Eagle Scout Project: Getting a Sponsor

Fred and his Scoutmaster, Brother Peterson are planning Fred’s Eagle project to provide a beginning genealogy class for the residents in his area. They have created a list of tasks that must be accomplished, and they have estimated the number of people needed for the project and the amount of time to be donated by those people. Last week Fred was given the application form to request approval of his project by his Scout Council. This week they will plan Fred’s presentation to the historical society to ask them to be his sponsor.

“Hi Fred, got the Council form filled out?”  “Sure have, Brother Peterson, here it is.” The Scoutmaster looked it over and said, “Looks good, Fred. Here is the address for the Council. Send the application off, and we’ll see what happens.”  “Ok”, said Fred.

“Now”, said Brother Peterson, “let’s get ready for your meeting with the historical society.”

Your Sponsor Doesn’t Care About Your Eagle

After the prayer, the Scoutmaster asked, “I’m curious why you chose the Historical Society for your sponsor.” Fred replied, “It’s the town organization that preserves local history, and I thought they’d be interested in helping citizens trace their roots.” “You’re right.”, the Scouter said. “I asked that question for a reason. When you approach them about being your sponsor, you need to do it from their viewpoint not from yours.” “What do you mean?”, Fred asked. Brother Peterson replied with a question, as he usually does: “What is their viewpoint and what is your viewpoint?” Fred thought for a moment and then said, “As I said before, they want to help citizens preserve their histories.” “Right!”, Brother Peterson said, “And your viewpoint?” “I want to get my Eagle!”, Fred said. The Scoutmaster continued, “Do you think the Historical Society cares much about your Eagle?” “Sure, because I live in the town!”, replied Fred. “You’re right, a little bit”, said Brother Peterson, “but only a little bit. The Society cares about your Eagle, not because of you, but because it’s their charter or mission to preserve town history and your project fits in with that charter. It’s all a matter of viewpoint.” “Oh, I get it”, said Fred, “I think….”

Help Your Sponsor fulfill its Charter

The Scoutmaster continued, “When you approach the Historical Society, do it from their viewpoint. You are there to help them fulfill their responsibility to the town. I think they’ll be glad to help you, because you become a resource to them.” Fred nodded his head in agreement, although the quizzical look on his face indicated he was still trying to digest what his Scoutmaster had just said.

Don’t Lecture at, Talk to

“Fred”, the Scoutmaster asked, “how do you plan to present your case to the Society officers?” “I guess”, Fred replied, “tell them about my project and ask them to sponsor it.” Brother Peterson realized he needed to teach Fred about giving presentations, so he suggested, “How about if we make a brief outline of what you should say?”   “OK, sounds good to me”, said Fred.

You Mean We’re Still Brainstorming?

“OK, Fred, tell me the major things you want to say to them.” Fred began talking as he thought. “I want to teach people how to do genealogy, it will be a free class, just a one-day thing, and it will be fun.” “Good”, said the Scouter. Now, what how can you say to bring in the charter of the Society?” Fred paused and then said, “I’ll tell them that I want to help them help the people.” “Great!”, said Brother Peterson. Let’s get those ideas written down and then let’s number them.”

Here’s my Game Plan

After working in his notebook for a minute, Fred had the following list.

  1. I’m here to help you help the town
  2. I would like to have a class in basic genealogy
  3. It will be free and just one day.
  4. People will enjoy it.
  5. I need a sponsor, and since genealogy is part of local history, I thought your organization would be interested in being that sponsor.

Brother Peterson nodded his head in approval, “That’s a great list, Fred. Do you mind if I make a couple of suggestions?”  “Please do”, responded Fred. The Scoutmaster continued, “As your first item, thank them for their service to the town. Change the next item to be that you have an idea how you can assist them in their goals. Finally, as the last item, explain that being a sponsor doesn’t cost them them anything. Being a sponsor means that they benefit from your project rather than they fund your project. This is important, Fred, because to most people being a sponsor implies giving money.”

After a few moments of writing, Fred’s list looked like the following.

  1. Thank you for your service to the town in preserving local histories.
  2. I have an idea that might help you fulfill your goals.
  3. I would like to give a class in basic genealogy
  4. It will be free and just one day.
  5. People will enjoy it.
  6. I need a sponsor, and since genealogy is part of local history, I thought your organization would be interested in being that sponsor.
  7. Being a sponsor won’t cost you anything or take any time from your people. It means that you receive the benefit from my project. Will you be my sponsor?

“That looks great, Fred”, said Brother Peterson.

A Picture is worth 1000 Words

“Fred, how can you make your presentation visual? Fred replied, “I thought I’d use a large poster card and outline the key points of my project, sorta like the Primary music person does.” “That should work, Fred!”, said the Scouter.

Man, He Looks Nice in His Uniform!

“One final thing, Fred, what will you wear?” “I’d like to wear my scout uniform”, said Fred.   “Right on!”, said the Scouter. Include your sash with all of your merit badges. Since you’re not asking for money and you’re on an official scouting mission, your uniform is appropriate.”

“Wait until you have approval from the Scout Council, then arrange a meeting with the Historical Society. After you’ve met with them, Fred, let me know how it went. In the meantime, let’s meet again next Sunday and go looking for alligators.”


One Response to Eagle Scout Project: Getting a Sponsor

  1. Homepage says:

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