My son, Owen, is a Life Scout in Troop 380, and is currently working on achieving the highest rank in Boy Scouts – Eagle Scout. This requires a long path and a lot of effort, as he must earn at least 21 ‘Merit Badges’ (badges that teach certain skills). The biggest piece of the rank, however, is a ‘Leadership Service Project’.
This project must be something in his church or community that benefits an organization in some way. He must lead all the way through, from project selection to planning, fundraising, materials / service procurement and leadership during the execution of the actual project. This is meant to help the young man grow in his ability to lead others toward a beneficial goal. It has to be more than simply painting or repairing something, and usually involves some pretty involved construction.
The project he chose was to build a brick walkway for our local church. The church recently moved their administration offices, resulting in an access way to the office which crosses a dirt and grass area that becomes quite muddy in the summer, and icy in the winter. This walkway will greatly improve the safety and convenience of staff and visitors. The walkway will be 53 feet long by 4 feet wide, and will use about 1,000 bricks to complete.
One of the biggest parts of the project is to track the time of any volunteer that helps out with the project. In addition, all planning activities, meetings, and approval presentations must be tracked and these hours are compared to his original estimates in a type of ‘after action report’ when the project is completed. The adults in the troop are merely the ‘hired help’ responding to the scouts’ leadership.
Being very familiar with the products produced by ProfitKey (I guess he actually paid attention during those ‘bring your kid to work’ days) Owen, of his own initiative, approached me to ask if he could use ProfitKey software to help track the costs and hours for the project. In particular, he wanted to know if he could use the RapidMES product to scan people in and out during the build days.
He and I set up the Troop roster (and their parents) as ‘Operators’ in a ProfitKey database, created a ‘routing’ for the steps involved in the walkway construction and produced bar-coded operator lists and a bar-coded ‘Job Traveler’. As scouts and their moms / dads showed up to work, they clocked themselves in for the day (which the scouts thought was pretty cool), and they clocked out when their ‘shift’ was over.
In addition, Owen estimated various costs of things like excavation services, brick, gravel, food for the crew, etc, and as these items are purchased / consumed, he is tracking the estimated versus actual costs as Bill of Material items on the same job. The end result will be a complete report of the project performance to present to the Eagle Scout Review Board when the project is complete.
As you can imagine, I am quite proud of my son as he nears his goal of Eagle Scout. Everyone at ProfitKey shares my pride. Owen has been known by almost everyone here since he was born, and we are proud to be a part of his efforts and development.
Stay tuned, we’ll post more of the story of Owen Hayes’ march toward Eagle Scout!Posted By Ken Hayes, CPIM, OCP Vice President, Product Development ProfitKey International