Young Men’s Service League comes to town

Gary Zupancic


The Young Men’s Service League (YMSL) has come to town.

And with a local community mission to assist those in need while providing leadership development and promoting mother-son relationship, YMSL has not only arrived, it’s growing.

The idea came to Shawn Wolff as she pondered that her high school age son would soon be leaving home, and that she would like to find a way to spend more time with him. When she heard about the 8 YMSL chapters in Austin, it sounded like the perfect solution.

“Last spring, I texted a few mom friends in Dripping Springs and it grew to where we had an August kickoff. We now have 48 members, we’re at full capacity for this year,” Shawn said. “We were all amazed how quickly it took off.”

Tyler, her son, was at first skeptical but he warmed up to the idea. “When my mom asked me about volunteering my time in addition to school, other activities and baseball, I wasn’t terribly excited at first. But the experience has been really good so far. It’s a good feeling to help others.”

According to YMSL’s national website, the organization strives to provide:

  • Social Skills - College planning and resumes, fraternity life, public speaking, leadership training, job interviewing
  • Making Choices - Goal setting, handling money/budgeting, legalities and consequences of drinking, smoking and drugs and the impact of these choices make on driving, sexual decision-making
  • Health/Nutrition - Proper weight training and nutrition, steroid use education, skin care, mental health
  • Life/Practical Skills - Career Fair, cooking, car maintenance, and laundry tips, outdoor survival skills, CPR, first aid.


Some of the community and philanthropic work Dripping’s YMSL will be working on is in support of organizations already in the area such as: the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas, DS Community Mission Partnership, Hill Country Thrift Store, Pedernales Falls State Park, and School’s Out Foods In, Service Dogs, Inc. South Side Community Center, Texas Ramp Project and the Burke Center for Youth.

The local chapter has two boards of directors, one made up of twelve boys and one made up of the moms. There are monthly meetings where a speaker addresses a specific subject, such as a project for one of the philanthropies, and the boys serving on different committees providing leadership skills.

In order to become a member, an eighth-grade boy and his mother have to be sponsored by an existing member. The membership drive is in February and March. Both moms and sons have responsibilities as a member:

Boys' Responsibilities

  • All boys must adhere to a Code of Conduct while participating at meetings, social and philanthropy functions.
  • Attend a minimum of 5 meetings, where the meetings will provide opportunities for the boys to learn about a variety of topics to include social, practical and educational topics. Moms do not have to attend these meetings unless they are on the Boys’ Meeting Committee.
  • Each boy is to complete a minimum of 20 philanthropy service hours. The Young Men’s Service League Board must approve the philanthropy. Most of the philanthropy hours are served with their mom.
  • Each boy will hold a position.

Moms' Responsibilities

  • All moms must discuss and enforce the Code of Conduct.
  • Attend a minimum of 3 meetings.
  • Complete a minimum of 20 philanthropy service hours. Most of the philanthropy hours are served with their son.
  • Moms with more than one active son can fulfill meeting credits towards each son. Moms can complete philanthropy service hours with more than one son at a time, but each son must meet the philanthropy requirements of 20 hours every year.
  • Volunteer for one job/position within the organization per year and rotate those positions every year.
  • Attend the annual awards banquet with your son. This is a financial obligation and the banquet ticket cost is assessed to every mother/son team whether or not they attend.

“You really get something out of this. It’s more than you ever expected,” Shawn said. “The main reason is though, is to be working side by side. Mother and son can make a difference in the community.”

For more information on the Young Men’s Service League see their website at:


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