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Blood Drive as an Eagle Scout Service Project?


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#1 Rock Doc

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 11:41 AM

I know that most of us are more familiar with Eagle Scout Service Projects involving building tangible products such as playgrounds, sheds, bridges, gardens, etc. But has anyone had experience with a scout hosting a blood drive, and if so, how did they demonstrate adequate planning, development, and leadership during the process?


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#2 Col. Flagg

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 11:53 AM

I know that most of us are more familiar with Eagle Scout Service Projects involving building tangible products such as playgrounds, sheds, bridges, gardens, etc. But has anyone had experience with a scout hosting a blood drive, and if so, how did they demonstrate adequate planning, development, and leadership during the process?

 

We had a few do food drives or a supplies drive for the homeless. Essentially, we went through the same steps we always did with more tangible (read:construction related) projects. We always ask Scouts to:

  • Identify in a quantitative manner how they will document their demonstration of leadership.
  • Talk through the planning of their project phases to make sure they have tangible milestones.
  • Set objectives for what is a successful project. For a tangible project it is the completion of whatever is being built. For a food, blood or clothing drive the end result (quantity of items) is less clear, so the Scout needs to do some research. What would be an average day if the Blood Mobile pulled up at a Walmart and took donations? Is that a good benchmark? Get a few points from which to establish a "baseline". This will demonstrate planning and an expected outcome.
  • Interview some blood drive workers or managers. How do they plan? How to they guage expectations and variables that might impact success. Document these meetings.
  • After setting the baseline, establish your goals and promote. Adjust your final report based on outcome.

As with any project, research and bringing in subject matter experts will help the Scout develop and refine his plan. This can be suggested by the coach/advisor, but in the end it has to come from the Scout.

 

My two cents.


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#3 fred johnson

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 11:54 AM

The day of collection is pretty much out of their control and fully planned by the Red Cross (or other org).  The scout would have to focus on taking the drive to the next level through promotion, education and other surrounding activities and events.  

 

The scout would need to treat his project effectively separate from the blood drive.  In another words, the scout's project needs to have significant impact, planning and development.  The blood mobile and people collecting blood is a good deed, community service and a big big impact.  BUT, it's not the scout's good deed, community service or impact.  

 

When I've been approached with this and similar, that's how I've treated it.  The scout needs to layout the scope and realm of influence of his project .... what's his commitment to plan and lead.  It's that scope that needs to have a significant impact and show planning and leadership.  It's hard though as you don't want to be the bad guy who might cause a blood drive to not occur.  But on the other hand, the blood drive impact is not the scout's project.  


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#4 qwazse

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 11:55 AM

I had a scout do a clothing drive for an Eagle project. Leadership involved mobilizing his friends to circulate announcements in the community, and volunteer to collect and deliver clothing.

 

Just because they thought it was a good idea, our crew has done blood drives, the responsible youth works with the blood bank to find a location and date, prepare advertisements and circulate them, then coordinate with youth to volunteer during the drive day.

 

Regarding Fred's point about impact:

The impact a scout might take credit for could be number of first-time donors or number of youth who might learn about donating blood.

For my ventures, they made these kinds of drives routine for youth to plan for student council/senior projects. (Basically, the high school took over our gig, and that was okay.)

 

So, this kind of project needs to be evaluated in terms of the scout's community. If in their area, donation days are routine, it might not be Eagle caliber. On the other hand, if the scout is trying to mobilize a community who hasn't done this before, it might be Eagle caliber to the point of saving lives.


Edited by qwazse, 28 March 2017 - 12:03 PM.

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#5 NJCubScouter

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 12:25 PM

Blood drives CAN be acceptable projects under certain circumstances, which are specifically discussed in the Guide to Advancement, as quoted and discussed in this "Bryan on Scouting" post:  http://blog.scouting...lasting-impact/

 

A post with an even more relevant title is here:  http://blog.scouting...e-blood-drives/

 

Historically, our district has generally "discouraged" "drives" (food, blood, clothing) as Eagle projects, presumably on the grounds that they (usually) do not offer the Scout the opportunity to exercise sufficient planning and leadership.  (The ONE I have seen approved was for a Scout who is severely disabled, i.e. cerebral palsy, wheelchair-bound, very limited use of his hands and arms, and seriously speech-impaired.  And very smart, though he has difficulty getting the words out.  To "compensate" for the fact that he was getting approval for a "drive", he planned a multi-day food drive at different locations and exercised as much leadership as he could, with his parents and older brother as "assistant leaders." He really was an amazing Scout.)


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#6 T2Eagle

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 12:55 PM

We've had at least one of these in our troop.  The planning, development, and leadership are about both the logistics of the event and the persuading of people to show up.  The scout obviously isn't going to be drawing blood, but that and the paperwork that goes with t are the only things he wouldn't be doing.

 

I suppose it depends on how turn key the operation is from the point of view of the red Cross.  I occasionally helped plan these for an employer, there was a fair amount of effort, planning, and leadership on our part before the red cross actually pulls up.


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#7 SSScout

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 02:04 PM

It is the "lasting impact"  that should be considered.   Is it a "once-and-done"  blood drive or the creation of the realization of the ongoing need for blood collection, that the venue (church, community center, service club ) will do this again, as the Scout showed them the way? 


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#8 NJCubScouter

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 02:24 PM

It is the "lasting impact"  that should be considered.   Is it a "once-and-done"  blood drive or the creation of the realization of the ongoing need for blood collection, that the venue (church, community center, service club ) will do this again, as the Scout showed them the way? 

 

I am not sure that there is a "lasting impact" requirement.  The first article I linked-to above says there is no "permanency" requirement.  Is that the same thing?  I guess it depends how you define "lasting".  If it means "forever", then no, that is not required.  If it means "lasting" for a significant period of time, well, even a "once and done" blood drive DOES have a "lasting" impact.  That blood will save and improve lives for, well, I do not really know enough about blood transfusions to say; months? years?  A significant impact, either way.

 

So I don't think it's necessarily an issue of "lasting", its an issue of planning, development and leadership.  The "turnkey" blood drive where the Scout did not do much more than make a phone call, and then stand by while paid professionals did their regular work, isn't going to do it.  But to quote the Guide to Advancement, "In the case of a blood drive, for example, elements of challenge and complexity can be added so there is a clear demonstration of planning, development, and leadership."


Edited by NJCubScouter, 28 March 2017 - 02:45 PM.

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#9 Cleveland Rocks

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 03:15 PM

It is the "lasting impact"  that should be considered.   Is it a "once-and-done"  blood drive or the creation of the realization of the ongoing need for blood collection, that the venue (church, community center, service club ) will do this again, as the Scout showed them the way? 

 

Guide to Advancement, 9.0.2.12, Addressing Common Misconceptions

 

3. There is no requirement a project must have lasting value.


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#10 RememberSchiff

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 03:56 PM

Wouldn't it be something if there was online BOR/Advancement etc. training with renewal required say every 2 years? :confused:


Edited by RememberSchiff, 28 March 2017 - 03:58 PM.

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#11 NJCubScouter

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 03:56 PM

The idea of "challenge and complexity" (see my previous post) can apply to construction-type projects as well.  I remember there was once a Scout who wanted to put up a flagpole as his project.  The Scoutmaster said it was "not enough", other elements must be added.  Instead of expanding the size of the project, the Scout quit, went to another troop, and got the project approved.  (Our SM was surprised that the district approved it.)

 

Which also reminds me, on the other hand, of a kid whose project involved some improvements at a camp owned by his church.  It was about three projects' worth of work.  It was gently suggested to the Scout that while it would really be great if he did all that, he had the option of doing somewhat less.  He did the whole project anyway.  His attitude was that he wanted to do something significant for his church and the kids who use the camp, and the "Eagle project" aspect was almost incidental, which is not an attitude you see every day.  Not surprisingly, he was NOT one of our last-minute Eagles, and I believe he holds the troop record for palms, 4 or 5 I think.


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#12 Stosh

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 05:55 PM

There are other Red Cross projects more prone to benefit the candidate than a blood drive. 

 

The Fire Campaign installs millions of smoke/fire alarms in people's homes every year.  They need volunteers to coordinate from start to finish the project.  Plan the scope of the project, map it out on the city map, canvas the neighborhood and then go out and install up to three alarms in any home that needs one. 

 

It would be a far more productive project than the blood drives because they are so automatic, they basically run themselves at this point.  The volunteers just use the same "cheat-sheet" to run them over and over again.  One can even sign up on line for an appointment and there are email reminders that are automatically get sent out and notices that one can't donate again until a certain time period has passed.  How a candidate is going to find a place to lead in that process is beyond me.


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Stosh

 

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


#13 SSScout

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 08:34 PM

Thank you NJ and Vclose.  Perhaps the blood's use is a "lasting" effect, for sure.  

 I realize the official guide assures us that the Eagle Service Project need not be "permanent" in nature.  I  am only trying to suggest that the Scout be shown the possibility that his well organized and publicized and promoted Blood Donation Drive COULD be  more than just one Saturday afternoon. 


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#14 qwazse

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 08:28 AM

On one level, I agree with @Stosh. I thought our crew blood drives were something that every crew in council should replicate. Mainly the youth were at the age where they could consider becoming donors. The theme "Venturing for Blood" came to mind. Only the first one or two required some serious leadership development. The rest were boiler-plate, and in fact youth in the community happily imitated it once they saw how it was done.

 

The fire safety campaign, getting thousands of people to change their behavior and install and test alarms (not just for function, but actually to see if family members will respond effectively) is serious work. I am wondering if this year's young life lost in our community could have been spared had such a campaign been more successfully implemented. That's a project that is not easily imitated and every roll-out requires creative planing and leadership.


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