Why Volunteering is Good for Children

Volunteer work is work done freely often with minimal or no compensation. Many people choose to volunteer their time for a cause they believe in and feel is worthwhile. Volunteering is good for adults. It’s also good for children. It’s never too early to let kids volunteer their time. When kids engage in volunteer work, they learn many things and benefit in many large and small ways. Children learn to work in groups, help others freely, get to explore new viewpoints and have the early opportunity to be part of something larger.

Learning New Things

Kids who volunteer typically engage in new kinds of activities they might not have done before. A child may be asked to paint a wall with a colorful design, knit a hat, or read a story to another child who is suffering from a dreadful disease. Children have the chance to learn they can master a new skill. They can learn to paint, discover the joys of knitting and learn how to act out a story in order to make it fun and exciting for someone else.

Working in Groups

When children volunteer, they usually do so in groups. Working with others is a crucial life task. Children get to feel they are part of a team. They get to learn the value of following orders correctly, working with other people for a common goal and seeing how their actions can translate into a better world. These are life skills that will serve well both in the classroom and when they go looking for a job.

Helping Others

Children who are given the chance to volunteer also get to work with others and help them. Children who are given the chance to share and engage in giving their time are children who are likely to grow up with a sense of empathy and compassion. Empathy enables children to understand what others are thinking and feeling. Compassion allows children to see another point of view and perhaps appreciate their own luck.

Something Larger

Above all, when children volunteer, they are given the chance to be part of something larger. Children who volunteer may do things such as creating a house for another person or sharing what they know about reading and writing. In doing so, they get to realize the world around them and get a sense of their ability to change it for the better.

Service Project Ideas for Young Scouts

One of the best things about the Sea Scouts is that it teaches children how to serve their communities. We have so much fun doing service work for the community. Here are a few projects we have participated in and some ideas for your group of scouts.

  • Make holiday cards for patients in nursing homes
  • Collect video games and DVDs for treatment centers for children
  • Plant trees and flowers in the local park
  • Collect games and clothes for the local homeless shelter
  • Clean up trash and litter at the park
  • Visit a hospital or nursing home and play games with patients
  • Make baked goods and deliver them to first responders
  • Collect food for the local food pantry
  • Make blankets for children at homeless shelters
  • Go to animal shelters and play with the pets
  • Make cards and send gifts to troops overseas
  • Create care packages for the homeless including toiletries

What are your favorite ideas for service? Share them here.

What to Do if You Get Separated from Your Group

Getting lost or separated from the group can be a scary thing. A great way to remember what to do is to think about the acronym STOP.

Stay Put – it’s much easier for your group to be able to find you if you stay where you are. Find a safe space and stay there.

Think – Think about the resources that you have available to you. Build your confidence by being prepared and considering your situation.

Observe – Observe your surroundings. Is it getting dark? Are there dangerous surroundings? Is there any shelter nearby?

Plan – Don’t panic. Take a deep breath and determine how you can conserve energy.

Getting separated from the group doesn’t have to be so overwhelming and scary. Keep a level head, and your leaders will find you.