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SPL142

Star and Life Service Projects

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In my troop we are "forced" into doing our own service projects. We cannot attend the service projects of other people and count those hours towards our service project requirements for Star or Life (we are able to do it for the second class requirement). Is there any publication that lists the rules for these requirements and/or how service hours work? Also, when I tried to make a case towards allowing service project hours, I was told that troops can change and adapt rules however they like. Is the preceeding statment true?

 

Thank You Very Much!

SPL142(This message has been edited by SPL142)

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The question you asked about the relationship between troop policy and BSA policy is very interesting... I'd like to know that as well. The troop I grew up in, had a few things I didn't like the idea of too much (for instance, requiring photo albums for boards of review, their reasons were beacause the troop has a reputation of such things to keep up). After I worked at scout camp for a summer or two, I started realizing how much was different from the way troops were supposed to be run, but I was never sure of how much was still ok to be run that way.

Any of the more experienced members of the forum have a good explanation? :-D

-Curtis

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Page 20 of "Boy Scout Requirements 2005" book covers this issue. On that page it states "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 serevice projects may be approved for Scouts assisting on Eagle service projects. The Scoutmaster must approve the project before it is started."

 

My opinion is that service hours performed while working on another Scout's Eagle project, which must have already been approved by the Scoutmaster as part of its approval process, would count towards the requirements for Star or Life rank.

 

(This message has been edited by Region 7 Voyageur)

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Region 7, in my original case for changing our "rule", I used the BSA handbook and was shot down. I was wondering if there were more "specific" rules on it, in an adult leaders handbook?

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Sad to say I think you and your troop is being held hostage by perhaps well meaning adults who don't have a clue. There are no such rules that says a troop can change what they want. If there are such rules, ask in which publicaiton they may be found, because I would like to see them as well. Making you do your "own" service projects is adding to the rank requirements and it is against BSA policy

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Star and Life service projects may be approved for Scouts assisting on Eagle service projects.

 

The key word is "may", which clearly gives the scoutmaster the option to not ok hours spent working on an Eagle service project as counting towards your Star or Life service hour requirements. Why would a scoutmaster do this? Perhaps 1C and Star scouts in your troop tend to ignore troop service projects. Perhaps the scoutmaster has run into sloppy record keeping on Eagle service projects. Perhaps the scoutmaster is a curmudgeon. Who knows? But don't accuse him of changing the rules when the rules allow him to do this.

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Currently if we want to get our star/life requirement signed off, we must be the person who designed the service project and also be the person in charge on the days it takes place. I have noticed many problems with this. Not only do we slow down advancement, we have very minimal attendance to service projects.

 

Edit: Oldgrayeagle, you are right on.(This message has been edited by SPL142)

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For ranks below Eagle, the purpose of "service hours" is to instill in the Scout a sense of community, service to others, etc. It is only for the Eagle rank that the service project aims include leadership. From that perspective, it is ridiculous to require a 1st Class or Star Scout to manage, lead, design his own service project.

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Any troop that I have ever been associated with will count any hours worked to count toward Star and Life service hour requirements. That way, there is plenty of incentive for scouts to show up for Eagle service projects, as well as troop service projects done for the CO.

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I would only slow up advancement if you don't get a service project done in the 4 months you have to be a Star or the 6 months you have to be a Life.

I personally do think this is a good policy. We had two boys earn their service hours helping with another scouts Eagle project. They spent well over 8 hours working on it for him. It helped him it helped them and it gave the younger boys an image of the troop working together for the betterment of one scout and the group we were helping.

Here again is an adult rule.

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I don't even read these as requiring the service project be done in connection with Scouts (since it can be an "individual project")--i.e., if the Scout worked on a service project at a soup kitchen with his church youth group, I think the SM can count it.

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Saying the word may is not the same as saying may or may not. The requirements book says that work on an Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project may count towards the requirement for Star or Life ranks. How can a Scoutmaster then say that these hours may not count? The reason for Scoutmaster approval of service hours is to make sure that what a scout intends to do is truly service to the community. I have heard of some off the wall things that some scouts have thought should count as service.

 

As I stated in my previous post, a Scoutmaster (along with the Committee Chair, and the District) must give approval to an Eagle Project proposal before it may proceed. If the Scoutmaster has approved the project as suitable for giving service to the community, and the requirements book says that hours worked by a scout on another scouts Eagle Project may count towards Star of Life rank, then how can a Scoutmaster say that these hours may not count?

 

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Who said anything about an eagle project? What i was talking about is, if i went to another scouts service project, the hours i worked on it, don't count for anything.

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