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Service Hours During Quarantine

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




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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.

None of the Tenderfoot - Life requirements require the service project to be a troop or patrol or even BSA activity. The Scoutmaster needs to approve it, but they can’t require that it needs to be a troop or patrol coordinated activity. It is not in their prerogative to add to the requirements.

I don’t think it’s adding to requirements to require service projects to be done as a Troop or a Patrol. The SM has the final say on what projects are suitable to meet the advancement requirements. That’s why the service requirement for all the ranks from Tenderfoot to Life say “service projects approved by your Scoutmaster.”

The SM isn’t only approving the hours of service, but the actual project as well. If, for some reason, the SM decides to only approve projects that are done as a Troop or as a Patrol, that seems to fall within his/her authority, given how the requirements are written.

Whether that’s appropriate or not is a different issue, but I don’t see anywhere in Da Rulez that says a Scoutmaster has to approve any particular service project.

From the current guide to advancement:
“Service projects required for ranks other than Eagle must be approved according to what is written in the requirements and may be conducted individually or through participation in patrol or troop efforts. They also may be approved for those assisting on Eagle Scout service projects. Service project work for ranks other than Eagle clearly calls for participation only. Planning, development, or leadership must not be required.”

Yep, and that includes “approved by the Scoutmaster”. That quote doesn’t say that the SM has to approve service projects done individually, only that individual service is an option.

The BSA’s Advancement Team has previously said that Scoutmasters can set their own policy with regard to service hours, because service projects for rank advancement must be approved by the unit leader.

Ask the Expert: Can Scouts earn service hours outside of the troop setting?


If you have scouts that can sew and have the materials on hand, sewing masks would make a great service hours item or even (if enough of them) an Eagle Scout Project.

In Detroit, we have a non-profit called Focus:Hope. Part of the services they provide are meal delivery to seniors and others in need. During meal delivery, scouts must pick up the boxed meals from the warehouse and deliver to homes. Contact with others is very minimal. In my son’s case, contact with only one person in the warehouse to load boxes into vehicle. Other contact is at the home where the delivery is made. Must get a signature from the recipient. They credit 1 hour per delivery, which is very generous.


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Hi all! I thought I would supply an update on my son’s Hornaday Award project, “1,000,000 Pieces of Trash.” So far, 6,036 volunteers have spent 15,705 hours picking up 729, 879 pieces of trash. Your Scouts, Cubs, Venturers, Sea Scouts and Explorers may participate in the project through August 30, the scheduled project close date. Anyone who spends at least 2 hours on the project and has their collection reported on his Google Form is eligible for the Messengers of Peace Award. You can find more information on his project Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/1000000PiecesOfTrash/

To report your efforts, go to:

Hi all! My son’s Hornaday service project is pen for another 2 weeks. You can link to his Google reporting form from him project Facebook page. Here is the latest update: