Ask the Expert: Do the hours worked by family members count on an Eagle service project?

The Eagle project—that last mile on the long, satisfying climb toward Scouting’s highest honor—tests a boy’s ability to organize a meaningful service project and then lead his peers in its completion.

It’s all outlined in the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project workbook, available here (link opens PDF).

The “leading others” element of the project was on the mind of Dave Lannom of the Middle Tennessee Council recently.

Here’s his question:

Can the hours worked by family members of an Eagle candidate be counted in his Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project?

What if the candidate has siblings in the Scout troop or Venturing crew? Can those hours be counted?

First, let’s clarify one thing. There is no minimum number of hours required for an Eagle project.

Yes, a boy must record the number of hours that he and each participant worked, but there’s no required number. The workbook specifically states, “The length of time spent should be as adequate as is necessary for you to demonstrate your leadership of two or more individuals in planning and carrying out your project.”

In other words, a boy should consult his Scoutmaster, Coach, or Advisor to determine whether the time planned will be “adequate.”

But which names should be recorded in the workbook? The instructions tell boys to record “Scouts, Venturers, or Other Individuals” who participate in the project. That can include family members, says Christopher Hunt, team leader of advancement at the BSA. Here’s what he told me:

The requirement simply indicates the Scout must give leadership to others.

It does not say who the “others” may or may not be. Neither does it say how many others are to be included; thus it simply must be at least two.

Long story short, Dave, the answer is: Yes, a boy should record the efforts of his siblings just as he would any project volunteer.

Thanks for the question!

Your turn:

Have a puzzling, Scouting-related question? Send me an e-mail, and I’ll try to track down an answer. Just put “Ask the Expert” in the subject line.

About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.