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***Eagle Scout Project Ideas***

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W5NIO, Feb 16, 2017.

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  1. W5NIO

    W5NIO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello all, I have just received my life scout rank, and I am starting to think about possibilities for my eagle scout project. I mainly want my project to be focused on amateur radio. I have several ideas and have read several online. I have had the idea of setting up UHF/VHF antennas at a local hospital but I believe that may be "complicated" as the hospital is pretty large. Remember that non-ham scouts will be helping! I have also had the idea of setting up a Broadband-Hamnet station of ham-mesh; at the hospital. I've heard equipment is really cheap, and it is useful for emergency communications. I still have lots to learn, and if anyone has input, it would be gladly appreciated. This thread will be monitored closely, and I will try to reply to posts as soon as I can!


    Here's the article I've mainly read:
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  2. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Congrats on the Life rank, and good luck as you continue working toward Eagle!

    My Eagle project, which took place about 100 years ago, did involve ham radio. At that time, the Eagle project wasn't quite as big a deal as it is now. In particular, it didn't involve all of the advance approval, proposals, workbooks, etc. So you wouldn't be able to do exactly what I did, but you could probably do something similar.

    What I did was work with the Handihams (their website appears to be broken at the moment, but you can read more about them here: ). What I did was help them update their database (before the word "database" was invented) of students who needed help and volunteer hams who were willing to help them. Their records hadn't been updated for a long time, so I helped update them by sending out letters to see who was available. Back then, the Eagle project requirements weren't quite as stringent about showing leadership over other volunteers, and it was good enough that the people I recruited were volunteers. Or to put it another way, I signed up a bunch of volunteers, and that was my project. I didn't really oversee the volunteers as they volunteered. For that reason, my particular project wouldn't necessarily qualify today, but I offer this for inspiration.

    Most Eagle projects turn out to be "construction projects," but that's not really a requirement. So rather than putting up an antenna (which would certainly also be a good project), simply organizing a group of hams to perform some needed service would be a good project. Remember, typically, the volunteers who work on Eagle projects are other scouts, but this is not a requirement.

    Good luck, and keep us informed of your progress!
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  3. W5TTW

    W5TTW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Set up a station at a retirement home.
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  4. K8ERV

    K8ERV QRZ Member QRZ Page

    100 years ago? I gotcha beat!

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
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  5. NL7W

    NL7W Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's not a bad idea. :)

    The Scout could properly install a station operating position, radio(s), antenna systems and operating aids. The station installation would include proper grounding and bonding meeting NFPA electrical code, to include an antenna entrance panel. Perhaps the Scout could investigate having separate "breakered" AC circuit(s) dedicated to the station.

    The Scout could arrange the licensing classes for those willing to take on the testing challenge. Hopefully, there's already a old ham at the retirement home that could help out.

    It's a great community project idea.
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  6. N5TWB

    N5TWB Ham Member QRZ Page

    As the father of an Eagle Scout and a former Scoutmaster that assisted in numerous projects during those years, I strongly endorse the station at the retirement home idea. With the proper guidance from your troop advancement chair, it will not be hard to meet the challenges of the modern Eagle project criteria on leadership, community service, and long-term benefit. Getting assistance from a local ham club will be important, as will getting donations of funds, equipment, and expertise. All the ideas mentioned in earlier posts are ones you ought to include, too.

    Start now on your first hurdle: identify the facility that will partner with you as the beneficiary of the project. A person to approach at such facilities would be the activities director who might be knowledgeable about interests expressed by residents.

    The other thing that will be key to success will be organizing your time now. Your 18th birthday seems like a long time in the future but I assure you that it comes along quickly with all the activities in the life of a teenager. Work with your advancement chair to determine a realistic timeline that includes meetings that get your project reviewed and approved at the district level.
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  7. K4MZR

    K4MZR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    As a former Eagle Scout I (vaguely ;)) remember the challenges associated with choosing and vetting a project. I currently serve as a pastor in a ministry that focuses on retirement and nursing homes and would like to share some potential challenges you may want to consider.

    1. Liability. Many facilities will be hesitant to agree to erecting an antenna on their property and will also likely be concerned about having amateur radio equipment in common-use areas. Education may help here but be prepared for push-back from the corporate staff.
    2. Ability. Most residents of these facilities require assistance for a reason. Beyond the simple frailty of age these folks often struggle with poor hearing, eyesight and, in some cases, diminished cognitive capacity. In my experience, expecting most assisted living residents to complete a licensure class is unrealistic.
    3. Demographics. You'll find most residents at these facilities are female. I joke that's because male stupidity catches up with us. However, many women 75 and older simply won't be interested in the hobby.

    I do echo N5TWB's encouragement; this is an oft-forgotten group of people who need and deserve engagement from following generations. I highlight these challenges so you can think them through and have realistic expectations.

    I would posit that your best plan would be to identify a local club with an interest in serving this community and working to gain permission to install an on-site antenna as phase one. If successful, you could have licensed operators bring the necessary equipment to get interested folks on the air. If that works, you could grow the project to include training, licensure and, possibly, an on-site station.

    Best wishes,

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  8. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Maybe not quite that long. Buy my old Scoutmaster was pretty good. I believe his name was something like Baden Powell. :)
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  9. NL7W

    NL7W Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Anchorage, Alaska Pioneer Home has a station setup, or it did recently. There's a tri-bander up.

    This reminds me of Fairbanks ham, KL7AG:
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  10. W5NIO

    W5NIO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you all for the replies, and if anyone has anything to add, please do. I will let you know if there are anymore questions I have, and will try my best to keep you updated.

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