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Service Hours, Double Dipping?

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Scout is working on Star and needs 6 hours service. He's also working in Cit. in the Community and needs to do requirement 7c which states:


"While working on this merit badge, volunteer at least eight hours of your time for the organization."

So does service for Cit/Comm service hours also count for Star service hours?

I'm inclined to say no but what's your opinion?



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I also say no to this as well, although I don't think you'll find a definitive position in the materials.


With no official answer, it's up to the person signing off as to how he interprets the requirements, and I think it's a reasonable interpretation to say that the service is supposed to be done separately from other requirements for service.

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As Oak Tree wrote, I am not aware of any official published guidance on this subject. I agree that I would not allow that double dipping either. I suggest that this is a local unit policy that ought to be taken up with your youth leadership to get their input.

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I hate the phrase "double dipping." Probably as much as some people hate the phrase "Eagle Mill."


I don't see any particular reason the hours can't count for both. Certainly the goal of "service" in advancement requirements is not to get free labor out of Scouts, but rather to teach them about selfless service. To be blunt, I think counting the hours in the first place is the wrong way to go about this. It makes it more of an economic transaction - you get X payment for doing Y hours of work. Getting hung up about "double dipping" just reinforces that they're doing the service in order to get something.


The Star requirement is there to ensure the scout learns something about selfless service. The Citizenship in the Community requirement seems pretty clearly meant to teach them scout about how the particualr charitable organization functions through volunteer help. Seem like compatible goals to me. Going on about hours and double-dipping seems more like clock-punching than selfless service to me.


As an MBC, I'd want to know what they learned about how the organization uses volunteers and whether the scout thought the organization could continue to provide it's service without volunteers. In fact, I might even ask if the outfit has any paid staff, and what the scout thought about there being paid people and volunteers working for the same organization. Of course he wouldn't need to give any specific answer.


And for the Star requirement, I'd be more interested in his general attitude towards service projects than the total hours he put into it. Sure, the requirements say we have to count hours, so he has to have a specific number, but I'd do everything I could to keep the number from being the most important thing.



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All points are well taken, thanks everyone.

I feel that when my scouts get to the Star and above level they should be doing more than trying to figure out ways to do the minimum. I call it Scout spirit. I'll probably ask the scout what he thinks he should do. I'm pretty sure he'll come up with the right answer even if I have to use my SM skills to guide him.

And it's not like we don't to plenty of community service, so there's plenty of opportunities. He'll probably get the 6 hours for Star just by being active.

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Scout should spend exactly eight hours (no more or less) testing paddles at the community boat ramp.

Like the song says:


"Dip. Dip. And Swing."


While we're at it. If a boy does a good turn daily and it takes a minute each time, can he count it as 6 hours of service by the end of the year?


Yes, I think mandatory service hours are an abomination.

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if they weren't mandatory then many would not do them.


Service projects can be mandatory without having an hour requirement. For example:


Star Rank:

4. While a First Class Scout, take part in one or more service projects that benefit your community in some way and demonstrate the spirit of selfless service. These projects must be approved by your Scoutmaster.


Citizenship in the Community:

7c. 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 and with your conselor's approval, volunteer your time to help the organization achieve it's goals in your community. After your volunteer experience is over, discuss what you have learned with your counselor.



The requirement isn't to keep a rake handle warm for X hours, it's to learn about service and why it's necessary.


Then again, I'm enough of a cynic that I'd like to see another requirement along the lines of:


Describe how an unscrupulous organization might exploit volunteers, and how this harms a community. Discuss ways you might recongize this sort of exploitation and how you can avoid it.





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"Describe how an unscrupulous organization might exploit volunteers, and how this harms a community. Discuss ways you might recongize this sort of exploitation and how you can avoid it."



Unscrupulous????? Generally we look for projects...Not sure how we could be exploited...


Service projects I have been involved with neighborhood clean up, urban tree planting, soup kitchen clean up and food service, Food pantry grunts, Food for scouting, Flower planting, community garden prep, invasive species removal, Park mulching......


We have more than 40 hours a year per scout in our various endeavors. We just finished rehabbing a community sign and a couple of us and scouts have nearly 40 hours in it.



Jm I am the biggest cynic in the world. I am always looking for how people are going to screw me over, I have yet to leave a service project feeling that way.



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BD, my experience has been that youth in whatever organization have put the service hours in to make any rank they desire 10 times over.


They just haven't kept track of it.


The only thing that those requirements do is take up time during the announcements, because some adult just has to pipe in "this weekend's project counts for service hours ..." to boys who've knocked off their hours months ago and will show up with tools in hand and grins on their faces nonetheless.

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Sorry, didn't mean to sidetrack things with my "unscrupulous" bit. Not referring to any organization in particular really, and especially not the typical scout service project. But I do think there's a lesson worth teaching as we teach scouts about service: there are those who will take advantage of it, and it's worth knowing how to spot it when it happens. Also helping the scouts figure out how to react.



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