Husband is Eagle, as are two of my ex-boyfriends (still current friends) and three more of my other male friends.
I know it makes a difference to the military, if you join up there.
It also tends to be a shorthand for “is active in community, and is a go-getter” for hiring purposes. I’ve taken applications for 4 very different businesses, and all of them have specified that I flag the Eagle Scouts for the top of the call pile.
I don’t think we do slacker projects around here.
Projects I know of for sure:
Husband: Repacking, grading, and providing in-situ steps for a local hiking trail. Hard-ass work, and took a loooong time to complete. It was a joint project with a lot of other scouts, some going for Eagle, some not. I think each Eagle wannabe took charge of a section of trail and a crew? Something like that. Trail still looks awesome, going on 15 years later.
1st Ex: Some fancy kind of special birdhouses for a nature preserve to attract some special kind of endangered bird. Not hard to build, but he made like 50 of the suckers and had to go traipsing around in wilderness to plant them in the appropriate sites, and then set up a remote monitoring system to insure that they actually got used.
2nd Ex: Community awareness project that got his town to “adopt” a local spillway and clean it up, plant water-purifying weeds, and get local businesses to pledge to keep it litter-free. (He was the least… outdoorsy of my exes.)
1st Friend: Another bird-house project, but this one was in Charleston, and involved some type of sea-dune-protective thingie… apparently it was complicated.
2nd Friend: I recall it having to do with painting some important historic place in his community, but that’s all.
3rd Friend: He was another of the “flag replacement” projects, but he didn’t get yelled at by crazy misinformed patriots. I don’t think they collected individuals’ flags, just businesses’. I’m pretty sure it was also a “patriotism drive” to get more local businesses to display flags in the first place, so there was more giving out than collecting anyway.
All of those seem pretty valid choices for a 16-year-old to complete as proof that they’re contributing to their community and that they have leadership and project-management skills.
I also agree that painting a parking lot is pretty slack. Mental note to ASK future Eagle Scout applicants about what their project was.