Boy Scouts of America publishes formal Eagle scout guidelines that include tips on suitable Eagle projects, but families should be aware that many troops have their own, unwritten preferences. Technically speaking, the project just needs to benefit a group of people. But some troop leaders prefer projects with some permanence - benches at a school - for example. Others approve one-time events - school supply drives, for example, or a bicycle rodeo.
And some have unwritten rules about the amount of time involved. You can contest those "rules," and the national council will back you on it, but the reality is, it's a rare scout who wants to cause dissension in his troop over something like planter boxes.
So it's helpful to know your troop's unwritten preferences before researching and proposing an Eagle project. A glance back at your troop's recently approved Eagle projects will help, as will some insider tips on which Eagle projects get approved. But this sampling of projects may help get the ideas flowing too:
Sample Eagle Project Ideas - Construction Projects
- Clearing and mulching a mile-long trail at a local wilderness area or state or regional park.
- Building, installing and planting planter boxes at a community theater or school.
- Building and installing instrument storage units in a school bandroom.
- Converting unused storage space - clearing, patching, painting and installing cupboards and shelves - into a costume and prop space for a community playhouse or high school theater department.
- Building a shaded pavilion for a preschool playground.
- Landscaping or tree planting projects at a church or school.
- Building an awards and trophy case for a school or community sports program.
- Building and installing bat houses in a conservation area.
- Painting a giant U.S. map on a school playground.
- Building a pedestrian footbridge, picnic tables, fences, etc. for a school, church or park.
- Building Adirondack style benches
- Building ADA compliant ramps or walkways
- Creating a vegetable garden at an elementary school
- Fingerprinting preschoolers for safety and identification
- Building a labyrinth in a local park for relaxation and meditation
- Organize a blanket drive and refurbish and clean a local animal shelter
Sample Eagle Project Ideas - Event-Type Projects
- Organizing a toy and toiletries supply drive for a homeless shelter that caters to families.
- Collecting and refurbishing old bicycles to donate to a homeless shelter or inner-city youth group.
- Organizing and staffing a youth carnival, bicycle rodeo, health fair, etc.
- Collecting worn-out American flags from civic and school groups throughout the county, then organizing and conducting a flag retirement ceremony.
- Organizing a care package drive for troops in the Middle East.
- Assembling personal first aid kits for clients at homeless shelters, or to pack off with church groups heading to Mexico on house-building missions.
- Assembling team first aid kits for baseball leagues in underserved communities
- Refurbishing a local thrift store with shelves, new paint, and new flooring, and then doing a donation drive to refresh its merchandise
- Holding a book drive for the local library
- Collecting and donating magazines and books for senior living facilities
- Hosting a safety at home seminar for parents and their young children, with experts to talk about the various safety hazards in everyone's house
- Recruit coaches for the Special Olympics and train them to work with the participants
- Organize a parent/child read-a-thon in the community
Sample Eagle Project Ideas - Tech Projects
- Build a computerized inventory management system for a thrift shop or other non-profit organization
- Create and distribute a weekly newsletter with games, articles, quizzes and more to patients at a local children's hospital, enlisting the help of those patients who are interested in participating
- Teach computer literacy to senior citizens
- Educate parents and kids about the dangers of cyberbullying through both online and in person classes
- Catalog and digitize a local historical society's photos and documents
- Solicit donations of computers for a boys and girls club or homeless shelter
Edited by Sharon Greenthal