Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge is one of three Citizenship badges required for Eagle.
Prior counselor approval is necessary for requirement(s) #4b, 5, 7c. Two critical elements of this program include:
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.
Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge
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Changing the World - Official World Scout Jamboree song 2011, by Daniel Lemma
B) Prerequisites - Leaders Prior counselor approval is necessary for requirement(s) #4b, 5, 7c.
Work to be done prior to program start:
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:
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
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 #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 #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.
D) Study Hall
The purpose of this section is to facilitate an opportunity for scouts to research and learn about key concepts relevant to this subject. They need to be prepared to explain these to the counselor.
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.
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.
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 Amazon.com:
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 #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.
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. This activity also covers a key requirement for Communication, which is another merit badge required for Eagle Rank Advancement.
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.
F) Community Service Field Trip
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.
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 #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
J) Citizenship in the Community Famous Quotes:
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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