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
Houston Community ToolBank
The Houston Community ToolBank is a nonprofit tool lending program serving other nonprofits by putting high-quality tools in the hands of the volunteers. For three pennies on the dollar, the Houston Community ToolBank provides fast and easy access to tools (e.g., loppers, drills, ladders, wheelbarrows, shovels, hammers, rakes, safety cones, water coolers, cordless drills, safety gears, painting equipment) for Eagle Scout projects and community service projects to increase the impact and community revitalization efforts.
How to borrow tools
- Follow the link on the Houston ToolBank website to complete the membership application.
- Provide proof of your organization’s nonprofit status or charitable mission.
- Submit a Tool Order online; pay the Tool Handling Fee online (or upon pickup).
- Confirm your pickup time with ToolBank staff. All visitation is by appointment.
- Pick up your tools at the ToolBank.
- Have a super project! Tools may be borrowed for up to 8 weeks.
About the ToolBank
The Houston Community ToolBank was founded in 2012, and is the fifth affiliate of ToolBank USA. The first affiliate, the Atlanta Community ToolBank, has been lending tools since 1992 and equips roughly 50,000 volunteers and nonprofit employees with tools every year. The success of a ToolBank is measured largely by tool borrower satisfaction.
The result is a deliberate focus on customer service and accountability. These values foster community trust in the ToolBank, and empower charitable organizations to increase their overall impact through the use of ToolBank tools. ToolBank USA was founded in 2008 by a generous grant from the Home Depot Foundation to export the ToolBank model across the country. Please visit www.toolbank.org for a listing of ToolBank locations, and for information on how to build a ToolBank in your community.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- Service projects help foster community pride.