Why is community service such a hard concept to teach scouts in today's society. Is there something wrong with the approach we use to promote community service is is that we are not doing are jobs in making a service project sound appealing. I have been on probably more than 50 service projects in my scouting career. Service projects to me are not a big deal. Let me let you in on a small truth that I believe is true no matter what other people say, SERVICE PROJECTS ARE A FUN AND ENTERTAINING EXPERIENCE. I can not count the number of times that I have laughed about some joke a another volunteer or a participant has made to me and the truth is that unless you are at that event you will never experience that laughing matter. Service projects are designed to not only teach you about giving back to your community but they help you develop several areas in your life that are important.
One of those areas is spelled right on in the Scout Oath and It has to do with the three duties that can be associated with this set of words. The first duty is duty to god and country. No matter what religion I have run into in my sixteen years of living I have never been able to experience a religion that did have a god or godlike figure that did not promote giving your time and talents to others. The second part of the firs duty is that of duty to your country and a responsible citizens everyday we are called to make a commitment by the leaders of this world to create a future of positive influence by helping those who are less fortunate than us. Remember a service project does not have to have a large scope like a Eagle Project hast but could be a simple task that could take you a maximum of 5 minutes to complete. The amount of time does not matter, it matters what your intentions are going into the project. Our second duty is that of duty to others and by making the world a better place for someone or something is definitely fulfilling of your duty to others. To me fulfilling this duty of others makes my heart beat true and proud to know that I have been able to make a difference in someone else's life.
Our founder Baden Powell was once asked by another scout "What should we be prepared for" and I can tell you that you must be prepared for everything possible in your life. Being prepared related to service projects means that you are willing and ready to give your time and talents when asked by your Troop, another organization, or a friend. I know that we are not going to be able to do every service project that comes our way but remember that a little can go a long way when we are talking about giving back to others.
Our slogan as a Boy Scout in the United states is that of:
"Do a Good Turn Daily"
Now I know that each one you are going to say that a Good turn can be a small simple item like saying something to cheer someone up, to bring hope into your lives but I am here to tell you that is not the original intent. I believe that the original intent was to get scouts and leaders to become active role models in their community by giving back at a community function.
Here is the last item that I believe that service projects accomplish and that is it gives us as scouts a good opportunity to be able to increase our numbers of scouts and volunteers in the Troop by being out in the community. By being out in the community we are making it easier for people to come and question about what scouting is about and how to become involved. Remember that you are never to old to get involved with scouting. You can get involved with scouting from the age you are in kindergarten all the way up until you did. This recruitment aspect goes along with what National Says is a good public relations campagain. Have this public relations campaign is very important to be able to ensure the successful growth and prosperity of this wonderful organization.
Hopefully I did not ramble too much on one aspect.
Yours in Scouting
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster