Finding an Eagle Leadership Service Project
are two main purposes for the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project.
provides service to the community and helps fulfill the part of the Scout
Oath "to help other people at all times". Eagle Projects provide many
millions of hours of community service every year. This has a
significant impact on our communities.
It is an opportunity for you to demonstrate, hone, learn, and develop
leadership skills. Related to this are important lessons in project
management and taking responsibility for a significant accomplishment.
are two key criteria for an Eagle Leadership Service Project.
must be a significant contribution to benefit the community.
This might be for a religious institution, school, municipality or other
community organization. It should be of sufficient magnitude to be
special and challenging.
It must be large enough to allow and require you to demonstrate significant
leadership. Projects that must be done with only a few people; require
significant adult labor; or for organizations that are not willing to let a
boy plan, develop, and lead the project; do not make good Eagle projects.
Eagle Leadership Service Project can not be:
council property, or other BSA activity. The Boy Scouts can not be the
beneficiary except in the most indirect way.
any other Eagle candidate. Only one Scout can receive credit for a
project. It is possible for two Scouts to do independent projects for
the same organization if they are different projects, separately planned and
labor is not normally appropriate for a project. This might be defined
as a job or service you may provide as part of your daily life, or a routine
maintenance job normally done by the beneficiary (for example, pulling weeds
on the football field at your school).
for a business or an individual. Normally the beneficiary organization will be a
501(c)3 non-profit or a governmental organization, but not always. Ask if you are not
commercial nature. While projects may not be of a commercial nature or
for a business, this is not meant to disallow work for community
institutions, such as museums and service agencies (like homes for the
elderly, for example), that would otherwise be acceptable. Some aspect
of a business operation provided as a community service may also be
considered - for example, a park open to the public that happens to be owned
by a business.
fund-raiser. In other words, it may not be an effort that primarily
collects money, even for a worthy charity. Fundraising is permitted
only for securing materials and facilitating a project, and it may need to
be approved by your council. See Eagle Scout Service Project
Fundraising Application included in your Workbook.
project. If the project requires, or you end up carrying it out by
yourself or just you and your parent, it does not qualify for an Eagle
project. It must be carried out with you providing leadership to a
group (minimum of 2, typically 5-10) youth (Boy Scouts or others) who
are carrying out the project under your direction.
If you have any questions about whether a project idea would meet the
requirements, contact your district representative. See
looking for, and evaluating, project ideas, be sure to pick a project that you
can successfully carry out. Here are some things to keep in mind as you
need to be able to lead the project. Consider your strengths and weaknesses.
Since you will be using youth labor who are probably less skilled than you,
be sure that you will be able to teach them the skills needed to carry out
the project. You probably will need to advance your skills as part of
the planning process, but stay within a reasonable reach. If you are
good with wood tools, a construction project might be good, but if you are
not sure which end of a screwdriver to pick up, would you be able to teach
others how to build a storage building for a church? If all you can do
with a computer is turn it on and use a word processor and the internet, you
should not offer to install a school district wide computer network with
custom web site and training materials and classes (yes, this was an Eagle
need to be allowed to run the project. Some organizations insist that
they provide someone to "supervise" while you supply a pool of
labor to do the work. If they are not comfortable to let you run the
project, after they have approved your proposal, then you need to find
a different project to qualify for an Eagle project.
need to recruit the labor to carry out the project. If you are from a
small troop and have few other youth to draw from, don't pick a project what
will require 10 people at a time for many days. The time of year and
available schedule may also affect the availability of your labor
pool. Your Scoutmaster or Project Coach may be able to help you figure
out how to recruit helpers.
need to buy or acquire the needed materials. Often the benefiting
organization will pay for the materials, within some budget. If not,
be sure you have a way to come up with the materials through fund-raising,
donations, or paid for out of your own pocket.
should be a significant challenge to you. Pick a project that will be significantly
more difficult than anything you have ever done before, but not something
that will be impossible to carry out successfully within your capabilities.
The average size project in Chester County Council runs about 200 total
man-hours, with most between 150 and 250 man hours. I have seen a
project that took over 1500 man hours. Ask yourself if this is as challenging a
project as you can handle. If your answer is that you really could
handle a more challenging project, then you should probably be looking for a
more challenging project. There is no specific minimum number of
If you are
building something like picnic tables or birdhouses, you should build them
in quantity. Except in very unusual circumstances, a minimum of 6
picnic tables or 30 bird houses should be built and installed. If the
organization does not need that many, do something additional or do work for
more than one organization.
not a requirement, consider whether the project you are looking at will
really help someone who needs help. Helping to rehab a house for an
organization that helps battered women get a new start in life is probably
more significant to the well-being of the community than building fish
habitats so sport fishermen will be able to catch more fish. Ask
yourself how significant your project will be to the lives of the people
less fortunate than you, and whether you can really make a difference.
organization makes it possible for your Scout troop to exist. Eagle
projects done for your sponsoring organization are one way the Scouts can
give back for all this organization does for you. They may not need
anything done, but this is often a good source for project ideas.
... in most cases the organizational representative approached by you knows
little or nothing about the "expected standards" of an Eagle
project. Therefore, you must determine if the suggested project is
acceptable. It might be helpful to print out "The
Benefiting Organization's Guide to an Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project"
and give it to the organizational representative you are working with.
An extracted version of this document is now included in the Eagle Scout
Service Project Workbook.
does not have to be a construction project. Consider service projects
such as collecting, sorting, repairing, and redistributing equipment to the
handicapped. Schools and other organizations might have ideas for
special programs you could prepare and run for bicycle safety, math,
science, or other subjects. Consider researching some piece of local
history and teaching the public about it through demonstrations,
publications, exhibits, or reenactments.
Township, Borough, or County. Try contacting
the township or borough manager, the parks and recreation board, or police
Schools (don't forget elementary schools). Try
contacting the principal, PTO, teachers (for both construction projects
and special programs), and the board of education.
Religious Institutions. Don't forget church
related facilities for retired church workers, orphanages, and other
religious service organizations.
The United Way. Ask for the names and contacts
at organizations they support that might be able to use your help.
This is a good way to find out about organizations that may be vital to
your community but which you may not be aware of.
Your Troop's Chartering Organization
Historical Societies or Museums
Nature Centers or Conservancies
Little League or Athletic Association
Homes for children, aged, homeless, indigent
The Red Cross
The Salvation Army
Senior Citizen's Center
Volunteer Fire Departments
Other Community Agencies
are lots of lists of project ideas to get you thinking. Talk to other
Scouts in your troop, and your Scoutmaster and Eagle Advisor. They may be
able to describe some projects that other Scouts in your troop have done.
Here are some places to go for lists of ideas:
you have one or more ideas, you need to decide if it (which one) is right for
you. Review the criteria and restrictions above. Evaluate the ideas
in light of your real abilities to plan and then teach others how to carry out
the project. Discuss your ideas with your Eagle Advisor. If there is
any question about whether a potential project would qualify as an Eagle
project, check with your District Advancement Chairman. Be sure you completely
understand what the organization wants you to do. Be sure they understand
the process, that you will prepare a detailed plan for their approval and then
you will execute the plan using people you recruit to do the work. Be sure they
understand that the complete process will take some time to complete. You
will, of course, keep them informed on the schedule and progress as the process
everyone is satisfied with the project selection, you are ready to prepare