Give Back 50

Fifty “50th” Service Project Ideas

“To help other people at all times” is one of the most important phrases in the Scout Oath. We’re encouraging all Scouting units to put that into action during the 50th Anniversary celebrations!

Here is a list of service projects with “50” as its theme – in honor of the council’s golden anniversary. Adopting one of these – or any service project – is a great way to remind everyone in your community of the true value Scouting brings to everyone in our program, and those we touch.

These ideas range from small to large; if you choose a large one, it need not be tackled on one day, but can extend over a period of time. Some ideas are suited for individuals, some for small groups, others for entire Packs, Troops or Crews.

Unit Leaders: Don’t forget to get local publicity out of your project, to help you recruit and grow your unit. See the Unit Helps page for ideas!

And be sure to record your service hours on Internet Advancement and Scoutbook, so we can report the impact of Scouting in Central Illinois to the world! (Not sure how? Here’s help, in a 3-minute step-by-step video: Watch it now!)

Suggested Service Projects

  1. Collect food for meals to feed 50 families in need; deliver to a local food pantry.
  2. Collect 50 book bags with a supply of school supplies for families/children in need.
  3. Hand-craft 50 greeting cards and deliver them to a local nursing home.
  4. Collect 50 packets of toiletry items; donate to a women’s shelter.
  5. Collect 50 toys for Toys for Tots (or a local equivalent.)
  6. Assemble 50 Easter baskets and distribute to local shelters.
  7. Become an IDOT Adopt a Highway sponsor in your community, and pick up 50 pounds of rubbish from roadsides.
  8. Have one or more service days for your charter organization this year (yard clean-up, pancake breakfast, litter pick-up, etc.) totaling 50 hours of service.
  9. Create (or help create) and run a haunted house for 50 or more children.
  10. Volunteer 50 hours over the next year at a local animal shelter (reading to the animals, walking dogs, providing pet supplies, etc.).
  11. Clean debris from 50 yards of shoreline along a body of water.
  12. Adopt a military troop and send them 50 greeting/holiday cards twice this year.
  13. Clean and refill 50 bird or hummingbird feeders at the local Audubon Society or nature center.
  14. Collect and recycle 50 pounds of aluminum cans; donate the proceeds to a local charity.
  15. Construct 50 bird houses, duck houses, owl boxes and donate to a local park district.
  16. Hand design 50 placemats for Meals on Wheels recipients.
  17. Volunteer to supply a water station and hand out drinks for 50+ runners taking part in a local charity running race. A fruit station after the race is a good idea, too.
  18. Plant 50 trees in your community; contact the park district, schools, churches, etc.
  19. Conduct a fall coat/hat/glove drive, then clean and distribute 50 winter items to the Salvation Army or similar facility.
  20. Lead games of Bingo at a nursing home until at least 50 residents have played.
  21. Organize a book and magazine drive, and donate 50+ items to a daycare, overseas soldiers, a VA medical center or an inner-city school.
  22. Place flags on 50+ gravesites for Memorial Day or other special days of remembrance.
  23. Help make 50+ meals at a local food pantry, homeless shelter or similar facility.
  24. Make drawings/paintings/other art and deliver to senior housing complexes with 50+ residents.
  25. Assist at alternative trick-or-treat events for 50+ children.
  26. Make 50 no-sew fleece blankets for children in need through Project Linus, any children’s hospital, or deliver them to any natural disaster centers, homeless shelters, or animal shelters.
  27. Volunteer to collect garbage (or another service) at a local community event serving 50+ people.
  28. Take part in a missionary trip delivering any service to others, donating 50+ hours of your time.
  29. Clear 50 yards of brush or an invasive species from a local trail.
  30. Find conservation projects in your area and donate 5 hours/month for 10 months to total 50 hours of service.
  31. Lead others on a nature hike of 50 minutes or more, pointing out flora, fauna and other points of interest.
  32. Volunteer as a lifeguard at birthday parties or events at your local swimming pool, serving 50 or more participants (total).
  33. Teach skills related to a Merit Badge of interest to you. Spend 50+ minutes preparing and delivering the information to a non-Scouting group (i.e., at school, church, your community).
  34. Organize a group of Christmas carolers and visit local nursing homes, entertaining 50+ residents.
  35. Put on Scouting skits and sing Scouting songs at a children’s crisis intervention center, daycare, etc., entertaining 50 or more children.
  36. Volunteer to stock shelves for at least 50 minutes, or pack at least 50 food boxes, at a local food pantry.
  37. Work with parents and police to provide emergency identification kits for 50 or more children in your community.
  38. Strip, clean, and re-paint at least 50 fire hydrants in or around your community.
  39. Coordinate with existing social services agencies or programs to provide 50 hours of reading and recording stories for the blind.
  40. Paint house numbers on curbs free of charge, using donated materials, for 50 or more homes in your community.
  41. Contact your local Red Cross (or equivalent) to assist at a blood drive with 50+ donors.
  42. Participate in Scouting for Food, collecting 50 or more pounds of food for local food pantries.
  43. Make 50 or more treats and deliver them to your local fire or police department in thanks for their community service.
  44. Fold and package 50 flags for our troops through the Pocket Flag Project.
  45. Organize a sock drive for homeless shelters. Socks are one of the most needed yet least donated items at a homeless shelter. Donate at least 50 pairs.
  46. Put on a magic show for residents of a nursing home or daycare center for 50 or more individuals
  47. Team up with your local Lions Club to collect 50 old pairs of eyeglasses for needy folks
  48. Find out the date of the next Special Olympics event in your area. Spend 50 hours in support, either by making encouraging signs or attending to cheer on the athletes.
  49. Help serve 50+ meals with groups like Salvation Army, Mobile Loaves and Fishes, Angel House Soup Kitchen, and Carnitas.
  50. Spend 50+ hours in community cleanup or beautification, which can include picking up trash, removing exotic or encroachment flora or fauna, clearing overgrown areas, installing recreation items or habitat improvement.