Civic Service

Doing service projects together is one way that Scouts keep their promise "to help other people." While a Scout should do his best to help other people every day, a group service project is a bigger way to help people. While you're giving service, you're learning to work together with others to do something that's good for your community.

Community service is a very important part of Scouting in which units perform community service projects, conservation projects, projects for their chartered organization, or participate in an Eagle Scout project.

Service projects may help the natural world, the community, or the chartered organization.

Civic Service Project Ideas

From its congressional charter in 1916 to its present vision statement, the Boy Scouts of America has embraced training young people in citizenship as one of its primary purposes. Scouting units should regularly plan community service projects as part of the program. Service projects are often coordinated to include more than one unit. The important objective is to help youth learn specific qualities of citizenship through service to others. You might choose a project to serve in any of these areas: children, Scouting for Food, senior citizens, safety, conservation, emergency service, recreation, hospitals, improving the community physically, helping community government, taking part in celebrations, or emphasizing historical, patriotic, or international heritage.

Any activity you select or create must have a definition and purpose, be real to the Scouts, involve them through democratic processes, require some kind of preparation from them, become a significant action, and be compatible with the objectives of the Scouting movement. Here are some service activities Scouts can do.

Helping the natural world

  • Pick up litter around your neighborhood.
  • Clean up trash by a stream.
  • Plant seedlings or flowers.
  • Recycle glass, paper, aluminum, or plastic.
  • Make bird feeders.

Helping the chartered organization

  • Do a cleanup project.
  • Plant and care for trees.
  • Conduct a flag ceremony.
  • Help set up for a special event.
  • Hand out programs or bulletins at a meeting of the organization.

Helping the community

  • Give a flag ceremony for a school.
  • Collect food for food banks.
  • Make cards for a care center.
  • Clean up a church parking lot.
  • Shovel snow or rake leaves for seniors.
  • Hand out voting reminders.
  • Hand out emergency procedure brochures.
  • Recycle family newspapers.

Reporting Service Hours

Units are encouraged to report their service projects on the Journey to Excellence website. This helps provide the community an accurate report on the great service and dedication our Scouts are showing throughout the Sam Houston Area Council.

Why Community Service Is Important

Scouting has a unique opportunity and responsibility to teach better citizenship to American youth.

  1. Community service projects are the most important way to teach good citizenship because they are an active involvement in which most all of a youth’s senses are engaged, not a passive condition of only listening.
  2. Many youth are finding it increasingly difficult to find meaning and satisfaction in life. Young people are seen as a liability on the family budget instead of an economic asset as in the early part of the 20th century. Youth may see the world as a place that is already shaped, is beyond their influence, and where they are, for the most part, not needed. One of the great contributions of Scouting service projects is to provide youth with major areas of life which they can shape and where their ideas are listened to and valued. Service projects are activities that make youth feel competent and capable.
  3. Amid an atmosphere of cynicism for public life and government office, Scouting service projects can help youth have a more positive experience in civic participation.
  4. More than any past generation, today’s youth need good adult role models outside of the home. Scouting provides additional role models of law-abiding citizens involved in their communities. Scouting members learn to take responsibility in the civic arena by working side by side with these role models.
  5. In a cultural environment that places heavy emphasis on material things, Scouting service projects place emphasis on the value of human individuals and “helping other people at all times.”
  6. One of the most important functions of a good Scout unit is giving youth a much-needed sense of belonging. Unit service projects deepen this function by giving not only youth members, but the entire unit a greater sense of belonging to their communities.
  7. Service projects help foster community pride.

Service Project Opportunities 

Below is a list of service opportunities throughout the Sam Houston Area Council for units, Scouts working on their Eagle Scout projects and Scouts working on the Hornaday award.

Submit a project

Civic Service and Conservation Projects

Community and Conservation Service Projects

While many of these projects will satisfy Eagle Scout and/or Hornaday project requirements, they may also be used for unit service work. Click here to submit a project to be added list below. 

Armand Bayou Nature Center

Hornaday, Eagle Scout and unit projects
Contact:  Mark Kramer, 281-474-2551, ex 15

  • Invasive species control: Chinese Tallow Tree removal

Bayou Preservation Association

Hornaday, Eagle Scout and unit projects
Contact: Steve Hupp

  • Storm drain stenciling
  • Habitat restoration
  • Erosion control
  • Paddle trail installation
  • Bayou clean-up
  • Invasive species removal, etc.

Galveston Bay Foundation

Contact: Emely Ford

Harris County Flood Control District

Hornaday, Eagle Scout and unit projects
Contact:  Erin Going, 713-684-4224 or Karen Fox, 713-316-4805

  • Trash clean-up
  • Tree planting
  • Graffiti clean-up

Houston Arboretum and Nature Center

Hornaday, Eagle Scout and unit projects
Contact: Volunteer Coordinator, 713-681-8433

  • Invasive species control: Chinese Privet removal.
  • Fish & wildlife management: wetlands restoration in ponds used for ecology education.
  • Owl habitat Improvement: construction, mounting, and written interpretation.
  • Eagle Project Only: boardwalk construction: 40-100’ walkways prevent landscape degradation, excellent team building experience.
  • Forest & Range Management: vegetation rehabilitation: revegetate areas impacted by water and man.
  • Interpretive Signage for invasive control and wetlands education
  • Forest & Range Management: transplant native grasses and herbs to meadow to improve diversity, manage woody plants, and encourage health.
  • Unit/Individual service hours (e.g., Arbor Day).

Houston Aubudon Champions Property

Hornaday, Eagle Scout and unit projects
Contact:  Andrew Beck, 713-932-1639

  • Invasive species removal: Chinese Tallow and Chinese Privet.
  • Fish and wildlife management: installation of bird boxes and signage to indicate type of birds likely to utilize each.
  • Soil and water conservation.  This property was donated to Audubon Society as a wetland mitigation project. Restore swamp conditions to northern portion of tract after removal of invasives.
  • Eagle project: work with sanctuary steward to map out a trail system.  Clear the route and improve the surface. Could be expanded to a Hornaday by adding interpretive signage.
  • Eagle project: create and install signs at the entrance to the preserve, once a parking area has been established. Install signage at Cutten Road to indicate the turn-off. Add any trail signs that may be required.
  • Eagle project: construct and install park benches.

Houston Zoo

Hornaday, Eagle Scout and unit projects
Contact: Sharon Reyes, Scout & Evening Coordinator, 713-533-6543
Conservation group meets monthly during school year to plan and work on projects.

Jesse Jones Park & Nature Center

Hornaday, Eagle Scout and unit projects
Contact: 281.446.8588 or

Katy Prairie Conservancy

Hornaday, Eagle Scout and unit projects
Contact:  Jaime Gonzalez

  • Project list under development

Montgomery County Lake Creek Preserve

Hornaday, Eagle Scout and unit projects
Contact:  Glenn Buckley, 936.273.0098

  • Trail development
  • Interpretive nature trail guide and signage
  • Invasive species removal on benches along trail
  • Trail and bridge maintenance

Montgomery Trace Natural Areas

Hornaday, Eagle Scout and unit projects
Contact:  Glenn Buckley, 936.273.0098

  • Wetlands restoration (Tallow Tree removal)
  • Reforestation
  • Trail development.


Hornaday, Eagle Scout and unit projects
Contact: 281.469.7856, ext 108

  • Develop permanent display to be used in educational programs. Project would include working with Ms. Dean to develop theme and content of display, constructing the display and organizing a crew to staff the display in at least one educational event. The display must be constructed so as it can be used as a permanent educational tool.

Sam Houston Natural Forest

394 FM 1375 W., New Waverly
Hornaday, Eagle Scout and unit projects
Contact: Nancy Garcia

  • Hiking Trails:  Possible soil and water conservation - trail and bridge maintenance projects.
  • Eagle Scout / troop projects - campground maintenance:

A. Waste receptacles (55 gallon drums purchased, painted and placed; or restore receptacles, bins, drums already on hand.)
B. Fire pits (clean/restore grates, paint them; replace concrete pads that the grates sit upon)
C. Paint metal gates
D. Clean signs
E. Repair and maintain bulletin boards
F. Restore bathrooms, remove graffiti, replace hardware (i.e., damaged toilet paper rolls, benches) as needs arise
G. Remove fallen and bucked boles (sections of felled hazard trees that have already been cut into manageable sizes)
H. Pick up trash along lake and roads along the lake
I. Fee tube sanding and painting

  • Eagle Scout / troop projects - road maintenance (fix pot holes, replace/clean road signs and sign posts, as needed):

A. Cagle (FRD 205),
B. Scotts Ridge (FDR 212), and
C. Stubblefield (FDR 240)

  • Eagle Scout / troop projects: hunter camp maintenance:

A. Bulletin board repair (clean and paint, replace/maintain roof)

Volunteers may list their names, ages, and phone numbers along with projects they might like to help with.  

Sheldone Lake Outdoor Learning Center

Hornaday, Eagle Scout and unit projects
Contact: Tom Olson, 281-456-2800

  • Invasive species control: Chinese Tallow and Chinese Privet removal (year round)
  • Forest and range management: tree planting (winter)
  • Fish and wildlife management: bird and bat houses
  • Other innovative projects agreed upon with management

Spring Creek Greenway & Nature Center

Hornaday, Eagle Scout and unit projects
Contact: Matthew Buckingham, or Stephanie Prosser

  • Forest and range management: install native trees and plants by nature building, parking lot and pond. Give presentations on the value of native plants, and why those were selected.
  • Forest and range management or fish and wildlife management: interpretive trail development.
  • Eagle Scout project: maintenance on existing nature building/outdoor classroom.
  • Eagle Scout project: benches along trails in preserves
  • Invasive species control: invasive species removal (e.g., Tallow, Sedge, Japanese Climbing Fern, Cattails)

Peckinpaugh Preserve

  • Forest and range management: install native trees and plants at preserve entrance, parking area and canoe launch, along with informative signage.
  • Forest and range management or fish and wildlife management: create a new loop trail, promote and give guided nature tours of the trail. Depending on the length and difficulty of the trail this may constitute two projects: trail development (Eagle) and development of interpretive signage, guide and tours (Hornaday).
  • Eagle Scout project : benches along trail in preserve.
  • Invasive species control: invasive species removal (e.g., Tallow, Sedge, Japanese Climbing Fern)
  • Serve as guide at grand opening of preserve.
  • TBD: Promote and host a nature day at the preserve.
  • Soil and water conservation: repair and stabilize ATV ruts and other damage.

Mussle Lake Preserve (FM 2854)

  • Develop interpretive nature trail around all or part of lake.
  • Develop teaching dock for lake.
  • Remove invasive species.
  • Other projects defined by Scoutmaster.

Storm Water Inlet Marking (SWIM)

Hornaday and Eagle Scout
Contact:  713-685-7355 or visit

  • Air and water pollution control: StormWater Inlet marking and community education. Obtain proposal form and release waiver.

Texas General Land Office

Hornaday and unit projects
Contact:  Adopt A Beach Program, 1.877.892.6278

  • Units can participate in beach clean up
  • Recycling / erosion control: organize a Christmas tree recycling project in your neighborhood and in cooperation with the General Land Office (GLO); use them to stabilize a section of beach dunes (must be planned with the GLO and local community).

Trash Bash

Hornaday, Eagle Scout and unit projects
Contact: Glenn Buckley, 936.273.0098

  • Units can participate in Trash Bash clean up and demonstrations for educational program.
  • Fish and wildlife management: develop reusable display board demonstrating the impact of trash on wildlife, organize staffing for one Trash Bash event and make presentation(s) to community groups and/or Scout units.
  • Check specific locations and contacts at

W. Goodrich Jones State Forest

1328 FM 1488
Hornaday, Eagle Scout and unit projects
Contact:  John R. Warner, 926.273.2261

  • Invasive species control: Chinese Tallow removal.
  • Soil and water conservation: various erosion control projects
  • Fish and wildlife management: development of interpretive signage/kiosks around Red Cockaded Woodpecker habitat.
  • Other projects as agreed upon by District Forester and Hornaday Advisor (if for the Hornaday award)

Council Camp Service Projects

Council Camp Service Projects

Many service projects are available at our council camps that will satisfy Hornaday project requirements.  They may also be used for unit service work.  Projects completed at council camps cannot be used for Eagle Scout Projects.

Bovay Scout Ranch

Contact:  Vincent Manning

  • Projects are being developed, but cover a wide range of projects, including those related to forest and range management, soil & water conservation, invasive species control and possibly fish & wildlife management.

Camp Brosig

Contact:  Vincent Manning

Camp Strake

Contact:  Michelle Phillips

  • Projects are pending at new location

El Rancho Cima

Contact:  Brett Lee: 713-756-3306
Camp Rangers:  512-847-2445 Dale Weisman, Wess Wallace or James Glick

  • Invasive species control involving clearing Ashe Juniper
  • Soil and water conservation involving erosion control 
  • Forest and range management - planting trees
  • Other projects TBD

SHAC Corps

SHAC Corps is an opportunity for troops and crews to give back to camp in the form of a day of service. The Order of the Arrow is leading this opportunity, but this service project is open to all Boy Scouts and Venturers. Campers only have to bring their personal camp gear.  The camp is providing the food and a special council shoulder strip, that will only be available to those who provide service. Service projects will include creating new campsites and clearing new programs areas for activities. Letters will be given to youth who need school service hours. 


Dennis Olheiser
Council Civic Service Chair
(281) 831-0787

Michelle Phillips
Program Director / Civic Service Staff Advisor
 (713) 756-3308

Glenn Buckley
Council Conservation Committee Chair
(936) 273-0098

David Foil
Conservation Committee Professional Staff Advisor
 (713) 756-3319