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Scouting Forums

Service Hours During Quarantine

Did not see a similar thread - apologies if redundant.
For scouts quarantined at home during this time, seeking input from Scouting community on acceptable ideas for rank service hours.

Three considerations:

  1. Local govt and community orgs are operating on limited basis - some virtual interaction may be possible - service in planning ahead for future projects.
  2. Sending physical cards and gifts to elderly and emergency personnel should be carefully considered for potential of asymptomatic spread - calls, videos, emails, or virtual cards encouraged.
  3. Within health guidelines, could service and support to neighbors be acceptable - for instance helping with farm chores, or cleanup & mowing their lawns.


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My son, John-Aaron, is working on a Hornaday Award project that will allow Scouts across the country to participate in conservation service hours during the Covid-19 limited social interaction period. It just passed council risk management review (with some modifications), and he is awaiting his advisor’s approval now. National is also looking at it, after initial positive responses. As soon as it is approved, I will post it here if you would like.


Yes Please and Thank You.

@JeffreyBozanic the rumor around the current hornaday national approvers for the Silver Medal is they want at least one project with regional impact so that might be beneficial. (Though it is clearly adding to the requirements but we will not tell that committee they are breaking the law )


Not for ME to say anything!!
And, yes, this is his final project for the Silver Medal, so perhaps this is to his benefit.The Covid-19 stuff impacted the 4th project he had been working on.

The thread on the ScoutBook Discourse platform will only remain open 7 days after last posting. Please send me an e-mail address, and I will pass it to my son so he can keep you appraised of his project status.


or just make a new thread publicizing it to all?

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I just removed the close timer for this topic. It will not close after 7 days.


if you’re on Facebook there’s a William T. Hornaday awards group page. quite some active BSA trained Hornaday advisors there and they’re very responsive. you can post your questions there.
and thanks Ed removing the topic close timer.
hope everyone’s keeping well.


I was online looking for volunteer opportunities (service hours) that scouts could do while at home and came across these resources:




The Zooniverse is the world’s largest and most popular platform for people-powered research.

9 Places to Volunteer Online (And Make a Real Impact)


9 Places to Volunteer Online (And Make a Real Impact)

Volunteering online lets you donate your virtual time to a cause space that matters. Learn how you can create IR…

Mr Bozanic,

How do I send you an email from within the topics? Can’t seem to find your email - account info doesn’t show it. Perhaps am missing something.

There’s no way to directly message/email someone if they don’t provide an email address in the thread. That feature of Discourse was disabled per BSA direction.

However, if you tag someone in your response (e.g. @CharlesCollings), it will alert them to your message. Some folks have email notifications on for message alerts from Discourse, others don’t.

I’m not sure… but here it is

2 posts were split to a new topic: Help a Scout Earn the Silver Hornaday Award

GO take a look here for information:

Not exactly what you asked, but here is my input. I believe you CAN do service hours, depending on where you live. For example, the Governor of Alabama issued a Quarantine in Place order on April 3. On the same day, the State Health Officer issued this statement and it was posted on the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources web page.

"Outdoor recreation in Alabama is considered an essential activity in the Order of the State Health Officer that was issued on April 3, 2020. That means outdoors activities such as hunting, fishing, trail use, boating, and paddling can still be enjoyed by all Alabamians as long as groups are kept to less than 10 people and a consistent 6-foot distance between persons can be maintained. Additionally, most Alabama State Parks, including campgrounds and associated facilities, remain open with some exceptions.

ADCNR strongly encourages everyone to observe the State Health Order and to practice CDC recommendations regarding hand washing and social distancing (maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from others). Violating the State Health Order can result in criminal charges and fines.

*Due to the evolving nature of the pandemic, ADCNR recommends calling individual state parks and other facilities if you have questions about reservations or operational hours."
As most (not all) service projects are outdoor activities, if a Scout had a service project planned, as long as there were no more than 10 Scouts and they stayed within the limitations of CDC’s recommendations, that service project could be completed.

The hard part is keeping kids this age to maintain the 6 feet minimum at all times. And according to some experts, it should really be 20+ feet.


Also, the BSA strongly advises that in-person meetings, activities, events and gatherings be suspended through April. See the BSA’s update guidance here.

Or think about other possibilities for service projects. For example: a lot of retirement homes are not allowing visitors right now, but maybe some of their residents would enjoy talking with young people on the phone. There are some other ideas at this article from Bryan on Scouting:

Good Turns during the coronavirus: Acts of Scouting service you can do from home

That article was written on March 18, so more precautions (wearing a mask, gloves, etc.) might be advisable, depending on the nature of the service.

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@JamesNeary_Sr I think your approach could work as a family service project, but not something I’d do as a unit or a patrol.

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And a lot will also depend on your state and local authorities. They might consider exercise to be essential, but not outdoor service projects.

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I would point out that the requirements do NOT state that any service project (hours) be troop or patrol coordinated. There are some SMs that require this, and they are within their pejorative to make that call for their troop. If you are the SM then you can choose.

As for cards, time is on your side. The longest known survival of the virus is 3 days on hard surfaces and significantly shorter on paper products. Thus if the cards were left for three days the danger of passing the virus is past.