Citizenship in Community: Req 7

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Citizenship in Community: Req 7

Postby cvgura » Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:38 pm

I have a scout who would like to use helping at a vacation bible school for the 8 hours of requirement 7. I know churches have aspects of doing charitable work such as food pantries, but I am not sure helping at a vacation bible school fits the the merit badge requirement.

I looked around trying to find out if participants pay to attend vacation bible school. I could not find any information on this particular one, but some programs do have a fee associated with them.

Here is part of an email I received from the parent of the scout: The VBS team recruits both volunteers and children from the community to attend (not just members). The event is promoted in the local media and on their website. VBS provides a fun and nurturing environment for both the volunteers and children to grow it their faith, serve the community, and learn leadership skills.
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Re: Citizenship in Community: Req 7

Postby smtroop168 » Fri Jul 10, 2009 7:40 pm

Welcome to the forum...We've covered this before. The requirement is:

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.


Are you the MBC? Ultimately it its up to you. Scouts tend to do this requirement backwards..doing the hours for a group before requirements a and b. Generally I would say a VBS is not an organization but a subset of the church. Ours requires a small fee to cover the cost of the materials.

The other "hidden" reason for this requirement is to have a scout "practice" contacting and working with an organization as a possible source for their Eagle Project down the road.
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Re: Citizenship in Community: Req 7

Postby Bill Pitcher » Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:26 pm

I agree with smtroop 168. The Church is the organization, not the VBS . . . it is a class for a few individuals.
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Re: Citizenship in Community: Req 7

Postby evmori » Sat Jul 11, 2009 7:18 am

VBS (Vacation Bible School) is usually run by a church during a week in the summer. I am a counselor for this MB and would allow the Scout to use a week volunteering at a VBS,

Why is the parent e-mailing you? The Scout is the one who wants to earn the MB, right?
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Re: Citizenship in Community: Req 7

Postby alex gregory » Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:13 am

What would the Scout actually do for his 8-hrs. of community service? If I were this Scout's MBC I would want to know more about the specific community service he will perform through his Vacation Bible School. If my sense is that he is going to spend a week of fun, games and bible study and call it community service so he can get a 2-for-1 special, I would be inclined to say not good enough. If on the other hand the bible school also has a regular community service program, and he can get his full 8 hours, then that should be fine. Similarly, if the Scout will be a volunteer leader/instructor/camp counsellor that would probably also be acceptable.

My son enjoys being a volunteer camp counsellor for pre-K through 5th grade kids through the local community center. But for the program being offered through the City Parks Department I think the 40 hours per week of volunteer service would qualify for the CIC merit badge; and he did his 8-hrs. of community service for CIC collecting and sorting food for a local church food pantry.
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Re: Citizenship in Community: Req 7

Postby cvgura » Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:00 pm

Thank you for the welcome. I have been a counselor of two citizenship merit badges for several years now and the advancement chair for a troop that now has over 80 scouts. I have read topics in this forum and found them very useful. I do agree this requirement is often done out of order, it is my decision in the end, and the parent shouldn't be emailing me on this. This topic has come up in the past though and I did want to get some opinions.

I have reread the merit badge book several times on this requirement. It talks about looking for opportunities to help improve your community. Once the scout decides on a cause that interests him, it is time to find out which charitable organization in his community addresses the issue. For VBS I just don't see how it is a fit for the requirement. I will agree it is a great volunteer opportunity, but is it for this badge?

There was a suggestion that I see what will be done for the VBS volunteer activity. I had read a previous post about how once an organization is agreed upon, it doesn't matter if they ask you to sweep the floors as the service component. I had read that post with interest and I would have to agree with it.
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Re: Citizenship in Community: Req 7

Postby evmori » Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:07 am

alex gregory wrote:What would the Scout actually do for his 8-hrs. of community service? If I were this Scout's MBC I would want to know more about the specific community service he will perform through his Vacation Bible School. If my sense is that he is going to spend a week of fun, games and bible study and call it community service so he can get a 2-for-1 special, I would be inclined to say not good enough. If on the other hand the bible school also has a regular community service program, and he can get his full 8 hours, then that should be fine. Similarly, if the Scout will be a volunteer leader/instructor/camp counsellor that would probably also be acceptable.

My son enjoys being a volunteer camp counsellor for pre-K through 5th grade kids through the local community center. But for the program being offered through the City Parks Department I think the 40 hours per week of volunteer service would qualify for the CIC merit badge; and he did his 8-hrs. of community service for CIC collecting and sorting food for a local church food pantry.


Alex,

VBS is a community service. It's usually part of church outreach and requires a lot of volunteers to pull off!
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