Citizenship in the Community MB

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Citizenship in the Community MB

Postby Bill Pitcher » Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:48 pm

I have a boy working on Cit. in the Comm. For the requirement that he serve 8 hours of service for a chairitable organization . . .do the VFW and/or the Americcan Legion count? He wants to put flags on the graves of Vets for Veterans Day. Opionions please!
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Re: Citizenship in the Community MB

Postby FrankJ » Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:57 pm

Both are service organizations so they would fall under "charitable organizations". The next question to answer is the service something the organization wants done? Eight hours for placing flag sounds like a long time to me.
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Re: Citizenship in the Community MB

Postby mt_goodrich » Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:58 pm

I guess it depends on how many grave sites and then if this covers grave sites located in several different locations within the county or town.
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Re: Citizenship in the Community MB

Postby ASM-142 » Thu Jul 24, 2008 7:45 am

With SM approval of course this would count.
If it is not written down then it is not an official rule
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Re: Citizenship in the Community MB

Postby smtroop168 » Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:25 am

What does SM approval have to do with Cit in Comm MB?
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Re: Citizenship in the Community MB

Postby evmori » Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:19 pm

smtroop168 wrote:What does SM approval have to do with Cit in Comm MB?


Great question! For this requirement, there is no Scoutmaster approval necessary. The requirement reads

Do the following:

a. Choose a charitable organization outside of Scouting that interests you and brings people in your community together to work for the good of your community.
b. Using a variety of resources (including newspapers, fliers and other literature, the Internet, volunteers, and employees of the organization), find out more about this organization.
c. With your counselor's and your parent's approval, contact the organization and find out what young people can do to help. While working on this merit badge, volunteer at least eight hours of your time for the organization. After your volunteer experience is over, discuss what you have learned with your counselor.
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Re: Citizenship in the Community MB

Postby Bill Pitcher » Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:59 pm

Thanks everyone. Yeah, there are at least a half dozen LARGE cemetaries in the city and/or surrounding area. If they don't have enough hours, they understand that more work for the organization is to be completed, 8 total. I told them that a list of the hours and a signature on the list will be needed from the VFW or Am. Legion.
Again, thanks for the imput.
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Re: Citizenship in the Community MB

Postby Quailman » Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:34 pm

Bill Pitcher wrote:...He wants to put flags on the graves of Vets for Veterans Day...


What he does in service should come from what the organization asks him to do, not what he'd like to do in order to get the requirement checked off. He needs to "contact the organization and find out what young people can do to help." and then do it. If putting flags on graves is what they need, then fine. I know here in Houston there is a rather large veteran's cemetery. Several BSA troops answer the call to help place flags for Memorial Day. I'm not sure they place them on Veteran's Day, as it's more of a day to salute the surviving veterans.
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Re: Citizenship in the Community MB

Postby smtroop168 » Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:10 am

Agree. It doesn't look like he's contacted these orgs since Bill was asking if they qualify.

8 hours of flags is a lot.

We do this as a Troop for our Sponsoring Org Cemetery on Memorial Day which is the more common day to do this. After a short Memorial service and explanation of the holiday, we do 300 flags with 15-20 scouts in about 30-45 minutes
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Re: Citizenship in the Community MB

Postby Bill Pitcher » Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:46 am

I guess I need to clarify: the boy did approach the VFW and asked if they had something he coould do and that's when the flag idea came to their mind. I told him that I would check and see if the VFW was a qualifying organization and hence my question. Sorry.
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Re: Citizenship in the Community MB

Postby maricopasem » Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:19 pm

While there are no shortage of opinions here -- some of which ignorantly cast aspersions on the Scout in question -- the one that matters is the MB Counselor's. I would suggest that the young man visit with the Counselor to get approval for the organization and the project and then move forward.
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Re: Citizenship in the Community MB

Postby deweylure » Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:33 am

I would think the scout should come up with ideas for a project then present it to the organization. The requirement states with counselor and parents approval.....

Yes contact the organization, to get there approval,also.

At this point people saying it will take x time is not a factor as long as the scout does the eight hours. He might have to do more than one project,the important thing is doing it.

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Re: Citizenship in the Community MB

Postby smtroop168 » Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:01 pm

I don't see any negative aspersions regarding the scout here.
Bill asked a question if the orgs qualified, we say yes.
Bill clarified that the scout had contacted the org sand arrived at the Flag project
The requirement says to "contact the org and find out what young people can do to help". Doesn't say to come up with ideas for the org and present it to them. He might have some ideas after doing his research under a. and b. of the requirement
It's 8 hours total so it can be two or more projects.
All of this is the MBC call after meeting with the scout.
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Re: Citizenship in the Community MB

Postby Bill Pitcher » Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:30 pm

Thanks Smtroop168!
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Re: Citizenship in the Community MB

Postby Ursus Snorous Roarus » Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:14 am

"c. With your counselor's and your parent's approval, contact the organization and find out what young people can do to help. While working on this merit badge, volunteer at least eight hours of your time for the organization. After your volunteer experience is over, discuss what you have learned with your counselor."

Just for discussion purposes
I’m going to breaking down the requirement in question. I see this as actually giving two separate requirements (really three):
C.1: contact the organization and find out what young people can do to help.
C.2: volunteer at least eight hours of your time for the organization. After your volunteer experience is over, discuss what you have learned with your counselor."

My read: C.2 isn't necessarily dependent upon what he learned in researching C.1 By the wording, he can clean toilets or sweep the floors in their meeting hall for 8 hours. While I hope they have him do something a little more meaningful, but volunteering his time that can save them any expenses is still volunteering for the right reasons. I read "With your counselor's and your parent's approval" to be they approve of the organization, not necessarily all of the remaining aspects of this requirement. During his research of C.1 he can find out when he can help them and show up. There doesn't need to be any specific tasks or project preplanned or preapproved. Just volunteer.... am I interpreting that correctly?
I know when we do service many times it's pulling teeth from the benefiting org to get a task list before hand, presume it's due to people in the past making big plans and nobody shows. My frustration is we show with a group and they're overwhelmed with not enough work and we do end up cleaning toilets...
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Re: Citizenship in the Community MB

Postby smtroop168 » Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:40 am

USR...For Requirement 7

7a...begets 7b
7b...begets 7c
Your take on 7c is correct. Your 7c1 could beget 7c2 and in my experience as a MBC for this one usually does. The counselor/parental approval of the organization is not for their approval of what the 8 hours of actual volunteering work is done.
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Re: Citizenship in the Community MB

Postby alex gregory » Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:11 pm

This discussion is a great example of how a MBC can counsel a scout toward a more suitable way of meeting a particular requirement.

8 hours for a single charitable organization is actually a lot of service hours. Most charitiable organizations in my community don't plan on volunteers working more than 2 to 3 hours on a project (e.g. soup kitchen), which means the CIC candidate needs to plan on investing 2 to 4 days (easier said than done). The scout (and probably Dad) could of course just put in a full day of work cleaning toilets or pulling weeds (Yay!), but I don't think that teaches the scout very much about what the organization of choice actually does.

As a CIC MBC I think the better approach is to get a group of scouts working on the badge together and support each other and help the organization of choice toward it's core mission in a more meaningful way. Each scout of course has to individually satisify the requirment. Last Spring my guys had great success organizing a food drive through a church community pantry - between collecting, sorting and boxing canned goods over two weekends, and a group discussion with the pantry administrator, it was relatively easy for the guys to meet the CIC service requirement and they collected a lot of food. Because they were mostly outdoors, were working with buddies, and they could actually see the canned fruit of their labors, I could tell they were having fun and a few guys even said they'd do it again next year. They were also psyched to get their picture in the community newspaper.

I of course would support a scout who wants to help VFW put up flags, but I imagine it will take month of Sundays to get in a full 8 hours of service. The drudgery service idea meets the badge requirement, but I think risks turning a boy away from community service. If the flag raising is not likely to require more than 1 or 2 hours, I would encourage the scout to apply that time toward rank advancement (which can be for a variety of organizations) and consider another organization for the 8-hour CIC requirment.
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Re: Citizenship in the Community MB

Postby Mrw » Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:08 pm

Rather than demeaning the type of service hours that help an organization with its basic building maintenance, you could be pointing out how this service helps the organization by allowing it to spend more of its time and money to help those it is pledged to assist.

These things need to be done too and someone has to do them!
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Re: Citizenship in the Community MB

Postby alex gregory » Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:15 pm

I would never demean any proposed community service. But the reality is that I can say all kinds of wonderful things about the benefit of boring and menial tasks - they're still boring and menial. I also find it sad when a volunteer's efforts are not put to their best use by an organization that does not appreciate what is being offered.

Before the 01/2005 revision CIC had no service hour requirement. Now CIC requires 8 service hours. Having worked alongside the guys on a lot of service projects, 8 hours is actually a lot for a kid that has homework, sports, church, chores, and other obligations in addition to the need for some downtime. 8 hours is more than what is required for Star or Life advancement, and it all has to be for a single charitable organization. Let's also remember a scout also has to spend time on fundraising, which we all know scouts just love doing. I'm not saying the CIC service requirement is bad, just that it's significant and can be a challenge.

My worry is that a less meaningful community service experience may quash a boy's volunteer spirit and interest in scouting. If a scout learns that volunteering his time and labor is rewarding, than that scout will continue to volunteer even after he doesn't get a badge for the effort.
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Re: Citizenship in the Community MB

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:26 pm

A lot of our Scouts volunteer with the local thrift shop, which benefits seniors in our area. The director is pretty good about reading people and has assigned different boys to load and deliver firewood, clean items, organize the store, clean up the yard, unload trucks, etc. Scouts can stretch it across as many days as they like - most choose one. They have reported it as being hard work, but worth it. Especially those who have had direct contact with the organization's beneficiaries.
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