Re: service hours
Dewitte A. Baisch (dbaisch@DATASYS.NET)
Sat, 31 Jan 1998 12:45:37 -0500
Let me reach into my pocket, ah, here we go...my $.02 on this subject.
A lot of people and units have focused "service" to mean only that which
is performed to benefit others outside of Scouting. This is fine and
there is a huge need for this type of service. It is sometimes a
refreshing change of pace for active units to do something outside of
their program to fulfill that "Do A Good Turn Daily" need.
However, to borrow from Wood Badge, and it shouldn't be a big secret,
there are three areas of service that Scouters and Scouts can perform:
Service to Self, Service to Others, and Service to Scouting. As a
Scoutmaster, I have no problem deciding if a service project is
worthwhile to meet advancement requirements for the latter two types of
service (Others and Scouting). Scouting for Food and cleaning up the
playground of a local elementary school are good examples of Service to
Others. Doing a trash cleanup at our council camp (which does not have
a staff to handle this problem) is an example of service to Scouting. I
have the most difficult time making a decision for a Scout's desire to
perform a Service to Self type of project. I can go into a lengthy
discourse on this subject in a later post (I can hear sighs of relief!).
Service projects can be big or small. They can help organizations,
towns, or individuals. The key to all such projects is the word
"service." Scouts and Scouters freely volunteer their time, talents,
and resources to help someone or something other than themselves. The
rewards are self-satisfaction, warm fuzzies for a job well-done, those
magic words "thank-you" sincerely given in gratitude, and lots more.
I recently approved a service project for a young man whose family is
transferring to Germany and who wanted to complete his requirements for
First Class with our troop before he left. At our latest Mulligan Stew
(great getogether and fellowship, worthy of a separate post :) ), the
request was made by the chefs of the Stew for help during the
preparation. This task is generally performed by past and present Wood
Badgers who use it as a time to share experiences, but all help is
welcomed. I asked my Scout if he knew how to peel potatoes. He said
sure, and I asked if he would mind helping the Stew staff for an hour.
He took off and returned two hours later (it's a BIG stew) with a smile
on his face. I can imagine some of the tall tales he heard while
peeling a mountain of potatoes. Anyway, it was a very small service but
that young man got satisfaction for answering a call for assistance plus
got closer to his goal of First Class.
Official policy dictating service? I find such a concept difficult to
understand. If something has to be done because of "official policy" it
is then work and not service. IMHO.
Yours in Scouting,
Dewitte A. Baisch (Sandy)
Scoutmaster, Troop 411, Circle 7 District, Alapaha Area Council, Georgia
"..if it ain't raining, we ain't camping!"
Visit Troop 411 at: http://www.datasys.net/~dbaisch/troop411/index.htm
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