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Eagle Project Coach 

9.0.2.9 Eagle Scout Service Project Coach

The Eagle Scout service project coach is the key to success in council or district efforts to guide Scouts through the service project process. The following are important examples of ways in which the coach can influence a Scout's project:

  • Meet with a Scout after his proposal has been approved but before work begins on the final plan.
  • Ask the Scout to describe how he will plan the project, then offer him advice accordingly.
  • Emphasize those elements of a plan that, if ignored, could stop work or create health and safety issues.
  • Remind the Scout to share his plan with the project beneficiary; the beneficiary should be fully aware of what will be done. Note that a final plan for an Eagle Scout service project is between the Scout and the beneficiary. Coaches do not approve final plans.
  • Be available to the Scout as a consultant should he have questions about the planning process.
  • Meet with the Scout to review his final plan; discuss its strengths, weaknesses, and risks; and suggest critical improvements.
  • Discuss the project report with the Scout and offer advice on how to make a strong presentation at his board of review.
  • Remember that any contact with the Scout must be conducted according to Youth Protection procedures.

Experience has taught us the most effective approach to providing coaches is for the council or district to organize a pool of volunteers willing to serve in that capacity, and then designate them to individual Eagle Scout candidates. Many units have used service project "mentors" or "advisors" through the decades since the Eagle Scout service project came to be. This practice has provided consistent positive contributions and should continue. Their efforts, however, should serve to provide ongoing support throughout project planning and execution and to prepare a Scout to work with the council or district designated project coach.

The council advancement committee may decide to designate the project coach from among unit volunteers. But they should do so with the understanding that a coach who is designated within a unit should represent the perspective of the council or district.

*The Westchester-Putnam Council Life to Eagle Committee believes that such a person should be readily available to the Eagle candidate; therefore it is recommended that an adult with the scout's unit would best fill this role.

Regardless the source of project coaches, they must adhere to the Eagle Scout service project process as described in this section of theGuide to Advancement. Coaches do not have approval authority. Instead they serve to encourage—not direct—the young men to make the kinds of decisions that will lead to successful outcomes.

It is important to note that Eagle service project coaches do not have the authority to dictate changes; withdraw approval that was previously granted, such as by the council or district; or take any other such directive action. Instead, coaches must use the BSA method of positive adult association, logic, and common sense to help the candidate make wise decisions.

Coaches must be registered with the BSA (in any position) and have taken BSA Youth Protection training, and may come from the unit, district, or council level.

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