Community Good Turns




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Community Good Turns have a very large citizenship training value. The civic responsibility that each of us has to our community is more clearly understood through practical Good Turns to that community. So helpful have Scouts been in this connection that hundreds of cities are dependent upon Scouts to aid in various civic enterprises. Here are numerous concrete suggestions as well as a few actual "Good Turns" quoted

bulletConducted a successful rat extermination campaign.
bulletStaged anti-puncture campaign.
bulletOpened snowbound roads.
bulletAided officials in clean-up week, locating mosquito bogs and fire hazards.
bulletRepaired county bridge and road.
bulletCleaned public bathhouse.
bulletActed as guides to tourists going through the city.
bulletBuilt boardwalk two blocks long.
bulletMade and mounted 300 street signs.
bulletDistributed literature for all civic campaigns and or. ganizations.
bulletCleaned' streets of nails and glass.
bulletCleaned up over 300,000 tin cans and 3,000 old tires for city.

What better Patrol project, than the Christmas Good Turn?

Under Community Good Turns come possibilities for service to the fire and police departments, also aiding conventions.

Here are some of the things done to aid the fire department:

bulletPut out a dangerous fire.
bulletServed food to firemen at two big fires.
bulletHelped put out fire and stood all night as guards when a barn burned during a high wind, thus saving other buildings.
bulletMade survey of town for fire inspection.
bulletAided in fighting large church fire, roped off area and stationed Scouts on nearby roofs.
bulletRemoved stock from a building threatened by fire. Returned it after fire was extinguished.
bulletAssisted department in cleaning up vacant lots.

The police departments have called upon and been served by Scouts as have the fire departments.

In one city the Boy Scouts were commissioned as an auxiliary police department. the mayor and police of the city were constantly being besieged with complaints in "bean-shooter season" about wanton killing of birds, smashing of windows and other juvenile offenses. Some indignant citizens wante these small ruffians severely punished, even sent to reform school, but the mayor shook his head and thought of another way to go to work to cure the evil which was real enough, he admitted.

He sent for a Scoutmaster and some Patrol Leaders. "I want you boys to be my special police," he said. "There are some bad boys in this town and I want them straightened out.  We don't want to arrest them and make criminals of them.  We want them to grow up into good men, setting the same kind of mark you boys are reaching for.  You lads can do more with them than all the police on earth.  Keep your eyes open and report to me every once in a while If you run across a boy you can't do anything with let me know his name, and I'll see if we can't help you to get him in line." The boys gladly took the assignment and said they'd do their best to make good.  Here are some other Good Turns for Police Department.

bulletCounted autos for State Highway Commission.
bulletDirected traffic in city streets, county fairs, and at conventions, etc.
bulletGuarded street crossings for school children.
bulletParked cars at churches.
bulletAssisted in controlling crowds watching parades.
bulletAided in spreading new traffic regulations.
bulletServed in educating public in use of new traffic signals.
bulletDistributed safety literature throughout city.

Conventions have found Scouts most valuable, making possible, through their volunteer service, more effective programs.

bulletActed as messengers during State Teacher's Convention.
bulletServed as guides during Firemen's convention.
bulletHelped with community Christmas tree.
bulletActed as guards at athletic contests conducted by Board of Education.
bulletAssisted in innumerable ways at county and state fairs.
bulletIn an organized way, helped city officials fight various insect pests such as the codling moth, caterpillars, mosquitoes, pine beetles, grasshoppers, etc.
bulletBoy Scouts made a tree census of an entire city, last spring covering forty square miles, divided into districts, each Troop being responsible for a certain area. The boys listed the trees by number and species location. The work was done under the supervision of tree experts and its result was a commendable and valuable contribution to the city records.  Other results were the heightening of interest in the city and its trees on the part of the Scouts and the general public, and a fine bit of good citizenship training for the boys involved, who are learning to be citizens by giving of their time, thought and interest to a big live job, which concerns the whole community."
bulletThe City Planning Commission desired to get a complete count of all types of vehicles moving in both direction on all main arteries of traffic during peak hours, 8 to 9 a. m. and 5 to 6 p. m. Two Scouts were stationed at each of 107 points in the city and outskirts and checked all types of vehicles during the hours indicated. The work was exceptionally well done and accurate.

Some Quoted Community Good Turns:

bullet"Delivered twenty-two thousand circulars on paint and clean up week for the Mayor who is a Scoutmaster."
bullet"Investigated and oiled all swampy spots in city outskirts to kill mosquitoes."
bullet"During Clean-Up and Fire Prevention Week, the Scouts of the city inspected every backyard in the city and made a written report of 250 hazards, which in turn were investigated and dealt with by the city."
bullet"Our First Class Scouts do traffic duty in front of our school, where there is a dangerous crossing, all the year through."
bullet"Our Troop dug all the dandelions out of the City Park and Court House lawn because the gardener, a grand army soldier, had a wooden leg and could not get down to do it."
bullet"Displayed poison ivy charts and leaves in many down town store windows with instructions of how to avoid, treat, and exterminate this plant pest."
bullet"Organized and directed a city-wide treasure hunt on Halloween night and kept 125 boys busy in town without one single case of 'devilment.' "
bullet"Our Troop acts as life guards at the city swimming pool."
bullet"For the three summer months counted all autos passing through our village for the Chamber of Commerce."
bullet"Built, painted and cared for a dozen waste paper cans for our village, burning the rubbish each Saturday morning under the direction of our fire warden."
bullet"Our Scouts met 6,000 delegates at the railroad station and saw them to their hotels and homes."
bullet"In a very heavy snow which completely demoralized the city, Boy Scouts were immediately mobilized and dug out more than 300 fire plugs and opened a curb passage to them."  The Mayor's summons were as follows:
bullet"No Good Turn you can do is better just now than helping to rid the city of snow.
bullet1.  Clean the walk and gutter before the house you live in and in front of your headquarters.
bullet2.  Free the nearest fire hydrant of all snow.
bullet3.  See that the sewer entrance at the nearest corner is free of ice and snow.
bullet4.  Help the nearest neighbor.
bullet5.  Scoutmasters are charged with carrying this order into effect.  The best citizen shovels snow now without waiting for anybody."
bullet"All First Class Scouts are made deputy firemen and given four weeks training by the Fire Chief."
bullet"Picked up 192 pounds of nails and 61 pounds of glass from the streets.   Reported 103 unsanitary spots and buildings to city authorities.
bullet"Painted 17 telephone poles to indicate that fire alarm boxes were fastened to them."
bullet"Secured the long-time use of a suitable lot, cleared it of weeds, plowed and leveled it, erected a fence and made a playground for all boys in the neighborhood."
bullet"Built, kept up and supervised a community skating rink for younger boys and girls."
bullet"Our Troop in three months did 2,400 hours of public service for our Community Chest campaign."
bullet"Gathered, repaired, repainted, and delivered to homes, 1,399 toys."
bullet"Acted as agents for the Parent Teachers' Association.  Investigated all poor families of our district and in some way helped 79 people with food, clothes, books, wood, coal, and labor."
bullet"Moved Public Library of 5,000 volumes from one building to another."
bullet"Rounded up two insane men who had strayed from local asylum."
bullet"Gathered 4,563 tin cans and after selecting 1,000 for suitable bird boxes hauled balance to city dump."
bullet"Planted 15,000 trees on the new County Farm after a little school of instruction and forestry."
bullet"Scouts picked up 50,000 articles in puncture campaign.  Local bank displayed a good deal of the collection in their bank window."

And Finally

Good Turns supply the basis and motive for special campaigns for the community. Following is how one Community Good Turn was organized into a great city event to the tremendous benefit of all parties concerned.

It is given here in full merely to suggest what may be done with a Good Turn idea when it falls into ingenious hands.  It is one kind of a Good Turn to gather a few tin cans, it is a different kind of a Good Turn to clean up a city.


How the Boy Scouts of Dubuque Did It

Fruit growers say of their produce, "We eat what we can and what we can't we can," but in Dubuque, Iowa, there is a group of Boy Scouts who go the fruit men one better. Their slogan is "We eat what they can when they can't and then can the can!"

No matter how carefully its original contents were prepared and sealed, the empty tin can is a real menace to health when left lying around. The Boy Scouts in Dubuque, however, backed by the local Board of Health, the Commercial. Club, the newspapers and everybody interested in the "Spotless City" idea, ordained that the cans should pass.

Prizes were offered for the boys bringing to a municipal can pile established on a vacant lot near the business center of the city, the largest number of old tin cans. A checker was stationed at the lot each day during the six-day "Tin Can Drive" to count the empties and issue receipts for them.  Every boy in town, whether Scout or not, was eligible for the competition.

During the week the menace of the empty tin can was preached in the school by special health lecturers provided by the Board of Health and other interested organizations. Scouts paraded the city with such slogans as "Can the Can." "The Tin Can is the Mosquitoes' Home--Can It," and "Clean Up Dubuque--The Boy Scouts Will Show You How."

The large show window of the Local Scout Council's office was fitted up with a mosquito hatchery.  This was made of cheese cloth, the front edges being pasted to the window, the glass of which furnished the outer side.  At the start the hatchery contained three glass jars of dirty water, two jars containing water from undrained sloughs within the city limits and the other water taken from tin cans in one of the unsightly back alley piles.

This slough water developed all sorts of animalcules, the jar of water taken from the tin cans producing the most mosquito larvae or wrigglers; which developed into a swarm of full sized mosquitoes, including the malaria variety, in a few days.  This exhibit naturally attracted a great deal of attention.  The city newspapers devoted considerable space every day to a story on the growth of the can pile and the progress of affairs of the mosquito hatchery.

Every night the can pile was covered with oil and then lighted in order to destroy any organic life which might be developing. After blazes died away all cans which still looked suspicious were treated to a genereous dose of chloride of lime.

The campaign closed on Saturday noon with more than 56,000 cans accounted for. The pile represented every known variety of tin can from the little pepper box to the old tin wash boiler. The champion collector held receipts for 14,165 cans--a wonderful total for one boy--and the second boy had 6,793 empties to his credit.

But that didn't finish the cans.  They had to be smashed so no water could lie in them again to tempt home hunting skeeters.  The boys of the town were therefore invited to a can smashing bee on Saturday afternoon.  Dozens responded to the call and soon the 56,000 cans looked like a collection of metal pancakes.  One boy smashed fifty almost beyond recognition in five minutes by stop watch!  Trucks from the street cleaning department then hauled the remains off to the city dump.

Here are a few suggestions for other community campaigns.

bullet"Clout the Rat" campaign.
bulletTraffic Regulation.
bulletService Tent at Sea Beach.
bulletFire Prevention Survey and Demonstration.
bulletPark Police Work.
bulletCommunity Christmas Charity.
bulletWar on Moths and Caterpillars.
bulletExtermination of Barberry Bushes.
bulletCollecting Salvage Material (paper, rubber, tin foil, bottle etc.).
bulletTree Planting.
bulletWalk Right Campaign.
bulletAnti-Spitting Campaign.
bullet"Swat the Fly."
bulletBuilding Bird Houses for City Parks.
bulletCity "Clean Up" Campaign.

Good Deeds






Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Good Turns to Animals ] [ Community Good Turns ] Individual Good Turns ] National Good Turns ] Outdoor Good Turns ] Patrol Good Turns ] Troop Good Turns ] Unusual Good Turns ] Winter Good Turns ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Game with a Purpose ] Spirit Scavenger Hunt ] Scout Law History ] Learning Scout Law ] Woodcraft Laws ] B-P Law & Promise ] B-P Scout Motto ] B-P Salute Sign Badge ] Timberwolf Promise & Law ] Otter Promise & Law ] Traditional Variations ] The Order of Nature ] Boy Pioneers Constitution ] Scoutmaster's Benediction ] BSA as Religious Org ] Good Deeds ] What is a Boy Scout? ] A Scout is Reverent: ] When Others Say "God" ] On Patriotism ] Flag History & Care ] Value of Little Customs ] B-P & Nature Knowledge ] Religion of Backwoods ] Baden-Powell on Religion ] B-P Fundamental Ethics ] Letters to a PL ] Pantheism ] Evidences of Christianity ] Within My Power ] Has God in Him ] Matthew 19:13,14 ] Matthew 25:3146 ] Kingdom God Within You ] B-P Badge + Sign ] BSA Congressional Charter ] Scouting in 1938 ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.