December 9, 2023 (including service projects close to this date)

Day of ServiceThe Day of Service is a new program; it is an opportunity for Scouting families across the 16 counties served by the Sam Houston Area Council to participate in unit-developed service projects to benefit the local community. 

Throughout Scouting's history, families have answered the call to work together in conducting service projects. From caring for the environment to assisting neighbors in need, Scouts have always been a force for positivity and goodness in our communities. Scouts can answer the call to make a positive impact in the community.

Join thousands of Scouts and leaders for our inaugural Day of Service. Schools, churches, chartered organizations, parks, and other agencies are in need of expert and enthusiastic service provided by our Scouts, leaders, and families. 

Good Turn for AmericaUnit Registration

The unit leader or their designee should RSVP to let the council know if the unit is participating and then submit a final report after the project is completed. 

               Unit RSVP                             Final Unit Report (order patches)

Reports submitted by 1/8/24  at noon can receive patches at the January roundtable (1/11/2024).

Remember, do not tag Scouts or use the last name of Scouts in posts. Follow BSA internet safety guidelines.

Celebrate: Scouts who participate will receive a patch (one per Scout). Patches will be available for pick up at roundtable the month after the unit representative updates the registration to indicate that all the service projects are completed.

Project Ideas

Service projects conducted close to December 9, 2023, can be included (e.g., Wreaths Across America on 12/16/23).

1.    Participate in a group project at one of these agencies on or near December 9th – and tell us all about it:

2.    Participate alongside units from across our council at one of the council-sponsored projects:

  • Toiletry and Blanket Drive to benefit the homeless in Houston through Star of Hope Mission.  Drop off donations at the Cockrell Scout Center on 12/9/23 from 8:00 am -12:00 pm This had to be cancelled. unfortunately.
  • Houston Botanic Gardens: RSVP (up to 75 can participate for Scouts BSA and older)
  • Houston Independent School District Foodservice Farm (near Hobby Airport) - brush clearing, compost maintenance and trash cleanup - RSVP (up to 100 can participate for Scouts BSA and older).  This had to be cancelled unfortunately.

3.    Participate in a unit-developed service project:

  • Units are encouraged to be creative and organize their own projects. Units can give service to their chartered organizations, feeder schools, local parks, veterans organizations, food pantries, and more. Eagle Scout projects are also included in this event.

Plan

When developing your ideas, please keep the following in mind:

  • The service should adhere to and follow BSA standards and safety guidelines (e.g., age-appropriate toolsyouth protection standards, planning).
  • The impact of any project should benefit the community, but units are still encouraged to serve Scouting directly particularly when on campouts.
  • The unit has the flexibility to define what service is in identifying the topic areas that best resonate with the Scouts.
  • The service project can be at the unit, den, or patrol level and Eagle Scout projects.

Service projects related to sustainability, and the environment, are a great way to engage in Scout. Community spirit is important now more than ever. Find a way to give back. There are many ways…big and small…to serve your community this spring. Make it your own, and make it count! Get creative! Project ideas:

Conservation or Environment

  • Beautify the school grounds of your chartered organization, local school, or community public areas 
  • Organize a recycling event 
  • Organize a clean-up day at a city, county, state, or national park 
  • Create rain barrels to conserve water and prevent run-off 
  • Build a bird habitat or house to attract a specific bird species that is threatened 
  • Plant a native garden in the community to help provide food and shelter for wildlife and endangered species (e.g., Monarch butterfly)
  • Take treats to a local fire station 

Community

  • Conduct a needed service project for your chartered organization, local school or a non-profit organization 
  • Volunteer or help your chartered organization, local school, community center, retirement center, animal shelter hold an event
  • Organize a neighborhood food drive to benefit a local food bank
  • Organize a drive to donate needed items to domestic violence shelters in your area (e.g., baby care items, unopened toiletries, unopened makeup)
  • Organize a drive to donate needed items to a local animal shelter (e.g., pet food, raised cot beds, towels, blankets, paper towels , toys)
  • Collect school supplies and backpacks and donate them to your local school or local charity
  • Assist a community library with their annual book drive
  • Volunteer with a civic organization to help clean up after a storm
  • Repair bicycles and teach bike safety to neighborhood children
  • Write thank-you notes to military personnel, first responders, healthcare workers 
  • Repaint basketball court lines and replace hoops at school or an outdoor playground 

Additional Ideas

 

Safety Guidelines

ChecklistThe BSA's Commitment to Safety is ongoing and we want you to know that the safety of our youth, volunteers, staff, and employees cannot be compromised. The Boy Scouts of America puts the utmost importance on safe and healthy environments for its youth membership. The Sam Houston Area Council takes great strides to ensure the safety of its youth as well as the adult volunteer leadership that interacts with them. If it is not practical to meet these protocols, do not conduct the activity or service project.

 

Safety is Your Responsibility posterAll participants must follow youth protection guidelines at all Scouting events. Highlights include:

  • Two-deep leadership on all outings required.  
  • One-on-one contact between adults and youth members is prohibited. 
  • The buddy system should be used at all times. 
  • Discipline must be constructive.

Health and safety must be integrated into everything we do, to the point that no injuries are acceptable beyond those that are readily treatable by Scout-rendered first aid. As an aid in the continuing effort to protect participants in a Scout activity, the BSA National Health and Safety Committee and the Council Services Division of the BSA National Council have developed the SAFE Checklist of BSA safety procedures for physical activity. These 16 points, which embody good judgment and common sense, are applicable to all activities.

Youth Protection Guidelines     Guide to Safe Scouting     SAFE Checklist     Health & Safety        

Houston ToolBank

Toolbank flierTollbank logoThe Houston Community ToolBank is a nonprofit tool lending program serving other nonprofits by putting high-quality tools in the hands of the volunteers. For three pennies on the dollar, the Houston Community ToolBank provides fast and easy access to large volumes of high-quality tools (e.g., shovels, wheel barrels, loppers) for unit projects and Eagle Scout projects to increase the impact of service projects and community revitalization efforts. Orders need to be placed a week before the event. For more information, contact Nancy Clippard at 713-674-0262 or nancy.clippard@toolbank.orgVideo Tour  

Advancement Opportunities

Doing service projects together is one way that Scouts keep their promise to help other people. Participating, planning and organizing service projects are requirements for several ranks. Scouts can also work towards the conservation service project requirements for some additional awards.

Cub Scouts:

Lion:
Animal Kingdom #4: Participate in a Lion den family service project for others.
Tiger:
Good Knights #
6: Show your understanding of knights' service to others by participating in a service project in your community.
Team Tiger #4: With your den or family, participate as a team in a service project that helps our country or your community.
Earning Your Stripes #6: With your den and parent, guardian, or other caring adult, work on a service project for your pack’s meeting place or chartered organization. (retiring 2022)
Good Knights #5: Participate in a service project.
Tiger Circles: Duty to God #4: Help with a local service project and talk with your den or family about how helping others is part of our duty to God.
Wolf:
Council Fire #
2: Participate in a community service project with your pack, den, or family.
Hometown Heroes #4a: Honor a serviceman or servicewoman by sending a care package along with a note thanking them for their service. (retiring 2022)
Bear:
Paws for Action #4A: Do a cleanup project that benefits your community.

Webelos Scouts:
Project Family #
6B: Create a list of community service or conservation projects that you and your family can do together, and present it to your family. Select one project, plan it, and complete it with members of your family. (retiring 2022)
Aware and Care #4G: Participate in a service project that focuses on a specific disability.
Conservation Good Turn Award: The Conservation Good Turn Award is an opportunity for packs, troops and crews to join with conservation or environmental organizations (federal, state, local, or private) to carry out a conservation Good Turn in their home communities.
Outdoor Activity Award. Cub Scouts in 1st - 5th grade can complete the outdoor service project and/or the nature/conservation project (improving, beautifying, or supporting natural habitats) requirements of the Outdoor Activity Award. The purpose of the award is to encourage Cub Scouts to become active in the outdoors.
World Conservation Award: Cub Scouts  (2nd - 5th grade) can work on the conservation project requirements of the Cub Scout World Conservation Award. The purpose of the award is to encourage all youth members to think globally and act locally to preserve and improve our environment. Scouts work on specific advancements and complete a conservation project work.
Recruiter Strip: Spring of Service is an excellent opportunity for youth to invite a friend to participate and experience Scouting.  Contact your district executive or membership chair for free peer-to-peer invitation cards. Youth members who recruit a friend into Scouting can be recognized with the Recruiter Strip.
  Additional Advancement Opportunities: Considering incorporating nature, wildlife, hiking and conservation requirements where appropriate into the service projects.

Scouts BSA:
 
Scouts BSA: In order to count towards rank advancement, service hours must be approved by the Scoutmaster.
Tenderfoot #7b: Participate in a total of one hour of service in one or more service projects approved by your Scoutmaster. Explain how your service to others relates to the Scout slogan and Scout motto.
Second Class #8e: Participate in two hours of service through one or more service projects approved by your Scoutmaster. Tell how your service to others relates to the Scout Oath.
First Class #9d: Participate in three hours of service through one or more service projects approved by your Scoutmaster. The project(s) must not be the same service project(s) used for Tenderfoot requirement 7b and Second Class requirement 8e. Explain how your service to others relates to the Scout Law.
Star #4: While a First Class Scout, participate in six hours of service through one or more service projects approved by your Scoutmaster.
Life #4: While a Star Scout, participate in six hours of service through one or more service projects approved by your Scoutmaster. At least three hours of this service must be conservation-related.
Eagle Scout #5: While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community.
Soil & Water Conservation Merit Badge #7f. Carry out any soil and water conservation project approved by your counselor.
World Conservation Award: Scouts BSA members can work on the conservation project requirement (participate in a conservation project as part of an approved Scouting program totaling at least three hours that addresses a conservation need common to more than one country) of the Scouts BSA World Conservation Award. The purpose of the award is to encourage all youth members to think globally and act locally to preserve and improve our environment. Scouts work on specific advancements and complete a conservation project work. 
Keep America Beautiful Hometown USA Award: Scouts in troops can work on the Hometown Award, a program that recognizes outstanding efforts of Scouts in their communities in regard to citizenship and environmental improvement and provides a way for Scouts to make a significant contribution toward keeping America beautiful.
National Outdoor Awards: Scouts in troops, crews, and ships can work on the conservation segment of the National Outdoor Awards, a program to recognize Scouts who demonstrate knowledge and experience in camping, aquatics, conservation, hiking, riding, or adventure. 
BSA Distinguished Conservation Service Award Program: Scouts in troops, crews, and ships can be introduced to the Distinguished Conservation Service Award, a program to encourage learning by the participants and to increase public awareness about natural resource conservation. 
SHAC Conservation Award: Scouts in troops can work towards the SHAC Conservation Award, an award intended to encourage youth to learn about resource stewardship issues and in a small way contribute to a solution.
Take Care of Texas Award: Scouts in troops can work the community service hours requirement (two hours toward a conservation project) of the Take Care of Texas Award which recognizes Scouts who are doing their part to conserve water and energy, keep our air and water clean, and reduce waste. The Award shows a commitment to both learning and educating others on how we can keep our state great.
Conservation Good Turn Award: The Conservation Good Turn Award is an opportunity for packs, troops and crews to join with conservation or environmental organizations (federal, state, local, or private) to carry out a conservation Good Turn in their home communities.
Recruiter Strip: Spring of Service is an excellent opportunity for youth to invite a friend to participate and experience Scouting.  Contact your district executive or membership chair for free peer-to-peer invitation cards. Youth members who recruit a friend into Scouting can be recognized with the Recruiter Strip.
  Additional Advancement Opportunities: Considering incorporating advancement requirements where appropriate into the service projects such as First Class 9b, 9c, and 9d.

Venturing and Sea Scouts:
 
Venturing: In order to count towards rank advancement, service hours must be approved by the crew Advisor.
Discovery Rank #6: Participate in service activities totaling at least 24 hours. Up to half of the service may be delivered personally; the rest must be delivered through crew service activities.
Pathfinder Rank #5: Plan, organize, and give leadership to a project designed to sustain and grow your crew. Submit the plan to your crew president (or Advisor, if you are president) and explain how you think it will encourage more young people to join Venturing.
Pathfinder Rank #6: Participate in service activities totaling at least 36 hours. This is in addition to the 24 hours of service required to earn the Discovery Rank. Up to half of the service may be delivered personally; the rest must be delivered through crew activities.
Summit Rank #5: Since earning the Pathfinder Rank, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to a religious institution, school, or community.  Before you start, a project proposal must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your Advisor, and another Venturer designated by your crew leadership.
World Conservation Award: Venturers can work on the conservation project requirements of the Venturing World Conservation Award. The purpose of the award is to encourage all youth members to think globally and act locally to preserve and improve our environment.
#6. Participate in a conservation project as part of an approved Scouting program totaling at least three hours that addresses a conservation need common to more than one country.
National Outdoor Awards: Scouts in troops, crews, and ships can work on the conservation segment of the National Outdoor Awards, a program to recognize Scouts who demonstrate knowledge and experience in camping, aquatics, conservation, hiking, riding, or adventure.
Conservation segment #4: Complete 25 hours of conservation work under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America, including hours worked as part of requirements 1 through 3.
BSA Distinguished Conservation Service Award Program: Scouts in troops, crews, and ships can be introduced to the Distinguished Conservation Service Award, a program to encourage learning by the participants and to increase public awareness about natural resource conservation. 
Conservation Good Turn Award: The Conservation Good Turn Award is an opportunity for packs, troops and crews to join with conservation or environmental organizations (federal, state, local, or private) to carry out a conservation Good Turn in their home communities.
Recruiter Strip: Spring of Service is an excellent opportunity for youth to invite a friend to participate and experience Scouting.  Contact your district executive or membership chair for free peer-to-peer invitation cards. Youth members who recruit a friend into Scouting can be recognized with the Recruiter Strip.

Contacts

For questions, including the appropriateness of a service project, contact the district Day Spring of Service chair below. The district Day of Service chair provides leadership to the district for Scouting's Day Service campaign.

District

District Day Service Chair

 
Apollo  Don Scherer  
@ApolloDistrict
Arrowhead Mike Woods  
@shacarrowheaddDistrict
Arrowmoon Andy Armstrong  
@arrowmoonbsa
Big Cypress Holly Eubanks  
@bigcypress
Coastal Plains    
@coastalplainsdistrict
David Crockett Debra Sosa  
@davidcrockettdistrictshac
Flaming Arrow Kat Sison  
@flamingarrowdistrict
George Strake    
@georgestrakedistrict
Iron Horse    
@ironhorsedistrict
Lone Star    
@lonestardistrict
Mustang    
@mustangdistrictshac
Orion David Hale  
@orionbsa
Phoenix Chris Crossetto  
@phoenixdistrictshac
Raven     
@shacravendistrict
Red Wolf  Cathy Keener  
@redwolfdistrict
San Jacinto     
@sanjacintodistrict
Texas Skies Ana Lopez  
@SHACTexasSkies
Thunder Wolf    
@thunderwolfdistrict
Twin Bayou Courtney Bucy  
@twinbayou

Council Spring of Service Committee

 
Council Day of Service Chair Jen Hunt  
Day of Service registration John Szalkowski  
Day of Service Staff Adviser Brendan Cronin