Half a Project

Information to help with the rank of Eagle Scout.

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Re: Half a Project

Postby mt_goodrich » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:10 pm

I was this Scout back in 1982.

I came up with and developed a project idea. I organized it and supervised the work. My volunteers and I worked for three days on it.

However, I only completed 75% of what I had agreed to do. We ran out of paint and it would take a week for the organization we were doing the project for to get more of the right kind of paint.

In my mind, I figured it was the organizations fault since I couldn't proceed. Thus, I was done. My project was complete. The organization was more than willing to sign off on my project because they didn't have enough paint. Just about everyone else thought I had done enough. I was ready to write it up and was ready for my EBOR. Life was good.

Guess what? My very wise Scoutmaster sat me down and had a long talk with me about my project. By the time we were through, I realized the true fault was with me and poor planning by not having the organization provide me with enough paint.

One of the best lessons I ever learned and a humbling experience.

Two weeks later, we were able to finish up the project in just a little over two hours.

All of this took place at Fort Hood, Texas in August and temperatures were around 100 degrees in the shade.

This young man needs to suck it up and finish his project.
Last edited by mt_goodrich on Sun Jul 20, 2008 1:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Half a Project

Postby FrankJ » Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:49 am

Guess what? My very wise Scoutmaster sat me down and had a long talk with me about my project. By the time we were threw, I realized the true fault was with me and poor planning by not having the organization provide me with enough paint.


The reason why scouting work as well as it does is because individuals are willing to work with scouts one on one to teach good judgment. After the SM talked to you, you were able to come to your own decision.
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Re: Half a Project

Postby smtroop168 » Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:33 am

Mike..thanks for sharing your story. The number one thing that bothers me about all this is the "1/2 is good enough" attitude. Can I share your story with the Eagle mentor?

And it's always 100 degrees in Ft Hood. :)
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Re: Half a Project

Postby milominderbinder2 » Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:14 pm

smtroop168 wrote:I approved a scout for his ES project to resurface all the steps...

Is resurfacing routine maintenance?

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Re: Half a Project

Postby WeeWillie » Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:43 am

When the SM & District ELSP Coordinator (or DAC) sign off in a project, they are committing the good name and reputation of their troop, district, council and Scouting. If this Scout were painting your house would you be so sympathetic? We are teaching values and the Scout Law starts with Trustworthy. When the word gets out in our communities that 1/2 completed projects are acceptable how many organizations do you thing will sponsort ELSP?
We have a responsibility to our individual Scouts (how teaching 1/2 measures are acceptable meets that responsibility escapes me) but we also have a responsibility to the institution of Scouting. That responsibility includes preserving the good name and reputation of Scouting and Eagle Scout for past, present and future Scouts!

This year one of my Scouts decided on landscaping the high school learning center with shade trees. We live in the desert. It took over 4 months before I would sign off on the project because it kept expanding and he could answer the basic questions I asked at the 1st meeting. What kind of trees, what size trees, what size holes, how many trees. He finally gave me the answers and I approved the project. Could you imagine the impact to teachers and students returning to school this August to a bunch of dead trees with a sign Troop 480 Eagle Project!
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Re: Half a Project

Postby FrankJ » Sun Jul 20, 2008 1:02 pm

This brings up a question in my mind. Keeping in mind the scout is ultimately responsible for his project, how responsible are the others signing off on the planning of the project? Shouldn't they be checking that the scope of the project is within the capabilities & resources of the scout? While making sure the project is big enough, should the reviewers be asking themselves is the project too big? I ask this question not so much in this particular case, but in general.
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Re: Half a Project

Postby WeeWillie » Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:39 am

A Scout's ELSP should match his demonstrated performance. If a Scout struggled as a PL how is he going to supervise a 20 person project? If a Scout always shows up missing camping equipment is it realistic to expect him to show up with the tools and materials needed to complete the project? If a Scout pre-orders $500 in popcorn and sells only $150 do we allow him to plan a project requiring donations? By the time a Scout is Life he should have the planning and organizing skills needed to complete a sucessful ELSP, unless he was spoon fed the MBs.

A Scoutmaster is not a rubber stamp.
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Re: Half a Project

Postby mhjacobson » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:21 am

Actually both of the prior posters are correct. While the Scout is ultimately responsible for the formulation and completion of the ESP, the Eagle Mentor and the Eagle Coaches are responsible to guide the scout through the process. It is the signature of the Mentor, along with the SM, CC, and Organizational rep (the organization that is benefiting from the project) that certifies that the project will both satisfy the needs of the organization and fulfill the ESP requirements for Eagle. These signatures should only be affixes if the individuals feel that the project is reasonable.

However, given the facts of the failure of a scout to lead as a PL, etc., the issue is more of whether or not he is Eagle material than whether or not he can complete a project. There are many scouts who float through the program without a high level of committment. I can not see watering down the ESP requirements for them. The project should be designed to fulfill a perceived need, and not to meet the skill sets of a scout. If the scout does not have the skills to complete a project, then someone should advise them to design a new project. Otherwise I can see ESP that state: build half a shelter, etc.
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Re: Half a Project

Postby FrankJ » Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:15 am

Dig half a hole? :D

Thanks for the comments. It is a fine line to walk. Adapting the program to fit the scouts while at the same time maintaining reasonable standards.
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Re: Half a Project

Postby smtroop168 » Mon Jul 21, 2008 4:41 pm

Milo...this was not routine maintenance...this had not been done in 4 years.

As far as if this was within his abilities...he clearly understood the scope. I had 3 different reviews of his project and his troop mentor had at least 3 other reviews. He had enough help listed in his plan. Don't know if they all came. He thought it would take one day per side and clearly he underestimated the work but this is no reason to decide he was done due to it being "inconvenient".

I agree that scouts should not bite off more than they could chew and in my experience this doesn't happen. Some scouts are 13 , some are 17, some are outdoor project scouts, some are builder scouts. The "Eagle Team" SM, Eagle Mentor, Org and District all can help, but it is the scout's ultimate responsibility.
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Re: Half a Project

Postby Bill Pitcher » Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:28 pm

Again, project not finished . . . no EBoR. That said, has the District Eagle Advisor (or you, smtroop168) gone out and looked the site over to see if the project IS finished? If he is only 17 yr. old, he has the time. As this thread says, "I did enough' or "It was too hot" are NOT excuses.
I am on the DAC as an Eagle Advisor, and I monitor the progress of ALL of the projects I sign off on to get the Eagle candidate started. Our council isn't very big (~20 troops), so I know most of the boys who go for Eagle. Except for the Scouts from our troop, I chair all of the EBoR's that I have started. I heard from a DC we had a few years ago whose husband was an Eagle Advisor that signed off on a project, the boy came to him with his final report and an EBoR was set up. THE BOY NEVER DID THE PROJECT AND FAKED THE WHOLE THING! Talk about TRUSTWORTHY!!
No, he didn't get his Eagle. My point is, the Eagle Advisor needs to look at the job site and then meet with THE SCOUT and DAD also and set them stright. As has been said . . . this is NOT Dad's project. He doesn't set the rules. WE DO! The project isn't done unless it has been carried out as the proposal says, even if it takes 500 hours to complete.
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Re: Half a Project

Postby smtroop168 » Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:30 am

The Troop's Eagle Mentor, the SM, the Dad and the Scout himself have stated that the project was only half done. At this point, the only way I see getting their attention is to have the scout finish his write up with the reasons he did what he did, including the need to go to Disney, have a BOR and give him his appeal rights.
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Re: Half a Project

Postby mhjacobson » Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:42 am

No, don't do that. IF all involved know that the project is not complete, the project should not be signed-off on and the EBOR should not even be requested. One way of turning off a scout is for him to go to a BOR and have the BOR tell him to complete his project and return. Adults should never sign off on a project that they know is incomplete, and the BOR should never be requested unless all of the signatures are present on the project and the Eagle Scout Application.

Adults should never complicate more what the scout has already complicated through non-completion. ALL of the adults should simply tell the scout, "if you want the EBOR, then complete the project!"
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Re: Half a Project

Postby cballman » Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:36 pm

Maybe someone should explain to this young man and his Scoutmaster that the project is not just about the scout but about helping out group other than scouting. maybe he dont understand what half a project really is. lets take a car for example. The car starts out as a light blue in color but the young man really wants a red car. enter the body shop they told the young man that they will paint the car for him. WOW no they decide it that since they have the front half red it is finished. wait stop and look at this car it is awesome in front of the rear door but behind the front doors it is the old crappy light blue. CAR is FINISHED. what is the difference between the car and the steps? NOTHING. the projectS are still not completed until the person in charge or the owner of the car is satisfied. just another way of looking at this project so that people can understand what half really means.
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Re: Half a Project

Postby smtroop168 » Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:49 pm

mh...I agree with you but the problem is that ALL the adults don't believe the project is incomplete. The SM has agreed with the scout that 1/2 is good enough.

As the District person from whom the troop requests the EBOR, I guess that my best course of action is to tell the troop that we will not hold an EBOR until the project is complete.

I have an EBOR for another scout with this troop next Tuesday so I'll be back to fill everyone in.
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Re: Half a Project

Postby Bill Pitcher » Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:09 pm

smtroop 168: your assessment is correct . . .no finished project, no EBoR. The proposal has NOT been satisfied REGARDLESS of what the SM thinks. Has the project been turned over to you yet? Has he aquired all of the signatures at completion? Yeah, YOU have the final say as to weather or not the project has satisfactorally been completed or not. The school will never let another Eagle Scout start something if all they can expect is a "hafl-assed job." And we all know . . . the word will spread around the town. GOOD LUCK!
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Re: Half a Project

Postby mhjacobson » Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:54 pm

smtroop... It does not matter if ALL adults do not believe that the project is incomplete. All that it takes is ONR of the required signatures on the project and/or the Eagle application to refuse to sign based upon the assessment that the project is incomplete, and that includes the school administration who is the recipient of the project, and the scout can not go to BOR. This was put into place by national in order to prevent the SM from deciding that something that was not appropriately done was OK with him/her and the scout going to BOR.
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Re: Half a Project

Postby joat » Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:54 am

mhjacobson wrote: All that it takes is ONR of the required signatures on the project and/or the Eagle application to refuse to sign ... and the scout can not go to BOR.
It is the board of review that determines whether a candidate has met all the requirements for the Eagle rank. Any of the signatories may withhold their signature, and if they do so should add a letter to the board explaining why. The board can use that information in their decision. But withholding a signature does not block a board of review.
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Re: Half a Project

Postby mhjacobson » Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:33 pm

In the advancement handbook it is clear that a BOR should not be scheduled until all of the signatures are present on both the Eagle Scout Application and the Eagle Scout Service Project. This is there to ensure that the scout has completed all of the requirements prior to the scheduling of the BOR.
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Re: Half a Project

Postby joat » Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:07 am

Certainly it would not be responsible to submit the application and workbook without getting all the signatures. The presence of the signatures tells the board that everyone is in agreement with what they signed.

However, if one signatory refuses to sign, the app and workbook should be sent along anyway, with a note that a signature was intentionally withheld. That tells the board that everyone had a chance to review the app and sign their approval, and that one person does not approve.

The board then reviews the app, reviews the project workbook, reads any letters of reference, and conducts the review with the candidate. The candidate for the Eagle rank may be turned down or may be approved by the board. But the boy cannot be denied a board of review because one person refused to sign the app or workbook.
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