Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby Bill Pitcher » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:22 pm

And don't forget the two liquids that prevent Life Scouts from becoming Eagles: perfume and gasoline (there used to be a third . . . alcohol, but drinking age has eliminated that one pretty much!). I have one who's project was finished last summer . . . when the project became available at his church. He is still finishing 4 ER Merit Badges! He just turned 16 and no matter how much proding from his leaders and parents, he isn't in any hurry. I like Mike's plan for his troop, but the best laid plans . . . . you know!
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby fritz1255 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:50 pm

Why does a 100-200 hour project take more than 6 months? Procrastination, very simple answer. I am also concerned that peer measuring has a lot to do with it. If a kid just got his project approved and his buddy got his approved 6 months ago but has yet to schedule a work session, there is very little pressure on the first kid to get started. I guess we will need to shorten the cycle one Scout at a time.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby WeeWillie » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:37 pm

Do not approve/sign the project without a concrete schedule regarding when work will start. Don't allow Scouts to hold their sponsors hostage to their procranstination.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby ronin718 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:25 am

fritz1255 wrote: ...I am also concerned that peer measuring has a lot to do with it...

Oh, peer measuring goes both ways. It's amazing what a kick in the pants it is when you have a dozen 16-17 y/o Life Scouts who've been there a while sitting up front at troop meetings and a 14 y/o is presented with his Eagle patch. Our Eagle advisor had his door trampled down with Scouts wanting to get projects approved.

This happened in February 2010. We had six new Eagles by the end of May and ten for the year. Our troop went from having no active Eagles (my definition here, meaning they are under 18 and attending troop meetings) to five in the Senior Patrol. We went four years without any Eagle leadership and now have an Eagle SPL for the second straight year (two different boys).

Now, I don't know if this was youth-driven or parent-driven, but it sure was fun to watch...
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby Mrw » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:39 am

About 6 months seems pretty typical for our troop. A few drag on a little longer, usually due to weather issues.

The shortest was a boy who got his final approvals on Tuesday evening before turning 18 the next Monday. And he managed to pull it all off too. Our DAC uses this kid as his prime example of how NOT to do things.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby Billiken » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:27 am

My son's took six months from start to finish.
But the main reason for that was the 200 trees to be planted had to be put in the ground in the Fall months.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby scoutaholic » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:21 pm

I've rarely seen the actual execution of a project take more than a few weeks. Once approvals have been given, the work generally takes place soon. After the actual work is done, it generally takes a few more weeks to tie up loose ends and get the final signatures.

A few examples:

Son #1 - got approvals signed in March for a project that was scheduled to do the work on May 8. The shipment of bikes didn't come from China in time, so had to readjust how the project schedule worked (all the volunteers work would have been completed on the one day if the bikes had come). Work day #1 (Tuesday evening - Volunteers with trucks meet at the shipping dock to move 150 bikes (unassembled) to my garage. Work day #2 (Wednesday) - 50+ volunteers assemble all the bikes in my driveway and then put them back in the garage. Work day #3 (Saturday) - Volunteers with trucks load all the bikes and transport them to a school in a low-income area where we help distribute them to kids who can't afford to buy them. All told, the work was done in a 5-day period. Once the paperwork was completed (about 2 weeks later), the time from approval to completion signature was ~3 months.

Son #2 - got approvals on Sunday night, volunteers were scheduled to meet and help on Tuesday, and the 2 following Saturdays. All the volunteer work was done within 13 days after the approval signature. Still tying up loose ends, but I expect the completion signatures will be done about 1 month after the approval signatures.

I have rarely seen a project go more than 3 months between approval and completion signatures.

Now less timely examples:

Boy1 wanted to do a project to benefit the local zoo. Got approvals, then didn't do any more for several months. 1.95 years later, he decided to do his project. He called the zoo to be sure they still wanted it, scheduled volunteers and got the work done within about 3 weeks. All told, the project was over 2 years between approval and completion, but it could have been ~1.5 months if the boy hadn't been sitting on his thumbs.

Boy2 was handed a project (by leaders of our CO church) with all the planning done and dates set. Approvals were quick. All the boy had to do was coordinate with the contact he was given, and have a group of volunteers (~20) there to do the project. Boy never spoke to the contact he was given. He asked for some volunteers but failed to do any real follow-up to make sure they were coming. When the scheduled day arrived, boy came (late) with his father, brother and 1 friend. Project had already been completed by someone else. 3+ years later Boy2 aged out having never earned the Eagle rank. During that time, several other ideas for projects were proposed, but he never got far enough with them to get approval signatures.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby ronin718 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:01 pm

scoutaholic wrote:Boy2 was handed a project (by leaders of our CO church) with all the planning done and dates set. Approvals were quick. All the boy had to do was coordinate with the contact he was given, and have a group of volunteers (~20) there to do the project. Boy never spoke to the contact he was given. He asked for some volunteers but failed to do any real follow-up to make sure they were coming. When the scheduled day arrived, boy came (late) with his father, brother and 1 friend. Project had already been completed by someone else. 3+ years later Boy2 aged out having never earned the Eagle rank. During that time, several other ideas for projects were proposed, but he never got far enough with them to get approval signatures.

Perhaps the problem here was the project was handed to the boy rather than having the boy come up with his own project. We all tend to be more motivated to make something happen when it's our own idea and in our own interest zone.

Then again, maybe this boy just wasn't interested in earning his Eagle.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby smtroop168 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:09 am

ronin718 wrote:
scoutaholic wrote:Boy2 was handed a project (by leaders of our CO church) with all the planning done and dates set. Approvals were quick. All the boy had to do was coordinate with the contact he was given, and have a group of volunteers (~20) there to do the project. Boy never spoke to the contact he was given. He asked for some volunteers but failed to do any real follow-up to make sure they were coming. When the scheduled day arrived, boy came (late) with his father, brother and 1 friend. Project had already been completed by someone else. 3+ years later Boy2 aged out having never earned the Eagle rank. During that time, several other ideas for projects were proposed, but he never got far enough with them to get approval signatures.

Perhaps the problem here was the project was handed to the boy rather than having the boy come up with his own project. We all tend to be more motivated to make something happen when it's our own idea and in our own interest zone.

Then again, maybe this boy just wasn't interested in earning his Eagle.


This is a classic example on why scouts should not be "handed a project". And if all the planning was done and dates set, I would have not approved it for him anyway.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby Bill Pitcher » Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:04 am

This project should have NEVER gotten past the SM and Troop Committee, let alone the AC!
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby jr56 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:59 pm

True, when I was DAC, I would never have approved an Eagle project that was already pre-planned for the boy.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby scoutaholic » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:35 pm

Bill Pitcher wrote:This project should have NEVER gotten past the SM and Troop Committee, let alone the AC!


SM (actually Varsity Coach) and Committee are all part of the same church organization. In this case Boy2s father held an influential position in the church leadership, which is the reason boy2 got the project to begin with. VC and MC were both inexperienced with eagle paperwork and likely just signed on the line when boy2 pointed to the line they should sign.

If boy2 (or Dad) did a good job filling out the paperwork, DAC may not have known that the planning was not done by the boy.

As SM, I saw this one taking place but was not in a position to do much about it. I did what I could to encourage the boy to show some leadership and follow-through. I was there as a volunteer when the boy came and discovered that the project was already done. Dad had the paperwork in hand, and I saw him throw it in the trash. (The approved project was no longer available to do and anything new would need new approvals.) I never saw what was written on the project papers.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:04 am

My son just passed the year mark and is not yet finished. A combination of things: Overestimated the availability of adult professionals whose help he needed, weather, benefiting organization expanding the project and making changes, not understanding the degree of difficulty of the components of the project, and life in general.

He's frustrated, but there have been many good life lessons along the way.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby deweylure » Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:43 am

Two scouts just completed their respective eagle projects . Start to finish about 4 months some delay due to weather . The majority was the Eagle Mentor about 3-4 weeks ,for planning and inserting suggestions or modifications before the project was signed off on for approval . work time 2 weekends and a few week days .

The final write up dont know yet.

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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby fritz1255 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:00 am

The original question was time from project approval (the point at which the Scout can start the project) to final signoff (everything is completed including writeup, BOR can be scheduled). I ran this same question by the folks at the first Roundtable meeting the other night. The answer was about a year, similar to what our Troop experiences. The DAC agreed - for planning purposes, assume a year. From that, I conclude that most of the posters on this forum are not a cross-section of the entire scouting organization. That is not a criticism - quite the opposite. All of you with one year and counting Eagle projects, don't give up, you are not alone!
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby smtroop168 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:21 am

Still seems like an inordinate amount of time from the DAC approval to completion. A one year average would mean that a large number of EPs are approved when the scout is still 16 and all those EBORs would be just before 18. It also makes me think that the EP grows dust for a large portion of the year.

Scheduling of the EBOR (assuming all MBs and POR is done) is really outside of the EP process as there are things like filling out the application, references contacted, Life ambition statements, SMC, CC signature that need to happen before the EBOR is scheduled. If you're counting that as part of the one-year, then that skews your timeline.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby fritz1255 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:56 pm

Absolutely it's an inordinate amount of time, which is why I started the post in the first place. Most of these projects should be taking six months or less with a fairly leisurely work schedule. Sometimes it's the project gathering dust, but sometimes it takes a long time to get sufficient funding, or the project is completed and it takes the Scout a long time to complete the writeup. Recently had a scout finish his project in October, BOR was not until May. The last few percent of the effort took longer than all previous.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby smtroop168 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:45 pm

fritz1255 wrote:Absolutely it's an inordinate amount of time, which is why I started the post in the first place. Most of these projects should be taking six months or less with a fairly leisurely work schedule. Sometimes it's the project gathering dust, but sometimes it takes a long time to get sufficient funding, or the project is completed and it takes the Scout a long time to complete the writeup. Recently had a scout finish his project in October, BOR was not until May. The last few percent of the effort took longer than all previous.


Sounds like you need to get Jim Langer and Tom Stalnaker to do some training. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby WeeWillie » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:49 am

There is something seriously wrong if it takes that long for a packet to be submitted to final approval. Someone needs to take a few approved packets and trace each step of the process and find out where the road blocks are.

Cochise District, Catalina Council (AZ) is a geographically large, rural district Troops are 60-150 driving miles from Council and it never took more than a month to get a packet submitted and an E-BOR held.
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Re: Average Time for Completion of Eagle Project?

Postby Bill Pitcher » Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:45 pm

I have a kid who did his project last summer (only took a month to write it, submit it to his SM, TC and me for approval) and is still finishing 3 MB's and the write-up. But, he's busy as his troop's SPL, plus perfume, gasoline, and football. And, he attends all troop AND OA events. He's 17 and very busy!!!
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