Scouts, your Eagle project will go much smoother and faster if you organize your materials from the very start. Get into the practice of keeping all your associated materials in one place – this can be a notebook, a file box or a brief case of some kind. As you do your work, whether it is internet research, meeting with your coach, talking with your beneficiary, or pricing items at the local lumber store, keep your notes in a spiral bound notebook. If you date your entries, you will have a very comprehensive log and notes all in one place. Parents, you can really help your Scout by helping him buy organizational tools like this.
You are going to be submitting a paper proposal, not an electronic one. So here’s another tip. Buy a report cover on day one, and then insert a blank Eagle Service Project Workbook (you can strip out the informational pages.) As you fill out your proposal on the computer, insert the completed printed page and remove the blank one in your report cover. Also insert your “before” photographs, plans, and any other support materials. Slowly but surely your proposal will grow before you! The blank pages will remind you what has to be done, and the completed pages will give you a feeling of accomplishment.
And as long as we are talking about getting organized, make sure that you keep all your merit badge cards, awards, and other Boy Scout materials in one place. While National does have transcript of all your achievements, it is not unusual for awards to be lost or misfiled. It happens at least once a year in our troop. This usually means that there is a mad scramble to try to find the original document, which is most often a lost blue card that was never submitted. If everything is kept in one place, you can simply pull out your copy to verify your award. Not to mention that it will be easy to set up your display of awards at your Eagle Scout Court of Honor!
As an Eagle Coach, I see a big difference between boys who are organized and those who are not. When a Scout forgets to bring half of his materials to a meeting, it forces us to delay a discussion on those items until the next meeting, thus dragging out the process. So get yourself organized and cut some serious hours from the time required to finish your Eagle project!