Unit Tips for Success 

What is the Journey to Excellence Service Project?

Who:

All Scouting groups are encouraged to participate in this service project initiative.

What:

This is a time for all Scouting groups to conduct meaningful, visible service projects of their choice in their communities. You are encouraged to discuss and choose your projects with the help of your Scouts, committee, and chartered organization.

Where:

Service projects can be done for your chartered organization or for the cause of your choice. Projects done in collaboration with other organizations are highly recommended.

When:

Projects may be conducted at any time.

Why:

Scouting was founded on the premise of doing a Good Turn daily. Community service is very important in the character-building process and, as Scouts, we have made the commitment to give back to our communities.

How:

You should select a service project coordinator. After making the commitment to participate, your Scouts and committee should decide on and begin planning the project.

Planning a Service Project

The Scout Oath includes the phrase “to help other people at all times,” which reminds us to always be of service to others. Begin planning your project by discussing various service ideas with your Scouts. Adult leaders, your chartered organization, and the local government are also good resources for ideas. Projects will be more meaningful and fun if they are well-planned.

Your project should:

Be significant. The project should be something important. When it’s done, everyone should be able to look back with satisfaction on an effort that has made a difference in your community.

Be democratic. Scouts are more likely to buy into the project if they have taken an active part in selecting, planning, and organizing it.

Be clearly defined. A project must have definite beginning and end points, with logical steps in between. A clear goal allows everyone to measure the progress along the way, and increases everyone’s sense of participation and pride in a job well done.

Be well-prepared. This begins long before the project starts. Ask these questions: What is the project’s purpose? Who should be contacted as resources? How many Scouts must be involved to complete the work in the allotted time? What tools or resources are needed? What safety issues must be addressed?

Be promoted. Promote your project within your community. This will not only provide additional workers, but will increase the visibility of Scouting and the impact it has on your community. Create a yard sign that says “Pack/Troop/Team/Post/Group No. ___ Service Project” or “Scouting Supports Our Community.”

Include reflection and recognition. When the project is complete, spend 10 or 15 minutes discussing it.

Involving Parents in Planning and Implementing Service Projects

Participating in a Journey to Excellence service project is easy, exciting, and meaningful. To begin, your unit should recruit a unit service project coordinator, who should do the following:

  • Share this information with your unit committee, and get their approval and commitment to participate.
  • Promote the service project within the unit.
  • Coordinate the service project throughout the unit.
  • Involve Scouts and unit committee members in researching and deciding on a service project. Involve Scouts in all phases of planning the project.
  • Recruit enough people to plan, conduct, and promote the project.
  • Incorporate at least four service projects into the unit’s annual program plans.
  • Enter service project data into www.scouting.org/Awards/JourneyToExcellence.
  • Coordinate with district and council committees to promote events and report successes.
  • Conduct an evaluation and discussion with Scouts.

    Public Relations

    The Purpose of Public Relations

  • To increase awareness of the BSA nationally and in local markets across the country in a positive manner.
  • To generate media coverage.
  • To provide credibility.
  • To enhance our image.

    Journey to Excellence Service Project Key Messages 

  • The BSA is one of the oldest youth programs of character development in the United States, providing young Americans the tools and skills they need to face the demands and challenges of a changing society.
  • The BSA represents where young men and women are prepared for life. It has a 100-year-strong foundation and continues to evolve to remain relevant to today’s youth and the communities it serves, and to prepare the leaders of the next millennium.
  • The BSA has honored its mission and tradition of preparing young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
  • Since its inception in 1910, the BSA has helped develop more than 114.8 million American youth and adults into successful citizens and community leaders.
  • The BSA is a forward-thinking organization concerned with making wise, long-lasting contributions to society.
  • Although society’s views on what is right and wrong change over time, moral standards do not.

    Preparing Your PR Campaign

    Build relationships with reporters

  • Study your media by reading and watching your local news.
  • Daily newspapers (including online editions)
  • Weekly and community papers
  • TV and radio
  • Be proactive.
  • Contact reporters with story ideas.
  • Leverage trends and tie in your initiatives.
  • Note their recent articles.
  • Be a resource by sharing ongoing local Scouting activities.

    Know your five “ws” and the “h”

  • Who? Your council and any alliances affiliated with the initiative.
  • What? Components of the initiative and its importance.
  • When? Disclose the timing of the initiative or event.
  • Where? The community at large or a specific locale.
  • Why? The purpose and rationale.
  • How? The logistics of the initiative or event.

Keep media materials clear and concise.

Convey the main point in the first few sentences of your news release and pitch.

Give a call to action.

Provide information in a timely manner and follow up.