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Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge for 2024

Scouts working on the Citizenship in the Nation merit badge learn about the rights, duties, and obligations of United States citizens. They explore important places in our nation and learn to keep up with national events. They also investigate the importance of documents like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Scouts also find out about the branches of our federal government and how they compliment and balance each other.

The Citizenship in the Nation merit badge is required for the rank of Eagle Scout.

What Are the Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge Requirements?

Where Can I Find the Answers for the Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge?

Find specific helps for the Citizenship in the Nation merit badge requirements listed on this page. Some of these resources will just give the answers. Others will provide engaging ways for older Scouts to introduce these concepts to new Scouts.

Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge Requirement 1: What Is Citizenship in the Nation?

What is the Constitution of the United States? What does the Constitution do? What principles does it reflect? Why is it important to have a Constitution?

Requirement 1 Helps and Answers

Who is a US Citizen?

  • Someone born in the US
  • A child of US citizens
  • Someone who became a citizen through the naturalization process
  • By being a minor child of parents who have been naturalized

Duties of a United States Citizen

  • Pay taxes
  • Follow the laws
  • Vote responsibly in elections
  • Contribute to society
  • Jury duty
  • Defending the nation if needed

Some Protections Due a United States Citizen by the Bill of Rights

  • Freedom of speech and expression
  • The right to worship freely
  • The right to peaceably assemble
  • Access to media such as the internet, newspapers and TV which are not controlled by the government
  • The right to a fair trial

Other Rights for US Citizens

  • The right to vote in elections
  • May travel under a US passport
  • Eligible to be an elected official
  • Eligible for federal jobs

Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge Requirement 2: Preamble

List the six purposes for creating the United States Constitution set forth in the Preamble to the Constitution. How do these purposes affect your family and community?

Requirement 2 Helps and Answers

6 Functions of Government in the Preamble

  1. To form a more perfect Union
  2. Establish justice
  3. Insure domestic tranquility
  4. Provide for the common defense
  5. Promote the general welfare
  6. Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge Requirement 3: Branches of Government

List the three branches of the United States government. Explain:

  1. The function of each branch of government
  2. Why it is important to divide powers among different branches
  3. How each branch “checks” and “balances” the others
  4. How citizens can be involved in each branch of government.

Requirement 3 Helps and Answers

The Three Branches of the United States Government

  • Legislative
  • Executive
  • Judicial

The Legislative Branch

Congress is the legislative branch, which writes and passes laws. It also approves some actions of the Executive branch. Congress consists of two bodies: the Senate and the US House of Representatives.

The Executive Branch

The executive branch consists of the President, Vice President , and Cabinet. The President approves laws by signing them or rejects them by vetoing them. The president is also the head of the military and makes treaties with foreign countries.

Judicial Branch

The Judicial branch ensures that the laws which are passed conform to the US Constitution. The justices are nominated by the President but must be approved by Congress.

Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge Requirement 4: Documents

Discuss the importance of:

  1. The Declaration of Independence
  2. The Bill of Rights (the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution) and the 14th Amendment
  3. The traditional United States motto “E Pluribus Unum.”

Requirement 4 Helps and Answers

The Declaration of Independence

Read the full text of the Declaration of Independence online.

The Preamble to the Constitution

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The United States Constitution

The Constitution acted like a colossal merger, uniting a group of states with different interests, laws, and cultures. Under America’s first national  government, the Articles of Confederation, the states acted together only for specific purposes. The Constitution united its citizens as members of a whole, vesting the power of the union in the people. Without it, the American Experiment might have ended as quickly as it had begun.

The Constitution: Amendments 11-27

Read the amendments which are not part of the Bill of rights. There are 17 more.

Video Resources

What you might not know about the Declaration of Independence

The Constitution for Kids – Preamble

The Bill of Rights: Daily, Americans exercise their rights secured by the Constitution. The most widely discussed and debated part of the Constitution is known as the Bill of Rights. These are the first 10 amendments to the Constitution.

A Video Explanation of Amendments 11-27: This video reviews the Bill of Rights and goes more in depth on the final 17 amendments.

Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge Requirement 5: Watch the News

Watch the national evening news for five days in a row or read the main stories in a national media organization (e.g., a newspaper or news website) for five days in a row. Discuss the national issues that you learned about with your counselor. Choose one issue and explain how it affects you, your family, and community.

Requirement 5 Helps and Answers

Watching or Reading the News

You can watch the national news on TV or look at the front page of a major newspaper. Take some notes, especially if you are watching the news on TV, so you can remember which stories seemed most important.

The New York Times

If you really can’t watch the news on TV and you don’t have access to a major newspaper, you can read the US News section of the New York Times online.

Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge Requirement 6: Historic Speech

With your counselor’s approval, choose a speech of national historical importance. Explain:

  1. Who the author was
  2. What the historical context was
  3. What difficulties the nation faced that the author wished to discuss
  4. What the author said
  5. Why the speech is important to the nation’s history.
  6. Choose a sentence or two from the speech that has significant meaning to you, and tell your counselor why.

Requirement 6 Helps and Answers

10 Great Speeches in US History

This list provides ten good options for this requirement. It gives a little background on each speech and a link to more information. Pick one which interests you and read it. Then choose a few lines which seem especially significant to you and reflect on why these particular words are meaningful to you right now.

Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge Requirement 7: Places

Do TWO of the following:

  1. 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.
  2. Tour your state capitol building or the U.S. Capitol. Tell your counselor what you learned about the capitol, its function, and the history.
  3. 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.
  4. Choose a national monument that interests you. Using books, brochures, the Internet (with your parent or guardian’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.

Requirement 7 Helps and Answers

National Register of Historic Places

This is an official list of noteworthy locations which are being preserved for history. It is somewhat difficult to search, but you can find locations by keyword (such as your town) near the middle of the Database/Research page.

List of National Monuments

This site has a good summary of how national monuments are designated. And it also provides a comprehensive list, with many in the list linking to the website for the monument.

Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge Requirement 8: Elected Representatives

Name your representatives in the United States Congress. Write a letter to your representative in Congress explaining your views on a national issue. Show your letter, along with any response you receive, to your counselor.

Requirement 8 Helps and Answers

Find and Contact Your Senators

Just select your state to find out who your two senators are. There will be a contact link for each one. Click on it to send an email. You can also find background information about your senators here.

Find and Contact Your US Representative

Just enter your zip code and you can find out who represents you in the US House of Representatives. There will be an email icon you can click on to contact him or her. You can also see a map of their congressional district.

More Resources

Citizenship Football Game

Citizenship Football Game is a fun way to help Scouts work on citizenship requirements.

This constitution puzzle is a word search which contains words and phrases related to the United States Constitution.

Citizenship Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA

Program features help youth leaders plan a month’s worth of meetings and activities. The Citizenship feature teaches Scouts understand their rights as US citizens. It also demonstrates how these rights are balanced by duties like paying taxes and voting.

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