Service Projects are a significant part of the advancement requirements for the ranks of Star, Life, and Eagle. The Eagle Service Project is a significant accomplishment for both the Scout and his community and demands excellent planning, organizational, and leadership skills to accomplish. The service projects for Star and Life are no less important to the Scout and community, but are usually less involved and provide the experience required to complete the Eagle Service Project.
Things to Consider While Choosing a Service Project
In Scouting we are all about service to others - our community, our church, our families, and each other - this is well understood. However, with respect to the Service Project for your rank advancement the project is all about how the Scout leads others while delivering the service. There is a significant difference between providing service and leading a service project and your service project for rank advancement is all about planning the project and the leadership you provide that makes the project a success.
The Star and Life Service Projects should be age appropriate in scope and complexity while still preparing the Boy Scout for his Eagle Service Project. Although these projects should be smaller in size they should follow the guidelines for Limitations as provided in the Eagle Project Notebook.
- Routine labor (a job or service normally rendered) should not be considered.
- Projects involving council property or other BSA activities are not acceptable.
- Projects may not be performed for businesses or an individual.
- Projects may not be of a commercial nature.
- Projects may not be a fund-raiser. Fund-raising is permitted only for securing materials needed to carry out the project.
- Donors to projects must be made aware of what entity is benefiting from the project, and that it clearly is not the Boy Scouts of America.
- Any funds raised for a project and not used for the purchase of project materials must be returned to the donors.
- For Star and Life project a minimum of six hours must be performed by the Scout. No minimum number of hours is required for the Eagle project.
- The project is an individual matter; therefore, two Scouts may not receive credit for working on the same project.
How big of a project is required? For Star and Life projects a minimum of six hours must be performed by the Scout. There is no minimum number of hours required for the Eagle project, as long as the project is helpful to a religious institution, school, or community. The amount of time spent by you in planning your project and the actual working time spent in carrying out the project should be as much as is necessary for you to demonstrate your leadership of others.
Filling Out the Form
As you plan and carry out your leadership service project, use these workbooks to record your plans and progress. Remember that others will be reading these pages. You should print, type, or write legibly using black or blue ink. Complete the form on a computer if you have access to an electronic version. You may add as many pages as needed to thoroughly complete the workbook.
Service projects for Star, Life, and Eagle must be reviewed and approved prior to initiating the project and the results must be reviewed and approved after completion of the project.
Before You Start
The Star and Life project plan must be reviewed and approved by the beneficiary of the project and your unit leader before the project is started. The Eagle project plan must also be reviewed and approved by the unit committee, and the council or district advancement committee. The following questions must be answered before giving this approval:
- What is the project you are planning?
- Who will benefit from the project?
- How will they benefit?
- What representative of the project's beneficiary will be contacted for guidance in planning the project?
- What are the project planning details?
Remember, the project must be approved before you begin, so make sure all signatures have been secured before you start the project. You must have completed your previous rank before starting on your service project. Example, you must be a Life Scout before you begin an Eagle Scout leadership service project.
Although your project was pre-approved the appropriate authority must approve the manner in which it was carried out. Your unit leader will approve the completion of your Star and Life projects. The Eagle Scout board of review must approve the completion of your Eagle project. The following must be answered:
- In what ways did you demonstrate leadership of others?
- Give examples of how you directed the project rather than doing the work yourself.
- In what way did the religious institution, school, or community group benefit from the project?
- Did the project follow the plan?
- If changes to the plan were made, explain why the changes were necessary.
Examples of Star & Life Projects
These are some of the projects other Scouts have done for the Star and Life ranks.
- Assemble bicycles for the Calhoun County Fair prior to fair week. These bicycles are raffled and given to fair goers.
- Clean up trails at Brooks Nature Area. Clear weeds and add mulch to existing and new trails.
- Weed gardens at the Franke Center prior to major events.
- Position flags on grave sites at Ft Custer Cemetery in preparation for Memorial Day remembrances.
Examples of Eagle Projects
A look at some projects other Scouts have done for their Eagle Scout Award illustrates that your project can be to construct something or can be to render a service. Scouts have:
- Made trays to fasten to wheelchairs for veterans with disabilities at a Veterans Administration hospital.
- Collected used books and distributed them to people in the community who wanted and needed, but could not afford, books.
- Built a sturdy footbridge across a brook to make a safe shortcut for children between their homes and school.
- Collected and repaired used toys and gave them to a home for children with disabilities.
- Organized and operated a bicycle safety campaign. This involved a written safety test, equipment safety check, and a skills contest in a bike rodeo.
- Surveyed the remains of an old Spanish mission and prepared an accurate map relating it to the present church.
- Built a "tot lot" in a big city neighborhood and set up a schedule for Boy Scouts to help run it.
- Set up a community study center for children who needed a place to do school work.
- Trained fellow students as audiovisual aides for their school. Arranged for more than 200 hours of audiovisual work.
- Prepared plans for a footbridge on a trail in a national forest. Worked with rangers to learn the skills necessary to build the structure, gathered materials and tools, and then directed a Scout work group to do the construction.
Brooks Nature Area — Patricia Hoch-Melluish
City Park Department — Carl Fedders
City Recreation Department — Teri TruDeau
Downtown Development — Diane Larkin
Environmental Programs — Cheryl Vosburg
Kiwanis Youth Conservation Area — Don Stilwell
Whitehouse Nature Center — David Green
Wilder Creek Conservation Club — Bill Haeske
Other organizations — Marshall Chamber of Commerce
Current Project Opportunities:
|Brooks Nature Area||Blaze new trail with foot bridges|
|Brooks Nature Area||Construct a small shelter along established traile|
|Brooks Nature Area||Construct new seating benches|
|Brooks Nature Area||Construct new bird houses|
|Brooks Nature Area||Develop an informational "tour" with brochure|
|Brooks Nature Area||Trail sign maintenance|
|Brooks Nature Area||Trail improvements/maintenance|
|Brooks Nature Area||Weeding around benches, new plantings|
|Brooks Nature Area||Clean 40+ bird houses in spring|
|City Park Department||Paint lamp post(s) at Michigan and Exchange|
|Environmental Programs||River Clean Up & Conservation Day|
|Environmental Programs||Native Plant Demo Plot Maintenance|
|Environmental Programs||Designing of kiosk information at Native Plant Plot|
|Environmental Programs||Designing of kiosk information at Ketchum Park|
|Environmental Programs||New Tree Assessment|
|Environmental Programs||Tree Inventory|
|Environmental Programs||Storm Drain Marking|
|Environmental Programs||CFL Bulb Distribution|
|Environmental Programs||Downtown Sidewalk and Alley Clean Up|
|Environmental Programs||City Hall Landscaping Project|
|Wilder Creek Conservation Club||Landscaping around new pavillion|
Completed Service Projects:
|Andrew S.||2011||Life||Companion Cats' Community Picnic|
|Calvin S.||2011||Star||Ga-Ga pit at Walters Elementary|
|Austin T.||2010||Star||Help neighbor prepare for winter|
|Matthew S.||2010||Star||Bicycle assembly for Calhoun County Fair|
|Andrew S.||2010||Star||Trail maintenace at Brooks Nature Area|
|Jeff R.||2009||Star||Garden maintenance at Frank Center for the Arts|
|Nolan C.||2009||Life||American Flags at Fort Custer|
|Colin M.||2009||Eagle||Trail signs at Ott Nature Preserve|
|Jacob D.||2009||Eagle||Elm tree at Veterans memorial|
|Adam G.||2008||Eagle||Flag pole at City ball fields|