Volunteer Service

Scouting was founded on the premise of doing a Good Turn Daily. Community service is very important in the character-building process and, as Scouts, we have made the commitment to give back to our communities.

Meeting the substantial needs of every community is dependent on its citizens to answer the call of volunteerism. There is a natural fit between the Boy Scouts of America and other community organizations, and service learning is an integral part of the Scouting program. As a result, youth and adults seek opportunities to volunteer. Community organizations need volunteers to help them fulfill their missions, and working with these organizations creates a win/win situation for everyone.

If you are looking for ideas for Service Projects, look at what excites or moves your Scouts and Scouters. Here are some possibilities:

1: Assist with Council, District, and Unit Activities

  • Cub Scout pack: Pinewood derby, Arrow of Light presentation, teach camping or cooking skills, teach flag etiquette
  • Boy Scout troop: cut and split wood for visiting troops at summer camp
  • District: Klondike derby, first-aid station, day camp
  • Council: Scouting for Food, Scout Show, clean up and beautify the council camp, repair damaged resident camp tents, repair tent pads at camp, set up and clean up luncheon at University of Scouting

2: Assist the Elderly in Your Community

  • Participate in caroling at a nursing home.
  • Collect personal items and make baskets for the elderly with no families.
  • Conduct entertainment programs, including skits and plays, at a nursing home.
  • Conduct visits and reading programs.
  • Construct reading tables for residents to be able to read sitting in a chair or in bed.
  • Prepare and distribute Valentine’s cards.
  • Assist in snow and ice removal.
  • Assist in yard work.

3: Remember Others During the Holidays

  • Adopt a needy family.
  • Assist agencies that provide meals to the needy by helping them prepare and serve the meals.
  • Stock shelves and carry food to vehicles at a food pantry.
  • Make and donate gift boxes to be distributed by Feed the Children.
  • Participate in collaborative food drives and collect donations for food pantries.

For Veterans and Memorial Day

  • Place American flags on gravesites for Memorial Day.
  • Make and deliver thank-you cards to veterans on Veterans Day.

Religious Holidays

  • Assist religious organizations in setting up and cleaning up exhibits and activities.
  • Deliver, retrieve, and dispose of Christmas trees.
  • Remove lights for residents.
  • Repair and paint town holiday decorations.
  • Collect toys for Toys for Tots.
  • Prepare and serve hot chocolate at the annual town tree lighting.
  • Go caroling at a home for the elderly.
  • Purchase toys for a children’s hospital.
  • Make stuffed animals, include personal notes, and donate to a children’s hospital (e.g., Build-a-Bear).
  • Assist with parking cars at the annual Easter pageant.
  • Assemble Easter baskets and distribute to shelters.
  • Assist with the palm burning before Ash Wednesday.

For Thanksgiving

  • Provide free coffee at rest stops on Thanksgiving weekend.

For Halloween and Fall Festivals

  • Assist with fall carnivals and events.
  • Assist with a haunted house.
  • Assist in alternative trick-or-treat events.

4: Home Repair and Maintenance

  • Adopt a town after a disaster.
  • Assist organizations that provide home maintenance services for those in need.
  • Assist with painting a school, church, or chartered organization.
  • Clean a Habitat for Humanity house before the family moves in.
  • Clean a local animal shelter.
  • Perform janitorial duties for the chartered organization.
  • Repaint fences at fire stations or other buildings.
  • Repair damaged tents and tent pads at the council camp.

5: Litter Cleanup and Beautification

  • Adopt-a-Road cleanup.
  • Assist in community beautification projects, including repairing and repainting homes and sprucing up the yards of those in need.
  • Litter cleanup projects.
  • Beautification project at city hall.
  • Cemetery cleanup and inventory.
  • Cleanup and beautification of community center.
  • Clean up campgrounds, a local park, river, or a school parking lot.
  • Cleanup and beautification of a council camp.
  • Clear brush from fire buffer zone.
  • Clear debris and downed trees from people’s yards following a disaster.
  • Improve walking trail.
  • Pick up trash at the chartered organization prior to or after a Scout meeting.
  • Clean up the shoreline.
  • Yard cleanup at an American Legion hall.
  • Yardwork for a senior citizen in the neighborhood.

6: Medical

  • Assist in the packaging of medical supplies for developing countries.
  • Assist with a blood drive.
  • Collect books for a VA medical center.
  • Distribute organ donor cards to the public.
  • Distribute healthy living and drug abuse awareness literature.
  • Provide a first-aid station at a district or council event.
  • Help children make safety kits to take home and use when bicycling.
  • Make “welcome home” hygiene kits for disaster victims.
  • Make bandanas and pillows for cancer patients.
  • Collect and donate toys for children’s hospital.
  • Serve as victims for a county EMT or first responders training course.

7: Military

  • Adopt a service troop and send birthday cards.
  • Conduct a book drive to send to military deployed in the Middle East.
  • Send Christmas cards or be pen pals with someone in the military.
  • Collect books for a VA medical center.
  • Create video histories of American Legion members.
  • Make and deliver thank-you cards to veterans on Veterans Day.
  • Organize a movie night at a VA medical center.
  • Place American flags on gravesites for Memorial Day.
  • Provide telephone cards to servicemen and -women.
  • Clean up the yard at an American Legion hall.

8: Pets

  • Assist in training search and rescue dogs.
  • Clean a local animal shelter.
  • Clean out and refill bird feeders at the local Audubon Society.
  • Collect and crush aluminum cans to donate to an animal shelter.
  • Construct duck houses.
  • Construct an educational sandbox for local nature center.
  • Construct owl boxes.
  • Construct and install bluebird and bat houses to combat mosquitoes.
  • Conduct a pet food drive.
  • Provide socialization time with service dogs as part of their training.

9: Safety

  • Build a fence around air conditioners on a playground for the children’s safety.
  • Build handicapped ramp access at community locations.
  • Construct a walking path for children walking to school.
  • Conduct a CPR training event.
  • Provide a first-aid station at district event.
  • Help children make safety kits to take home and use when bicycling.
  • Host a bike rally to train youth on bike safety and maintenance.
  • Make “welcome home” hygiene kits for disaster victims.
  • Repair and repaint playground equipment.
  • Serve as victims for a county EMT or first responders training course.

 10: Serving Food

  • Assist agencies in preparing and serving meals to the needy.
  • Serve free coffee at a rest stop on Thanksgiving weekend.
  • Prepare and serve hot chocolate at the annual town Christmas tree lighting.
  • Set up, serve, and clean up meals at a social center.
  • Have a troop or crew put on and cater a pack’s blue and gold banquet.

 11: Sports

  • Assist with a basketball tournament.
  • Assist with Special Olympics—ribbons/medals, water, etc.
  • Construct a soccer field—lines, goals, and benches.
  • Construct bat and helmet racks for school baseball and softball teams.
  • Construct a horseshoe pit in the community park.
  • Hold a dodgeball tournament and donate the proceeds.
  • Line and place blocks in a golf course parking lot.
  • Refurbish the press box at a ball field.
  • Repair and paint bleachers at a baseball or softball field.
  • Host Scout field games.