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Baloo's Bugle

October 2005 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 12, Issue 3
November 2005 Theme

Theme: My Family Tree
Webelos: Craftsman & Scientist
  Tiger Cub


Good Turn for America

Kommssioner Karl

Seneca District, Buckeye Council

A Good Turn is more than simple good manners. It is a special act of kindness.

The Boy Scout Handbook, 11th Edition, p. 55

The Boy Scouts of America's Good Turn traces back to American businessman William D. Boyce who was lost in a London fog. A boy offered to take Boyce to the address he wanted and refused a tip, saying he was a Boy Scout. Boyce's curiosity was aroused. He later had the boy take him to Scouting's British founder, Lord Baden-Powell. From this chance meeting, the Boy Scouts of America was born.

Since 1912, Boy Scouts nationally have been called to serve, from selling war bonds during World War II to collecting canned goods in the 1980s. 

Good Turn for America is a national call to service by the Boy Scouts of America to address the issues of hunger, homelessness, and poor health in our nation.

In this effort, the Boy Scouts of America is partnering with some of the nation's most respected service organizations, including The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, and Special Presentation the American Red Cross. These organizations, and thousands of others, will work to provide opportunities for youth and volunteers to fight hunger and homelessness, and teach the habits of healthy living.   Youth and volunteers are looking for ways to serve their communities. At the same time, service organizations need dedicated volunteer help. By working together, we can improve our young people, our communities, and the nation.

Project Ideas

  • The project should be age-appropriate. Youth should not be asked to participate in activities that are beyond their physical, mental, and emotional capacity.
  • There should be proper adult supervision during all phases of the project.
  • Appropriate safety guidelines related to the project should be communicated to all participants.
  • Those within Scouting should follow the Guide to Safe Scouting.

Food drives

  • Conduct or expand Scouting for Food programs
  • Participate in collaborative food drives and collect food donations for food pantries

Provide meals to the hungry

  • Assist agencies that provide meals to the needy by helping them prepare and serve the meals
  • Help deliver meals and food to the homebound and elderly in conjunction with organizations such as Meals on Wheels

Assist organizations that build homes for the needy

  • Take part in a Habitat for Humanity homebuilding project
  • Assist community beautification projects, including repairing/repainting homes and sprucing up the yards of those in need
  • Assist organizations that provide home maintenance services for those in need

Assist shelters and their occupants

  • Collect clothing, toiletries, and supplies for people living in shelters.
  • Collect books and school supplies for children living in shelters
  • Collect toys and gifts for children of prisoners or those living in shelters
  • Conduct visits and reading programs for residents
  • Conduct entertainment programs for residents
  • Provide other volunteer services that improve the quality of shelter life
  • Conduct a fund-raiser for a not-for-profit shelter

Offer unit-level community and school-based sports and fitness clinics

  • BSA Physical Fitness Award and the Venturing Quest Sports and Fitness Award
  • Take a unit hike day/weekend
  • Fun run/walk/cycle event
  • Scout field games

Conduct a community health awareness project

  • Blood drives
  • Distribution of healthy living and drug abuse awareness literature
  • Distribute organ donor cards to the public
  • Conduct a child fingerprinting event

Conduct service projects to build healthier environments

  • Tree-planting and revegetation projects
  • Park or camp trial maintenance and repair
  • Projects to enhance wildlife habitats
  • Conservation and recycling projects
  • Beautification and litter cleanup projects

How Do I get Involved?

Go to http://goodturnforamerica.org/

Click on the “TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROJECT” in the left side menu.

Click “click here to log in or create an account.”

Click the red underlined “Click here.”

Click “I agree.”

You will need your unit Good Turn for America Unit ID number for the first line.  You may get this from your District Executive. 

Complete the rest of the information on this page to complete your account creation.  Be sure to let others in your unit know what your unit’s ID, registration and password is so they can log their hours as well.  Or designate someone to enter all of the information for your unit and have the den leaders submit the necessary information to them for entry.

When you need to enter your service hours, be sure to login from the “Tell us about your project” menu selection.  Simply follow the prompts to enter your project hours and details.  The website will keep track of the information for you.

Information you will be asked to provide will include:

  • The organization or group benefiting from the project
  • Partnering organizations
  • Date of the project
  • Number of Scouts participating
  • Number of non-Scouts helping
  • Number of adults participating
  • Total hours worked

Service projects may be entered throughout the year as they are done, no matter how big or small. After you enter the data for each project, your unit will be eligible to receive the Good Turn for America patch and year segment which can be obtained from the Scout Shop.

Boys' Life Reading Contest

Enter the 18th Boys' Life Reading Contest Now!

Write a one-page report titled "The Best Book I Read This Year" and enter it in the Boys' Life 2005 "Say Yes to Reading!" contest. 

The book can be fiction or nonfiction. But the report has to be in your own words—500 words tops. Enter in one of these three age categories: 8 years old and younger, 9 and 10 years old, or 11 years and older.

First-place winners in each age category will receive a $100 gift certificate good for any product in the Boy Scouts Official Retail Catalog. Second-place will receive a $75 gift certificate, and third-place a $50 certificate.

Everyone who enters will get a free patch like the green one above. (The patch is a temporary insignia, so it can be worn on the Boy Scout uniform shirt. Proudly display it there or anywhere!) In coming years, you'll have the opportunity to earn the other patches.

The contest is open to all Boys' Life readers. Be sure to include your name, address, age and grade on the entry. Send your report, along with a business-size, self-addressed, stamped envelope, too:

Boys' Life Reading Contest, S306
P.O. Box 152079
Irving, TX 75015-2079

For more details go to www.boyslife.org

Entries must be postmarked by Dec. 31, 2005.

The International Scouter Award

This award is available from the World Scouting organization.  The International Scouter Award encourages Scouters to broaden their involvement in Scouting through participation in world Scouting activities and recognizes Scouters for their contributions to world Scouting.  It is a bit unusual in that it does not preclude the Scouter from earning more than one knot at a time for the same activity.  Applicants must be currently registered adult Scouters of the Boy Scouts of America.

All applicants must receive the approval of their local council's international committee chairperson or international representative and their council Scout executive.  For more information, go to
http://usscouts.org/usscouts/awards/intl-scouter.html or
http://www.boyscouttrail.com/square-knots.asp  and click on the knot   For an application go to

Materials found in Baloo's Bugle may be used by Scouters for Scouting activities provided that Baloo's Bugle and the original contributors are cited as the source of the material.

Materials found at the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. Website 1997-2005 may be reproduced and used locally by Scouting volunteers for training purposes consistent with the programs of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) or other Scouting and Guiding Organizations. No material found here may be used or reproduced for electronic redistribution or for commercial or other non-Scouting purposes without the express permission of the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. (USSSP) or other copyright holders. USSSP is not affiliated with BSA and does not speak on behalf of BSA. Opinions expressed on these web pages are those of the web authors.