For the last 20 years people like you have been sending me service project ideas and examples. The most common are probably food drives and assembling kits for the homeless or refugees, but there are also some very unique examples like making furniture or building an orienteering course. Many of these were done as Eagle Scout Projects. No matter what your budget or interests are, this list will help you find a project that will meet your needs.
These service project ideas are excellent for scout groups, youth groups, families, churches, schools, clubs, and communities. This list of project ideas will get your creative juices flowing and help you find somewhere to make a difference in your community. These are great ideas that have made a real difference in people’s lives, both those receiving the service as well as those who perform them.
100+ Service Project Ideas for Scouts and Youth Groups
A women’s shelter in town was in need of clothes and toys for the women and kids staying there. Over 5 weeks a drive was held at local stores in town and a radio ad went on during the drive. More than 4,000 items were collected and $500+.
My Project was to design and build two wheelchair ramps for handicapped and elderly access at a low-income housing unit in my area. The project took over 100 man-hours and took over $450 in supplies, which were either donated or paid for by contributors.
I collected new and used hearing aids from dealers, mortuaries, golf courses, etc. The scouts cleaned, tested, and mailed them to a company that donates them to people in need of them in third world countries. Medical personnel donated their time to travel to the countries.
As a part of the U.S.S. Intrepid that is docked in New York Harbor, they have recently acquired a 2nd vessel “Elizabeth Fisher” that sits next to it in the water. This ship required refurbishing and cleaning which the scout oversaw and supervised.
Labeling Storm Drains
We labeled 197 Storm Drains in Boise, Idaho to warn people not to dump toxic waste into them. The contact agency for this project was the City Environmental Department.
Drug Rehab Center
Well, I raised over $2,100 through dinners, car washes, bake sales, etc. I then donated all this money to the Crossroads Drug Rehab Centre. This centre was started by Eric Clapton. Troop 221 LI, NY.
Help run a tournament for your states special Olympics. I ran a basketball tournament.
Emergency Hygiene Kits for the Homeless
I organized donations and made 100 personal hygiene kits for our local homeless shelter. The kits were valued over $1000. They contained, shampoo, a comb, soap, lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, and a razor.
Citizens Reference Guide for Crisis Intervention
Compiled a list of organizations that would provide help to citizens in our suburb. Wrote each group for their approval to be included in the book. Compiled and published the 44 page book. Distributed the books to all medical facilities, libraries, etc.
I built 2 picnic tables and an expandable picnic area next to a new snack shack at a local ball field
Make an Avenue a Memorial
I called a local organization called “Naugatuck for Trees” and was told about a run down street. For my project I planted trees so that they would line the street, put them in wooden mulch boxes and mulched them. Wooden posts were put in next to them.
I made 40 easels for my church.
Book Drive / Library Setup
Took place over 3 weekends. First, passed out flyers to 4 subdivisions announcing book collection. Second weekend, returned to the houses and picked up books. Third, set up library in local Ruth’s House for battered women and children.
Bat Houses for the Nature Center
I built bat houses for a local nature center, so that bats had a place to live other than condemned buildings. Bats are good for the environment! If you want information on how to construct bat houses, contact Bat Conservation Int’l
I did a toy drive and passed out fliers describing the project. Then i collected over 254 toys to give to the children’s department at a local hospital.
Not counting my hours, my group of people took 185 hours to restore an old bridge in my community. It was run down and had been inappropriately used as an atv trail. I refitted the existing bridge and repainted the wooden rails.
Parks & Rec Renovation
I renovated a portable building we created a meeting room, removed plumbing, called for estimates on electric,air and plumbing.The place was repainted and carpeted .all donated. I raised donations to feed my crew. I gave back to my community.
Sand & Stain Bleachers
I sanded, and applied stain to the baseball field bleachers in Turbotville, PA. I also painted the dugouts, and touched up the bleacher bases.
In conjunction with the Golden Parks and Recreation Department, I built a xeroscape garden. This project took well over 100 man hours, supplied the community with a nice garden and was a benefit to the city of Golden, CO.
Refurbishing Metal Chairs for Church
I organized a work crew to refurbish the metal chairs at my church. A local car dealership donated the labor to repaint them after my crew had sanded and prepared them for painting.
Create a Trail in a Nature Park
We made a new nature trail at a small park in my town. We cut, chopped, pulled and whatever to create a 1/4 mile trail that was 4 feet wide. We then laid down mulch and created steps with railroad ties leading into it.
Build Bird Houses & feeders and Nature Trails
I built 42 birdhouses, feeders and squirrel feeders for a local retirement village. It took over $1000.00 and 800 man hours to complete.
Clean Portion of Town Creek
I organized the cleaning of 1/2 mile of our town creek. People throw a lot of trash into the creek and the city doesn’t have the time or the man power to keep it clean.
Party for the ARC
My friend David held a party at the ARC in Aloha OR. We played games, had a buffet, and had a wild time. It was a good chance to recognize the mentally challenged as equals to ourselves.
paint the numbers of the houses address on the side of the curb in black and white paint
Beach Erosion Control
CONSTRUCT A BEACH FRONT ACCESS WITH TWO SETS OF STEPS LEADING FROM A GRASS AREA DOWN TO THE BEACH. THIS LIMITS THE USE OF WORN PATHS THROUGH SENSITIVE FOLIAGE USED TO LIMIT EROSION AT THE BEACH FRONT.
I made 16 benches for the dugouts at local Little League Baseball League. I spent 12 hrs 55 min planning and the total man hours were 252 hours and 55 min. I studied many different bench designs and decided to design my own.
I built towers at a shooting range at a public park near the Snake River.
For my project, I restored approximately 3/4 of an acre of native prairie in a local state park. For this project, we had to cut down all of the brush on the site and pile it into several brush piles.
Black Top Restoration
Cleaned and repainted black top and repainted the lines and handicapped.
I had a Jungle gym built at a elementary school in Paradise, Tx. It took three Saturdays, in over hundred degree weather.
Zoo Exhibit Rehabilitation
I constructed a stream to alleviate a drainage problem in the Native American tribute at the Columbus Zoo. I also weeded the area, constructed a small garden, and added a number of artifacts.
Paint a Gym
Several scouts painted our Community Gym. It took us 7 hours to paint and to clean-up.
Physical Fitness Center
I built an outdoor fitness center, with landscaping ties around the border and filled it with wood chips then built equipment out of pressure treated wood, like sit-up benches and chin-up bars. I also put a roofed sign board in the center.
Amphitheater for Canoe Construction
Painting the YMCA
I painted the neighborhood Y.M.C.A. Every-time we drive by it, my Dad slows down to admire the “professional paint job”. It was a lot of hard work.
I build a bird Blind at the local Audubon Center. The stand is about two feet off the ground and has a solid front made from rough sawn lumber from a lumber mill in town. The Blind is used to sit in and view the wildlife without disturbing them.
Purple Martins Condo
Built a four story, 32 compartment Purple Martin house at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia Beach VA. Each level was hinged for easy cleaning and contained an air shaft for ventilation. The house is located near the visitor center.
Humane Society Pet Cemetery
Our Humane Society’s cemetery was in need of repair so my project included a new fence, building benches for people to sit on, landscaping, planting trees, making markers and making a map of the animals buried there and who their owners were.
We cleaned out gutters and laid down more stone to repair and beautify a nature trail. Two water tiles, which pour water from one side of trail to the other, were unclogged, and trenches were dug on the other side of them to prevent future stop-ups.
Mirror over Church Baptistry
My Eagle Project was to install a 5’x4′ Safety Glass mirror over my church baptistery so that everyone can see better at a baptism.
Preschool Play Area
I fixed an old Pre-school play area so it could be used again by the children, then I added a sand-box to it.
Planted 22 Trees for School
I planted 21 pine trees for a school in my area. I got grants of money from the power district for the area.
Boat House Deck and Benches
My project consisted of building an 8×12 deck and six benches behind a boat house to be used for canoe instruction at my local county park.
Constructed 16 wooden trail markers for a county park’s nature trail. Markers were built especially sturdy to withstand vandalism attempts.
Built an orienteering course approximately 1/2 mile long at Katherine’s Landing near Lake Mohave AZ.
Smoke Detectors for the Elderly
Raised funds to purchase smoke detectors for the elderly. We worked through local agencies for names and organized 15 scouts to install the smoke detectors in 3 different counties.
Painting Fire Hydrants
Inspected fire hydrants, scraped off old paint, cut weeds back, and then re-painted the fire hydrants.
Park District Kitchen Remodel
I removed an old concession counter and installed a new kitchen area for the Armington Park District Gymnasium. The project took about 150 total man hours. The gym is used by various community groups and individuals.
Clothing Drive for Salvation Army
Committed and received 400 pairs of new winter hats and gloves for needy children. Also had sweatshirts, sweatpants, and other clothing (all new) donated. I was able to help throw a “harvest party” for over 200 kids and handed out goodie bags with candy as well as clothes.
Cleaned Historic Cemetery
I organized scouts to clean an overgrown historic cemetery with graves predating the Civil War. I got the county to put a sign up for the cemetery. My troop found a buried Spanish tombstone from the 1500’s and gave it to the local museum.
Bicycle Safety Program
Our three-part program included: 1) hosting speakers to promote wearing bike helmets, 2) art contest with safety as the theme, and 3) a bicycle rodeo, with a bicycle safety check & a series of riding courses to let participants test their bike savvy & skill.
City Street Sign Survey
We lead a team of four scouts in surveying the street signs for a two-square mile section of Brooklyn NY. We identified over two hundred signs in need of replacement, repair, or other reconsideration (i.e stop vs. yield).
Adopt a Nursing Home
Adopt a nursing home–An eagle and his troop adopted a nursing home and for a year planned holiday programs, made monthly visits, and spent time with residents.
Face-Lift For A School
Built flower boxes (planted flowers), painted flag pole, trimmed shrubs, mowed lawn, and painted safety lines/ramps.
I built an outdoor classroom for a local school. I also surrounded it with benches and made the trail leading up to the classroom.
Outdoor Church Shelter Renewal
We put in new railroad ties and re graveled a trail to Second Presbyterian Church Outdoor Shelter. We installed electric lights to the outdoor shelter, built a new fire pit, and built benches around the fire pit.
I built a brochure holder for the local Red Cross. It allowed the Red Cross to put their pamphlets in something other than scattered on a table. The stand also had a storage area underneath to store extras.
We supervised a project to pack up the books and teaching aids from all the classrooms in an elementary school which was being renovated over the summer. We collected boxes and tape and organized work crews. Project was 200 hours.
Replacing Steps at a Little League Field
For my project, my troop members and I dismantled an old staircase and built a new one. The baseball association paid for the equipment. It was a great project!
We supervised the construction of a 12 foot high, 8’X12′ wildlife observation tower at a state and wildlife preserve. Construction included uprights (four power line poles), deck, safety rails, stairs, and hand rails. It totaled 300 hours.
Restoring an 1893 Brass Bell
Restored a brass school bell and its yoke, cast in 1893 in a foundry from Cincinnati, Ohio. Built a 3’x3′ brick base to mount the bell and yoke upon. The bell was placed in front of an elementary school in Ohio.
Open Air Pool Storage
Built a roof over a chain-link enclosure to secure pool equipment and water polo equipment at the local high school. The project entailed coordinating with the school, the City Parks & Rec, Building Departments, and the State Architect.
Updated 911 Center
We worked with the 911 center to find a place on their computer to enter special info for the addresses of specific people, such as disabled person, blind, etc. We created and distributed forms throughout the county and also used local home nursing agencies, red cross, meals on wheels, etc. to find more information.
Emergency Water Storage
We acquired a pamphlet of approved ways to store emergency water. Then we went door-to-door in our community and spent a few minutes briefly explaining the pamphlet to the people and left a copy with them to study.
We made donation boxes which we left at several grocery stores for over a month for customers to donate pet food/supplies. We had an all-day rally collecting food, money, and cleaners and distributing educational material for the SPCA.
Fire Safety Awareness
Using materials provided by the fire department, I created teaching notebooks and stuffed envelopes that were used as door-to-door teaching aids. We focused on teaching the elderly people and Spanish-speakers about fire safety, especially with respect to wood-frame homes with space heaters.
Organ Donor Information
I showed a video and passed out information about Organ Donation at health fairs, scout meetings, church group meetings, etc. My father donated the corneas of his eyes when he passed on. I spent 100 hours on my project.
New School Furniture
A local establishment that works with abused and abandoned children requested bookcases for their residential school rooms. One of my Life Scouts who loves to work with his hands has taken this on, with help from Scouts who want the Woodworking merit badge!
Training Room Remodel at High School
For my project, I used almost 500 man-hours and $2500.00 of donated materials to increase the size of the high school’s weight room from 144 square feet to 260 square feet. We knocked down 2 cinder block walls.
My fellow scouts and I collected stuffed animals and other toys to hand out to children in the hospital before they go into surgery.
I blazed a quarter-mile trail at Adventure Woods, a challenge course designed to build group dynamics. The trail connected a remote element of the course to a pre-existing trail.
I constructed 8 back & foot rest soccer benches for the local high school varsity soccer complex. I also silk screened donors’ names and logos on them.
Veteran Flag Counting
I went around to local cemeteries and counted veterans’ graves so enough flags for memorial day could be purchased and no veteran’s grave would go without a flag.
Outdoor Picnic Area for Elementary School
I cleared the land and mulched the area beside the local elementary school. I also built 5 wooden picnic tables from scratch. The school uses this area for various learning activities and also at lunch.
I closed several hiking trails at Great Falls National Park. The technical term is “brushing up.” I covered the trails with brush, logs, rocks, and other natural surroundings. The goal was to keep people from using the trails in the future.
American Flag Retirement
For my project, I collected old, worn, weathered, and tattered flags from the citizens and businesses in my area. Then at a Spring Camporee, I properly retired 250 American flags with honor and respect.
Landscaping around new Church Sanctuary
With the help of my scout troop and members of the church, we were able to put in landscaping, mulch, and sod around the church’s new 2300-seat auditorium. There was a combined time of 480 hours of physical work involved.
Low Ropes Course
We installed a low ropes course at my church camp with the help of two COPE-certified adults. The project took 123 man hours and cost close to $400, including donations from companies. It was all paid for by the camp.
Elementary Schoo Garden Boxes
The local elementary school has a garden/Life Lab program, and the rabbits were eating up the crops. I built garden boxes, made the old fence rabbit-proof, put rock on pathways, and put up new rabbit-proof fences and signs.
We printed the name of our church building on the backs of all of the plastic chairs using stencils so that they could be loaned out to families and easily identified.
Historic Orchard Planting
We replanted the original orchard plot from 1752 in our historic community with 36 different apple trees from that time period.
Map Project for Schools
A scout handled one of our Telephone Pioneers’ on-going projects. He painted a multi-colored map of United States on an elementary school playground to teach geography using games.
Boating Safety Signs
Organized 5 groups to mount 160 safety signs across Lake Allatoona, Georgia for the Allatoona Lake Association. Signs remind boaters of the law requiring children under 10 to wear P.F.D. while watercraft is underway.
Painting and Color-Coding Fire Hydrants
I cleaned & painted fire hydrants for the Hastings Utilities Water Department. I painted the barrels silver then painted the bonnets and hose caps either red, orange, or green to comply with the AWWA standards for gallons per minute of flow.
Blue Bird Restoration
I built 50 birdhouses that accommodated several different species of birds, posted them in a regional park, and donated some to neighbors along the park border. The birdhouses were made out of scrap wood donated by a lumber company.
Fire Ring with Benches
I built a stone fire ring and cut trees to use as benches around half of the fire ring. I also put in a shed and water barrel near the ring.
Archery Range & Horseshoe Pits
I logged over 400 hours building two competition horseshoe pits and a regulation archery range. This was done at one of my church’s properties.
Re-roofing a storage shed
We put down new shingles on a church storage shed that had holes in the old shingles.
Garden for the disabled
We went to a retirement home and built a box that for soil. The box had to be short enough and high enough to plant the right kind of garden. This is for older people to be able to enjoy gardening and being outdoors even though they live in a retirement home.
Patio Wooden COver
I logged 1000+ hours creating this project. It was a 9′ tall by 30′ long by 15′ wide patio cover. We had 6.5’x 18″ cement footing, 10 gallons of paint, and other materials totaling $3,000. The money and food were donated.
I converted a storage room at a local church into a food pantry and then ran food drives at local elementary schools to stock it.
We built, assembled, and painted eight 4’x8′ portable panels to be used at our high school’s Visual & Performing Arts Center. These panels will be used as stage props, back drops, crowd control, etc. for the many performances and events that take place there.
Bicycle Safety Rodeo
Our sponsoring organization wanted to do a Bike Safety Rodeo to show younger kids how to care for and ride their bikes safely. I organized safety videos, contacted a local bike shop to do minor repairs, and set up an obstacle course to demonstrate proper riding techniques.
Storm Water Pollution Education Program
The aim of my project was educate the public of the dangers associated with non-point water pollution. In order to do so, I stenciled an anti-dumping message onto storm drain inlets in my community. I also distributed pamphlets to help teach about the pollution.
Sand Volleyball Court
The principal of my high school suggested the construction of a sand volleyball court at the school. I raised over $5000 for wood and sand. With a lot of help from friends, we dug out a hole two feet deep, built a border from pressure-treated wood, set up the volleyball net and poles, and poured in the sand.
Description We made flyers announcing newspaper recycling (before we just had dumpsters). We collected papers weekly and donated the money we made to Boy Scouts of America.
The Ceiling Project
Description I was asked by a local church to redo their basement ceiling for my Eagle Scout Project. They provided the supplies and I brought ladders, people, and food.
Bone Marrow / Blood Donor Drive
After his father died of Leukemia, a scout organized a Bone Marrow/Blood Drive. He collected over 70 pints of blood at the donor/blood drive. He wrote and received a grant to pay the cost of the test to get the donors typed and cross-matched.
In conjunction with Habitat for Humanity, I coordinated volunteers to construct the framing of one house. It consisted of the interior framing, roof trusses, roof sheathing, and fascia boards.
Winter Clothing Drive
My Eagle project was a winter clothing drive. Over 7,500 pieces of winter clothing and blankets were collected, sorted, and donated to various homeless services and shelters in the area.
Acid Rain Prevention Project
The project involved raising money to purchase Sodium Dioxide (SO2) credits (like shares of stock) equal to 7.62 ton of SO2. These credits are annually auctioned off by the EPA to help the manufacturing industry keep factories within the Federal Emissions Standard.
I raised over $2,200 in order to buy equipment to bring internet connection to a school. I also bought a laser printer, a digital camera, and many other small things for the computer lab.
Restoration and Display of HIstoric Photos
We restored old glass plate negatives on the brink of destruction and made contact prints of them. These plates contained important waterworks projects and can still be used for reference on some sections of pipe by the Mass. Water Resources Authority.
Promote Teen Safe Driving
In my town, there was a two year period with 11 teenage fatalities due to auto accidents. I organized a program with a safe driving message with live speakers to be shown at the middle schools and high schools in my area.
Description I taught teachers, principals, and a superintendent how to build and maintain a webpage for the school district in our area.
School Walking Path
Description We painted a 200-yard walking path on the blacktop around the school playground for the elementary school children.
Fire Awareness Weekend
I tested the smoke detectors of the residents of the city. If they did not have a working smoke detector, I installed one for them.
My Eagle Scout project was landscaping the new flag pole at the little league/town park. We also provided concrete benches to watch games and did some landscaping with bushes.
Gift of Sight
For my Eagle Project I collected 1,572 pairs of used prescription eyeglasses for distribution to those needed in third-world countries.
My Eagle project was building a gazebo/trestle in a park in my town. It is for people in the park to take a respite in and also for wedding pictures to be taken in.
Retirement Home Helpers
Building benches, making wheelchair accessible flowerbeds, and planting shade trees at a retirement home are great ways to help the seniors enjoy the outdoors.
Bike Registration and Safety Fair
We organized a bike registration for local neighborhoods and the police department and also performed safety inspections on the bikes.
We built bike racks for the neighborhood baseball park.
We fingerprinted children and adults in the community at a City Home Days celebration during the summer. 500 People were fingerprinted.
For my eagle project, I planted 70 ground cover plants around my church parking lot, along with 1200 pounds of new top soil. I also supervised the planting of 19 trees. This ground cover will spread in great amounts through the years.
Wood Duck Nesting Boxes
I built and erected 15 wood duck nesting boxes and placed them on public wetlands, as indicated by Ducks Unlimited.
SELF DEFENSE CLASS
I led a Self Defense Class for students in my Junior High and High School. My instructor, a fifth degree black belt taught the class with my help. I’m a second degree black belt.
Markers to Honor Deceased Veterans
Built 50 white crosses, 2’x3′, painted white, attached posts with pipes to hold American Flags. Crosses placed along local main street on national holiday to honor deceased veterans.
Laid Sod for My Church
My church had just built a building to hold activities. The area around it needed sod. So I prepared the soil for and laid sod.
Handicap Boat Ramp
I was able to provide Shaver Lake community a boat access that is not always provided to persons who have physical challenges on a daily basis. These are things we take for granted that give great independence to those who are dependent on others.
Bookcases for Reading Project
We built over 100 simple wooden bookcases for the local adult school where they had a reading program for adults. Over a series of weeks, we got donations, put them together, and painted them.
Operation Smoke Detector
I had a bake & yard sale, solicited local businesses for donations.I installed smoke detector,carbon monoxide detector, and fire ext.in elderly, needy, and foster homes picked by social services & the fire marshal. This project was a HUGE success. 363 hours
Planted two Christmas Trees in the city’s Square and ran electric wiring out to them for Christmas lights.
Railroad Phone Booths
For this project I found two old concrete telephone booths that were used in the early days of the railroad and transplanted them to the local railroad museum as well as landscaped the area. We put in a total of 125 man hours.
Painted Room Directional Signs and Room Numbers
Our middle school is very large and very old. I painted directional signs for rooms like the office, music and cafeteria and painted all the room numbers in bright orange paint in large numbers so they could be seen coming down the hallway.
Drug abuse Program – Ishekool Beauty Pageant
My project consisted of writing, casting, filming and distributing a video that explored the problems resulting from drug abuse. The program was a comedy that ran approximately 12 min. and is intended for sixth to eighth grade students.
Refinished a Piano
We sanded down and completely refinished the only piano at an elementary school. The piano had carvings with years of students names to 1967.
Operation Smart Bulb
A Smart/911 light bulb was distributed. The bulb has a computer chip inside. It is used in the outside light holder. If the switch is flipped once, it is a regular bulb, but if flipped twice, it blinks so the EMS, Police, etc. find the house quickly.
Wheelchair Accessible Picnic Table
The project consisted of cutting, and assembling 4 picnic tables that the seating was open to allow wheelchair individuals to sit at the table. This was done to benefit students at the Smith Outdoor Education Center in Rockville, Md.
School Marquee Sign
Installation and purchase of school mascot sign. Collect bids from sign company’s. School board paid half and I had to raise the other half with community donations. All installation labor was volunteer. The sign has a message board.
Video Game / Toy Drive
I set up collection boxes throughout my community and collected new and used videos, video games, board games, books, and toys for the young patients at the Schneider Children’s Hospital in N.Y.. Over 3000 items were collected for donation.
I held a food drive on two consecutive days at a San Jose sharks game. My goal was to bring in 1,000 pounds of food but I was able to bring in over 14,000 pounds.