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Eagle Project

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#1 JasonG172

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 09:22 AM

Background of myself. 

 

I do not have a lot of experience at the troop level but I am around a lot of troops.  I have been to 3 Eagle Projects and they have left me scratching my head, so please correct me and or tell me the proper way.

 

I see all the adults doing the project!  is that the correct way?


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#2 HelpfulTracks

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 09:37 AM

Volunteers that are needed to do work can be adult and youth, particularly if some of the skills needed are out of reach for the Scouts.

What is important for the Eagle candidate is that HE do the planning and leadership.

My Eagle project was rehabilitating a church. It took about 5 months of steady work and portions needed master craftsman to do. I and my friends did a good bit of work but when it came to foundation work and electrical work, the adults did the work, I managed it, the adults were primary and friends and I helped were we could. Other things the youth did all or most of the labor.
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#3 Eagledad

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 10:03 AM

Imagine doing a remodel of your house. You aren't a craftsman of installing new floors, new cabinets, appliances, plumbing or electrical, but you can design the plan, schedule the contractors, arrange payment for materials and labor. 

 

Eagle scouts should be able to handle themselves as adults, so acquiring help from adults is reasonable.

 

Barry 


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"Experience is the hardest teacher. It gives the test first, then the lesson."


#4 qwazse

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 10:10 AM

Adults can provide the "muscle".

Son #1 needed to mobilize a whole community of skilled and unskilled labor. I made coffee and doled out sandwiches.

Son #2's project was the geekiest one I've seen - dozens of youth with laptops cataloging books, SM and I hauled off to a corner where we did something involving craftsmanship.

So, yes, it's possible that adults get heavily involved.

 

But it sure is fun when it's just your buddies. So, I encourage boys to pick projects that can involve a wide mix of people from the community, with priority on mobilizing their friends.


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#5 DadScouts

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 10:14 AM

We are clear with our Scouts that their managing adults is definitely leadership.  Now, in practice, sometimes it is hard for the Scout to give directions to an adult and not the other way around.  Our more seasoned adults are aware of the issues and know to ask the Scout before doing work or giving directions.  Both the adults and Eagles need to be educated and reminded how it is supposed to work.  Most of the time it does.

 

Another problem is the Guide To Safe Scouting.  We actually are informing Eagle Scouts it is preferred that people bring handsaws to projects and not use exclusively circular saws.  Don't rent an auger but bring digging bars and post hole diggers.  It can slow down a project but that's fine since our projects usually have 30-40 volunteers so we have a labor surplus.  Ditto with nail guns.  As a result we have younger Scouts learning how to use hand saws, dig a post hole, and hammer 8d and 16d nails for the first time.  It tries the patience of our general contractor parents at time but they usually are the ones who love teaching those skills to Scouts so it works well.  


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#6 JasonG172

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 10:17 AM

Cleaning up an old community garden and building new raised flower beds or digging a trench for run off isn't something that I believe required adults doing it. 

 

I understand building a new building and such


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#7 RememberSchiff

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 10:24 AM

IMO, there should be serious scout "sweat equity" in the Eagle project. If a large portion of the project requires a higher skill set or older workers, another project should be considered.

 

Another $0.02


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#8 JasonG172

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 10:34 AM

I have seen healthy number of scouts at the last two Eagle Projects I dropped my son off at but at both it was mentioned my help could be used (sorry I already had plans, but here is my son) but I also see a healthy number of adults very dirty and very sweaty.  Again I could be looking at this completely wrong....I just want to make sure they are learning from what they are doing.

 

I was proud thought when I went to pick up my son and he was filthy from head to toe and asked if it was too early for him to start thinking about his project.


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#9 HelpfulTracks

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 11:26 AM

IMO, there should be serious scout "sweat equity" in the Eagle project. If a large portion of the project requires a higher skill set or older workers, another project should be considered.
 
Another $0.02


Why? I learned invaluable lessons on my project. It took a great deal of planning, budgeting and negotiating. I had adult professionals and craftsmen coming to me to ask me what to do, some of who I had worked for on Summer jobs. If they saw a problem they would come to me for solutions, even though they could have kept moving forward without my input. But they guided me through the tough spots without taking over. I gained a great deal of confidence, learned how to solve real world problems, had to deal with budgets and cost overruns.

There was plenty of "sweat equity" too, site prep, framing walls, hanging dry wall, pouring concrete, laying pavers, electrical and plumbing.

I was proud of my project and the good it it did and I earned respect from the adults. Several told me I had a job waiting whenever I was ready.

IMO, I wish more Eagle candidates would take on complex projects that challenge them both mentally and physically. I think they would end up getting much more out of it.
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#10 RememberSchiff

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 11:46 AM

Why? I learned invaluable lessons on my project. It took a great deal of planning, budgeting and negotiating. I had adult professionals and craftsmen coming to me to ask me what to do, some of who I had worked for on Summer jobs. If they saw a problem they would come to me for solutions, even though they could have kept moving forward without my input. But they guided me through the tough spots without taking over. I gained a great deal of confidence, learned how to solve real world problems, had to deal with budgets and cost overruns.

There was plenty of "sweat equity" too, site prep, framing walls, hanging dry wall, pouring concrete, laying pavers, electrical and plumbing.

I was proud of my project and the good it it did and I earned respect from the adults. Several told me I had a job waiting whenever I was ready.

IMO, I wish more Eagle candidates would take on complex projects that challenge them both mentally and physically. I think they would end up getting much more out of it.

 

If you had scouts setting forms, mixing and spreading concrete, wiring circuits, running pipe and soldering/connecting joints then we are agreement.


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#11 Col. Flagg

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 12:14 PM

I have seen healthy number of scouts at the last two Eagle Projects I dropped my son off at but at both it was mentioned my help could be used (sorry I already had plans, but here is my son) but I also see a healthy number of adults very dirty and very sweaty.  Again I could be looking at this completely wrong....I just want to make sure they are learning from what they are doing.

 

I was proud thought when I went to pick up my son and he was filthy from head to toe and asked if it was too early for him to start thinking about his project.

 

Sounds like the Eagle Advisor and SM did not work with the candidate to discuss the resource requirements and other planning.

 

While not a requirement of the Eagle Project, resource planning (and estimating) is a necessary part of any project. I get that the project is about demonstrating leadership, but since the successful execution of the project requires all sorts of planning and coordination, such "advice" ahead of time would be helpful.

 

For example, at one of the projects in our area (not my unit), an auger and tiller were required. The candidate did not account for who would operate these devices. No one advised him of the tools use guidelines and he did not account for training (or learning how to use one) or having someone experienced with using one attend or be present. Luckily I had experience, was passing by, and could help.

 

I suspect many units don't advise their scouts fully on planning and execution of projects. I'd love to see BSA re-vamp the workbook to really take this in to account...or better train adults so a more consistent, standard message is given to scouts.


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#12 Stosh

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 02:40 PM

I have never had an Eagle project rejected for approval.  I have had them questioned once or twice. 

 

My boys do a lot of "preliminary" Eagle projects throughout their scouting career getting ready for the "big show".  They seek out, develop a plan and run service projects all the time.  The older they get the more they "put it down on paper" and review it with an AAR with the other scouts.  Sometimes they invite my thoughts on it. 

 

As a result there has never been any need for an Eagle advisor, mentor, helicopter parents, etc.  From start to finish they just do their project.  I "glance" over their application for approval write up, but rely more on their explanation of what they want to do.  If their spelling or grammar is not up to par?  -- not my problem, not my project.  If they are missing required items in the write up?  -- not my problem, not my project.

 

All in all, I have enjoyed working on the Eagle projects, but then again, I do like being outdoors getting my hands dirty. 

 

As far as the leadership part of the process, the Eagle project is often viewed as "outside the realm" of Scouting because it often incorporates non-scout personnel and it benefits a non-scout organization.  The troop tags along because most of these projects are really a lot of fun.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#13 Eagledad

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 02:41 PM

IMO, there should be serious scout "sweat equity" in the Eagle project. If a large portion of the project requires a higher skill set or older workers, another project should be considered.

 

Another $0.02

This is how I use the adult association in our troop when I was Scoutmaster:

 

I personally feel young adult scouts and Scouter age adults should confer with each other as a team of adults instead of a mix of scouts and scouters. I would like that attitude for all troop scout ages, but certainly the Eagle scouts.

 

In the bigger picture, I believe living the Scout Oath and Law requires each scout and scouter to consider the needs, expectations, and abilities of the whole group, so as not to limit themselves. That is why I welcome scouts to include adults as part of their bag of resources for their patrol activities. Young adults need to respect the benefits of older adults, and older adults need to respect young adults as equals with less of life's experiences.

 

Barry


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#14 JasonG172

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 04:27 PM

thanks for everyone's insight on the matter, it cleared me up.


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#15 SSScout

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 10:31 PM

Here is a test for the Eagle Service project:

 

If someone arrives and asks "what can I do to help"?" ,  everyone else should point to the Eagle candidate and say "ask him".


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