There is a cottage industry of advice, methods, plans, presentations, and seminars concerning Eagle projects that resembles that for college applications. In an attempt to improve the outcome these machinations compromise the process at the heart of an Eagle project.
Developing, presenting, obtaining approval for, executing and reporting on an Eagle project is a complex problem to solve. Many are eager to offer well-intended assistance to make things easier but in doing so they undermine the initiative, determination and skill required by the process. When the candidate is led by the hand past the difficulties and pitfalls it is tantamount to shouldering his pack on a hike; he completes the hike but misses the hiking itself.
If the completing an Eagle project is seen nearly as a means to an end we miss the intention altogether. The process is complex and challenging for a reason; the candidate must demonstrate the capabilities required to bring it to completion independently. Parents, Scouters and advisers should offer only measured assistance; not making phone calls, arrangements or doing any of the work a scout can and should do himself.
Some of the most satisfying projects I have seen had little to do with the outcome. These were projects were the scout encountered and overcame significant difficulties in the process. It may be painful to watch scouts muddle through all this; but they must. An Eagle that has weathered the process of completing a project on his own will learn a good deal more and show us just how incredibly competent they can be.