsoring organizations are deeply conservative (read: homophobic), but it remains a sore point for me. That said, there has been some movement on that front. The ban on openly gay teens participating in the organization was voted out, and officially ended in 2014. So, there is progress on that front.

-Starke

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