Community Service "Double Dip"?

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Community Service "Double Dip"?

Postby fritz1255 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:46 pm

Question that has come up in our Troop - can service hours done for Citizenship in the Community merit badge also be used for rank advancement? If so, can you cite chapter and verse of the rules?
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Re: Community Service "Double Dip"?

Postby Quailman » Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:39 pm

From the Guide to Advancement, section 4.2.3.6:

When contemplating whether to double-count service hours or a service project, and apply the same work to pass a second advancement requirement, each Scout should ask himself: “Do I want to get double credit for helping others this one time, or do I want to undertake a second effort and make a greater difference in the lives of even more people?” To reach his decision, each Scout should follow familiar guideposts found in some of those words and phrases we live by, such as “helpful,” “kind,” “Do a Good Turn Daily,” and “help other people at all times.”

As Scout leaders and advancement administrators, we must ask ourselves an even more pointed question: “Is it my goal to produce Scouts who check a task off a list or Scouts who will become the leaders in our communities?” To answer our own question, we should consult the same criteria that guide Scouts.


Does that answer your question?
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Re: Community Service "Double Dip"?

Postby philpisch » Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:40 pm

Read BSA "Guide To Advancement" section 4.2.3.6. [url]http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf[/url]

As for myself, I like to think of scouts as individuals. Each situation is slightly different and my role is to support the scout and use advancement as a tool make a difference in the life of scouts. Advancement is not a tool to box in the scout as much as to guide the scouting experience.

Would I double count? IMHO, I just don't want to think that way. Our troop and our scouts should have plenty of opportunities for service such that we don't need to double count. Every camp out has service to the camp. We regularly do service for the charter org and we help around the community.

Instead of debating about double counting, I'd be encouraging the scout to participate and working to develop the values of citizenship and helping his fellow man. I'd be asking when will he be on the next camp out? Will he be at the next meeting? Does he need a ride from another scout's family? I'd be trying to solve the issue that prevents him from doing more service.

As for double counting, I'd let the scout decide. Unless the words explicitly disallow it or the details don't match the requirements, I don't view it as my role to be a gate keeper and definitely not to place guilt trips on the scout on whether he really earned it.
Last edited by philpisch on Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Community Service "Double Dip"?

Postby Quailman » Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:41 pm

Here's a link...

http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf

It has lots of answers.
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Re: Community Service "Double Dip"?

Postby fritz1255 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:49 am

Thanks for the replies! I had no idea that the "Guide to Advancement" even existed. I am currently doing the Citizenship in the Community badge with my Troop, which is how this came up. Our Committee Chair is of the opinion that the Scouts should not be "double dipping". I just wanted to see if there was any policy on that, and given that there is no clear answer, we will stick with his opinion and not let the Scouts count hours twice.
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Re: Community Service "Double Dip"?

Postby philpisch » Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:59 am

fritz1255 ... Your decision seems fine. I just wanted to add a few comments. From what you wrote, I take it you are the merit badge counselor. I am only writing because I have a slightly twist on it.

- Merit badge counselors are district/council positions and not subject to troop specific rules.
- Merit badge counselors decide if the scout gets credit for the service on the merit badge. Troop has no input on it.

- The GTA section makes it a decision of consciences, not a rule.
- Any decision of conscience needs to be carefully handled to avoid creating "guilt" trips. We want to create positive experiences, not a negative ones.

- You will run into many double counting situations in scouting that overlap with other scouting, school, church and other group requirements.
- For example, if the school requires 8 hours of service to graduate, can the scout use those service hours for advancement? How about church confirmation requirements?
- If you decide no to the school overlap, now you have the challenge to track when services is being used for outside groups. And worse, you have a scout who's done a good deed who meets the letter of the requirement but that can't be recognized for his good deed. And you face creating a situation where you have scouts who will dance around the truth that they plan to use those hours for other credit too.

- My question is whether the service should be treated as a bank account of credits and withdrawals or as experiences to be learned from.
- I am strongly in the camp that they are experiences to be learned from and definitely not deposits and withdrawals from a bank account.
- Further, I'm strongly believe that service to others needs to avoid mixing the legalism of what do I get out of it.

- The only way our troop has resolved this is by having plenty of service opportunities. In fact, it's really hard to be anywhere near the boundary needed for advancement.
- In addition, when we talk about advancement it's always with positive twists. What a great thing to do!. Wow. Positive feedback. We try to avoid the advancement tie-in.

I just don't believe it's a simple decision where we can create rules. I like the GTA position. It's a decision of conscience.
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Re: Community Service "Double Dip"?

Postby Quailman » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:15 pm

In my troop the boys have plenty of opportunities for service hours. Between community trash bash, Eagle projects and service hours on campouts, they usually have the hours knocked out for whatever their current rank is long before they can schedule hours with a charitable organization. I don't think double-dipping service hours like this has come up.

That being said, I don't care what other organizations are expecting service hours from my scouts. I'll count them all. I don't want a boy to think about who he's turning in his hours to. I just want him to perform them. Our CC feels differently than I do on this issue.
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Re: Community Service "Double Dip"?

Postby FrankJ » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:40 am

I will not knowingly allow scouts to double dip service hours for merit badges & rank requirements. Situation is a bit complicated since merit badge councilors are the ones signing off on service hours for merit badges. I am also open to reasonable exceptions. I think that is the intent of the GTA.

The whole point of requiring service hours is to prime the pump. It is more important to instill the right mindset about service than book keeping.
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