The Four Activity Areas


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THE VOLUNTARY PUBLIC SERVICE GOAL

This goal must be performed without pay, compensation, or school credit. Activities must be direct service (not issue- oriented), benefit the community at large and be non-partisan. Volunteering in a private office, such as a veterinarian's office, law firm, or elected official's office is not a volunteer service activity (but might work as Personal Development). In some cases several activities can be used.
For example, you might perform a variety of activities, depending on specific assignments given. The same applies in similar situations: school service clubs, Scouting activities, Red Cross volunteer, etc.
Church missionary work (preaching, converting) is not acceptable, nor is partisan political work (such as working on an election campaign).

The following are minimums: Bronze 100 hours over 7 months, Silver 200 hours over 12 months, Gold 400 hours over 24 months. The times are cumulative, so they count toward the next higher level, too.


Ideas for a Voluntary Public Service Goal

[Image of Kirsten and a little fawn] Here Kirsten volunteered to raise a tiny mule deer fawn for the local zoo. Little "Kayenne" had to be fed every 2 hours, day and night (!), and she became a loving friend for the whole family. Then Kayenne went back to the zoo when she got big and healthy.
Other ideas you might try are: disabled citizen assistance, peer counselling, water safety instructor, fire or police department volunteer, public housing services, camp staff or outdoor school v olunteer, first aid instructor, Red Cross volunteer, food service for needy, animal shelter work, safety escort for children, city health services, tutoring, Civil Air Patrol, Vista programs, Scout or 4-H Leader, day care center volunteer, Meals on Wheels , and many more.


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THE PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT GOAL

This goal encourages your personal growth through individual interests, social skills, or practical abilities. Your goal can be something you do now, or something new - something you'd like to learn to do. You can include schooling, such as earning a GED or completing a Vocational-Technical Program.

The following are minimums: Bronze 50 hours over 3 months, Silver 100 hours over 5 months, Gold 200 hours over 7 months.


Ideas for a Personal Development Goal

Kirsten decided to become a better horseback rider, and to go for the next U.S. Pony Club rating (she passed the next two!). Here she is:

[Image of Kirsten in Stadium Jumping]

Other Personal Development ideas are: cross-cultural programs, job training programs, drawing, painting, dance, foreign language study, sewing, quilting, astronomy, debate, speech, leadership training, dog training, automotive science, literacy programs, theater, acting, video production, ceramics, teaching sunday school, fashion design, tailoring, leadership training, magic, woodwork, music, singing, National Guard, floral design, clerical training, gardening, creative writing, horsemanship, photography, and many more.


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THE PHYSICAL FITNESS GOAL

This improves your quality of life through physical fitness, and requires physical activity. Your goal can involve a new activity, or achievement in an activity you already do. The activities can be competitive.

The following are minimums: Bronze 50 hours over 3 months, Silver 100 hours over 5 months, Gold 200 hours over 7 months.


Ideas for a Physical Fitness goal

Here are some physical fitness ideas: Canoeing, kayaking, handball, scuba or skin diving, archery, hiking, skateboarding, backpacking, fencing, hockey, skiing, badminton, track and field events, rock climbing, soccer, baseball, figure skating, racquetball, swimming, fitness walking, tennis, football, golf, weight training, gymnastics, sailing, bowling, running or jogging, wrestling, and many more.


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THE EXPEDITION OR EXPLORATION GOAL

This goal is a "venture" activity. It challenges you to learn about our world through experiencing the wilderness, or through an adventure in a much different culture or environment. Your aim should be to develop a spirit of adventure and discovery. The expedition or exploration is a one-time experience which you plan, organize, train for, and make happen. It is not an event you attend, or one that someone else plans.

Ideas for an Expedition

[Image of Kirsten on a llama packing trip] An expedition into the wilderness is the most common goal. Kirsten learned about llamas, then planned and made a llama-packing trip into the Idaho mountains with a small group of friends. Here she is in the mountains with her favorite llama, "Sam-I-Am." Other ideas you might consider: hiking, canoeing, boating or bicycling activities which require that you camp in and experience the outdoors. Mountain Climbing. Wilderness Hiking. A bicycle tour through your state. A horseback cross-country endurance ride. Acting out a Civil Patrol rescue mission while camping overnight in an unfamiliar environment.
Activities where you do no significant planning, such as Scout Jamborees, class trips, State Fairs, sports camps, family trips, college orientations, home-hosting of foreign students, leadership conferences, et cetera, don't count here. They are neat things to do, though, and might be used for your Personal Development goal.


Ideas for an Exploration

You might want to try an exploration. It's a venture experience which provides an equal or greater challenge than an expedition activity. Explorations are for a longer time, and you learn about a different culture. Some ideas are:

Of course, expeditions and exploration involve a certain amount of cost. This is something which you will have to consider when you set up this goal. You may want to seek sponsorship or scholarships, and look for equipment which you can borrow or rent reasonably.
And although you'll be self-supporting and self-sufficient, an adult supervisor oversees the venture. The adult is a passive participant and cannot serve as a leader. A Gold level expedition should be achieved solely by the participant(s).

The following minimums are required: Bronze - at least ten hours of venture activity, including one night in a shelter or tent, averaging eight hours a day. Silver - at least twenty hours of venture activity, including two nights in a shelter or tent, averaging eight hours a day. Gold - at least forty hours of venture activity, including four nights in a shelter or tent, averaging eight hours a day.


So there it is ... if you've gotten this far, you've for sure got what it takes. GO FOR IT!

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Send comments, suggestions and updates to Dr. Craig Nickisch.