This Fourth of July, take some time to think about the phrase from the Scout Oath “I will do my best to do my duty to … my country.” The purpose of the Fourth of July is to help us, as citizens of the USA, reflect on what it took for this country to be built and how we can continue to honor that legacy of freedom. So, celebrate the Fourth of July this year by doing something to honor your duty to country.

Here are some great ideas to get you started: 

Perform a Service Project

Every community has people in need. A service project is a great way to help on a local or even national scale. A great service project where a Scout or a family can provide a service to their community is helping with family history work by documenting gravesites. This project benefits thousands of people researching their family history, and cemetery sextons who spend too much time helping people find graves instead of taking care of the cemetery. Not only does this help individuals, it also instills a sense of respect for the history of our country’s citizens. Scouts can even consider this for an Eagle Scout project. 

A great resource to use is BillionGraves’s service project site. It is a tool that can be used to facilitate the project, store the information and make it freely available to everyone.

Volunteer in a Park

The National Park Service offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups as part of the Volunteers-In-Parks program. Work behind the scenes or on the front line in positions ranging from a one-time service project/volunteer event to a longer-term position, serving alongside park employees or with one of their many partner organizations. Opportunities are available at park locations throughout the United States, including the territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean.

Our National Parks represent all of the many great things our nation has to offer. By volunteering and working to better our Parks, you too can be an example of what duty ot country means.

Honor our Country’s Veterans 

For decades, Boy Scouts have been honoring veterans on the Fourth of July and other patriotic holidays. It is an important message to our Scouts to honor those who fought and died for us. It teaches them that nothing is given to us without a struggle to protect the freedom we enjoy in our great country. Honor local veterans by visiting a cemetery in your town. You will be surprised to see how many veterans are found there. Place a flag, a red carnation or simply thank the veteran for their service. Often, events are organized for Scouts to do this in their local cemetery. 

This activity can become especially meaningful if visitors  thank the retired vets and those
in uniform by saying their name and thanking them out loud. May we all remember to say “Thank you for your service.”

These are just a few simple ideas to get Scouts, families and anyone else more focused on their duty to country this Fourth of July. 

Share your ideas for representing your duty to country in the comments below!

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