We had our first Court of Honor with the new troop last night. Went pretty well, the SPL and MC followed a standard script, they had a bunch of scouts they recruited to light candles, say the opening and closing prayer, etc.
There wasn’t a whole lot of awards to be handed out as the troop is only a couple of months old, but as most of us all came from the same troop, there was a hold over that was presented: the Presidential Service Award.
One of our scouters did a lot of homework and info gathering to calculate service hours for the year by our scouts and volunteers, submitted them to the agency in charge and last night we handed out packets with lapel pins and certificates congratulating them for their service. It was pretty cool and kind of different. (A scout in the front row asked me where the lapel pin went, and I told him “on your lapel”. The blank stare I received from him and the scouts near him prompted my further response “your lapels are the flappy things on your collar”, pointing to mine.)
Service to others is obviously a big part of scouts and my goal is to encourage them every way that I can. The theory is that if we can make a habit of service now, think of how that will translate as a body of work when these boys grow to be men and continue that practice and model it for others! So with that in mind I started looking for more ways to encourage the scouts to serve.
I found the document Awards Programs Related to Youth Service It’s a little bit older (2003), but still is useful. It has a large listing of awards and scholarships that are related to service. Although the document was created by the Points of Light Foundation, I couldn’t find it on their website any where, I originally came across it on was the National Service – Learning Clearinghouse site. NOTE: I don’t know anything about those two organizations, so I’m not promoting their politics or their products, if they have any. I just like the document.
I like the document because it is concise and definite. Doing a google search for “youth awards programs” gives you such a copious amount of information it is almost daunting. I’ve tried to find an updated version of this, but no luck. But with 22 pages of awards and scholarships, a Committee Member could dedicate themselves to just this and find a tremendous amount of information in which they can help encourage and recognize service minded scouts.
Document Link: Awards Programs Related to Youth Service