I’m working my way through the requirements for the three citizenship merit badges. Read my initial post for an explanation.
Merit badge requirements are taken from the very useful meritbadge.org.
Citizenship in the Community
1. Discuss with your counselor what citizenship in the community means and what it takes to be a good citizen in your community.
Discuss the rights, duties, and obligations of citizenship, and explain how you can demonstrate good citizenship in your community, Scouting unit, place of worship or school.
2. Do the following:
a. On a map of your community, locate and point out the following:
- Chief government buildings such as your city hall, county courthouse, and public works/services facility
- Fire station, police station, and hospital nearest your home
- Historical or other interesting points
b. Chart the organization of your local or state government. Show the top offices and tell whether they are elected or appointed.
3. Do the following:
a. Attend a city or town council or school board meeting, or a municipal; county, or state court session.
b. Choose one of the issues discussed at the meeting where a difference of opinions was expressed, and explain to your counselor why you agree with one opinion more than you do another one.
4. Choose an issue that is important to the citizens of your community; then do the following:
a. Find out which branch of local government is responsible for this issue.
b. With your counselor’s and a parent’s approval, interview one person from the branch of government you identified in requirement 4a. Ask what is being done about this issue and how young people can help.
c. Share what you have learned with your counselor.
5. With the approval of your counselor and a parent, watch a movie that shows how the actions of one individual or group of individuals can have a positive effect on a community.
Discuss with your counselor what you learned from the movie about what it means to be a valuable and concerned member of the community.
6. List some of the services (such as the library, recreation center, public transportation, and public safety) your community provides that are funded by taxpayers.
Tell your counselor why these services are important to your community.
7. Do the following:
a. Choose a charitable organization outside of Scouting that interests you and brings people in your community together to work for the good of your community.
b. Using a variety of resources (including newspapers, fliers and other literature, the Internet, volunteers, and employees of the organization), find out more about this organization.
c. With your counselor’s and your parent’s approval, contact the organization and find out what young people can do to help. While working on this merit badge, volunteer at least eight hours of your time for the organization. After your volunteer experience is over, discuss what you have learned with your counselor.
8. Develop a public presentation (such as a video, slide show, speech, digital presentation, or photo exhibit) about important and unique aspects of your community.
Include information about the history, cultures, and ethnic groups of your community; its best features and popular places where people gather; and the challenges it faces. Stage your presentation in front of your merit badge counselor or a group, such as your patrol or a class at school.
Citizenship in the Nation
1. Explain what citizenship in the nation means and what it takes to be a good citizen of this country.
Discuss the rights, duties, and obligations of a responsible and active American citizen.
2. Do TWO of the following:
a. Visit a place that is listed as a National Historic Landmark or that is on the National Register of Historic Places. Tell your counselor what you learned about the landmark or site and what you found interesting about it.
b. Tour your state capitol building or the U.S. Capitol. Tell your counselor what you learned about the capitol, its function, and the history.
c. Tour a federal facility. Explain to your counselor what you saw there and what you learned about its function in the local community and how it serves this nation.
d. Choose a national monument that interests you. Using books, brochures, the Internet (with your parent’s permission), and other resources, find out more about the monument. Tell your counselor what you learned, and explain why the monument is important to this country’s citizens.
3. Watch the national evening news five days in a row OR read the front page of a major daily newspaper five days in a row.
Discuss the national issues you learned about with your counselor. Choose one of the issues and explain how it affects you and your family.
4. Discuss each of the following documents with your counselor.
Tell your counselor how you feel life in the United States might be different without each one.
a. Declaration of Independence
b. Preamble to the Constitution
c. The Constitution
d. Bill of Rights
e. Amendments to the Constitution
5. List the six functions of government as noted in the preamble to the Constitution.
Discuss with your counselor how these functions affect your family and local community.
6. With your counselor’s approval, choose a speech of national historical importance.
Find out about the author, and tell your counselor about the person who gave the speech. Explain the importance of the speech at the time it was given, and tell how it applies to American citizens today. Choose a sentence or two from the speech that has significant meaning to you, and tell your counselor why.
7. Name the three branches of our federal government and explain to your counselor their functions.
Explain how citizens are involved in each branch. For each branch of government, explain the importance of the system of checks and balances.
8. Name your two senators and the member of Congress from your congressional district.
Write a letter about a national issue and send it to one of these elected officials, sharing your view with him or her. Show your letter and any response you receive to your counselor.
Citizenship in the World
1. Explain what citizenship in the world means to you and what you think it takes to be a good world citizen.
2 Explain how one becomes a citizen in the United States, and explain the rights, duties, and obligations of U.S. citizenship.
Discuss the similarities and differences between the rights, duties, and obligations of U.S. citizens and the citizens of two other countries.
3. Do the following:
a. Pick a current world event. In relation to this current event, discuss with your counselor how a country’s national interest and its relationship with other countries might affect areas such as its security, its economy, its values, and the health of its citizens.
b. Select a foreign country and discuss with your counselor how its geography, natural resources, and climate influence its economy and its global partnerships with other countries.
4. Do TWO of the following:
a. Explain international law and how it differs from national law. Explain the role of international law and how international law can be used as a tool for conflict resolution.
b. Using resources such as major daily newspapers, the Internet (with your parent’s permission), and news magazines, observe a current issue that involves international trade, foreign exchange, balance of payments, tariffs, and free trade. Explain what you have learned. Include in your discussion an explanation of why countries must cooperate in order for world trade and global competition to thrive.
c. Select TWO of the following organizations and describe their role in the world.
The United Nations
The World Court
World Organization of the Scout Movement
The World Health Organization
The International Committee of the Red Cross
5. Do the following:
a. Discuss the differences between constitutional and nonconstitutional governments.
b. Name at least five different types of governments currently in power in the world.
c. Show on a world map countries that use each of these five different forms of government.
6. Do the following:
a. Explain how a government is represented abroad and how the United States government is accredited to international organizations.
b. Describe the roles of the following in the conduct of foreign relations.
Bureau of International Information Programs
Agency for International Development
United States and Foreign Commercial Service
c. Explain the purpose of a passport and visa for international travel.
7. Do TWO of the following and share with your counselor what you have learned:
a. Visit the Web site (With your parent/guardian’s permission) of the U.S. State Department. Learn more about an issue you find interesting that is discussed on this Web site.
b. Visit the Web site (With your parent/guardian’s permission) of an international news organization or foreign government, OR examine a foreign newspaper available at your local library, bookstore, or newsstand. Find a news story about a human right realized in the United States that is not recognized in another country.
c. Visit with a student or Scout from another country and discuss the typical values, holidays, ethnic foods, and traditions practiced or enjoyed there.
d. Attend a world Scout jamboree.
e. Participate in or attend an international event in your area, such as an ethnic festival, concert, or play.