An "Eagle Project" is project that is ORGANIZED and MANAGED by a Life Scout who is working towards the Eagle rank. There are guidelines for Eagle Projects that will be described below, but in its most simple definition, it is a community service project where the Eagle Candidate shows of his LEADERSHIP ABILITY. It is not for the candidate to "do" the work, but to provide the organization and leadership so the work can get done.
Does an Eagle Project need a certain number of "minimum hours"?
No. There is no set minimum for a project, although most average more than 100 hours of combined service. However, the length of work must be long enough that there is AMPLE OPPORTUNITY for a scout to show/demonstrate actual "leadership".
Does an Eagle Project have to be unique?
Yes & No. An Eagle Project does NOT need to be "unique", but it should be unique FOR HIM. A scout who simply repeats a project he worked on with another scout is NOT "leading".... he's "repeating" some one else. Remember, PLANNING and THOUGHT are big parts of the project/process.
Does an Eagle Project require "building" something?
No. An Eagle Project can be a SERVICE, but it cannot be "routine service"... such as raking leaves at his church, spreading mulch, or cutting the lawn. An example of a non-routine service may be the planning/organizing/executing of a clothing drive or canned food drive. By PERSONAL PREFERENCE, many scouts like "building" something that they can come back to years later and say "That was my Eagle project!".
Does an Eagle Project require all the Scouts of the troop to work on it?
No. There must be some involvement of the Troop (leaders) so that those who will be sitting on a candidate's Board of Review can say they saw leadership qualities demonstrated, but that does not mean all the labor has to come from Scouts. If the Candidate wants to call upon friends, family, or contract labor, that's up to him as the "foreman" to hire the right people to get the job done. However, it is "healthy" for all the scouts when workers include the troop members as it gives all the Scouts a feeling of participation and the motivation for their own Eagle endeavors.
Does an Eagle Project have to cost a certain amount of money?
No. If money is needed, it is up to the Candidate to raise it through donations, fund raiser, or it can be self-funded. The stipulation is that there can be NO donated money left over. Any leftover money must be returned to those who donated it.
Does an Eagle Project have to benefit Scouting?
It CAN'T. Once again, the BSA shows its value to the surrounding community. Eagle Projects are done for organizations OUTSIDE of The Boy Scouts of America.
Can an Eagle Project be done on Government property?
Yes. Please note that the nature of "government" is slow and full of many "approval processes". Doing any work on government land or for government agencies will require permits, approvals, board meetings, etc....that can take quite some time. Scouts should ask these questions in the early stages of his project. Government land projects are NOT a good idea for a boy who is facing the "timeout" of his 18th birthday as government delays may cause him to MISS his Eagle opportunity.
Can an Eagle Project be done after his 18th birthday?
No. There is a 60 day time gap after a boy's 18th birthday to file his application for Eagle and have his Board of Review, but ALL WORK (Project, Leadership, Merit Badges, Rank) has to be done prior to his 18th birthday unless he has ALREADY been granted a waiver for medical/developmental purposes.
He's a really good kid, an A student, involved in sports, etc... Is there ANY way to get an extension on time?
No. All work for the Eagle Rank must be completed before a boy's 18th birthday. There are no exceptions unless his has been previously classified as a "Special Needs" scout.
Do adults help in the Eagle Project?
Absolutely! Just because it's "his" project doesn't mean he's expected to magically have the knowledge of a structural engineer, electrician, or master carpenter. An Eagle Candidate may reach out and solicit assistance from the RIGHT RESOURCES in order to plan/execute his Project. Remember, his job is not to be the guy swinging the hammer or drawing the plans... but HIRING the right people and making sure work is done according to his plan.
Is there a special way for Eagle Projects to be done?
Yes. Please reference the BSA Eagle Project Workbook for a step-by-step guide (and approvals!) needed to complete an Eagle Project.
WHAT IF a Scout didn't do exactly what he was supposed to? Maybe he allowed his dad to take over the Project, or he never invited the adult leaders to see him "in action"... you wouldn't "punish" the Scout by denying him Eagle, would you?
Yes, and so would District, and so would Council, and so would National... but we would not view it as a "punishment", but simply a situation where a Scout didn't do the REQUIRED work. If there was a mistake or some type of misunderstanding, that's something to be addressed on a case-by-case basis, but if a scout makes the conscious decision to not complete all of the requirements, then the troop leaders are left with no choice but to not award ANY rank advancements, including Eagle.