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How many service projects does your troop do a year?

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  • How many service projects does your troop do a year?

    One of the troops my son looked into joining was an Elks troop. I don't know if it was because the Elks is a service organization, but that troop would do a service project every other month. My son ended up joining a troop chartered by a church. You'd think the church troop would also be service-oriented, but he's been attending meetings for 4 months now, and they haven't done a single service project, unless you count Scout Sunday where I think they ushered at the church. I was just wondering what the norm is for service projects for troops. JTE says they should be doing at least 4 a year.

  • #2
    Our unit serves at the community meal monthly at the church, we volunteer every other week by patrol at the food pantry, during the summer the patrols alternate working the weekly free farmers market at the CO.

    First warm meeting night we worked on the local community play ground.

    Last week we worked the Community Easter Egg hunt and then planted Trees at a local park for Earth day.


    As a troop we do two community service projects a month plus extras that pop up.

    I worry about burning them out on community service, but they plan it.

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    • #3
      In our community we have a rotating, church-based shelter for thouse currently between permanent homes. So families move in to a church after Sunday school, stay for a week, and then move out before Sunday school the following Sunday. We do that cycle 3-4 times per year. Also, we take part in Scouting for Food to help stock our chartering org's food pantry. In more non-traditional community service, I work with a water-quality non-profit that assigns me to a stream near our chartering org. Once per month the Scouts help me test the water, plant life, and invertebrates for health and alert the department of natural resources if oxygen levels are low.

      Other than that we jump in and do service projects when asked or when someone comes up with something for us to do. I don't know that there should be a norm, though. When a Scout asks me if they should be doing more service, I just tell them that BP would, then, ask them to do a good turn daily. It's usually a good time to have a little chat about service.

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      • #4
        The number of Service projects is really up to the unit and depends on their philosphy for their vision. Many units do service projects to help scouts meet advancement goals. Others do them to teach scouting values. Probably a good question to ask the SPL for new families visiting troops depending on the scout's personal goals. Barry

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        • #5
          We've had a spate of Eagles who generate service projects every other month, it seems. Then we collect scouting for food and sort it for the pantry at our CO. Folks ask us to retire flags, so we do that. Then we leave it up to the boys. Most of them volunteer to help our crew coordinate the district in placing flags on veterans' graves in a large non-profit cemetery.

          Plus, wherever we camp, we ask how we can help.

          We definitely knock out more than 4 a year. It depends on the year and the boys if we do more than that.

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          • #6
            Most units do Scouting for Food, Eagle projects and usually something to help their charter organization. That's a bare minimum I have seen.

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            • #7
              We try and do a service project on every campout - these are primarily trail clearing or building, invasive plant removal, campsite improvement and the like (state campground, BSA campgrounds, and "other"). We do irregular service projects for our sponsoring organization (primarily setting up and taking down tables & decorations for events). Individual Scouts do other projects for non-profits their parents (usually) are involved with and normally this is for advancement purposes. We relay requests from local non-profits and give Scouts/Adults opportunities to participate. Individual Patrols do service projects at food banks and what-have-you. I would guess it averages 2 opportunities a month.

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              • #8
                Wow, I guess we can scratch service to others off the list of scouting tools and contributions to the community.

                Seems pretty thin to me.

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                • #9
                  I forgot to add, in two weeks we go and maintain the signs that welcome folks to our hood. Maybe a single day or could be multiple.

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                  • #10
                    We do Scouting for Food, have had 17 eagles in the last three years, with service projects, and we have also "adopted" a section of forest preserve that we clean about three times a year. You have to balance the service with the fun.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Basementdweller View Post
                      Wow, I guess we can scratch service to others off the list of scouting tools and contributions to the community. Seems pretty thin to me.
                      The boys' youth groups and schools clock in some pretty major service hours. I really don't see the need for BSA to be the sole purveyor of service opportunities for our boys. Heck I'm willing to count for rank advancement independent camping nights that BSA no longer sanctions. Extra-troop service hours are just one more step down that slippery slope.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Basementdweller View Post
                        Wow, I guess we can scratch service to others off the list of scouting tools and contributions to the community. Seems pretty thin to me.
                        What I posted was the minimum. Each troop does 4-5 more projects each year, as well as projects their CO does to support them, plus 2-3 projects that just pop up during the year. So all in all we are talking over 10-12 projects a year which is one a month. That's a pretty good ratio I think @eagle00, 17 Eagle projects!! That's a lot of Eagles in three years. Must have a huge troop.

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                        • #13
                          We participate in Scouting for Food in the winter with the council and do our own project benefitting the local food pantries and soup kitchens in the summer. Over the past three years we have collected something on the order of 50,000 pounds of food. In the fall we do a day of service at a local quasi-public park where we camp regularly. And we average about four Eagle projects per year we require at least two work days each.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Twocubdad View Post
                            We participate in Scouting for Food in the winter with the council and do our own project benefitting the local food pantries and soup kitchens in the summer. Over the past three years we have collected something on the order of 50,000 pounds of food. In the fall we do a day of service at a local quasi-public park where we camp regularly. And we average about four Eagle projects per year we require at least two work days each.
                            An excellent example of doing just a few projects with a HIGH impact.

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