Common Approval Issues



“Eagle Scout projects must be evaluated primarily on impact: the extent of benefit to the religious institution, school, or community, and on the leadership provided by the candidate.  There must also be evidence of planning and development.  This is not the only part of the requirement but relates to practicing the Scout motto, “Be Prepared.”

The ideas below are not meant to imply any additional requirements other than what is stated in the Eagle Project Workbook.  However, including these things below into your proposal will be very helpful in indicating to the committee that you have opportunities to meet the requirements of planning & development, leadership, impact, and safety and this will help your approval move much faster.

Do you Have Missing or Incomplete Information?

The committee will be unable to evaluate your project unless the information you provide is complete.  You can avoid many issues by completely filling in all the blanks.

        • Forms should be completely filled out.


    • Ensure that you have collected all contact information, including phone numbers and email addresses.  You may need to dig out your phone book!  Use the PDF instructions on the previous page to help you fill out the contact page.


    • The project beneficiary must be clear & beneficiary contact information must be completely filled out.  The school, government department, or religious organization name should be included along with a good address.


    • Read the steps in your process and then read through the info on this page to see if your project includes impact, leadership, safety, and planning & development.


    • Does your process make sense, have you left anything out?


    • Is your Life Rank Date (Contact Page 1-6) included so we know you are eligible to begin working on your project?










Eagle Projects must contain Opportunities for Planning and Development

  • Answer Questions such as: How many, how much, how big, what size, why is it needed, how will it help, what will be added/changed that was not there before? If you can provide pictures of the proposed project this is very helpful.
  • Is the project goal/outreach/scope large enough to provide planning and development opportunities for the scout and on a scale much larger than a “normal service project?”   (Indications of a normal service project could include:  project is completed within 2-4 hours (one session) without a lot of planning required and not much complexity or scope; leadership opportunities are very simple and often limited mostly to the day of the project; often adults are involved in planning, supervising, leading, directing, and training others during the project; advertising is limited and mostly consists of announcements/sign ups in church; the outreach is limited; there is not a lot of pre or post work involved).
  • “If the beneficiary has provided a “canned” set of instructions to be implemented with no requirement for further planning, the planning effort would not meet the test.  An approach might be to work with the beneficiary to develop and carry out a marketing plan, and a logistics plan, or coordinate multiple events.  A good test of any project is to evaluate it’s complexity it is possible to add elements of complexity to “canned” projects so there is a clear demonstration of planning, development, and leadership.”
  • Does the project require creativity on your part?
  • Was the project found and developed by you, or by someone else?
  • Does the project include multiple steps and require pre-planning and follow up?  A detailed task list in the proposal will be a great indicator of complexity, planning, and development.  The more you can list of the tasks, subtasks, delegation and assignments, the easier it will be for reviewers to see the complexity and leadership of his project.
  • Does the project require you to plan multiple activities (“activities” could include training others in their tasks prior to the project) in order to accomplish your goal?

Have you Provided for Safety Issues?

  • BSA prohibits the use of tools by scout age young men that could be considered hazardous.
  • What can happen when these tools are used?
  • How will you provide safety? (for example, first aid kits, training, gloves, etc.)  BSA now requires that a first aid kit appropriate for the activity be present at all Eagle activities.
  • Is there travel in vehicles involved?  What safety issues could be involved in traveling by car?  Who is will be transporting your volunteers?
  • What types of materials will you be working with?  Are any of them toxic?  How will you provide safety for your volunteers?
  • If you are going to be working outdoors, and it will be sunny have you recommended that your volunteers wear sunscreen?  Is insect repellent needed?
  • Ensure you recommend appropriate clothing for the activity.  Are long pants and long sleeved shirts required?  What footwear is appropriate?
  • If project involves going door to door, what safety issues must be considered?
  • Eagle Projects are scouting activities and so there must be 2 deep scout leaders present at all Eagle Project activities.

Showing Leadership in your Project Plan

Your project plan should be written up to show that you will be demonstrating leadership throughout your project.  This is where many scouts have issues.  Because you are a less developed leader, many times well meaning family or other adults take over and do the leading instead of the Scout.  You need to be doing the calling, contacting, meeting, learning, training, supervising, etc. There should be many opportunities for you to lead others throughout the project process.  If there aren’t, you need to brainstorm with your leaders about what you can add to your project to allow you to do this. Below are some ideas to help you incorporate leadership opportunities into your Eagle Project.

  • Is your project scope large and complex enough to allow you to have a lot of leadership opportunities?
  • If weak on leadership opportunities, could the project be expanded or outreach increased to more than just your Troop area to add to the scope and leadership of the project?
  • Does the project allow the scout to lead others (two or more people) on more than one occasion?
  • Answer the following questions in your paperwork (the task list is a good place)…How will you organize, train, direct, lead, and supervise your helpers during each phase of your project?  Use wording that indicates this rather than saying I will do…., say I will organize, lead, train, others to do….   Include as many opportunities as possible.
  • If the project includes leading large groups of people with multiple tasks at the same time, are you planning to learn what must be done and then train supervisors ahead of time to allow you to truly lead on project days (rather than rely on leaders or family to direct and supervise your volunteers and thus take away from your leadership opportunities)?
  • Are you planning to recruit and lead trainable volunteers other than family?  (Adults do not need much training).
  • Do you have plans to recruit volunteers above that of having leaders announce it in church?  How could you add more leadership to this portion of your project?  Describe all advertising methods/steps taken:  flyer, phone tree, email, etc.
  • It is not required for you to earn the money for your project. The money can be donated by someone else.  However, if you find a fundraiser is necessary for your project, will you be earning the money for this rather than asking your neighbors for donations without providing anything in return?
  • Making assignments rather than doing it all yourself or asking family members, shows more leadership.  For example, could you delegate refreshments, water jugs, assign people to bring tools?  You must be careful however, not to delegate your leadership opportunities.
  • Organize the creation of and distribution of informational flyers (if this fits into your project needs).

 Does Your Project Make an Impact?

How will your project make a difference in your community and for the institution you are helping?  This is a question the Eagle Committee will need the answer to.  If you want to ensure that your project meets the Impact requirement, here are some great ideas and questions for you to answer in your project plan to help you do this.

  • First and foremost, have you (rather than your parents or leaders) met with the beneficiary to understand their needs and are those needs clearly explained in the proposal?
  • Does the project as outlined make a significant impact for the beneficiary?  If the need is not substantial and/or does not provide enough leadership/planning/development opportunities, what are you able to add to your service project that will bring more to the beneficiary and also allow you to meet the requirement?
  • Is the goal for the project clear and definable, and set to meet or exceed the maximum need rather than just a small portion? (sometimes this requires further in-depth questioning of the beneficiary as they are afraid their true needs will be too large and will initially suggest a minimum or tell you that they are grateful for anything that can be given. A maximum rather than minimum goal will not limit you in the impact you could make for the beneficiary.  Often we see scouts seeking to set a minimum goal intended to fit their desired minimum timeline rather than seeking to maximize the benefit to the beneficiary by adjusting and enlarging their project to meet the true needs of the beneficiary.
  • If your project is a construction project, have you included before pictures (if applicable), measurements, size, etc.?  Details about the size and extent of your project will help indicate it’s impact.
  • Have you included opportunities for you to educate your volunteers and/or project participants about the benefiting organization, what its needs are, and why this project will have great impact?  When possible, and if it applies, alway include some of your volunteers when delivering your completed items to the beneficiary.
  • Create flyers to inform project volunteers, donors, community members?
  • Avoid routine labor projects that must be done regularly.  This type of project does not normally show the impact, nor provide the planning and development opportunities you will need for a qualifying project.  More must be added to the project in order for it to qualify.