The Scout slogan is to do a good trick every day. Helpful is the third point of the Scout Law. The Scout Oath calls on Scouts to help others at all times. Doing community service and giving back to the community is an integral part of the Scout program. All of the ranks our Scouts earn have a service to others aspect included.
When a Scout works for the Eagle Scout rank, there is a leadership service project required to earn this prestigious honor. This service project is unique because it is to be done for the community, not for Scouting or in a Scout camp. Additionally, the only tool the Scout should ideally use is a pencil; the Eagle candidate must provide leadership and guidance as the overall project manager. This is why this requirement is called the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project.
Many of these Eagle Scout projects require hundreds of volunteer hours and go through a formal approval process and final review. This, in addition to earning 21 merit badges and providing peer leadership to the Scout troop, must be completed by the Scout’s 18th birthday to become an Eagle Scout. I don’t know of any other award you win as a young person that you’ll find on an individual’s CV as an adult 20 years later.
Scouting has always served the community, not just through the Eagle Projects. Beginning in World War I, Boy Scouts created victory gardens and promoted war bonds. During World War II, Boy Scouts participated in campaigns to encourage people to recycle scrap metal, rubber, and rags for military surplus.
More recently, our Scouts have participated in our Scouting for Food Drive each year. Many of our Cub Scout Packs and BSA Scout Troops will be putting up outside hangers to advertise the food drive for this year. Every year, thousands of pounds of food are collected to support local food pantries to help those in need.
Just like when a scout troop leaves a campsite, they leave it better than how they found it. The mission of Scouting is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices throughout their lives by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
Improving our communities is part of the impact Scouting provides. To an outsider, scouting may seem like just a bunch of kids racing in the pine forest or camping on the weekends. These activities along with community service are part of the game with a purpose that constitutes the Scouting experience.
Scouting teaches character development, leadership development, citizenship training and personal fitness with this game. Helping all other people at all times is part of this game to prepare today’s young people for life.
To get involved in Scouting or learn more about the Black Swamp Area Council, visit BlackSwampBSA.org.
Marc D. Kogan of Findlay is the Executive Scout/Executive Director of the Black Swamp Area Council. His column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Lima News editorial board or AIM Media, owner of The Lima News.