This text was revised August 26, 2017 to clean up the wording errors.
When you reach the rank of Life Scout, you may have questions on what to select as his Eagle Project. The Chain Bridge District publishes a list of Eagle Scouts and their project in summary form which can be used by the Scout to think about what type of project to undertake. You do not have to "reinvent" the wheel as you can take anyone's Eagle Project idea and apply it to another location.
You can not actually start on an Eagle Project till he reaches the rank of Life Scout. That does not prevent you from looking around for something you would like to do for when you reach the rank of Life. The items I look for while talking to a Scout that is in the mode of looking for a project are :
What organization do you plan to benefit. It has to be a non profit organization.
When do you plan to accomplish the project. Some will wait till they are almost 18 to work on an Eagle Project which tends to put the "rush" in the effort and may produce a poor quality project.
What does the project represent? Some Scouts will pick a section of trail that needs to be majorly fixed up. There are many Scouts who will select a project which will so something special for the benefiting organization. To mention several, the flag poles in front of Westover Baptist which represents the two church members who perished in the 9-11 crash into the Pentagon, bike racks for a non profit bike repair facility, coat room at a local church, storage room at Swanson Middle School, play ground, and book collection for a special needs school.
There are steps that you must take prior to starting the project. Getting approval by your Scoutmaster, approval by your Troop Committee, approval by the non profit organization that your project will benefit, and approval with your Troop's "Eagle Board Representative". Sound like a lot of seeking approval but the goal in this process is to make sure your project meets all of the requirements.
To draw a comparison - Some day you may own a house. If you wish to add a room onto your house, you would have to draw up plans, get approval from the county plumbing / electrical / structure offices then seek estimates from contractors and then go for a bank loan to cover the cost of the addition to your house. Think of your Eagle Project as adding a room to your house. There are many steps to be taken. If you feel overwhelmed, go speak to your Scoutmaster. Like many projects, it may seem like it is an impossible project but it really is not.
Is it worth all of the steps in getting approval ? I think so.
Do you know how many signatures you need to get your project going? Four signatures (1) Your signature. (2) a representative from the benefiting organization's signature, (3) your Troop Committee Signature. and finally (4) the Eagle Board Representative's signature.
Do you know how many approvals you need to call your project "complete" ? Only need 3 signatures. (1) your signature that you did the project, (2) your benefiting organization's approval and acceptance of the project, and (3) your Scoutmaster's approval. Your Scoutmaster will be the final quality control and make sure the Eagle Workbook is totally finished with all questions answered and ready to present to your Eagle Board of Review.
An Eagle Project is not set up to be an easy "weekend project". it is set up for you to demonstrate leadership and planning abilities. It's something you can look back years from now and say to yourself "I DID IT".
Attached is the list from 2015. Future lists will be attached as they are available.
One could spend hours on how to organize the Eagle Scout Workbook. It would be much easier if you could borrow one from a fellow Scout who has a completed project to see how it all falls together. To keep your parents from appearing to be running your project, give them a camera have them take lots of "action pictures" which will make it much easier when it is time to write up how your project was accomplished.
If you can take pictures of what the area that you will be working on before the work starts, and take pictures after the work was accomplished, you could match the before pictures along side of the after pictures to show how your project had improved that area.
Last item. When you write up the report, do have someone read the report to see if it tells a clear picture of how your project was accomplished. When I was in 7th grade in Pennsylvania (many years ago) the English teacher told us that sometimes your words don't exactly translate to what you intend on saying. She said " The farmer tossed the cow over the fence some hay". We were puzzled, then she asked what is the farmer tossing over the fence? The cow or some hay. I still remember that as if it happened yesterday.
Good luck with your project.
Assistant Scoutmaster Ingles
Scoutmaster for 25 years
Eagle Scout in 1964