Here are a few suggestions on how to find a good Eagle Scout Service Project:
First, go to the public library. Do this on a day and time that you've got a LOT of time, don't try to do this in a rush!
You're going to take a look through your community's newspapers, for at least TWO MONTHS prior to that day. Bring a pad and pen or pencil to write down the information or use their copier machine to photocopy the stories.
Which stories? The ones that explain some problems, issue or lack of attention by the community. Look in the news section, in the editorials, in the sports section, and in the "community news sections". Write down the details, what is it that seems to be a problem, who's taking care of it or who's trying to take care of it, where is it and the biggie "the impact on kids?" Things like road repair, new community buildings or fire protection doesn't really impact kids as much as truancy from schools, cracks in sidewalks, handicapped accessibility, and things like that would.
Second, after your review of the papers, set up interviews with your mayor or county judge-executive, with the community's fire chief and chief of police. Do each on separate days. During your interviews, stress the importance of you DEVELOPING, PLANNING, LEADING AND EVALUATING this project. This isn't their time to "put you in charge as a figurehead but they do all of the work". No buddy, YOU'VE got to do this stuff. Take their ideas, and DO NOT COMMIT to anything. You're still in the input stage.
Next, sit down with a group of your peers. This is going to be hard, so don't make it sound like "you're having a meeting". Rather just ask them, "if they had all of the resources available in our town, what would YOU like to see different or changed or added?" You'll get a lot of suggestions...write them ALL down. Even the ones that sound REALLY nutzoid (like "a brand new swimming pool" or "every Friday off from school"!)
Finally, sit down with your Scoutmaster, your parents or a trusted adult friend. Explain what all you've collected and with that adult, go through them and see which ones appeal to you AND which the adult feels you can do.
Keep this in mind. YOU are the final determination of what project YOU are to do not the adult. The adult is there as a "sanity check", that's all. If the adult says that ALL of the projects are bogus, then you've got to go and find another project or seek another adult's input. In a nation whereby teenage boys and girls can lead packs of boys and girls to terrorize and kill people, destroy property, and cause fear among its citizenry. Surely YOU as a young adult can lead a pack or boys and girls to build, strengthen, and develop property and cause happiness among your citizenry. Keep that in mind!
Once you've settled on FOUR projects, then its time for you to do an outline of what it is that you like about those four. One of them (or maybe two) will stand out in front of all of the others. That's your initial service project. Now, you're ready to meet with your District or Council Advancement chair and complete the Life to Eagle Service Project booklet. If he or she turns down your project, don't feel dejected, go back, put together the second best idea, and go back.
(Now do you know why I said "four"?)
EVERY community in America, has problems or things that can be solved by the leadership and direction of a young person. Service projects DO NOT have to involve building or painting something, those are easier to find. Look for other ways to extend what you've learned through Scouting with your community: a literacy program, a computer teaching program, an after-school workout program, an arts and crafts fair, a leadership development workshop, and there's more. If your papers are complaining about the lack of salaried workers at the public library or other community centers, how about setting up a volunteer program. If the papers are complaining about the lack of lighting downtown, come up with a plan to add more lighting and with your city planners, do it.
There's simply NOTHING that you as an Eagle Scout candidate cannot do to better others in your community. Don't limit it to just playground building, or painting walls or sitting and coaching younger kids. You're a LEADER, this is your time to PROVE IT to your adults and to your fellow Scouts.
Take the time, don't rush it, and use your community's resources to assist you in finding a problem, researching the problem, and finding several solutions and pick the best one. Then SOLVE it.
Use your resources.
(LTC) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
Scoutmaster Calvin Gray posted the following to Scouts-L on 25 Nov 99:
Here are examples of several Eagle Service Projects completed by our Scouts, along with the number of hours spent on each project.
- LANDSCAPING @ WILLIAMSON BAPTIST ASS'N - 239
- SOFT AREA FOR PLAYSCAPE @ CHRIST LUTHERAN - 70
- REPAIR/PAINT LITTLE LEAGUE SHED - 50
- SCREENING OF PRE-KINDERGARTEN CHILDREN - 559
- MEDIA CENTER/COLLECT BOOKS FOR HEAD START - 91
- DISTRIBUTION OF LIFESAVER EMERGENCY TAGS - 46
- IMPROVEMENTS AT GYRA SOCCER FIELDS - 64
- THANKSGIVING FOOD COLLECTION-CARING PLACE - 44
- LANDSCAPING @ GEORGETOWN JUNIOR HIGH - 49
- RENOVATION OF HOUSE USED BY YOUTH @ FUMC - 188
- PAINTING BUILDINGS AT LITTLE LEAGUE FIELDS - 69
- DIST PUBLICITY FOR REVIVAL @ CRESTVIEW - 85
- CONSTRUCTION OF B'BALL GOALS AT WESTSIDE SCH - 135
- LANDSCAPING @ EASTSIDE PRIMARY SCHOOL - 55
- CHRISTMAS GIFT SHOP @ WESLEYAN RETIRE HOME - 53
- LANDSCAPING @ WILLIAMS MIDDLE SCHOOL - 54
- CLEAN UP AND IMPROVE @ SAN GABRIEL CEMETARY - 72
- IMPROVEMENTS ON BILL PICKETT TRAIL - 217
- CLEAN UP AND IMPROVE @ GUADALUPE CEMETERY - 86
- BUILD SAND VOLLEY BALL COURT @ SAN GABRIEL PARK - 131
- LANDSCAPING @ MAIN STREET BAPTIST CHURCH - 63
- WOOD DUCK NESTING BOXES @ LAKE G'TOWN - 111
- LANDSCAPING @ GEORGETOWN LIBRARY - 101
- INSTALL BENCHES ON TRAIL @ LAKE GEORGETOWN - 55
- LANDSCAPING @ FAITH LUTHERAN CHURCH - 117
- NATURE TRAIL NEAR FROST ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - 95
- BUILD PODIUM & TROPHY CASE @ GJHS BAND HALL - 90
- INSTALL BAT HOUSES @ LAKE GEORGETOWN - 77
- INSTALL PICNIC TABLES AT G'TOWN AIRPORT - 77
- BUILD SHELVES/CATALOG MUSIC @ GHS BAND HALL - 66
- ROAD REPAIRS FOR NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION - 76
- LANDSCAPING AT CRESTVIEW BAPTIST - 44
- BUILDING/PAINTING S.S. ROOMS @ CRESTVIEW - 81
- CONSTRUCT PLAYGROUND AT CHRIST LUTHERAN - 53
- SCOUT LIAISON FOR CREATIVE PLAYSCAPE PROJECT - 368
- DESIGN PUPPETS & PLAY FOR ROUND ROCK LIBRARY - 114
- PAINT PLAY GROUND EQUIP @ ANNIE PURL ELEM - 153
- HANDICAPPED DRINKING FOUNTAINS-SAN GAB PK - 85
- CLEAR LAND ADJACENT TO SAN GABRIEL PARK - 139
- REPAIRS TO SIGNS & REPLACING FLOOD MARKERS - 77
- REPAIRS TO IRRIGATION SYSTEM AT CRESTVIEW - 191
- SCOUT POINT OF CONTACT-TX DIV. EMERG. MGMT. - 451
- ASSIST WITH AIR SHOW AT GEORGETOWN AIRPORT - 324
- PAINT LAMP POSTS - POLICE STATION & LIBRARY - 77
- PAINT WALLS AT WILLIAMS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - 164
- CONSTRUCTION OF ROOMS AT CALVARY BAPTIST - 56
- REPAIRS/ADDITIONS-PICKETT CHALLENGE COURSE - 212
- PLAYGROUND IMPROVEMENTS-CHRIST LUTHERAN - 47
- REPAIR/IMPROVE AT MADILLA HILLIARD CTR - 152
- REPAIR/ASSEMBLE BIG WHEELS @ SAFETY CITY - 121
- CLEAN & PREPARE 1-MILE OF HIKE & BIKE TRAIL - 70
- REPAIRS/PAINTING SAFETY CITY @ ANNIE PURL SCH - 271
- BUILD OUTDOOR COURT YARD AT ANNIE PURL SCH - 227
- INSTALL BARRIER POSTS ALONG HIKE & BIKE TRAIL - 96
- COLLECT & RETIRE USED AMERICAN FLAGS - 216
- BUILD TWO HORSESHOE PITS AT CRESTVIEW - 102
- BUILD 1-MILE OF HIKE & BIKE TRAIL - 148
- MOVE OLD CRESTVIEW SIGN & BUILD PLANTER BOX - 201
- INSTALL BENCHES ON LAKE GEORGETOWN TRAIL - 175
- CONSTRUCTING 2 PICNIC TABLES @ CRESTVIEW - 68
Calvin H. Gray Scoutmaster, Troop 405 Georgetown, Texas