Evaluating An Eagle Scout Service Project Proposal

eeagle court of honorThe guidelines and helpful hints shown below are provided to Unit Leaders and District Advancement Committee members to assist in evaluating an EP Proposal – This is meant to supplement and assist reviewers in determining if the EP meets the five steps in the Eagle Workbook and does not take the place of or override the guidance contained in the Guide to Advancement or the Eagle Scout Workbook.

The EP Proposal is an overview of the EP but it still needs to be detailed enough to allow us to know he will be able to successfully carry out the project. Elements for each section of his Proposal should show the following. Remember we see less detail than we used to in project reviews but does not mean we should see no detail.

  • Have the Scout explain his EP before you read his proposal and acknowledge he has read the entire workbook since he has signed it saying he has. Try to complete the District review in one face-to-face session, which of course is dependent on how prepared the scout is. The more the Scout knows about what his Eagle Project requires the better he will be able to show Planning, Development and Leadership, exercise project management and develop further confidence in his abilities.
  • A Scout is short changing himself if the project is an easy one for him to accomplish. Conversely some scouts will have an EP with potentially too large a scope. This tends to be particular to the individual. What is easy for one Scout to accomplish may be very difficult for another but it should be something he would be proud of.

Project Description: Describe in specific numbers, dimensions, and locations detail exactly what you are going to do (but not how yet). Clear statements on what is planned. Six Picnic tables, 2 miles of trail restoration, planting 10 trees, collect 500 items etc. Clear photographs to show current conditions are particularly useful for conservation projects. Clear sketches or diagrams on what is going to be built. A picture of a picnic table doesn’t cut it.

Project Benefit: What is the impact? Remember we are looking for scale (Description Block) and impact at the Eagle Board of Review. Facility improvement, monetary savings, solves a longstanding beneficiary problem, public education? Impact if not done? The Scout must show that planning, development, and leadership will take place; and how the three factors will benefit the beneficiary. Does the Scout have a basic understanding how long this will take? Is the start date before what would be a reasonable amount of time for the scout to complete a Final Plan?

Leadership: Describe the scope of leadership required. Is the work done in one location or multiple teams across the work area? What’s hard? How do you plan to handle those difficulties?

  • The minimum number of people the Scout must lead for a project is two or more, which in theory could be the scout and his parents. Also be wary of family only projects. The workforce should be in proportion to the work that has to be done on the project. Does the Scout need more adults than youth to do his project? BSA defined Two-deep leadership is required onsite at all times for all Eagle projects.
  • The Scout should show that he knows were his workers are coming from and if special skills are needed for the project where those skilled workers will come from.

Materials/Supplies/Tools: Materials are items left behind after the project is complete. Supplies are those items consumed in doing the project and Tools are those items used and returned after the project.

  • Materials, Supplies and Tool Sections must have the appropriate items for the task. Materials in the proposal do not need to be specific to the number and lengths, but should identify sizes and types (2 x 4, ¾” plywood, pressure treated, interior paints etc.). If using tools does the Scout understand the type to use? Using a 3” screw to put two 1” boards together with a hand screwdriver might indicate the Scout doesn’t understand what’s needed. Is there water or electricity required at the worksite?
  • If a Scout is “given” all the Materials, Supplies and Tools through donations, ask the scout how this helps him in his planning, development and leadership and what he will do if the donations don’t happen. Tools do not necessarily need to be listed with a cost if they are being donated but if he breaks one, does he have a replacement plan?

Permits and Permissions: Identify any permits or permissions that will be required. Normally the beneficiary will be responsible for a building permit if one is required. If outside of the council boundaries, a tour plan is required. Tell the Scout that any permits obtained should be included in his final write up.

Preliminary Cost Estimates: “All donated” is not acceptable and likely means the Scout does not understand the cost aspects of his project and where the money will come from. If he will be doing fundraising ensure that he understands that process and, if required, have a signed fundraising application. Any funds raised must be held by the beneficiary or troop. The proposal should indicate what happens if he doesn’t get the needed donations (Plan B) and what he might need to do to get the necessary items?

Project Phases: This is one of the key sections in the proposal. He should break the project down into major phases. These may represent work days, or other logical divisions of planning and executing the project. “Get approval, Get materials, Do project, Do write up” is not acceptable. Remind scout that this is also a key section in his Final Plan.

Logistics: Is there information there that suggests the scout has a logistics plan for such things as transportation of material and workers, food/drinks, and bathrooms. “Just have them show up” is not acceptable.

Safety: The Scout must show they have an understanding of what must be done to guard against injury, and what will be done if someone does get hurt. Has the scout looked at the Guide to Safe Scouting and the Sweet 16 of BSA Safety to see how it might apply to his project? Make sure the scout understands the task as it applies to the age use of tools guidelines.

Further Planning: Key section. The proposal must include action steps for further detailed planning. What happens after proposal approval should be included. The Scout should show that he understands that planning doesn’t end with the proposal and that he has thought out the steps for further planning and will carry these into his Final plan. Again the “Get approval, Get materials, Do project, Do write up” is not acceptable. Seeing “getting with my coach and working on my Final plan” would be appropriate here.

  • Remind the Scout to keep accurate count of his time and the times of everyone else working with him on the project. He should be keeping a record when you meet. Categories of time to record are Research, Planning, Obtaining materials/supplies/tools/workers, documenting and getting approvals, the project, travel time and labor.
  • Verify that he has a coach that will assist him going forward. Remind the Scout that the Final Plan should be reviewed and approved by the Beneficiary prior to any work starting and that the beneficiary can stop his Eagle Project at any time if it is not going according to their agreement.
  • Remind Scout that any significant scope change to his approved proposal must be immediately brought to the attention of the original signers of his proposal to ensure that his project will still qualify as an Eagle Project.
  • Finally remind the Scout that the first item in his Final Plan is the discussion with the District reviewer and that you would expect to see some of your conversation in his write up.

Wish him well and tell him you’ll likely see him at his Eagle Board of Review!!

EFFECTIVE DATE: January, 2015