Scouting evolves as technology becomes available. Compasses, watches, GPS, LED lights, and other outdoor gear have improved over the years and scouts have taken advantage of those improvements. As technology continues to evolve and become more and more embedded in every part of our lives, scout leaders need to continue to make use of it.
By teaching courteous use, scouts and adults can take advantage of technology to create a safer outdoors experience without reducing the value of the experience for others. Troop 370 uses a training and certification program called “Tech Chip” that grants a scout the privilege to carry and use electronic devices at scout activities..
Boys may use electronic equipment during transportation to and from the outing as long as that use is not disturbing to others. The Troop leaders will have electronic communication devices available at all times in case of emergencies.
Service to Others
One of the founding principles of the Boy Scouts is service to others. The Scout Slogan reminds us to “Do a Good Turn Daily” and the third point of the Scout Law tells us that “A Scout is Helpful”. Several ranks require Scouts to participate in an approved service project:
Second Class - 1 Hour
Star - 6 Hours
Life - 6 Hours
And of course, advancement to Eagle Scout requires the Life Scout to plan, develop, and lead an approved Service Project (that will often take over 100 hours to accomplish). The key phrase to remember and understand is “Service to Others.” This usually means service to any religious organization, school, or community, and can include, service to “other” Scout organizations, including all Scout Camps. For the most part, service to Troop 370 itself will not count for service hours. Additionally, there are specific circumstances when service projects at Summer Camp will count for service hours.
The service requirements discussed here relate to projects for advancement In all cases, the Scoutmaster must approve service projects in advance. A Scout runs the risk of not being given service hour credit “after the fact” for projects that had not been pre-approved.
Earning Service Hours for Rank Advancement
The service hours must be performed after the Scout’s last rank advancement. That is, the service project may not be counted if performed during a previous rank. For Second Class, that would mean after the Scout reached Tenderfoot. For Star, service hours would be earned after reaching First Class; for Life, service hours would be earned after reaching Star. . As a further guideline, the service hours should generally be earned within at least the 12 months prior to the Scoutmaster Conference for the rank. For example, if a Scout had been First Class for 2½ years, and earned six service hours two years ago (and none since then), and now it’s time for the Scoutmaster Conference, the question the Scout should expect to hear is “what have you done for service to others lately?” If the Scout has a good reason why the two-year old service project should count, then it will count. If the Scout cannot answer that question, then the next question the Scout should expect to hear is “describe how you have demonstrated Scout Spirit since your last rank advancement”. Service to others is not a “one-time” thing, nor should it be.
Approval of Service Projects
The Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmasters must approve all service projects in advance. All Eagle Service Projects are pre-approved by Committee Chairperson and the Scoutmaster, as part of the Eagle Service Project approval process. Scouts who want to work on other Service Projects should present the idea in advance to the Scoutmaster. Be prepared to answer questions related to the project such as who will benefit, what group is sponsoring the project, how much time will you put in to the project, how you will demonstrate leadership and will any other Scouts be working on the project. All service projects are to be advertised for volunteer sign-up during a Troop meeting.