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.


    A) Program Teaser
    Special audio visual presentation for the start of program or even one week in advance.

    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.

    American Cultures Merit Badge
    American Cultures Merit Badge

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


    B) Patrol Leader Plan & Setup Aids
    Prepare Your Patrol Plan - FUN Starts Here:

      1. Review Official Requirements
      Easy Printable Version

      2. Prepare Draft of Activity Plan
      There are two major parts to this merit badge.
      a) Do a Cultural Tour (See Req #1)
      b) Do a Cultural Report Presentation (See Req #2-5)

      3. Find and Meet the Merit Badge Counselor
      Coordinate all events and activities with your counselor. Show him your activity plan.
      10 Tips for Merit Badge Counselors

      4. Patrol Leader Council
      Present Activity Proposal to your fellow patrol leaders and scoutmaster.

      5. Cultural Presentation

      6. Field Tour Plan
      Research and discuss with your group what outdoor options are availabe for working several of the requirements in this activity.
      Field Tour Group RSVP -

      7. Merit Badge Booklet
      - Secure Merit Badge Study Guide (Librarian)

      9. Announce Event
      - Prepare Event Flyer (See Example Here) (Scribe)
      Each Participant to be notified that he needs:
      - Event Dates / Places / Dress Code / Etc.
      - Printed copy of worksheet
      - Blue Card
      - NOTICE : "Choose THREE groups that have different racial, cultural, national, or ethnic backgrounds, one of which comes from your own background."

      10. Patrol History
      Your Patrol Historian should be ready to take pictures on this activity to report back on the next troop blog, newsletter or court of honor.


    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.


    American Cultures Merit Badge D) Prepare Cultural Report
    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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