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Scout Service Under Shelter in Place Conditions?

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We have a few scouts who were looking for service opportunities to get service hours for rank before COVID hit.  Obviously many of the usual opportunities for troop service are off the table given restrictions on group gatherings and close contact.  Does anyone have creative suggestions for ways Scouts could serve under shelter in place or near quarantine conditions?  Figuring out a way to reach out via Skype or video to older people who must isolate was one that could be valuable (equivalent to traditional nursing home visits), but it wasn’t obvious how to make that work.  Does the collective wisdom here have other ideas how scouts could serve under these uncertain conditions?

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What about making videos to send to elderly folks who have to stay out of sight of family for the time being?  My mother-in-law is 80 and has a compromised immune system.  Even my wife doesn't feel all that comfortable visiting her apartment.  My kids are going to start making short videos to send her, to keep her connected to the outside world.  I'm sure some folks who don't have a lot of family (or even those who do) would love to receive those things from Scouts.

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Posted (edited)

For crying out loud, we have more things to worry about than scouts getting advancements with made up community service projects. The best community service is to stay home and help your family.

Edited by yknot
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7 hours ago, yknot said:

For crying out loud, we have more things to worry about than scouts getting advancements with made up community service projects. The best community service is to stay home and help your family.

I certainly agree that the important element is for the scouts to be at home, sheltering in place — since that is what is important for containing this as best we can — and that is fundamentally what I am worrying about, even in asking this question.  In our (admittedly small) troop and in the larger troop linked to us, we have been looking for ways some scouting activities can be continued under these conditions.  For kids that are likely to be cooped up for weeks most likely, our view was that at least attempting to continue Scouting could be part of giving them a structure and making “doing what they need to do” to minimize spread both more bearable and sustainable.  I wasn’t trying to imply that continuing their advancement was more important than public health, our hope is that if we can find ways to facilitate them doing so that could be part of protecting public health.

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The one thing I can think of is grocery delivery in smaller towns. Mr/Mrs Smith call the Troop scribe.  Scribe parcels out the task to a Scout. Scout gets to store and delivers groceries to front stoop. Scout calls Mr/Mrs Smith from the sidewalk. Scout observes Mr Mrs Smith take groceries inside.  

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I would call local old folks homes and ask if there's anything your scout can do to help.  Make videos or cards to send.  Maybe they have a special need that you can gather at home and mail in. 

 

You can also reach out to animal shelters and see what their need is.  You could run a food donation drive with drop off service, so no one has to get out of their car.

 

Social distancing doesn't mean the world stops.

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Call plasterers,  painters,  collision shops and ask if they have any N95 masks that they could donate to local hospitals. 

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https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2020/03/18/good-turns-during-the-coronavirus-acts-of-scouting-service-you-can-do-from-home/

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4 hours ago, BAJ said:

I certainly agree that the important element is for the scouts to be at home, sheltering in place — since that is what is important for containing this as best we can — and that is fundamentally what I am worrying about, even in asking this question.  In our (admittedly small) troop and in the larger troop linked to us, we have been looking for ways some scouting activities can be continued under these conditions.  For kids that are likely to be cooped up for weeks most likely, our view was that at least attempting to continue Scouting could be part of giving them a structure and making “doing what they need to do” to minimize spread both more bearable and sustainable.  I wasn’t trying to imply that continuing their advancement was more important than public health, our hope is that if we can find ways to facilitate them doing so that could be part of protecting public health.

My apologies, BAJ. Bad day yesterday and I took your post the wrong way. 

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As a family we're using the time off from school to work at the food bank--lots of volunteers not showing up but folks need the food now. We're around other people but what the heck else are they gonna do? Before this my son had been looking for a conservation-type service he could do for rank, but they're shutting down the outdoors here so that'll have to wait.

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We need to also remember the Scout slogan.    "Do a good turn daily."     We just need to be a little more specific and circumspect in how to accomplish this. 

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Some of our local hospitals are asking for people to make surgical masks.  They're providing detailed instructions.  I don't qualify, because I would probably hurt myself if I tried to use a sewing machine.  But if any of your scouts can sew, this would be a real way to help.  My wife's girl scout group will probably start on this (in their own homes, of course) very soon.

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I had posed this question in my facebook, best suggestion I got was food delivery for elderly.  They order the food and the scouts drop it off but I don't feel comfortable sending the scouts out to shop.   My scouts don't sew, so nothing came up.  It isn't about ranking up, it is about service.  how can they help our community?

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I think the best way we are all being told to help our community is to stay home and help our families get through this. 

A lot of these ideas are well intended but sending scouts out into the community in any way right now is a bad idea.

Older scouts can help entertain younger siblings while mom and dad try to work from home. All scouts can get on the phone every day or on Skype and talk to grandma and grandpa and break up their boring day. Or a neighbor's. Older scouts can offer to do online or phone tutoring for younger kids that are having trouble with the new distance learning. Go through toys and see if there are any puzzles or games that can be donated anywhere that might take them assuming they are able to be disinfected. Make a training video for younger scouts on knot tying or some other lesson that can be used for a virtual den or troop meeting. Scouts can help with pet care by walking the dog around the block while maintaining social distancing. Work on some wildlife or conservation projects in the backyard. A lot of migrating birds are landing all over and are pretty hungry right now. Go on Audubon or Cornell and see what kinds of food you might have on hand and could put out (safely if you are in bear territory) to help them survive migration. Start work on a veggie garden to help your family have fresh produce if this continues through the summer, or work on a butterfly garden that will help our endangered butterflies. If you have a flag pole, do a flag ceremony every morning and night to remind everyone within hearing distance what we're all about. Or just put your flag out every day. If you have musical talent, play something in the backyard that your neighbors can hear (with discretion).  I would not send kids under 18 into stores, but if an adult goes, your older scout could run the packages from the car to the porch step for an elderly or quarantined person. Also keep in mind that they should not be doing anything that could land them in the ER. The last thing you want is to be in the ER right now, and the worst thing for the community would be to have to allocate a hospital bed or medical resources to someone who suffered an avoidable injury. 

Be safe and well out there. 

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Agreed, I don't agree to send them to stores.  I do think sewing masks or doing videos for senior homes are a good thing.  but not a lot that can be done from home.

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