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DURING A RECENT INTERNATIONAL TRIP, YOU VISITED WITH SCOUTS IN SEVERAL OTHER COUNTRIES. WHAT’S THE ATMOSPHERE LIKE IN BULGARIA, WHERE SCOUTING WAS BANNED UNDER COMMUNISM? I gave several speeches a couple of summers ago in Bulgaria, where I was teaching with a program called WorldTeach. While I was in the region, I visited Turkey, and I met with members of the national Scout organization. Those people are so committed to this program. It’s inspiring. As youth, these leaders were put into a Communist Scouting- replacement organization and told about the horrors of Scouting. And yet they’re over there reestablishing it. It’s so exciting seeing them plan around campfires in the same way democracy movements are evolving over there.

TALK ABOUT THE 411 TEAM AND YOUR ROLE THERE. The 411 Team is a national task force with a mandate to ensure that Scouting programs are “appealing, exciting, and culturally relevant to today’s youth and fami- lies.” My role, as I see it, is to maintain continuity; to realize that Scouting, as we have inherited it, is in many ways a finely made clock; and to approach our programs with extreme care, making slight edits where neces- sary—but only then. It’s thrilling, and also terrifying, to have some say in the future of our movement. But it is absolutely necessary to the future that we take these steps. ¿

READ OTHER SCOUTERS’ stories about their experiences as adult volunteers at scouting

Plan and Report

New workbook clarifies misperceptions about the Eagle Scout project.

BOY SCOUTING’S most difficult advancement requirement— the Eagle Scout service project—is also its best docu- mented. Scouts have long used the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook to plan and report on their projects. But the latest revision, published last fall, adds a wealth of important information, including the changes noted here.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE EAGLE PROJECT? To give the Scout an opportunity to “plan, develop, and give lead- ership to others,” as noted in the requirement. Eagle Scout projects are evaluated on the benefit to the organization being served and on the leadership provided by the candidate. There must also be evidence of organized plan- ning and development.

DOES THE EAGLE PROJECT HAVE TO BE THE LAST REQUIREMENT FINISHED? No. A Scout can begin plan- ning his project as soon as he becomes a Life Scout. That said, many Scouts find it helpful to focus on merit badges first and the Eagle project second (or vice versa).


CAN A PROJECT BENEFIT AN INDIVIDUAL? Only if the larger community also benefits.

CANITEARNMONEY? No. However, a Scout can conduct a money-earning project to pay for project materials.

MUST THE SCOUT LEAD A CERTAIN NUMBER OF PEOPLE? He must lead at least two other people, who may or may not be involved in Scouting.

MUST THESCOUTWORKA CERTAIN NUMBER OF HOURS? Councils or districts may not require a minimum (or maximum) for the scope of the Eagle Scout service project.

DOES THE PROJECT HAVE TO HAVE LASTING VALUE? No. While projects such as building nature trails are popular, proj- ects like planning community festivals are equally valid.

CAN OUR DISTRICT MODIFY THE PROJECT REQUIREMENT? No council, district, unit, or individual has the authority to

add or change requirements or to require additional forms.

HOWMUCH PLANNINGMUST THE SCOUT DO BEFORE HIS PROPOSAL IS APPROVED? The new workbook offers a major change: that only a high-level plan is required before the project begins. This proposal represents the beginning of planning, and it must be detailed enough to show reviewers that the project meets the requirement, that it’s feasible, that safety issues will be addressed, and that the Scout has considered his next steps and seems on the right track for a positive project experience.

WHERECANILEARNMORE? Besides the Eagle Scout Project Workbook (No. 512-927, 2011 printing), the best source is the Guide to Advancement 2011 (No. 33088), which is available at Scout Shops and online at pdf/33088.pdf. ¿

WONDERWHY these requirements have changed? Read the details at scouting

  ¿ SCOUTING 15

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