With the close of the year and the special Eagle patch given to those scouts that earn their rank this year, I’ve been working with a lot of scouts on Eagle Projects. I’ve been reading and advising on proposals, helping out on service days and signing off on the final paperwork.
I blogged earlier on Michael Malone’s book, 4% (which I’m actually trying to get a case of right now to give out to our new Eagles) but what continually sticks out in my mind is when he details in the book the scope and magnitude of the service rendered by Eagles over the years. He breaks it down much more specifically than I have any interest in getting into, but he reports on NESA’s finding that Eagle Projects have accounted for more than 250 million service hours over the years.
As exciting and mind blowing as this number is, it is only leads me to wonder what the total number of service hours that Scouting as a whole generates? According to Malone, NESA maintains that Eagle Scouts currently contribute more than 10.5 million hours per year (I would imagine that this year will far exceed that number!), but this has to pale in comparison to how many hours are contributed as a whole, right?
For a Patrol to earn the National Honor Patrol, they have to complete a project every quarter. Journey to Excellence has a Service component to it. Many of the ranks have service requirements. Merit Badges, Awards, and other honors require service hours. The annual Scouting for Food program pulls in scouts and scouters of all ages and don’t forget the slogan where the Scout is encouraged to do a good turn daily. Packs, Troops and Crews perform service for their Chartered Organization. There seems to be no end to the service that the Scouts provide….
As 2012 winds down, and the dust clears from all of the Eagle Projects, and the many deserving Eagle Scouts are honored, 2013 will soon be on us and scouts of all ranks and ages will continue on, quietly providing millions of hours of service to our communities, being helpful.