Service Chair & Community Service Liason
Who is Tom Reitz…your Northern Ridge District Service Chair & Community Service Liaison? An Eagle Scout (1976) in Troop 96, Long Island, New York; I served in a wide variety of youth leadership positions; graduated BSA’s National Troop Leader Development Training; Order of the Arrow Buckskin Lodge 412; Philmont 50 Miler; more than 150 nights Camping
- Most exciting service project? Cleaning President Teddy Roosevelt’s firearms collection with the National Park Service Rangers at Sagamore Hill, Long Island
- Member of Aviation Explorer Post 1000 at Grumman Aerospace (designer & builder of the F-14 Tomcat, A6 Intruder, and Apollo Lunar Module)
- National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) Life Member
- Graduated from the University of Notre Dame, 1981, BA Government & International Studies; US Army Scholarship
- Married to my patient (very patient) wife Caroline for 35 years
- Worked in Security and Risk Management Industries for more than 25 years, now “Retired”
- I truly enjoyed being a Den Leader (for Tigers to Webelos 2X…for two sons) and Cubmaster
- As Grandfather of two future Scouts, my Scouting Goal… return to Cubs in 4 years as their Den Leader!
- Our three sons thoroughly enjoyed all that Scouting in Troop “2k” offered & they still give back
- As an Assistant Scoutmaster for more than 15 years, I’ve worked closely with more than 150 of the 187 Scouts who earned Eagle in Troop 2000; served as Merit Badge Coordinator 50+ Counselors; developed a Den Chief Program that in one year provided 25 Den Chiefs for 5 Cub Packs; created an “Instructor Corps” to retain & motivate Life Scouts, and Mentored many Scouts on the Trail to Eagle
- I’ve filled in for Scoutmasters over the years …numerous meetings, Scoutmaster Conferences, Parent Recruitments & “Conferences”, Weekend Campouts, Summer Camps, etc. Along the way, secured my OA Brotherhood ties in Egwa Tawa Dee
- I enjoy Scouting with older youth as well. As a Sea Badge recipient, I founded Ship 2000 in the late ’90s and served as Skipper, with 30+ Sea Scouts (50/50 boys/girls ages 14-20); and I’m a trained Venture Crew
- Associate Advisor Attended National and World Jamborees
- Wood Badge…BEAR PATROL… with my son Matt (at Jean Veeneman’s “invitation”)
- I enjoy helping families and Scouts with Special Needs…physical, cognitive, intellectual, behavioral, developmental and learning disabilities…or, as I prefer to say “Different Abilities”
It’s a pleasure to serve on District Eagle Boards of Review; I’m a BSA Counselor for 55 Merit Badges serving Scouts in our District, Council, and across the U.S.; volunteer as District Community Service Liaison to assist
Units in developing projects and extending Scout service to underserved and to-date unserved worthy beneficiaries in our community.
As a Member of the Atlanta Area Council International Committee, back in 2001 I traveled as Co-Contingent Leader to Japan for the Atlanta-Tokyo Friendship Exchange and summited Mount Fuji with Crew of Eagle Scouts We’ve hosted Scouts and Scouters from Japan, Sweden, Uganda, Bangladesh, and the UK, and continually look for new opportunities to introduce our Scouts to the World of Scouting. I am continuing the work of my son Matt to develop a Friendship Exchange with the Bharat Scouts & Guides of India As a Board Member of The Matthew W. Reitz Foundation, I advise on the development of a program to help fund International Eagle Scout & Messengers of Peace Projects, in memory of my late son Matt.
“Scouts: Serving the Community…and being recognized for their efforts”
SCOUT SERVICE PROJECT IDEAS
While many restrictions have been lifted, Corona Virus is still a serious health risk. Some people are especially vulnerable and need help from Scouts!
Remember to Always:
- Wear masks and maintain social distancing
- Follow Two-Deep Leadership
- Have Parents accompany Scouts doing individual projects
- Don’t put your Scouts in any situations you or their parents find objectionable given the current state of the COVID-19/Coronavirus Pandemic
Service is one of the most important values we have in Scouting. The Scout Oath calls on us all to “help other people at all times.” The Scout Law says a Scout is Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind.
These may be the most important ideals a young person takes away from their time in Scouting, no matter how long they’re with us.
Each individual Scout Pack, Troop, or Crew works independently; we at District don’t just call or email and say, “here’s a project you need to do.” Every Unit has its own calendar and may already have service projects they already support. However, it helps us all to share ideas so all of our Scouts
benefits and provide meaningful service to our communities.
My “job” as YOUR Northern Ridge District Service Liaison is to find/identify nonprofits/ charities/beneficiaries who have benefitted from Scout service, would like to have more service done by our Scouts…and in some cases may have never enjoyed the benefit of Scouts’ service and make your Unit aware of those needs in our Community.
There’s another side to the “job”. That’s to make our community more aware of all the good we do. To do that, I need your input. With your help I can work to promote the “good news” of Scouting to our communities via Social Media and traditional news.
So please call or send me an email. A narrative is good, and pictures of your Scouts in action is great!
If you need or want to…
discuss ideas for potential Unit or individual Scout projects, get help in contacting a group/beneficiary to serve, get support or guidance for logistics, want to set up a Service Awards Program for your Unit…develop a Messengers of Peace project…or share ideas you have for projects…
The Northern Ridge District Community Service team is here for you. We can be easily reached by email or phone call.
Northern Ridge District Service Chair & Community Service Liaison
What kind of service projects can my Unit do?
For service projects that your Unit can do as a Troop, Pack, or Crew…or service your Scouts can do on an individual basis, first contact your Charter Organization to see if they have specific needs.
Your Unit can go to JustServe.org. This is a website that lists service opportunities big and small across communities. People visiting this site can search by town or project type and find opportunities where they can be of the most help. Simply enter your town or zip code and it’ll bring up organizations in your area that need help. Find an organization your Unit might like to help and contact them directly to find out what their current needs are and how your Unit can help.
Visit Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta cfgreateratlanta.org and select a local charity from the list of more than 245 community Non-Profits that serve Atlanta and 23 surrounding Counties in Georgia…You select the Group you might like to serve, and then you get in direct contact with that
group to find what their needs are.
Individual & Group Opportunities that need volunteer help are also listed on United Way of Greater Atlanta unitedwayatlanta.org
Scouts around the Country and the World are doing many great services for their communities
CUBSCOUTIDEAS.COM Offers great ideas for your Cub Scout Pack to do service.
SCOUTING MAGAZINE has done feature articles on service projects and there are two that stand out for their good ideas for a Pack, Troop, or Crew:
- Ten service project ideas to help initiate action in your unit
- 101 great Scout service project ideas https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2015/10/09/101-great-scout-service-project-ideas/
For ideas for some Eagle Projects, or Unit Service Projects turn to BOY’S LIFE EAGLE SCOUT PROJECT SHOWCASE
The National Eagle Scout Association-NESA also offers good suggestions to help a Life Scout get started EAGLE SCOUT PROJECT IDEAS-THE NATIONAL EAGLE SCOUT ASSOCIATION
Here are just a handful of ideas for you to consider and “brainstorm”…
- Food Drive for Community Food Banks
- Food needs go on all year long and many families have been financially impacted by the pandemic.
- Check to see…does your Unit’s Charter Organization support any one particular Food Bank?
- Check local Food Banks (Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Milton, and Roswell)…
Two for example…
- North Fulton Community Charities is accepting donations Monday-Thursday 12-3pm See nfcchelp.org for more info on their specific needs. Holly York is the Director.
- Hands of Christ is also accepting donations. The big needs right now are pasta & sauce, PB&J, Canned fruits, veggies & meats. Margy McGlynn is the Director and a friend of Scouting (her son Ryan is an Eagle Scout) Hands of Christ is finding that community needs are 3 times higher than normal due to people losing their jobs because of the pandemic.
Other Service Project Ideas to consider…
- Organize Yard Maintenance days to take care of doctors, nurses, or paramedics yards who are too busy to do so.
- Host Virtual Tutoring services for subjects like math, science, and robotics.
- Perform Music outside Senior/Assisted Living Facilities that are still under lock-down restrictions…. form a small group of 3-4 Scouts and play a small concert outside of a facility (keeping the Scouts spread out). Again it maintains social distancing and gives the residents something nice to
- Face Masks collect materials for volunteers to sew fabric covers for N95 masks being used by healthcare professionals. The covers help extend the life of the N95 masks
- How to Make Cloth Face Coverings CDC.GOV has all the guidelines you need to make effective masks properly
- Send a ‘thinking of you’ video or email to a local nursing home — or give them a call. Combat loneliness by writing a letter, creating a story, or drawing a picture – Send to assisted living facilities, hospitals, residential treatment centers for kids or other similar organizations. Remember to check if the organization will accept the physical copy by mail or if you should scan/email instead moreloveletters.com
- Spread Kindness & Inspirational Messages – Share uplifting stories or positive affirmations on social media or directly with your family and friends.
- Help with grocery pick-up/delivery As long as it’s safe to do so, and a parent or guardian is present, Scouts could offer to pick up and deliver groceries for those who are unable to leave their homes.
- Send a thank-you message to a local hospital Thank ER doctors, nurses, and other critical care professionals for their hard work. Scouts can send electronic messages to these hard-working heroes. Be sure to find a non-emergency contact at the hospital before sending a message. We don’t
want to overwhelm these facilities with calls.
- Donate blood The Coronavirus has caused many blood drives to be canceled, prompting concerns of a blood shortage. Encourage any healthy person 18 or older to donate blood through the American Red Cross.
The Red Cross has set up redcrossblood.org that answers questions potential donors might have about the safety of giving blood during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Make pet toys to donate to shelters Contact your local Animal Shelter. Some have a minimum age requirement so explain you have a Group that will be accompanied by adults
- Make self-care, first aid kits to be donated to homeless shelters later. Learn how from stvincentdepaul.net
Service awards your Scouts can earn:
The President’s Volunteer Service Award presidentialserviceawards.gov
and Congressional Service Awards congressionalaward.org