Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge
Activity Guide for Patrol Leaders
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Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge C) Prerequisites - Scouts
Work to be done prior to program start:

    Print Merit Badge Workbook
    One copy for each scout. And don't forget to have ready your Merit Badge Blue Card - (home printer version.)
    One copy for each scout.

    Req #2: Two Field Trips
    A core element of this program are two themed field trips (Req #2) to places of national importance. Discuss with your Patrol Leaders what your group can do to cover two or more of the requirements for #2 (see below).

    Req #3: Watch National News
    Watch the national evening news five days in a row OR read the front page of a major daily newspaper five days in a row. Discuss the national issues you learned about with your counselor. Choose one of the issues and explain how it affects you and your family.

    Req #4, 5 & 7: Reading Assignment
    Read ahead and be prepared to discuss these two important documents:

    Req #8: Letter to Congressman
    Name your two senators and the member of Congress from your congressional district. Write a letter about a national issue and send it to one of these elected officials, sharing your view with him or her. Show your letter and any response you receive to your counselor.

    Do this item at least two weeks prior to your meeting with merit badge counselor to allow time for a return letter. Note Email is Quicker! Make a copy of your own letter before sending!
    Contacting the Congress.org - Email Address for all current U.S. Senators and representatives.


Citizenship in the NationMerit Badge 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 #4: U.S. Constitution
    Discuss each of the following documents with your counselor. Tell your counselor how you feel life in the United States might be different without each one.

    Req #5: National Government
    List the six functions of government as noted in the preamble to the Constitution. Discuss with your counselor how these functions affect your family and local community. Martin Luther King 1963

    Req #6: Historic Speeches
    With your counselor's approval, choose a speech of national historical importance. Find out about the author, and tell your counselor about the person who gave the speech. Explain the importance of the speech at the time it was given, and tell how it applies to American citizens today. Choose a sentence or two from the speech that has significant meaning to you, and tell your counselor why.

    Req #7: Three Branches of Government
    Name the three branches of our federal government and explain to your counselor their functions. Explain how citizens are involved in each branch. For each branch of government, explain the importance of the system of checks and balances. (Reference: U.S. Constitution.)

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Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge F) National Field Trips (Two)

    Req #2: Two Field Trips to Sites of National Importance
    Do TWO of the following:


      a. Visit a place that is listed as a National Historic Landmark or that is on the National Register of Historic Places. Tell your counselor what you learned about the landmark or site and what you found interesting about it.
      b. Tour your state capitol building or the U.S. Capitol. Tell your counselor what you learned about the capitol, its function, and the history.
      c. Tour a federal facility. Explain to your counselor what you saw there and what you learned about its function in the local community and how it serves this nation.
      d. Choose a national monument that interests you. Using books, brochures, the Internet (with your parent's permission), and other resources, find out more about the monument. Tell your counselor what you learned, and explain why the monument is important to this country's citizens.

    USS Midway F1) Aircraft Carrier Museum
    Aviation Merit Badge Tour

    Several large naval carriers and other warships have been converted into floating museums and most hold regular scouting events including Aviation 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). Look for

    US Forest Rangers F2) Forest Ranger Headquarters
    Forestry Merit Badge Tour

    Several scout camps are located very close to U.S. National Forest territory and have made arrangements for their summer camp merit badge program to tour a Forest Ranger Facility. We did this once with the Roadkill Patrol at Camp Emerson and our tour included a presentation by an armed forest ranger and her K-9 Partner. That scored really high on the cool factor scale.


Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge G) Program Debriefing

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 about potential career opportunities in this field.

    Req #8: Letter to Congressman
    Name your two senators and the member of Congress from your congressional district. Write a letter about a national issue and send it to one of these elected officials, sharing your view with him or her. Show your letter and any response you receive to your counselor.


H) Extra Credit

    Historic Trails of America Award Historic Trails Award Patch

    You may find in your area a trail of historic national importance. Camping and Hiking along a portion of the trail and visiting an associated Visitors Center may satisfy Req #2a of this merit badge and also earn your scout the BSA Historic Trails Award. Note also that many historic trails also have their own customized award program sponsored by individual scout councils.


US Forest Rangers J) Citizenship in the Nation Famous Quotes:

    Ralph Nader - There can be no daily democracy without daily citizenship.
    Phyllis Schafly - In a world of inhumanity, war and terrorism, American citizenship is a very precious possession.
    Bharati Mukherjee - I am a naturalized U.S. citizen, which means that, unlike native-born citizens, I had to prove to the U.S. government that I merited citizenship.
    Arnold Schwarzenegger (Former Governor of California) - As long as I live, I will never forget that day 21 years ago when I raised my hand and took the oath of citizenship. Do you know how proud I was? I was so proud that I walked around with an American flag around my shoulders all day long.
    Jonathan Sacks - Religion creates community, community creates altruism and altruism turns us away from self and towards the common good... There is something about the tenor of relationships within a religious community that makes it the best tutorial in citizenship and good neighborliness.
    Patrick Henry - Perfect freedom is as necessary to the health and vigor of commerce as it is to the health and vigor of citizenship.
    Bill Maher - [F]reedom isn't free. It shouldn't be a bragging point that "Oh, I don't get involved in politics," as if that makes you somehow cleaner. No, that makes you derelict of duty in a republic. Liars and panderers in government would have a much harder time of it if so many people didn't insist on their right to remain ignorant and blindly agreeable.
    Ezra Taft Benson - The Declaration of Independence . . . is much more than a political document. It constitutes a spiritual manifesto—revelation, if you will—declaring not for this nation only, but for all nations, the source of man's rights
    Thomas Jefferson - In a republican nation, whose citizens are to be led by reason and persuasion and not by force, the art of reasoning becomes of first importance.

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Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge
Official Merit Badge Book



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