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Twocubdad

Counting Service Hours?

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I'm dealing with a number of bull-headed Scoutmasters, so I need a definitive answer, hopefully with some documentation to back it up.

 

Should the time a Boy Scout spends volunteering at Cub Scout Day Camp count as service hours?

 

The argument I'm hearing is that there is a prohibition against community service projects benefiting the BSA. I understand this is the case with Eagle projects, but does it apply to all service projects? It would make sense that, for example, building picnic tables at the campsite your troop regularly uses would be for your own benefit, not necessarily the community at large. However, I don't see a Boy Scouts working at Cub day camp is going to benefit the Boy Scout.

 

I'll add that the way we usually use Boy Scout volunteers is to have them work most of the day, but also provide them an opportunity to work on a merit badge or two during the camp, so there is a little something in it for them. We also designate a day camp SPL and SM who work with the Boy Scouts, organizing them and planning the merit badge sessions.

 

The response I getting seems to vary from troop to troop, SM to SM. As camp director, I'd like to be able to have an answer backed up by the facts.

 

Thoughts?

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Personally, I'd count any hours he spent directly benefitting someone else (A). I wouldn't count the hours he spent on his own advancement(B).

 

Although I wouldn't do it, I could see someone subtracting B from A to arrive at net service hours and counting those.

 

My biggest question here would be who has the authority to make any of thee decisions? I'd think that would rest within the Troop, not with anyone on the Day Camp Staff. However, that solution then provide the opportunity for some Boy Scouts to be credited with service hours while others are not. I'm not sure I know which way to go on that one.

 

Mark

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For sure it's ultimately up to the Scoutmaster/troop. I'm just intererest to know what the official answer is. It doesn't seem right that some troops allow it and other's don't.

 

It would be easy to come up with a "net service hours" we could report back to the troops. It would be a nice touch to send to send a letter to the SMs letting them now thanking them for their Scouts' service and reporting the hours they put in.

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I agree, if he wasn't paid and is truly providing service, then I think it is valid for the 2nd Class, Star & Life ranks. I would recommend sending letters stating the # of hours of actual service the scout rendered to the appropriate SM. It's up to the SM whether he'll count it or not.

 

On a related note, do any of you approve service hours completed for other organizations, such as Beta Club or church youth groups?

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What ever happend to Scout Spirit?

 

What happned to Doing a Good Turn Daily?

 

In my opinion, if the Scout was "volunteering" at a Cub Scout Camp he should not recieve service hours.

 

A Boy Scout needs to have his service project reviewed by his SM before he does anything. If he is approved than he can earn his service hours.

 

This scout though, was volunteering to help others. Volunteer according to Websters Dictionary is -to enter into any service of one's own free will or without being asked-.

 

I consider what this Scout did was a perfect example of Scout Spirit. Helping others without reward to himself.

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If no volunteer hours ever count as service hours, what does count? Keep in mind that volunteering at a day camp usually involves a week of effort, far in excess of the amounts for any of the rank requirements. I see nothing wrong with these hours counting.

(This message has been edited by molscouter)

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Responding to Bob White's question, it is always a good idea to look in the book to see what it actually says.

 

For all ranks except Eagle, the handbook states simply that the service project must be approved by the scoutmaster, and no criteria are specified. For the Eagle rank the handbook states, "While a Life Scout, plan develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. (The project should benefit an organization other than Boy Scouting.)....."

 

To me this implies that service hours for lesser ranks can be earned for service to scouting in general, or at least they are not automatically excluded. I always understood that putting in time working for the benefit of one's own unit clearly does not count, and I think that is reasonable. I would not count as service hours time spent maintaining equipment or engaging in a fund raiser, for example.

 

I would think that unpaid time on staff for a day camp for cub scouts should count, or at least are not precluded by a higher policy. I have been involved with troops that counted such hours and have no problem with it.

 

All service projects must be approved by the scoutmaster. If there is a controversy, it is appropriate for the PLC and the committee, working together with the scoutmaster, to establish some guidelines. I don't think the scoutmaster acting unilaterally to restrict service endeavors is a goo idea.

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See page 88 of The Boy Scout Handbook.

What sentence difines the criteria for what constitutes service.

Would vounteering at a Cub Scout camp meet that criteria?

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Well, Bob,

 

The requirement says: APPROVED. Thus, the SM is the policymaker.

 

The CONCEPT, though, is "The more you give, the more you will get back." A SM who does not look at each case of service to see how it fits on its merits is a fool.

 

I counsel PRAY's God and Country series. To achieve the God and Church award (and thus the religious knot), the service hour requirement is 10 hours (with 10 hours additional service in worship). I'm fairly generous in my interpretation, with my main question: How does this better the community you live in?

 

OTOH, my CHURCH, in confirmation, requires 30 hours community service of its confirmands. This service MAY NOT BE DONE in the church building. But, our Pastor counted hours a young man served as J-staff at district Cub Scout Day Camp.

 

I don't know about other Councils/Districts, but in ours, all staff, both adult and junior, is all-volunteer. Our big paycheck is two staff t-shirts.

 

"The more you give, the more you will get back"

 

John

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This reminds of a situation that happened 4 years ago with one of my Scouts.

 

A young 1st Class Scout in the troop approached me at the Troop meeting one night. He was one of those go getters. Always doing things without asking anyone or getting permission first. So during the past weekend prior to that night's meeting, he had worked for his church in doing some clean-up around the church yard. They did a great job.

 

That night prior to the meeting starting, this young scout came running up to me to sign-off his handbook. I sat down on my desk and gestered the Scout to wait until I found what I was looking for. I dug out my Scoutmaster's Handbook and researched what I needed to know. The SPL was observing quietly from his desk. I looked up, then looked at the SPL, and smiled.

 

THe SPL asked the Scout if he had told his PL. The Scout said, "No". The SPL asked if he had told the SM and if the SM had approved it. The Scout said, "No".

 

The SPL tossed him a Gold Coin. The young Scout read it aloud, "Secretly transfer this your right pocket each day after your Good Turn has been done". The deer in the headlights look was priceless. The SPL took him out for a walk and explained to him that if the SM don't know and approve it, the project is just a good turn.

 

Today, that young First Class Scout is now a Life Scout and the SPL and doing a fine stand up job. The SPL, then, is now in the U.S. Marine Corps.

 

Matua

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But John, can you find anything in the BSA Handbook that says that? The BSA is the policy maker not the SM, and the BSA says you cannot add to or subtract from the conditions of advancement.

 

Matua same question. Every service hour is a Good Turn, there is no difference. And where does the handbook require the PL to be informed of the service.

 

Isn't the scout who does the service, without anticipation of using it for advancement, showing as much character or more as the scout who will do the service IF it counts toward his advancement?

 

It is doing the service that is important on this requirement not who knew ahead of time that it was going to be done. Doing service should not require permission.

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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From the Advancement Rules & Regs

Service Projects Second Class Rank

For the Second Class rank, a Scout must participate in a service project or projects approved by his Scoutmaster. The time of service must be a minimum of one hour. This project prepares a Scout for the more involved service projects he must perform for the Star, Life, and Eagle Scout ranks.

Star and Life Ranks

For Star and Life ranks, a Scout must perform six hours of service to others. This may be done as an individual project or as a member of a patrol or troop project. Star and life service projects may be approved for Scouts assisting on Eagle service projects. The Scoutmaster approves the project before it is started.

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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In addition to the usual stuff (scouting for food, etc.) boys in this troop gain many service hours volunteering as peer tutors in their schools. They earn vastly more hours than needed for most advancements (not Eagle though). As I interpret the regs, the scoutmaster can approve the service after the fact if he wants. Any thoughts?

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