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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Good Turn?

A service project is a special Good Turn that puts Scout spirit into action.

—The Boy Scout Handbook, 12th Edition, page 84

As stated in the Boy Scout Handbook, some Good Turns are big—saving a life, helping out after floods or other disasters, recycling community trash, or working with others on conservation projects. But Good Turns are often small, thoughtful acts—helping a child cross a busy street, going to the store for an elderly neighbor, cutting back brush that is blocking a sign, doing something special for a brother or sister, or welcoming a new student to your school. Youth and volunteers are looking for ways to serve their communities. At the same time, service organizations need dedicated volunteer help. By working together, we can improve our young people, our communities, and the nation.

How does a Journey to Excellence service project benefit the community?

Meeting the substantial needs of every community is dependent on its citizens to answer the call of volunteerism. There is a natural fit between the Boy Scouts of America and other community organizations, and service learning is an integral part of the Scouting program. As a result, youth and adults seek opportunities to volunteer, and community organizations need volunteers to help them fulfill their missions. Working with these organizations creates a win/win situation for everyone.

Do volunteers have to be a member of the Boy Scouts of America to participate in the service project?

No. In order to fight hunger, provide shelter, and teach the habits of healthy living, we need the assistance of everyone in the community.

How is this different from Scouting for Food?

Scouting for Food is a once-a-year effort focusing on one area of need. Good Journey to Excellence service projects should be conducted year-round.

Will the Supply Group sell recognition items?

No. Councils will need to design their own recognition items if they choose to offer them.

How can a council log service hours for multiple units?

The council can do one of two things: 1) the council can set up an OA Lodge log in (if one isn’t already set up) to use as a “dumping ground” for service hours added by council/district staff and 2) most councils have a troop and/or crew set up to register summer camp staff who aren’t Scouts, e.g. cooks, chaplain, etc. The council can use these units as a “dumping ground” for council staff to add hours. Detailed instructions for the OA lodge log in are below:

How does an Order of the Arrow lodge record their service hours?

Each local council has an OA lodge ID that can be used to log Order of the Arrow service hours. Anyone from the lodge can create an account and record hours with that lodge ID. All OA units are "Lodge" unit type. The unit number is a 1, 2 or 3 digit number that matches the council number. Council 1 OA unit number is 1, council 212 OA number is 212. If the council has units with the same number as the council number, that is not a problem because the unit ID will help the computer differentiate between the various accounts. Follow the same instructions for units recording their service hours.

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