Eagle Scout - Note to Parents

So your scout is working on their Eagle … What is YOUR Role?

Encouragement

One of the most important things you can do is to provide encouragement.  Many young men and women get discouraged, while others get distracted.  They may feel pressure from their peers that Scouting isn’t “cool”.  You can encourage and remind your scout, that earning the Eagle Scout rank will have more long-term significance throughout their life than almost anything else done as a young person.  The scout must make the decision to reach for this accomplishment, but your support and encouragement often makes the biggest difference.  Help your scout set deadlines, timelines, goals, and waypoints so that time does not run to complete the process..

Finding a Project

When your scout is ready to find a project, help in evaluating ideas in light of their skills and interests.  Whatever your Life scout chooses to do, one of their tasks will be to teach a group of youth how to carry out the project.  If your scout has worked with tools all their life, a construction project might be a good choice.  If your scout is a computer expert, maybe consider using those skills.  If the scout has a green thumb, a landscaping project might be the best choice.  Suggest to your scout to talk to other Eagle Scouts and talk with their Scout leaders.  The restrictions on what makes an acceptable Eagle project are detailed in the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook.  If your scout has a question, have your scout call the District Advancement Chairman.

Learning the Skills Needed to Carry Out the Project

Your scout may need to learn new skills.  You can help your scout find people whom can help assist in learning these skills.  Remember that your scout will need to understand these skills well enough to teach others while leading the project.  You may have skills and information that is needs.  Other Scout leaders or parents may be able to help out.  In some cases your scout may need to contact a professional for help.  The library is always a good source of information, from basic construction to landscaping and horticulture to designing events for younger children.

Writing the Proposal and Plan

Once your scout has decided on a project, and learned the skills to plan, develop, and lead the project, the project proposal needs to be written up in the Workbook.  The scout needs to write this.  Writing up the details is an important step in the planning, and demonstrating to themself and others the readiness to lead the project.  You can help with proofreading, spelling, formatting, and editing.  Make sure your scout follows the instructions carefully.

Reviewing the Proposal and Plan

Your scout should be able to tell to you, step by step, what the youth working on the project will be doing.  Your scout will be leading the project.  The youth working with your scout will probably know much less about how to carry out the project than your scout.  You can take your scout through the project step by step.  Ask questions such as: “On the first day of your project you are at your site, you have a pile of materials and tools, and a group of youth ready to work.  What do you tell them to do?”  “How should they do it (remember these are youth, not skilled craftsmen)?”  “What next?”  And so forth through the entire project to completion.  Ask, “when you go to buy the materials, exactly what materials, types, sizes, and quantities will you buy?”  All these details should be laid out fully in the Workbook Project Final Plan.  This detail planning is the most valuable  preparation to guarantee that your scout will be successful in leading the project.

Carrying Out the Project

You and other adults in the troop should have very little to do while your scout is actually carrying out the project.  Scout policies require two adults to be present during a Scouting event.  Be careful not to take over running the project.  You may need to be involved with transportation.  Only adults can operate dangerous tools and machinery.  Beyond these few specific activities, the most helpful thing you can do is to bring a lawn chair and a good book.  Stay close enough that you can be reached in an emergency, but far enough away that your scout (and workers) will not be tempted to turn to you with questions that need to be answered.

Writing the Report

Here again, you can help with encouragement, review, and ideas for improvement.  Help your scout to be sure that all the sections listed in the Workbook under “Project Report” are covered.  Remind your scout that this report is a key piece in demonstrating deservedness to be one of that top 2%.  It should be the kind of report to turn in at school for a yearlong project with the expectation of receiving an A+ grade.  For most of the Board of Review members, this is the only exposure they have to your scout's project and the basis for approving the project was carried out.

Recognition

While your scout and the troop are planning the Eagle Court of Honor, work with them to help make this event have the importance and lasting significance to your scout that is appropriate for the accomplishment that was achieved.  If your scout is unsure of what to plan, talking to other scouts and troops about what they have done for an Eagle court of honor can be a big help.