Friday, May 14, 2010

Eagle Project at the San Fernando Mission

To achieve the highest rank in scouting, Eagle Scout, you must plan and execute a service project.  Here's a description I wrote just after completing my project at the San Fernando Mission.

Project Description

Monsignor Weber is the administrator of the San Fernando Mission, and responsible for the Archival Center and Mission grounds. He is also in charge of the Mission Museum. Monsignor Weber told me of the need for the Mission Museum artifacts to be labeled. The majority of the artifacts on display have no labels. The labels that are in place are poorly written, made on deteriorating material, and are often incorrect. Unfortunately, there are no personnel at the Mission who can reasonably undertake this task.

There are many rooms that make up the entire Mission Museum collection; however, my project will only be encompassing the two rooms with the highest traffic and greatest need. These connected rooms will be referred to as the North and South Museum rooms and contain many items from the Pope’s visit to Los Angeles, Indian baskets from all parts of California, and items from when the Mission was first built and used.

How My Project will be of Benefit to the San Fernando Mission

Without anyone to undertake the job of creating labels for the museum artifacts, this job has been left undone for 30 years. The labeling of the many artifacts on display would help the Mission with a job that would otherwise never have been accomplished. Over 30,000 students a year visit the Mission on field trips as part of their study of California history. Labeling the artifacts on display would give a more interesting and comprehensive understanding of the Mission Museum. The San Fernando Mission is the most important landmark in all of the San Fernando Valley and surrounding area, being the first settlement in this area of California. The history of the Mission would be made more available to the community and students, who regularly visit the museum. Many of the 21 California missions, including the San Fernando Mission are in need of money for structural repairs and artifact preservation. There is currently legislation that, if passed, will support the missions with this much needed money, but there is controversy over the separation of church and state that is preventing these measures to be taken. This eagle project will help to preserve the history and importance of many artifacts at the San Fernando Mission.

Carrying out the Project

My project, being of an intellectual nature, required the help of adults capable of good writing and proofreading. While I was able to use fellow scouts and peers for such tasks as data entry, cleaning of cabinets, and cutting of mat board, I sought the more qualified help of adults to perform the intellectual tasks. I was able to gather support from adults in my church, school, and troop. This provided the unique experience of having to delegate responsibility and oversee a project in which most of those working under me were much older, unlike what I had experience doing with those mostly younger than me in a troop or patrol setting.


The total amount of labor invested was just over 600 hours. That amount of time was divided between 30 people over the course of approximately two years. I invested about 100 hours of my own time, half of which was spent on planning and the other half of which was spent distributing responsibilities and overseeing progress on my project.

Due to the nature of my project, though many people are involved in the label making process, the majority of the man hours contributed falls to a few individuals. At the start of my project, there were many tasks and responsibilities to be distributed such as making sure labels were written, data entry, proofreading, and etcetera. As the project continued, tasks became more specific and individual work such as specific basket research, or approval by the Monsignor was narrowed down to a few crucial people.


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