Instilling a life-long commitment to community service should begin at an early age. Cub Scouts of all ages can participate in service project activities that encourage a sense of empathy and understanding. These qualities will serve them well into adulthood.
Part of The Scout Oath is to ‘help other people at all times.' While it didn't account for the effects of a global pandemic never before has the oath been more important.
Despite these unprecedented times, Cub Scout den leaders have the difficult task of coming up with projects their scouts can perform to honor their oath and earn service hours. Here are 9 ideas for socially distanced service projects for Cub Scouts.
9 Socially Distanced Service Projects for Cub Scouts
The following socially distanced service projects can be performed safely as a group. Be sure to follow CDC Guidelines for gatherings. Properly sanitize and wear protective equipment to ensure the safety of everyone around you.
Outdoor Service Projects
Getting outside in the fresh air is a great way to connect with one another, of course. It is also, however, helpful to mental health. The past year has been difficult for everyone. Keep spirits high with Vitamin D and exercise.
1. Create a pollinator habitat in a shared community space.
Without bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators, our ecosystems would fail. Locate a site in your community where a pollinator garden would do well. Consider planting in parks, public school grounds, or community centers.
Socially distanced service projects like this one are perfect for all ages. Gather your Scouts, and plant items like marigolds, milkweed, and daisies to attract pollinators. Use this pollinator guide to determine which plants work best in your area.
2. Perform yard work for individuals or businesses.
Yard work is something that can be done year-round. There are countless tasks for all age groups like raking and bagging leaves or pulling weeds and spreading mulch. Yard work allows Cub Scouts to remain socially distanced while still socializing with one another.
3. Picking up litter is always a good idea.
There will always be a need for trash pick-up, no matter where you go. Grab some gloves and trash bags and get out and pick up litter with your troop. A good place to start is your playground or nearby walking trail.
Helping People and Pets in the Community
There are ways that you can help people and pets and still be socially distanced. Check out these fun activities.
4. Make and distribute fleece scarves during cold months.
Fleece scarves are inexpensive and easy to make. They involve just a bit of cutting and tying, and most younger Cub Scouts should be able to participate with little assistance.
It is common to see scarves tied around trees and fence posts. Your community may have regulations and ordinances against this, so check with local authorities first.
Alternatively, contact your local shelter for donation drop-off locations and times. This will ensure scarves get to community members who need them most. This video explains in detail how to make a DIY fleece scarf.
5. Help socialize potential new pets.
Animal shelters are always looking for volunteers to run and play with dogs in their yard or brush and pet cats seeking new forever homes. Contact your local animal shelter to see how your Cub Scouts can help prepare these animals for their new homes.
Your Bears can work on the Critter Care adventure while they're
Service Projects Ideas Cub Scouts Can Do From Home
Perform the following socially distanced service projects individually but then share them virtually through a Zoom meeting or online video.
Designate one pack representative to present the items to their intended recipients to ensure safety protocols.
6. Write letters or make cards for seniors.
This is the ideal activity for the youngest of Cub Scouts. Because of the lockdown, many seniors at care facilities may be feeling isolated.
Older Scouts can write friendly letters while younger troop members can create cards. This may just help brighten the day of a senior who may be missing family and friends during these difficult times.
7. Conduct an at-home donation drive.
This is the perfect time of year for purging and cleaning. Encourage Scouts' families to set up a donation area in their home and fill it with unused items.
To encourage ‘working together,' have Scouts create a video of themselves dropping off their items to their local thrift store. Compile the video clips into one full-length video to share at a virtual Pack meeting.
Foster a sense of empathy with care packages
8. Create a birthday bag for children.
Have your individual Scouts' families purchase birthday items from the dollar store. Include items like cake mix, candles, frosting, party hats, balloons, disposable utensils, and small gifts to create a birthday bag.
Designate one leader or family to organize drop-off or collect each bag. Deliver to your local food pantry or other organization that serves underpriviledged families.
9. Create personal care packages.
Similar to the birthday box, a personal care package can include items like toothpaste, toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo delivered in a recyclable and reusable bag.
Include non-perishable snacks like trail mix, crackers, bottled water, and granola bars and deliver the bags to a local homeless shelter or keep bags in a vehicle to distribute as necessary.
No matter which service project your Cub Scouts take part in, the spirit of giving and helping others, especially during these trying times, will shine through.
P.S. When things become “normal” again, your pack can do one of these 27 service projects for Cub Scouts.