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g. Project FAQs

Boy Scouting’s most difficult advancement requirement number 5 —the Eagle Scout service project—is also its best documented.

While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. (The project should benefit an organization other than Boy Scouting.) A project proposal must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your unit leader and unit committee, and the council or district before you start.

Scouts have long used the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook to plan and report on their projects. But the latest revision, published in the fall of 2011, adds a wealth of important information, including the changes noted here. Appropriate elements of the Service Project Planning Guidelines and Age Guidelines for Tool Use and Work at Elevations or Excavations  should be included in your 'final project plan' of the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook.
If you have questions after reading this information please speak with your Eagle Coach or email .
  • WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF YOUR EAGLE PROJECT? To give you an opportunity to “plan, develop, and give leadership to others,” as noted in the requirement. Eagle Scout projects are evaluated on the benefit to the organization being served and on the leadership you provide. There must also be evidence of organized planning and development.
  • DOES YOUR EAGLE PROJECT HAVE TO BE THE LAST REQUIREMENT FINISHED? No. You can begin planning the project as soon as you become a Life Scout. That said, many Scouts find it helpful to focus on merit badges first and the Eagle project second although the order does not matter.
  • CAN YOUR PROJECT BENEFIT AN INDIVIDUAL? Only if the larger community also benefits.
  • CAN IT EARN MONEY? No. However, you can conduct a money-earning project to pay for project materials.
  • MUST YOU LEAD A CERTAIN NUMBER OF PEOPLE? You must lead at least two other people, who may or may not be involved in Scouting.  They may be youth or adults.
  • MUST YOU WORK A CERTAIN NUMBER OF HOURS? Councils or districts may not require a minimum (or maximum) for the scope of the Eagle Scout service project. The national average for projects is 130 hours.
  • DOES YOUR PROJECT HAVE TO HAVE LASTING VALUE? No. While projects such as building nature trails are popular, projects like planning community festivals are equally valid. See Some Project Ideas page.
  • 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.
  • HOW MUCH PLANNING MUST YOU DO BEFORE YOUR 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 you project meets the requirement, that it’s feasible, that safety issues will be addressed, and that your have considered the next steps and seems on the right track for a positive project experience. The Service Project Planning Guideline and Age Guidelines for Tool Use and Work at Elevations or Excavations found on the BSA Resources page provide additional safety issues which should be considered.
  • CAN MY PARENTS (FAMILY) HELP ME WITH THE PROJECT? Your parents, your family, your neighbors, your Troop, the Fire Department, the hardware store, the library are all resources. The job of a resource is to be just that, a resource to you. There is no limit to the number or kind of resources you may use. Your job is to use your resources wisely in the organization, planning, and completion of your project.
  • I HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT MY PROJECT MUST BENEFIT MY SPONSORING INSTITUTION? That is not correct. Requirements mention specifically who cannot benefit from your project and what kinds of projects are unacceptable. Requirements do not stipulate who should receive the benefit of your project. A project to the benefit of your Troop sponsoring organization is a wonderful way to thank them for their support. Many other organizations within your community offer support for you, your family and your Troop. Undoubtedly, each could benefit from an Eagle project.
  • A COUPLE OF US WANT TO DO DIFFERENT SECTIONS OF THE SAME PROJECT OR SIMILAR PROJECTS? Two Life Scouts may not receive credit for the same project. Each Eagle project must be an individual effort. To satisfy the rank requirement you must develop the plan, organize and lead others in the completion of an approved project. Your Troop will probably credit the hours other Scouts spend on your project to their individual community service requirements.
  • If you want to lead a project that is the same as or is a continuation of a project lead by a previous Scout then you must take great care to demonstrate that you have developed and planned your project. If you copy the previous Scout’s plans or words then you will likely not meet two key parts of requirement number 7.
  • MUST MATERIALS BE DONATED OR CAN I BUY SOME OF THE MATERIALS? Planning, cost, delivery, and handling of materials is part of the organization and leadership of your project. Although not specifically prohibited, withdrawing funds from your bank account or having your Mom and Dad pay for the project will reduce the planning, organization and leadership scope of your project. The board members will determine if your project meets rank advancement requirements.
  • WITH GOOD WEATHER EXPECTED THIS WEEKEND, CAN I GET STARTED WHILE I WAIT FOR DISTRICT APPROVAL? No. The benefiting organization, your Troop committee, your Troop leader and the District must each review, and approve (by signature) your project packet before the project can start. If you have a specific date requirement, you must allow plenty of time to get these approvals. The District will not approve a project that does not meet the minimum requirements.
  • THE LOCAL PARK HAS CANNED PROJECTS, WHAT ELSE DO I HAVE TO DO? Canned Eagle projects can be difficult to approve. Before you get involved, seek advice from your Eagle Coach or District Advancement Committee member to verify the project meets the minimum requirements for planning and development. Under normal circumstances, District Advancement will not approve canned projects. See 'Choosing a Project' of page 4 of the Eagle workbook. These do however make excellent individual and Troop community service projects.
  • THE LOCAL CAMPING STORE WANTS A SCOUTING DISPLAY IN THEIR FRONT WINDOW, IS THIS AN ACCEPTABLE EAGLE PROJECT? Requirements stipulate an Eagle project cannot specifically benefit a commercial business or the Boy Scouts of America. Work with your Eagle Coach to avoid problems.
  • WHEN MUST I BE REGISTERED? You must maintain your registration with BSA until you complete all of the Eagle rank requirements however you do not need to be registered to hold a Board of Review or participate in your Court of Honor.
  • What's Wrong?  The Workbook is Blank! Someone has edited the Eagle workbook using the default PDF editor on a MAC.  See the following workaround Editing the Eagle Workbook on a MAC.