From the time I saw the ultrasound I dreaded the day my kids would plow into scouting. My husband loved scouting as a kid. My brother didn’t have as many positive experiences. One time his scoutmasters left his troop on the mountain… alone… but I digress…
Obtaining Eagle scout has a lot of benefits.
When my oldest was making his resume that was certainly the shining star on his limited work experience. I think it speaks loads.
Our bishop, an orthodontist who owns a giant dental practice said he still puts it on his resume because it sets him apart. People know it’s hard and they respect it.
Anyway. Let’s talk about my 5 tips to getting the Eagle, and then I want to share a bit about our projects and how we got that all going.
5 Tips to Helping Your Son Get Their Eagle Scout Rank:
- Start early
- Be involved
- Ask for donations
- This is up to the scout
- Paperwork up the yang
Ok, let’s dive into each of those a little deeper:
Sometimes kids don’t get into scouting early-on. In the LDS church you have the opportunity to start scouting at age 11 (prior to that you’re a Cub Scout — but none of those things carry over into the Eagle program).
This means, at age 11 you need to jump in with both feet. Start earning badges, going on campouts and more! If Eagle is on your radar you need to start hard from day one.
Also, don’t plan to do your Eagle project at age 16. You’re SO busy in high school. I’m a strong believer in getting it done while you’re still in Jr High or a Freshman in HS. Don’t wait!
Parents are really the key in scouting. We are lucky in that we have an experienced gung-ho scout leader in our church who encourages the boys like crazy!
BUT, none of that would be of worth if we weren’t backing them up, reminding them of badges during long summer days. Making sure they get to where they’re going — that’s all up to the parents.
This one, is especially important for dads. They need to be willing to go on campouts and do the badges with the boys.
The scouting program, first and foremost, has been a great way for my husband and boys to bond. I’ve been VERY grateful for that opportunity for them.
Ask for donations
Once you have your project set out, it will likely involve some supplies. Below I’ll mention the generous companies that helped us out — but ask around.
Lowes and Home Depot are often willing to help boys out. Locally owned supply stores are also great resources to tap into.
They receive a lot of good PR for the good in the community and good boys, for very little effort on their part. It’s really a win-win.
When your child goes in to ask for donations, make sure they wear their uniform (at the very least, their shirt). It makes them look legit. 🙂
Up to the Boy
The boy needs to want it. And if they don’t, then I’d let it go. Yes, we encourage, but if they really don’t want to do it — then don’t do it. There’s no reason for the MOM to earn the Eagle.
Yes, it was a rough road of “encouragement” but both of my boys really wanted to get the Eagle. They had worked hard up to that point, so they wanted to see it through.
Oh man, you somehow think the project will be the worst part, but the PAPERWORK is astronomical!
Hours and hours and HOURS of work on the paperwork. So many questions and answers.
This is where a great scout leader helps too. They can look over the paperwork to see areas you’re lacking in.
I will say that the paperwork is pretty rough for a kid who’s 13 or 14. Maybe too rough? I heard they made it easier, but I have NO idea how that’s possible. My kid has been on that computer for hours and HOURS filling it out.
Oh, and take lots of photos as I hear the board of reviews love those!
Paperwork gets the Eagle, not the project.
BUUUt…the project is also quite painful.
Both of our projects were done at the schools we attended. Since I was on PTO boards I always had quick access to principals. They had no shortage of ideas.
My oldest son did playground games at the elementary school.
My middle son did his at the Middle School, he painted a couple of rooms for them.
Keep in mind the school only provided the main color of paint, but they did want an accent on the bulletin boards and one of the walls really needed primer due to the dark coloring.
Here is the before:
Those top two were pretty bad, right?
And here is the after:
We painted both rooms, including the bulletin boards and put trim around the white board (which I think looks amazing).
A huge thanks to the companies that helped sponsor this:
Wagner sponsored by letting us have one of their paint sprayers.
Oh man, this made priming that wall SO easy, I even got into it.
That sprayer is awesome.
- We didn’t have to thin the paint — a HUGE plus when you’re doing a big room
- It was REALLY easy to clean. A lot easier than we had thought, and because the whole spray head comes apart there’s no chance of it clogging from a previous spray.
I even got in on the action:
Plaid gave us the green chalk paint as well as a TON of brushes and some varnish for the bulletin board outer.
I will say I was a little concerned after our second coat — but the paint dries a LOT darker than you see when it’s wet. It was easy to apply and the finished product is great!
It ended up so bright and vibrant, a very fun addition!
Rustoleum also gave us some green, as well as a spray primer that some people had a little too much fun with. It made for easy (and fun) priming. They also sent some Zinsser primer that was a HUGE help for the poop-brown walls. 🙂 It’s the primer I used in the Wagner sprayer above.
This is clearly what happens when the sister missionaries help with your eagle project (can you read the writing on the wall?):
Other companies that helped my son out included:
- Lowes gave him the trim and blinds for a big discount; as well as some rollers, painters tape, plaster tray (became a whiteboard marker tray – Thanks, Grant!) brushes, and a box of screws for free.
- Einstein brothers (donated bagels at the end of day prior to keep us fed)
- Local pizza store also provided a discount on pizza
Right now, his paperwork is awaiting a board of review. I am really proud of him, and for all the people that came and helped out. We are lucky to raise our kids in such a village!
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