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  • New Citizenship in Community Requirements

    I just saw the new Citizenship in the Community Requirements--assuming these are the real deal, they are much more demanding than the old requirements, including volunteering 8 hours for a charitable organization. I have two questions:
    1. It's my understanding that if a scout has already begun work on the MB before Jan. 1, he may complete the badge under the old requirements. Correct? And how do you interpret "begun work?" There are some boys in the troop who have been issued the blue card and have made contact with the MBC before Jan. 1, but haven't really done anything. Still, my inclination would be to say that if they have the blue card, they've begun the merit badge.
    2. Another double-dipping question--can we also count the 8 hours of volunteering for a charitable organization towards the service project requirements for Star and Life? The MB requirements appear to be silent on this point.
    A comment--I was surprised to see these changes. To me, it upsets the idea that a Scout should progress throught the Citizenship badges by doing Community, Nation, and then World. Now, I'd say Nation is the easiest, and Community the hardest (or at least most time-consuming).

  • #2
    1.If a Scout has a blue card dated prior to 1/1/2005 I would count that as starting under the old requirements.

    2. I know of nothing that says you can't do this! I would think it's up to to the SM. I don't think one can do too much community service, though.

    Ed Mori
    Troop 1
    1 Peter 4:10


    • #3
      The problem is finding an organization that will accept soemone younger than 18. Any ideas?


      • #4
        Nephew is in the middle of this MB right now. His MB service time will be to the food bank that benefits from the Scouting for Food drive. His SM had told him his SfF hours could count towards one OR the other (rank), but not both. The food bank is happy to have any help this time of year, and with the time involved in our area collecting and sorting the food, he will hit 8 hours without much trouble.

        Would an area church be in need of 8 hours of service from a youth? They might be willing to let a youth serve w/ adult supervision.


        • #5
          You can check with your local animal shelter. I have seen kids there cleaning litter boxes, stalls, and whatnot. Don't forget to bring some food for a donation or a $5.00 bill will work well too.


          • #6
            The local area school disitrct where I live, Bethlehem Area School Disitrict has a graduation requirement of 60 hours of community service. Most of them are under 18


            what was that about a thousand points of light?


            • #7
              "His SM had told him his SfF hours could count towards one OR the other (rank), but not both."

              The only black and white restriction/guideline I've ever seen with regard to merit badges is that work done for one badge can't be used to satisfy a requirement for another badge.

              Example: the public meeting you attend for Cit in the Community Req 3A can't also be used for Communications Req 5.

              Most SM's and MBC's I know allow the cooking & menu prep items for Camping and Cooking can be used to satisfy the First Class requirements for cooking & menu prep.

              It's your SM's call on what he'll allow for a rank advancement requirement and the MBC's call on what he'll allow for the merit badge. But technically, there's no reason I can think of that service hours can't count towards both.

              My son earned all of his service hours (and then some) by volunteering along with my wife at a homeless shelter. They had established a kids play group (the shelter had over 50 school age kids) and it only took a couple of weeks to get all the hours in.


              • #8
                This is not a recent change, as we were aware of them over a year ago. It is important to read SCOUTING and to at least periodically review requirement books annually or on the internet. Also, whomever is in charge of "" is really fantastic about keeping it up to date.

                Service can only be counted for one thing or another, not both. Now I could see it overlapping service for a high school or some other organizations requirements. The point of the new requirements seems to me to be actually being involved in the community, not just knowing where things are, how the governance is done, and talking about how you are part of it. As a counselor, I find it much more focussed on the intent of the scout being a community citizen. As a leader, as well as counselor, I expect my scouts to do the most current requirements if they have not already begun under others; and that is NOT when they get a card. By the way, I DO NOT counsel any of my own scouts on Eagle badges, other than camping. They are required to go to at least two different citizenship counselors. Part of the merit badge program is to help scouts meet adults outside of their normal environment.

                As far a sequence goes, that is totally up to the scout. He can earn them in any order he chooses. As always, this is simply my view.


                • #9
                  First off now links to which is a wiki site which means anyone can edit the content. User beware. As I read msnowmans post it sounds like the SM said the hours could not be used for rank requirements for two different ranks.

                  As for Citizenship in the Community and the requirement in question; Bold print and highlights are mine.

                  7. Do the following:
                  a. Choose a charitable organization outside of Scouting that interests you and brings people in your community together to work for the good of your community.
                  b. Using a variety of resources (including newspapers, fliers and other literature, the Internet, volunteers, and employees of the organization), find out more about this organization.
                  c. With your counselor's and your parent's approval, contact the organization and find out what young people can do to help. While working on this merit badge, volunteer at least eight hours of your time for the organization. After your volunteer experience is over, discuss what you have learned with your counselor.

                  7b. Would indicate to me that the intent here is that this be a charitable organization new to the scout as opposed to ones church.

                  7c. Definitely puts the service hours after counselor approval. This is seconded by the phrase While working on this merit badge.

                  If a boy came to me with a Blue Card dated 2004 without any requirements initialed indicating it was now a partial, I would not counsel him under the old requirements.



                  • #10
                    Our school has a service requirement as well - some ideas where under 18s have volunteered:
                    Local music festivals (or other local festivals)
                    Animal shelter
                    Food banks
                    Local youth sports leagues (assistant coach for young kids' teams)
                    Various church programs (mission trips, etc.)
                    Habitat for Humanity - 16 to work on the house, but younger kids
                    could volunteer in the office or make lunches for work days

                    Also, library reading programs, non-profit nursing homes/programs for the elderly.


                    • #11
                      >This is not a recent change, as we were aware of them over a year ago. It is important to >read SCOUTING and to at least periodically review requirement books annually or on the >internet.

                      Just a note - if you're unaware. There's now an official version of all the merit badge requirements on the National Council web site:


                      • #12
                        Note that the first post in this thread is from 2005. But...

                        "Service can only be counted for one thing or another, not both."

                        I don't see anything in writing from BSA that requires this interpretation, although I think it is a reasonable one for the MBC to apply. I would probably allow certain types of double-dipping though: for example, if the school system requires a certain number of community service hours for graduation, I would allow those same hours to count for advancement or MB requirements.


                        • #13
                          As for the question that re-opened this thread, you don't necessarily have to do work for an "agency". Community service could include picking up litter around your community, doing some voluntary service for shut-ins, cleaning up around your CO, etc. We've also had scouts go over to the local hospital and spend time with the elderly patients in transitional care. They love to have visitors.

                          As for the double-dipping question, we don't count any hours that are already being counted for something else. The rationale we use to explain this to scouts and/or parents is that service hours are typically seen as something you do without any form of compensation. If you did six hours of service to fulfill a rank advancement requirement, you have performed the service and have been given credit for that. You've now received a form of "compensation", per se. Therefore, you're not really doing it for "service", if you're just counting something you've already been "compensated" for. Besides, as Ed said, you can't do too much community service.


                          • #14
                            Double-dipping is up to each unit. If your unit wants to count service hours for a merit badge & use the same service hours for a rank requirement, knock yourself out! If another unit wants to use service hours for only a rank requirement or merit badge requirement but not both, knock yourself out! Both are correct!

                            Ed Mori
                            1 Peter 4:10


                            • #15
                              Mine was the comment about double dipping. The part that struck Nephew's SM funny is that Nephew used that term - "double dipping" and figured if he referred to it as such he (Nephew) must know that it is a gray area. Since oppurtunities for Service hours for rank aren't required to be all w/ one entity, those hours will be far easier to fill than the 8 hours for 1 charitable org in your community. Thus why Nephew has opted to do Scouting for Food for our area Foodbank for his MB requirement and and the service project at the upcoming Camporee towards rank (SM approved).
                              I agree that one can't do too much service for their community. How else will the youth learn that they need to give, not just take?