Service Projects While Social Distancing

Service Projects While Social Distancing

Michelle sent this question

Any thoughts or ideas on what a Scout can do to earn service hours towards rank advancement while still maintaining social distance and/or sheltering-in-place? I realize that some areas of the country are opening back up, but our family isn’t comfortable being out in public yet.

Thanks for the question Michelle. A number of ideas come to mind, but since my favorite projects are ones which help people directly, here are a couple of ideas.

Freezer Meals

I am part of a freezer meal outreach. We make meals and then people can deliver them to friends and neighbors. And this can be done while social distancing. While we do this on a large scale, you could just make a few meals and deliver them yourselves. Here is how we are doing it:

  1. First we need some meals. I have pans and recipes. If somebody wants to make some meals, I email them the recipe and leave half a dozen pans or so on my front porch for them to pick up.
  2. They make the meals at home. Then they let me know they are coming by and put the meals in a cooler on my front porch. I transfer these to the freezer.
  3. If somebody wants to take a meal to a neighbor, relative, coworker, shut in, or friend, they tell me how many meals they want and when they are coming by and I put the meals in the cooler on the front porch for them to pick up.
  4. They can deliver the meals by checking that the recipient is home, putting them outside their door, and then letting them know the meals are there.

So this project can be done in a completely socially distanced way. And Scouts could make and deliver meals individually, or it could be a troop effort. You just need somebody with a little freezer space. Organized on a larger scale, this could possibly be an Eagle Scout project.

Recipients are essential workers, shut in neighbors, people undergoing cancer treatment, someone with a new baby, anyone with Covid, people who have been laid off, anyone who is just stressed out, etc.

I have a few recipes and links to the type of pan which works well on my personal blog, but I also have more recipes which I will post when I get around to it. We also usually keep some homemade ready to cook cookie dough, frozen vegetables, and bread in the freezer to hand out with the meals.

Yard Work for the Elderly

This is also a favorite because it helps people directly. If you can identify an elderly person in your neighborhood, offer to help with yardwork and gardening. Communication can be done over the phone so there is no need for in person contact. Most elderly will be completely on board with social distancing. Scouts could:

  • mow the lawn
  • clean up flowerbed and do some weeding
  • plant flowers and vegetables
  • spread mulch
  • rake leaves in the fall

These are just a couple of ideas. Readers, what are your favorite ideas for service projects which can be done while social distancing?

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