Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge
Activity Guide for Patrol Leaders
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    Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge

    Aids for the Boy-Led Scout Troop
    Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge is one of three Citizenship badges required for Eagle.

    Sample Activity Plan

    Prior counselor approval is necessary for some requirements:

      Req #4b - Interview Govt Official
      Req #5 - Watch Citizenship Movie
      Req #7c - Community Service

    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
      • Other Related Scouting Activities? (See Extra Credit)

      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

    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.

    A nation is a patchwork of communities that differ from each other and may be governed differently. But regardless of how local communities differ, they all have one point in common: In the United States, local government means self-government. Good citizens help to make decisions about their community through their elected local officials.

    Show on Laptop or portable TV
    Changing the World - Official World Scout Jamboree song 2011, by Daniel Lemma

    Genealogy Merit Badge C) Study Hall

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

      Req #1: What is Citizenship?

        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.

        2015 Jamboree Promotional Clip - YouTube Boy Scout Music Video - Scout Troop Citizenship.
        Citizenship Quiz - Multiple Choice test about Duties, Rights and Obligations.

      Req #2a: Community Map
      (Competition: Who can identify the most community landmarks in a three mile radius from their scout troop meeting place?) On a map of your community, locate and point out the following:

      1. Chief government buildings such as your city hall, county courthouse, and public works/services facility
      2. Fire station, police station, and hospital nearest your home
      3. Historical or other interesting points

      Req #2b: Government Chart

        Chart the organization of your local or state government. Show the top offices and tell whether they are elected or appointed. (With parent supervision you may need to research this using an appropriate website.)

      Req #6: Community Services

        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.


    D) Scout Homework
    Activities to be completed at home by the scout with his family:

      Req #4: Research Community Issue
      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.

      Req #5: Community Action Movie

        With prior counselor and parent approval - watch a movie that shows how the actions of one individual or group of individuals can have a positive effect on a community. The following PG titles are available on

          Mr. Holland's Opus - A frustrated composer (Richard Dreyfuss) finds fulfillment as a high school music teacher. PG.
          Follow Me Boys - The 1966 story of how one guy (Fred MacMurray) starts a Boy Scout troop to help the town. NR.
          Balto - Based on a true story - Animated story of a dog that leads a sledding team across Alaska in order to get medicine for a sick girl. PG
          Mighty Ducks - Emilio Estevez stars as a lawyer doing community service who becomes coach to a pee wee hockey team. PG.

      Req #8: Public Presentation

        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.

    E) Town Council Field Trip

    About every other year, Roadkill Patrol would visit the local town council meeting and then stop off at a local fast food or ice cream place afterwards where we would have some of our most meaningful discussions about the roles of government and citizenship.

    It has been my experience that many prominent individuals in local government have a great interest in the Boy Scout program - mentoring young boys, being merit badge councelors, serving in other local organizations that sponsor troops, facilitating eagle scout and troop service projects, and presenting letters of recognition at courts of honor.

    The relationship of a scout troop to its local community is very important. If doing this badge at a scout camp or scouting workshop, then this requirement would be a pre-requisite.

      Req #3: Town Council Meeting

        a. Attend a meeting of your city, town, or county council or school board; OR attend 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.

      Communications Merit Badge * -
      This activity also covers a key requirement (#5) for Communications Merit Badge, which is also required for Eagle Rank Advancement.

    F) Community Service Project

    Every year, Roadkill Patrol would participate in BSA's Scouting For Food. We would usually donate collections directly to a local homeless shelter that we had adopted.

    The troop (or members and families thereof) would also participate in additional service at this shelter at least once year including - indoor and outdoor facility cleaning and entertaining youngsters there. This shelter was also a rich source for eagle scout service projects. With this relationship, our scouts quickly covered the requirements of this item.

    Many such charities exist, trying to do a great mission with very meager resources. They are highly appreciative of any help that they get from Boy Scouts.

      Req #7: Community Service

        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.

    Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge G) Final Presentation

      After completion of the above activities you may need a work session to finish completion of the merit badge worksheet to document the results of your visits, activities and the people you interviewed.

      • Req #2a: Community Map
      • Req #2b: City Organizational Chart
      • Req #3 : Report on Town Council Meeting
      • Req #4 : Report on Community Issue
      • Req #5 : Report on Citizenship Movie
      • Req #7 : Report on Community Service
      • Req #8 : Presentation about the history of your community

    H) Extra Credit

    Never add to or take away from the stated merit badge requirements. The material presented below is intended only to add fun for the patrol by way of either activity or community service.

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Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge
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    Aristotle (384-322 BC) - "It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen."
    Isaiah Bowman - Citizenship comes first today in our crowded world...No man can enjoy the privileges of education and thereafter with a clear conscience break his contract with society. To respect that contract is to be mature, to strengthen it is to be a good citizen, to do more than your share under it is noble.
    Justice Louis D. Brandeis - The only title in our democracy superior to that of President is the title of citizen.

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