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

    Aids for the Boy-Led Scout Troop

    American Heritage Merit Badge - A fun activity to learn more about the meaning of Citizenship in this great country.

    American Heritage is richly portrayed in many ways. Part of this activity includes an field tour to your local historic site.


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

    Why Do American Heritage Merit Badge

    Every Scout swears to an oath that includes duty to his country. A better understanding of American heritage, the ways in which the past has lead to our present nation, is key to truly knowing what it means to be an American.

    American Heritage Merit Badge
    American Heritage Merit Badge

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


    American HeritageMerit Badge 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


        a) Activity Night #1: Research and requirements #1-3 and discuss prepare for Field tour- (Bring your favorite history book and tablet)
        b) Field tour: Requirements #4 - 6 (local options available?)
        c) Homework: Each Scout to Complete Requirements #2 and #3 at home.
        d) Activity Night #2: - Final Meeting with Counselor - Bring Reports for 2& 3

      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. Study Hall Preparation

      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 - Ask ahead about the best dates, events and exhibits that will best cover the Field Tour Requirements.

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

      8. Find Local Extra Credit Options

      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

      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.


    American Heritage Merit Badge D) Activity #1: Study Hall

    Purpose:
    Help scouts to learn important key concepts
    Start heritage research reports
    Planning and preparation for Field tour

    While some scouts may be adept at self-study, others may do better in a small group setting and taking notes on worksheets. You can facilitate discussion by asking them why each of the principles intruduced here would be relevant.

      Preparation A: Each scout to bring Merit Badge worksheet and bluecard

    • Each scout to bring history research book and tablet.
    • Each scout to bring a current newspaper.
    • Patrol Leader to bring Field tour activity plan

      Preparation B:
      Assignment for Librarian or APL or ASM: (Audio/Visual Materials for group discussion) These links will display on your device.

      American HeritageMerit Badge Field tour Planning
      Patrol planning for related field tour activity.

      Req #1: Heritage Discussion
      Pay close attention to the section that begins with "We hold these truths to be self-evident" and ends with "to provide new Guards for future security." Rewrite that section in your own words, making it as easy to understand as possible. Declaration of Independence. Then share your writing with your merit badge counselor and discuss the importance of the Declaration of Independence.

      Req #3a: News Discussion
      Follow this link for a current visual display of CNN. Select a topic that is currently in the news. Describe to your counselor what is happening. Explain how today's events are related to or affected by the events and values of America's past.

      Req #3b: American Symbols
      Discuss Each of the following / Visual Exhibit Ready

      Req #2 & 3c: American Heritage Report
      Scouts discuss choices and how to start present their several American Heritage research reports.

      • Req #2: American Heritage Report : Do TWO of the following:
        a. Report on two individuals from American History.
        b. Report on a major American organization.
        c. Interview and report on two US military veterans.
        d. Interview and report on three community citizens.
      • Req #3c: Research your Family History and prepare a report thereon.

    .


    Pioneer Wagon Train F) Field Tour

    Field Tour: Requirement #4
    Do TWO of the following:


      4b Visit Historic Site: Visit the site of a historical event.
      4c. Neighborhood Impact:Find out when, why, and how your town or neighborhood started, and what ethnic, national, or racial groups played a part. Find out how the area has changed over the past 50 years and try to explain why.

    Field Tour: Requirement #4 (Alternates)
    Do TWO of the following:


      4a Map of Local Historic Sites: Make a map of your local area, marking the points of historical interest. Tell about any National Register properties in your area and how they got their status.
      4d. History Program:Take an active part in a program about an event or person in American history.
      4d. Historic Trail Tour:

    Field Tour: Requirement #5
    Do ONE of the following:


      5a 2x Motion Pictures: The historic site/event may have a theater and motion picture presentation - "Watch two motion pictures (with the approval and permission of your counselor and parent) that are set in some period of American history. "
      5b Historic Biography: The historic site/event may have a special presentation on some prominent people
      5c 5x Heritage Songs: - Listen to recordings of popular songs from various periods of American history. Share five of these songs with your counselor.

    Field tour: Requirement #6
    Interview people involved with the historic site or event. Discuss what education and training are required for a career in American Heritage:

    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.

    USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum Tour
    Several large carriers have been converted into floating museums and most hold regular scouting events including Merit Badge Seminars, Tours and Overnight Camping onboard. Check out the following USS Midway (San Diego CA), USS Lexington (Corpus Christi TX), USS Yorktown (Charleston SC), USS Intrepid (New York City NY), USS Hornet (Alameda CA). An overnight visit here may also cover requirements for both Aviation and Camping and Citizenship in the Nation merit badges.

    Civil War Boy Scout Experience Tour Civil War Experience Tour
    Brady Saunders Scout Camp

    This Central Virginia adventure tour is a great opportunity for older scouts looking for something beyond a week of summer camp. This program will leave the camp everyday and visit Civil War battlefields and museums throughout the Richmond area. You will return to camp every evening (except one overnighter) to enjoy evening activities. You will have the opportunity to earn your Historic Trails award and your American Heritage merit badge.


    H) Program Final Debriefing

    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.


    I) Extra Credit

      Historic Trails of America Award Historic Trails Award Patch

      Working this merit badge can help scouts meet some of the requirements for the BSA Historic Trails Award. Note also that many historic trails also have their own customized award program sponsored by individual scout councils.

      This activity will emphasize cooperation between historic societies and Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, and Venturer units. A unit should establish a close relationship a local society as soon as possible when planning a historic activity - most communities have such societies.

      Cumberland Gap Virginia Tour Popular Backpacking Adventure Treks
      U.S. National Historic Parks

      There are many state and national historic parks connected to famous trails and or landmarks. Many offer opportunities for fun camping, hiking and backpacking adventures:


        Cumberland Gap - Take a scenic, multi-day, backcountry adventure tour on one a historic trial first cut by the legendary Daniel Boone through land rich in danger and challenge. Several park trails are specially maintained by BSA to support backpacking adventures here.


    J) American Heritage Famous Quotes:

      Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf - What people don't understand is this is something that we only have in America. There is no other country in the world where the ordinary citizen can go out and enjoy hunting and fishing. There's no other nation in the world where that happens. And it's very much a part of our heritage.
      Gen. Dwight D Eisenhower - Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.

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American Heritage Merit Badge
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