Here in the Heart of America district they run a camp for special needs scouts called Rotary Camp https://www.hoac-bsa.org/rotary-camp. Counselors (regular scouts and adults) and needed to help the campers. it can be a challenging yet very rewarding experience.These campers can have mental, physical, and emotional disabilities such as autism, mental retardation, down syndrome, and physical handicaps. Many are non-verbal and some can exhibit obsessive-compulsive behaviors such as screaming, running away, and non-compliance. Age ranges are from about 11 to 60 so often the scout is dealing with someone older than them.
As a counselor they help them dress, bathe (yes helping them shower), toilet issues (including wiping), help with medications, help with activities, and just generally being their friend and must always be within arms distance from them the whole week. They sleep in the bunk above them. It is very humbling and definitely forces one out of their comfort zone. However while difficult, often the counselors get more out of the experience than the scouts and they often return. Plus the food is great.
This year though they had trouble recruiting counselors. Part of the problem is their is little incentive other than they get the Handicapped Awareness merit badge plus service hours.
So here is an idea - why not allow service as a counselor be used as a Eagle Scout project? It requires paperwork (more could be added), over 144 hours of work (6 days x 24 hours plus pre-planning time), working together with others, planning, and hard work.
So what do you all think?
Some Eagle projects are activities such as running an event so I dont think its far off.