American Cultures Merit Badge
Activity Guide for Patrol Leaders
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    American Cultures Merit Badge

    Aids for the Boy-Led Scout Troop
    American Cultures Merit Badge - A fun way to turn your local community festival or historic site into an easy merit badge.

    Related merit badge programs include American Heritage and Genealogy.

    Sample Activity Plan

    Opportunity for Great Family Fun and to Participate in an Extraordinary Service Project:

    2. Plan Outline
    There are three major parts to this merit badge.
    Do a Cultural Tour (See Req #1)
    Do a Cultural Report Presentation (See Req #2-5)
    Meeting with Counselor


    A) Make Your Plan
    The Trail to Adventure Fun!

      1. Merit Badge Activity Preview

      2. Sample Plan Outline
      Note: This Plan is a Draft - Some dates, events and activities may change after reviewing it with your leaders.

      • Make draft of Event Flyer (See Example Here).
      • Each Participant to be notified that he needs:
      • Event Dates / Places / Dress Code / Supplies / Etc.
      • Pre-requisites (ie worksheet, blue card, research materials)
      • Homework Requirements
      • Service Project Opportunities? (See Extra Credit)
      • Outdoor & Camping Opportunities? (See Extra Credit)
      • Other Related Scouting Activities? (See Extra Credit)

        - NOTICE : "Choose THREE groups that have different racial, cultural, national, or ethnic backgrounds, one of which comes from your own background."

      3. Meet the Merit Badge Counselor
      Review your plan with the merit badge counselor. Some activities require his advance approval. The Scoutmaster should be able to recommend a counselor to you.

      4. Patrol Leader Council
      Present Activity Proposal to your fellow patrol leaders and scoutmaster. Make assignments as needed.

      5. Field Trip Plan

      • Contact the destination venue. Confirm that they can assist with the Field Trip Requirements. Reserve your Event Dates.
      • Troop Historian should be ready to take pictures on this activity to report back on the next troop blog, newsletter or court of honor.

      6. Announce & Start Activity

      • Get final approval from your scoutmaster.
      • Update event flyer (#2) above.
      • Distribute event flyer / Begin Introduction


    American Cultures Merit Badge B) Introduction
    Present the plan to your patrol or troop (Either at your first activity meeting or sometime earlier.)

    Here are some ideas to show why this activity will be both fun and important.

    Why Do American Cultures Merit Badge

    The United States is a nation of immigrants. Every person came to America from somewhere else—or their ancestors did—and understanding these various cultural backgrounds can help Scouts to live in harmony with others in our varied and increasingly multicultural society.


    Show on Laptop or portable TV & crank up the sound!


    C) Field Tour
    Choose THREE groups that have different racial, cultural, national, or ethnic backgrounds, one of which comes from your own background. Note: Item 1.b may already be completed if the scout regularly participates in a qualifying church, school or other organization.

    American Cultures Merit Badge Req #1: Cultural Field Tour -
    Do TWO of the following, choosing a different group for each:


      a. Go to a festival, celebration, or other event identified with one of the groups. Report on what you see and learn.
      b. Go to a place of worship, school, or other institution identified with one of the groups. Report on what you see and learn.
      c. Talk with a person from one of the groups about the heritage and traditions of the group. Report on what you learn.
      d. Learn a song, dance, poem, or story which is traditional to one group, and teach it to a group of your friends.
      e. Go to a library or museum to see a program or exhibit featuring one group's traditions. Report on what you see and learn.

    Campout Option
    Is there a campground facility nearby or within distance of an easy hike, bikeride or carpool to the facility you will visit? If so this can add an extra level of adventure fun to this activity.

    Service Option
    Do A Good Turn Daily: - Scouts should always look for an opportunity to do service on every field Tour.


    Genealogy Merit Badge D) Study Hall

    Purpose: Help each Patrol Member learn key concepts on this subject. Include the following resources:


    After doing the Cultural Tour, each scout will will prepare a presentation for Req #2-#5. This could be oral, written, powerpoint, etc. It may be best to use a patrol meeting to prepare reports (bring some laptops) or let everyone do at home on their own.

    Choose THREE groups that have different racial, cultural, national, or ethnic backgrounds, one of which comes from your own background.

      Req #2: Group Independence -
      Imagine that one of the groups had always lived alone in a city or country to which no other groups ever came. Tell what you think the city or country might be like today. Now tell what you think it might be like if the three groups you chose lived there at the same time.

      American Cultures Merit Badge Req #3: Religious and Social Custums -
      Tell about some differences between the religions and social customs of the three groups. Tell about some ideas, or ways of doing things that are similar in the three groups.

      Req #4: Contributions -
      Tell about a contribution made to our country by three different people each from a different racial, ethnic, or religious background.

      Req #5: Getting Along -
      Give a talk to your Scout unit or class at school on how people from different groups have gotten along together. Lead a discussion on what can be done to help various groups understand one another better.


    H) Program Conclusion

    After completion of all activities there should be a final session with the merit badge counselor. In this meeting each scout has the opportunity to discuss and reflect with him on what they learned and future educational and work opportunities that exist in this field.

    Two activities for this final session:

    • Presentation by Scouts of their Cultural Reports
    • Final Meeting with Merit Badge Counselor.

    American Cultures Merit Badge


    I) American Cultures Famous Quotes:

      Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - NBA All-Star. - When I was 17, I worked in a mentoring program in Harlem designed to improve the community. That's when I first gained an appreciation of the Harlem Renaissance, a time when African-Americans rose to prominence in American culture. For the first time, they were taken seriously as artists, musicians, writers, athletes, and as political thinkers. :

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