Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

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Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby fritz1255 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:02 am

What has been your experience as far as average time to complete an Eagle project, from approval to final signoff? I have sat in on numerous Eagle BOR's, and the average time seems to be over a year, with some dragging out to two years. About a year (my son, for example) is typical. In most cases, these are projects that should have been completed in about six months with a fairly steady effort, but there seem to be periods of no activity due to procrastination, winter weather, or other priorities (typically sports). Needless to say, there is an iron-clad deadline (18th birthday), so almost none of them go past two years. Where I get six months is:

Step 1: Obtain materials/supplies = 1 month
Step 2: Four Scouts working 5 hours each time on two Saturdays/month, 160 man-hours total = 4 months
Step 3: Writeup and final approval = 1 month

Are we requiring too much, or is this a reasonable time period? When I ask for average time, I mean AVERAGE, not the 13-year old who completed his project in twe months and now owns a multi-million dollar comany in Silicon Valley.....
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby smtroop168 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:24 am

fritz1255 wrote:What has been your experience as far as average time to complete an Eagle project, from approval to final signoff? I have sat in on numerous Eagle BOR's, and the average time seems to be over a year, with some dragging out to two years. About a year (my son, for example) is typical. In most cases, these are projects that should have been completed in about six months with a fairly steady effort, but there seem to be periods of no activity due to procrastination, winter weather, or other priorities (typically sports). Needless to say, there is an iron-clad deadline (18th birthday), so almost none of them go past two years. Where I get six months is:

Step 1: Obtain materials/supplies = 1 month
Step 2: Four Scouts working 5 hours each time on two Saturdays/month, 160 man-hours total = 4 months
Step 3: Writeup and final approval = 1 month

Are we requiring too much, or is this a reasonable time period? When I ask for average time, I mean AVERAGE, not the 13-year old who completed his project in twe months and now owns a multi-million dollar comany in Silicon Valley.....


I have rarely seen more than 6 months. Sometimes that was due to weather if it was an outdoor project.

Your step 2 is skewed. 160 m/h would be 4 weeks not months and I'm not sure how the other scouts time factors into the amount of calendar time.

My son got final district approval in Jan and final completion signature from his sponsor in March. He was 15 1/2 y/o.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby fritz1255 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:37 am

I think Step 2 is correct - 4 Scouts x 5 hours x 2 Saturdays/month = 40 hours/month
160 hours/40 hours/month = 4 months

While it certainly can be done faster, I think this is a reasonable schedule.

Perhaps you can share how your son got that accomplished? I think he falls into the "exceptional" category, both in age and completion time. I have never seen a project completed that quickly.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby ronin718 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:45 am

My son's project took seven months from the first meeting with his school to outline the project to completion. Part of this time was the summer break, something that makes life difficult to get school admin and Scouts to do anything in. My son used the summer period to make his pitch to various organizations for fundraising. The work itself was done on three separate days: (1) get materials and cut the wood into proper lengths, (2) small group assembled benches, and (3) landscaping, augering, and installation of benches and mulch. Having a crew of 75 on day three helped.

Most ESLSPs in my troop fall within the 3-6 month time period, depending on time of year. Rarely do we see one go longer.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby WeeWillie » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:48 am

All my troop's Eagle Projects were completed within 2-5 months from the time the Scout approached me to project completion. The 5 month project was the Scout did not answer the basic question from my planning. How many trees to plant? What trees? How deep the holes? It was a landscaping project. Since we live in a desert it was an important consideration. The Eagle candidiate kept increasing the scope of the project with more landscaping without answering the basic questions about the shade trees.

Over ambition and project creep are the biggest issues with ELSP.

I didn't approve ELSP plans until I had a clear indication that the plan was workable. Look back at the ER MBs that include planning and scheduling such as Camping, Pers Fitness for planning guidance.

PS
7 of 8 trees still live 4 years after the project was completed.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby ronin718 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:52 am

fritz1255 wrote:Perhaps you can share how your son got that accomplished? I think he falls into the "exceptional" category, both in age and completion time. I have never seen a project completed that quickly.

I'd be interested in knowing what the project was that could be cradle-to-completion in that amount of time. We had so many meetings with school admin trying to get them to finalize their scope/vision of my son's project. Part of it may have been the fact they didn't want to overwhelm my son. This was a middle school, after all. :D
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby FrankJ » Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:05 pm

I kinda like from the time of his life BOR to 17.99. :shock: But no extensions for procrastination. Is that going to be in the mythical new advancement policy book? :wink: I can't see adding an arbitrary deadline. It seems to me the average project happens fairly fast after council approval. 3 to 6 months is a good target. Some variables is how much money that has to be raised, any permits having to be pulled, acceptable work days for beneficiary org & troop schedule. But if you have a well developed plan, it is just working the plan.

Work on the front end before the approval is what seems to take the longest unless they are just spoon fed a project.

We had one eagle project was conceptually started by one scout who aged out. The bones of it was picked up by another scout who use it for his project.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby fritz1255 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:25 pm

Actually, the original question was how long from official approval to completion. For what it's worth, I do have a slightly tongue-in-cheek schedule for completion within two months:

Scout and Dad buy materials/supplies = 1 week
Scout and Dad, 8 hours each every Saturday and Sunday, 160 hours = 5 weeks
Dad writes up project = 2 weeks
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby ronin718 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:35 pm

fritz1255 wrote:Actually, the original question was how long from official approval to completion. For what it's worth, I do have a slightly tongue-in-cheek schedule for completion within two months:

Scout and Dad buy materials/supplies = 1 week
Scout and Dad, 8 hours each every Saturday and Sunday, 160 hours = 5 weeks
Dad writes up project = 2 weeks


:lol: :lol: :lol: Yep, I can see that one. Of course, I don't think this would fly. The labor force was Dad, Scout was supposed to provide leadership, so how was leadership demonstrated?

Okay, if I start the clock ticking at the final approval signature, my son's project took four months.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby fritz1255 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:34 pm

Thanks for the replies, but I think I will ask my District Advancement Chair (who sits in on all Eagles BOR's in the district) what his experience has been. Still very hard for me to believe that the average completion of a typical project of about 160 hours effort is under 6 months. If our Troop is truly outside of the norm, we will get a little more involved with the Eagle mentoring process - have the Eagle advisor check on progress regularly, see what barriers are slowing things down. At present, our Eagle advisor helps the boys with their initial proposals, but not much after that.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby FrankJ » Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:56 pm

What do you count as completion? Approval of unit & beneficiary? Final write up? (can take 30 min to a year). Size of the work group makes a difference as well. Typically we will have 10 to 20 youth show up for a project work day. Typical on site work days seem to be from 1 to 4 over a time frame of less than a month once it is actually started. The front & back ends seem to chew up the most time. But what is more important is what works for your troop. If your scouts are learning & doing solid projects, that is more important than the time between approval & completion.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby ronin718 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:01 pm

FrankJ wrote:If your scouts are learning & doing solid projects, that is more important than the time between approval & completion.

Good call, Frank!! There is no time requirement, short or long, listed in the ESLSP. Sometimes life happens and delays are encountered. If the Scout can reasonably explain the reasoning, it should be no issue for the board.

However, it doesn't hurt to have Eagle Advisors doing periodic "nudges" to keep focus going and progress as well.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby Quailman » Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:20 pm

For a 160 hour service project, aren't a quarter of them going to be on the part of the scout himself? And with a large enough pool of volunteers you could get to 160 pretty quick.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby smtroop168 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:28 pm

The question was time from approval to final sign off. Approval from the district which allows starting of work is Jan and final signature by the sponsor was March.

Now if you want to go toall the dates:

Project concept w/UL = Sep 07
Discusses w/sponsor = Oct 07
Detailed Plan signed by sponsor = Dec 07
SM signature = Dec 07
CC signature = Jan 08
DAC signature = Jan 08
Project completion signatures = Mar 08

So cradle to grave signatures are 6 months. You can add a couple of months of "Pre-thought" and you get 6-9 months
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby fritz1255 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:08 pm

No, I personally don't have a problem with Scouts taking over a year to finish projects. We just seem to have a HUGE disconnect between everybody here telling me 6 months max, and my personal experience of over a year. And yes, in theory a 160 hour project could take only an hour with 160 volunteers, but that's not the way things work, at least not in my experience.

And smtroop - would you care to share what the project was and give us some idea of the work schedule?
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby smtroop168 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:54 pm

fritz1255 wrote:No, I personally don't have a problem with Scouts taking over a year to finish projects. We just seem to have a HUGE disconnect between everybody here telling me 6 months max, and my personal experience of over a year. And yes, in theory a 160 hour project could take only an hour with 160 volunteers, but that's not the way things work, at least not in my experience.

And smtroop - would you care to share what the project was and give us some idea of the work schedule?


Sure...the project was to construct 6 shelving units each one 4 feet long by 2 feet wide and 6 feet tall with 4 shelves each and castors added to the bottoms so they could be wheeled around as needed. They were built in the basement of the sponsor that provides diapers, formula, clothing, layettes etc to needy women who are either pregnant or have newborns. The basement was piled high with donations with the sponsor having no idea what they had. Each shelf was labelled so the organization could have some level of inventory management. He had 10 scouts and two adults on scene and split them into two groups each working on a shelf and then the castors were applied followed by placing all the items on the shelves. Workday was pretty standard 8-4 with a lunch break. Total hours including planning and getting the materials on scene was 100+.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby WeeWillie » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:14 pm

I don’t understand why a 100-200 hour project should take more than 6 months. Here are a few practices I / we used to allow this to happen when I was a SM.

At the Life SMC emphasize the time and effort to complete a successful ELSP. We discuss scheduling.

When a Scout announces his desire to start his ELSP we assign him a non-parent mentor from the troop’s adult leaders. We talk among ourselves to insure we have common standards and best practices.

Don’t start an ELSP until a Scout is ready to finish his ELSP. Many Scouts have multiple competing activities. If a Scout is into a sport, wait until the season is over to start the ELSP.

If a Scout has too many competing activities suggest he set one aside to complete his ELSP.

It is a leadership service project not a fund raising service project. Do not recommend projects that require extensive fund raising because success is held captive to funding. Obviously it is the Scout’s choice.

Our Round Tables include time for SMs to announce upcoming ELSPs. We encourage cross troop mutual support. Most of my Scouts participated in another troop’s ELSP before starting theirs.

We held an After Action Review for every ELSP where the Eagle candidate discussed with the troop how his project went.

Troops and districts reach out to community organizations and discuss ELSPs. We have a list of organizations that have sponsored ELSPs and share that list among troops. Nothing discourages a sponsor more than waiting for a long time for an ELSP to be completed.

We encourage Eagle candidates to complete ER MBs prior to starting their project. Planning, coordinating, logging, writing, teaching, communicating MB requirements are repeated multiple times among the MBs. One of my objections to double dipping is that it abbreviates the learning objectives of each requirement and repetition for the sake of completing the MB.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby FrankJ » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:43 pm

Sound like a good plan Mike.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby smtroop168 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:25 pm

WeeWillie wrote:I don’t understand why a 100-200 hour project should take more than 6 months.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: You obviously don't remember the teenage psyche.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby WeeWillie » Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:58 pm

Oh yes I do which is why I push for 3-6 months. At the rate of 1.57 girl friends per month that is a lot of hormones.
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