Share your daily Good Turns with the world using #DareToDo

NOAC 2015 DareToDoThe next time you do a daily Good Turn — that unselfish act of service for another — don’t keep it to yourself. Tell the world.

Come on, I dare you.

At the National Order of the Arrow Conference’s Wednesday night show, in a moment worthy of goose bumps, National Chief Alex Call issued a challenge. He asked all of the 15,000 Arrowmen in attendance and 165,000 more at home to do one act of service every day

But there’s a twist.

Rather than keeping their Good Turn to themselves, the Arrowmen were asked to post about them on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the #DareToDo hashtag.

“I’ll be daring all of my friends,” Alex said, “whether or not they’re members of the Order of the Arrow, or even Scouting, to start an extraordinary movement based on ordinary acts of service.”

You see, these simple acts of service will add up. Alex dropped the pebble into the ocean, and now he’s standing back to watch the ripple grow. Imagine all 180,000 Arrowmen posting about #DareToDo and inspiring hundreds of thousands of other Scouts and ordinary Americans to follow their example.

You don’t need to have attended NOAC to participate. Simply share your #DareToDo Good Turn with your friends and followers on social media.

But wait, shouldn’t service be anonymous? Isn’t there something inherently wrong with bragging about an unselfish act?

That mentality has to change. These days we brag plenty online. We post a photo of a great meal on Instagram. We tweet about a new gadget. We share Facebook photos from our exotic vacations.

#DareToDo turns social media, that sometimes narcissistic platform, into a powerful force for good. Maybe a non-Scouting friend reads about your #DareToDo Good Turn and is inspired to pay it forward. And so on as the ripples grow.

DareToDo 1So what counts as something worthy of #DareToDo?

You don’t need to build a Habitat for Humanity house every day. This is about doing what you’re supposed to do anyway as Scouts: a daily Good Turn.

In his speech tonight, Alex mentioned several moments in life just waiting for someone to intervene with a selfless gesture.

“A classmate who sits alone on the school bus, hoping that someone will strike up a conversation. A co-worker who stays late every night, wishing they could make their daughter’s soccer game instead of an extra shift. A homeless teenager who stands at the street corner during your daily commute, looking for a warm meal — or even just a warm smile,” Alex said. “With just a few words and a few minutes of our time, we can live out the admonition of the OA through everyday acts of service.”

And then, almost as important as the unselfish act itself, you need to tell the world what you just did.

Ed Lynes is on the NOAC Thematics team. He sees #DareToDo as the OA’s dare to Scouting and dare to the country to do the right thing.

“You’re not bragging,” he said. “You’re inspiring, and you’re encouraging. We want people to see your example and say, ‘I want to do that, too.'”

DareToDo 2An unselfish project

There’s something strange about this #DareToDo project. Nobody seems to want to take credit for this phenomenal idea. The OA is about cheerful service, not recognition, so I’m not surprised.

Lynes was hesitant even to let me use his name in this post, but I insisted.

#DareToDo, he told me, is about more than any one of us. It’s about more than the Order of the Arrow, and it’s about more than the Boy Scouts of America. That’s why when you visit the #DareToDo website, you don’t see the OA or BSA patting themselves on the back.

In fact, you have to scroll all the way down on the home page to see, in tiny letters, the note that “DareToDo is a service initiative of the Order of the Arrow and the Boy Scouts of America.”

Though these guys would surely try to deflect the credit, I want to share their names anyway. This #DareToDo project was initiated by youth leaders Alex Call, Nathan Jenkins and Dylan Law, as well as adult leaders Donald Cunningham, Tony Fiori and Ed Lynes.

They may have come up with the idea, but, to paraphrase the NOAC 2015 theme, #DareToDo really starts with you.

Get on the #DareToDo website right now, and get ready to join the #DareToDo revolution.

DareToDo-patchFriday #DareToDo kickoff at NOAC

The first big hurrah for #DareToDo will be during Friday morning’s service project at Spartan Stadium, the home of the Michigan State football team.

The first 10,000 people to attend will receive a special #DareToDo patch. If all 10,000 (and more) Tweet, Facebook or Instagram about this massive act of service, Friday’s #DareToDo project has the potential to reach thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of people on its first day.

That’s lots of big ripples, and it all started with a single dare.


Photos by Robbie Rogers

45 Comments

  1. Holding the door open for the person behind you? Filling in the groundhog hole behind the Meeting House? Letting that car on the Beltway from the onramp in front of you? Paying that extra dollar that the lady in front of you at the grocery store didn’t have? Stopping for the family to cross the street? Cutting back the hedge so your neighbor can see traffic as he comes out of his driveway? Pushing that grocery cart to the next shopper so they don’t have to wrestle with one out of the pile? Bundle the cardboard up tight to make it easier for the recycling truck? Fold up the laundry without the wife asking me to? Making the ice tea for my working son to take with him to work? Picking up the trash on my way into the store, even tho I didn’t put it there, and someone will be paid to pick it up eventually? Repair the “Take One ” holder at the trail head, so we don’t have to wait for the County to do it?
    What qualifies as a “good turn”? Or can we say “I don’t know how to define it, but I know one when I see it”?

  2. I am and have always been a firm believer in “God loves a cheerful giver, until he brags about it.”

    This #DareToDo thing however… This will take bravery on some peoples’ parts – to change. A lot of the online community these days have used social media to re-live their high school/middle school maturity levels. Many, including myself, has caved to constant sarcasm. very few use Social Media to spread the word of kindness, courtesy – and Holiness.

    I will be starting today. I will start here today, and the rest of the 100 days [starting friday] on other social avenues. Recently my neighbor had an injury and had neck surgery. This is a hard working man, and being told he will be on light duty for 6 months in a neck brace was devastating news to him. His wife is learning to use the lawn tractor but has not been doing a very good job, but shes trying to help him. They went on a vacation last week, He’s able to get up and walk around now with a walker. (he is a little over 2 months into the 6 months.) so while they are gone I have taken care of their lawn without telling them I would. I know they expect to come back and it be a jungle over there, but, its in pristine condition.

    Hope to see this take off.

  3. when you share your good turn, you diminish it’s value. Good turns should be done without any expectation of recognition or thanks. You should share the good turns you see other people doing and give them thanks, or give thanks and share when someone does a good turn that benefits you, your family, your friends etc.

  4. Y’all are missing the point. This is not about “Look at me – I did a good deed.”. This is about hearing the roar of Scouting – active, positive, giving, relevant. Don’t you want to join and be part of this coolness?

    • I feel that I can do those things WITHOUT telling anyone that I did so. If someone is the recipient of my Good Turn and *they* decide to tell others about it, fine. But *I* should not be going around telling people that I “helped them get their groceries into their apartment” or “fixed a flat tire for someone” on any given day.

    • Alex said in his speech that we need to be proud of our history. But he also said that now’s the time to pivot to the second century of the OA’s commitment to service. What if Good Turns in 2015 don’t work the same way as Good Turns in 1911?

      • We are more than proud of our history. The history of the scouting movement is its foundation, providing its purpose, its principles, and its goals. There is a reason the wording of the Scout Oath and Law have not changed from the inception of BSA.

        If we are to “pivot” away from our history, at least in the way discussed here, we’ll need to re-evaluate what it means to be a scout or scouter and whether it’s as virtuous as it once was. And we’ll need to make decisions from there.

        What if Good Turns in 2015 don’t work the same way as Good Turns in 1911? How have helpfulness, kindness, courtesy, or any of the points of the Scout Law changed since 1911? That’s what a Good Turn is – the implementation of the Scout Law in service to others. Good Turns will always work as they always did.

        Now, what we do and how we respond to a Good Turn can indeed change. And if these change for the worse, many will re-evaluate what it means to take part in the movement, as I said. Good Turns can be done in and out of scouting.

  5. I see this concept as the exact antithesis of scouting. Recall the story of the Unknown Scout. Remember Boyce offered the scout a tip for the service of escorting Boyce to his destination. What was the scout’s response? A scout does not accept a gratuity for a service rendered.

    What has changed? Are that scout’s actions of long ago suddenly wrong in some way? Is he now naive and a dupe because he didn’t brag? Is he now ill-informed about what fully constitutes the virtue of helpfulness? Tell me how his actions are no longer sufficiently exemplary.

    When a good turn is shared by the doer of the good turn, its value is indeed diminished, because the good turn was indeed executed at least in part for the purpose of bragging. You disagree? When it is known that the good turn must be, as a matter of obligation, reported to others, there is no way to detach this reporting, and the bragging this reporting implies, from the motivation to do the good turn in the first place. Then the helpfulness, the kindness is no longer for the sake of others, but for one’s own sense of personal good standing, or the good standing of the organization to which one belongs, which is no different. In my view, such acts are then done for that quid pro quo and are no longer virtuous.

    If we do this, how are we any different from the myriad athletes and entertainers who rattle off their credentials as “smack talk”? Just because we are awash in a culture of selfishness does not mean we should join in.

    To the commenter who responded, “This is not about ‘Look at me – I did a good deed'” I ask, what exactly do you think “hear the roar of scouting” implies? It implies “look at me – I did a good deed.”

    Yes, I want to be part of the coolness. Of youth who do the right thing simply because its the right thing to do, and let their quiet example speak volumes to others.

    • Let me paste what I wrote on Facebook about this:

      I guess the message I took away is #DareToDo is not about bragging or obtaining some sort of recognition. It’s about inspiring others to act. Imagine if reading about your Good Turn inspires another Good Turn. And another. And so on, until now there are dozens and then hundreds and then thousands. That’s what #DareToDo is about. And that’s certainly better than if you had kept that Good Turn to yourself.

      • Scouting’s inspiration to do good turns comes from the quiet example of the good turn itself, witnessed over and over. You are telling me that means of inspiration is not fast enough for you. I’m telling you in response that something vital is being lost in the means suggested here of accelerating and broadening inspiration through listing one’s good turns as accomplishments on a page. No matter how matter-of-fact or objective the text may be, the text clearly constitutes bragging, in fact it’s intended as bragging, its purpose is bragging, by both the scout and the organization, and bragging tarnishes the selfless nature of the good turn. It’s not bragging? Of course it is! How are we intending to turn heads? By telling them how fantastic we are!

        Let me ask you back: why has this not been done before? It’s a fairly basic idea. It’s not been done before because, as the article says, “But wait, shouldn’t service be anonymous? Isn’t there something inherently wrong with bragging about an unselfish act? That mentality has to change.” In other words, SCOUTING has to change in its basic understanding of what constitutes virtue in order to see this in a positive light. But virtues are immutable and do not change. What was right then is right now, and what is wrong then is wrong now.

        Remember timeless values? Are they no longer timeless?

        • You’re right – the quiet, repetitive means of inspiration ISN’T fast enough. Our world has so many needs, and so many opportunities to help others. We don’t have time to wait. Why wait? There’s no inherent value in slowing progress. Do you want to tell someone in need that they need to be patient and wait for someone to notice that they need help?

          This hasn’t been done before because we haven’t had the power and influence of social media before. We have an unparalleled ability now to reach young people widely and immediately; and they can reach their peers just as fast. We’re just accelerating the pace at which people can see good acts to emulate, and increasing the visible reach of each act.

          Hopefully at some point in the future, we won’t need to do this. When acts of kindness and daily unselfish service are so pervasive that you see them everywhere you look, then we can stop #DareToDo. In the meantime, I would hope every Scouter would agree that using any tool available to help young people develop a daily habit of cheerful service is a Good Thing.

  6. “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” Matthew 6

    • If you want to approach this from a Christian scriptural perspective, you can consider this one, too:

      “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

      Matthew 14-16

  7. “I would hope every Scouter would agree that using any tool available to help young people develop a daily habit of cheerful service is a Good Thing.”

    Here is what’s missing:

    “I would hope every Scouter would agree that using any tool available to help young people develop a daily habit of cheerful service, WITHOUT EXPECTATION OF COMPENSATION, is a Good Thing.”

    This scouter for one will not promote or employ #DareToDo, nor will I recommend it to my Roundtable. I will promote and encourage the pursuit of cheerful service, anywhere, everywhere, and anytime.

    • I’m pretty sure no one is getting compensated by reminding other people, including non-Scouts, to do a daily good turn. 😉 I’m not expecting anything from sharing #DareToDo other than a hope that someone else will be reminded to look for ways to give small, simple acts of service each day.

      • You’re creating a brag sheet, aren’t you, saying “I did this great thing”? That’s compensation.

        How can this be implemented without this compensation? Scouters will tell their scouts, let me know your good turns so they can be reported at #DareToDo, or, be sure to report your good turns at #DareToDo. Immediately, presto, you now have scouts doing good turns so they can report them. The motivation for doing the good turn is then away from providing service and toward reporting. That’s compensation in the form of publicity.

  8. I try to do a good turn every day as that is the Boy Scout slogan. I don’t do it for 100 days, but every day of my life. It can be as simple as holding the door open for the person behnd me, letting some driver merge onto the highway, or letting someone that looks like they are in a hurry to go through the checkout line ahead of me.

    And I don’t stop at one as I try to live the Boy Scout Oath & Law in all I do. Thus, there are many days when I do more than one good turn. Maybe a few days I don’t do any because I never leave the house. Either way, I feel no need to go advertise my daily good turn(s).

    • Friend Pendleton: I find much you say to agree with . And, perhaps, staying home IS your good deed! Less pollution, less traffic, more rest and peace in your household, … 🙂

      • I’m trying to fiture out what others don’t like about your post: Calling me a friend? That you often agree with me? Staying home is a good deed? They are for pollution, more traffic and less rest & peace. 😉 I see nothing to take issue with in what you wrote.

  9. This has to do with “Trustworthy” too. I was told a story once by my dad, who worked as a carpenter when he was younger. A one armed, master carpenter (and that is another story…).
    He told me of a carp who was told to use less nails when putting the wall studs together, and space the studs an extra inch further apart. He was told he would finish the job quicker, the boss would be happy he used less material therefore saving the boss money, and when the wall was up and plastered and painted, who would know the difference? The carp replied, “I’d know.”

    If the “good turn ” is done well, the doer will know if it’s done well, and ,perhaps, the recipient might know. Or, perhaps, the recipient may never know he was “good turned”.

  10. “”I expect to pass through this world but once.
    Any good thing, therefore, that I can do
    or any kindness I can show to any creature,
    let me do it now.
    Let me not defer or neglect it,
    for I shall not pass this way again.””

    = Stephan Grellet =

    • Good one. May I add another one quote from Educator, Writer, and Theologian Frederick Buechner:

      “The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.”

  11. I try to do at least one goodturn everyday as well, as the scout slogan reads. But i also understand that not everyone is a scout, and if this challenge jumpstarts them into caring for others & a life of cheerful service, then i will do all i can. For those of you who say this is bragging, you are missing the point. We are trying to inspire others to care & love one another. If i can inspire just one person, i will do whatever i can. And honestly, our country and world could use some inspiration to do better, to help those in need. In our society of me and us and mine, we sometimes forget about others. And that is exactly what #daretodo is about.
    Thank you, and i am not posting this to brag to you all.

  12. I try to do at least one goodturn everyday as well, as the scout slogan reads. But i also understand that not everyone is a scout, and if this challenge jumpstarts them into caring for others & a life of cheerful service, then i will do all i can. For those of you who say this is bragging, you are missing the point. We are trying to inspire others to care & love one another. If i can inspire just one person, i will do whatever i can. And honestly, our country and world could use some inspiration to do better, to help those in need. In our society of me and us and mine, we sometimes forget about others. And that is exactly what #daretodo is about.
    Thank you, and i am not posting this to brag to you all.

  13. I’m sorry, Chief. I’m keeping my daily Good Turns to myself and my Maker. That was the way I was taught as a Scout — to not brag or boast about the things I do for other people; let them, if they feel so, to do that boasting or bragging on your behalf.

    Mr. Lovett (“Love it to Leave it” we called him) instructed us that the idea behind the Good Turn is not to “rack up how many good things you’ve done on a given day” or “how many people you have helped in some way on a given day”; but rather, “your daily impact in the lives of others” as measured only by you and nobody else.

    “After all,” he told all of us, “when we appear at the Gates, you won’t be judged on how many Good Turns you’ve done in your life. Rather, you’ll be judged on how others have been affected — for good or bad — by what you did or did not do.”

    I wrote in two books that there has been many, many times in my life in which I was punished (by my parents, my Mom especially), told off (by former girlfriends), or viewed as “unreliable” (by wives and sometimes children) because I was there “on time” or was “late”. If I told them every time I performed a Good Turn for someone, making me late or missing something, or getting back to the house before curfew — after a while that “excuse” would become lame and stale. I took the punishments, the restrictions, the words and the descriptions Cheerfully because I am Brave and Loyal to the things I pledged myself daily to.

    Imagine please if we knew the name of the Unknown Scout who escorted Boyce to his appointment in London and later to Baden-Powell. Imagine if we knew every Good Turn that young man did. There would be generations of Scouts trying over the decades to “one up” him and that, I feel is NOT what the Good Turn is about.

    Now writing all of this, I know where our National OA Chief is going: We should PROMOTE WHO WE ARE — Scouts, Ventures and Scouters — in our daily interactions with others. That doesn’t require the performance of a Good Turn for others, but rather a daily affirmation that we are a part of a program for good in this nation and world and we stand ready to demonstrate that fact to anyone who asked or are curious. This means that we need to get into a habit of wearing our Scouting uniforms in public, and put up with our peers’ “opinions” about who we are and what we represent. The more the public knows that Scouting is alive, revelent and good, the more our nation will realize that those things we pledge ourselves to — to “help other people at all times” (and not “when we feel like it or when someone’s watching us”) — will make sense.

  14. The intent of the Chief or the OA or the BSA is really immaterial. The people who see the campaign won’t watch the Chief’s speech so they will never understand the intent. The perception of the campaign is what will ultimately matter. If people inside the organization perceive the campaign as potentially self-serving, how will the campaign be perceived by people outside the organization? Have we forgotten the grief Mitt Romney’s son took when he tweeted the selfie after he rescued those folks? Aren’t we walking that same path?

  15. While I was at noac, a guy took this really awesome photo with me and a group of people in it. We were taking a selfie and he took a photo of it. I really want that photo and they told me it would be on this site. Is there anywhere I can go to see all photos taken at noac? Please help.

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