My twins are 18 and are getting close to graduating from High School. The other night they brought home a form for documenting Community service. In our State there is a requirement to perform 8 hours of community service. I agree with this requirement, I think it, at a minimum forces today’s youth to at least understand the need for volunteerism and service.
So why am I blogging about this? Well, this was real easy for us as we document all the service our Scouts do. I mean, heck.. just to get to the rank of Life Scout the Scout will have completed at least 12 hours of service to his community. Now add in all the rest of the service he will do in the course of a year and the graduation requirements are met with ease.
In the last two years I have had to go back into our troop documents and produce service records for graduating Seniors. This becomes a real important part of the graduates record for the School. I have talked with our High School about this requirement, one of the counselors said that they appreciate those Seniors that were or are Boy Scouts. It sure helps them out in understanding the need for service.
Our family participates in the Relay for Life each year, and our High School is a host for the relay annually. Our youngest son (Life Scout) is on the committee for the School Relay program. The spirit of service has been grown in them from a very early age and I am happy that they now, without Dad or Mom pushing, asking, or even encouraging, they find ways to be of service. Now if we could get them to clean their rooms…
Service is an important part of Scouting going all the way back to its beginnings. The Lone Scout in the story of William D. Boyce lost in the London Fog, Food drives, Scrap metal drives during WW II, Goodwill/Good Turn, not to mention all the countless hours that Troops spend on local projects that benefit their communities, Charter Partners, and Wilderness areas.
Service has always been one of the Hallmarks of Scouting. Even providing service within the Troop in leadership positions plays a major role in developing the spirit of service in our Scouts. It is in this spirit that our young men start the habit of being in service to others. I think that when they understand the importance of this, it will last them a life time.
Every year Scouts all over conduct Scouting for Food drives. This is a great way to get in the community and do a great service to those that truly in need, but we can take that a step further. Our Troop does the food drive, then helps sort, box, and store the food in our local food bank. As this happens they all see the direct impact of their work on the drive. As the food drive is always on a Saturday, the Scouts get the opportunity to see those in need arrive to collect the much needed food. It is a sad that there is a need, but the fact of the matter is that there is. We do not parade the Scouts around to get an eye full, but the behind the scenes glimpse that they do get is enough to instill in them the want to do more.
So I think it is a great thing that our Schools require service to the community as part of their graduation. I think it a even greater that the Boy Scouts maintain service as one of its core values.
Have a Great Scouting Day!