Children in the Community begin their volunteer hours while they are Eights. They are allowed to choose where they would like to do these hours, and this freedom of choice is a new and wonderful experience to them. Everything else about their lives is so "carefully regulated", and, as Jonas remembers, being allowed to choose in this one area "always seem(s) a wonderful luxury".
When faced with their first experience of "freedom of choice", the Eights "always set out on their first volunteer hour a little nervously, giggling and staying in groups of friends. They almost invariably (do) their hours on Recreation Duty first, helping with the younger ones in a place where they still (feel) comfortable. But with guidance, as they (develop) self-confidence and maturity, they (move) on to other jobs, gravitating toward those that would suit their own interests and skills".
Throughout the time of their volunteer years, the children are watched carefully by the committee as they experiment in different areas, trying to find their own fields of interest and expertise. On the basis of what is observed about their performance during their volunteer service hours, each child receives an Assignment, placement in a career that they will pursue for the length of their working life, when they reach the age of Twelve (Chapter 4).