We encourage our Scouts to think big. Every problem the world has ever faced seemed too large and complicated when someone first made the commitment to try to solve the problem.
Our Scouts do not have to be perfect, or have endless amounts of time, or know everything there is to know on a subject before they make a commitment to a comprehensive project in service to the greater community. We encourage our Scouts to ask themselves: If not us, then who?
Our vision for the future supports efforts to eliminate poverty, hunger, and homelessness. We have given a great deal of thought to the reality of these problems. We have reflected on how a Scout Program, or an effort of any kind, can contribute to solving these issues.
We have thought about how we can make a difference, and concluded our Scout Programs can make a difference by enabling our Scouts to develop future solutions by instilling the skill of creative and critical thinking and the value of service to others. They also acquire an appreciation for the circumstances of others by interacting with their fellow Scouts, Team Counselors, Counselors, and others whose lives are different from their own.
Our Community Service Philosophy
We value military service, and public service in general. And as Scout Programs who stress living a life of purpose, we encourage our Scouts to serve their greater communities.
We do not count the hours of volunteer time our Scouts accomplish in our Scout Programs. We focus on the larger picture of getting our Scouts out there doing something they believe in. When are Scouts are on a FUN adventure, they do not care what time it is. What our Scouts’ hearts say is far more important then what their watches say. When you are having FUN, you do not track your hours.
The Importance of Passion in Community Service
The Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA encourage our Scouts to discover and explore subjects they are passionate about. Passion is a necessary component in any project, so we suggest our Scouts choose topics they are very interested in.
A Scout interested in the environment could choose a comprehensive conservation project in their community as a personal achievement project. A Scout passionate about finding a cure for cancer could sponsor a screening van to come into the community.
Our Scouts sometimes observe injustices in their own lives, such as children who take home extra food from school because they have no food at home, or shy children who are intimidated and terrorized by bullies. We have a lot of FUN in our Scout Programs and our concentration is on our Scouts always safely having FUN. But sometimes, it is okay to get frustrated. To look at a situation and say, “I will let not let that happen.” Sometimes our Scouts witness things that understandably make them frustrated. We encourage our Scouts to use that disappointment in a constructive way by giving their best to solve the problem, rather than just walking away.
Projects Build Upon Each Other
Projects build upon one another. A younger Scout who volunteers in a soup kitchen may become an older Scout who wants to alleviate the need for them by planning an outreach program for the homeless in their communities.
In this way, each project our Scouts complete is a springboard to the next, by providing necessary information about their chosen subject, but also by providing confidence and self-esteem every time our Scouts finish a task.
Not every project is simple or easy. We do not pretend eliminating hunger or injustice is an easy task. We are still struggling with these problems globally. However, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Our Scouts develop an appreciation that they can make a real difference in the world, one step at a time.
A Life of Purpose
One of the ways of our Scouts develop an appreciation for living a life of purpose is volunteering in their communities. We encourage our Scouts to become part of something larger than themselves. One of the ways our Scouts achieve this is through projects of service to the greater community. Our Scouts get out there and make a difference everyday.