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Basic to the lessons in Scouting, especially regarding citizenship, service projects are a key element in the Journey to Excellence recognition program for councils, districts, and units. They should be a regular and critical part of the program in every pack, troop, team, crew, and ship.

Service projects required for Second Class, Star, and Life ranks may be conducted individually or through participation in patrol or troop efforts. They also may be approved for those assisting on Eagle Scout projects. Second Class requires a minimum of one hour on an approved project. An approval is important because it calls on a boy to think about what might be accepted, and to be prepared to discuss it. It is up to the unit to determine how this is done. In many troops, it is the Scoutmaster’s prerogative. Star and Life ranks require at least six hours of service on a Scoutmaster preapproved project. Time spent on Eagle Scout service projects should be allowed in meeting these requirements. Note that Eagle projects do not have a minimum time requirement, but call for planning and development, and leadership of others, and must be preapproved by the council or district.

The national Health and Safety Committee has issued two documents that work together to assist youth and adult leaders in planning and safely conducting service projects: Service Project Planning Guidelines, No. 680-027, and its companion, Age Guidelines for Tool Use and Work at Elevations or Excavations, No. 680-028. Unit leadership should be familiar with both documents.

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