Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Helps and Documents

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge

The Citizenship in Society merit badge emblem, a circular patch with a red, white and blue background. It has the outline of a hand making the Scout sign and the palm of the hand is the earth.

You will need to learn about leadership, ethical decision making, treating others according to the Scout Oath and Law, diversity, welcoming, and rejecting stereotyping.

By working on the requirements for the Citizenship in Society merit badge, Scouts learn that we all benefit when everyone is included and has a voice. Scouts learn about diversity, equity, and inclusion. They also explore ethical leadership and how being an upstander helps others feel respected and valued.

There is no merit badge pamphlet for this badge. Scouts will need to research and formulate answers on their own.

This merit badge is required for the rank of Eagle Scout starting in July 2022.

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Answers and Helps


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

Find specific helps for the Citizenship in Society Merit Badge merit badge requirements listed on this page. Some of these resources will just give example answers. Others will provide background information to help you understand the questions.

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 1: Terms

Before beginning work on other requirements for this merit badge:
a. Research the following terms, and then explain to your merit badge counselor how you feel they relate to the Scout Oath and Scout Law:
• Identities • Inclusion • Diversity • Discrimination • Equity • Ethical Leadership • Equality • Upstander

Requirement 1 Helps and Answers

What Are Identities?

Our identity is how we define ourselves. This includes values, beliefs, personality, the roles we play, physical characteristics, ethnicity, and more.

What Is Diversity?

Diversity means having a range of people with various racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds and various lifestyles, experience, and interests. Diversity is a group of people who are different in the same place.

What is Equity?

Equity is the quality of being fair and impartial.

What is Equality?

Equality is the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities.

What Is the Difference between Equity and Equality?

Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.

What Is Inclusion?

Inclusion is the practice or policy of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those who have physical or mental disabilities and members of other minority groups.

What Is Ethical Leadership?

Ethical leadership means that individuals behave according to a set of principles and values that are recognized by the majority as a sound basis for the common good. Leaders that are ethical will respect everyone, from their superiors to their employees, equally.

What Is Discrimination?

Discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.

What Is an Upstander?

An upstander is a person who speaks or acts in support of an individual or cause, particularly someone who intervenes on behalf of a person being attacked or bullied.

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 2: Leadership

Document and discuss with your counselor what leadership means to you. Share what it means to make ethical decisions.
a. Research and share with your counselor an individual you feel has demonstrated positive leadership while having to make an ethical decision. (It could be someone in history, a family member, a teacher, a coach, a counselor, a clergy member, a Scoutmaster, etc.)
b. Explain what decision and/or options that leader had, why you believe they chose their final course of action, and the outcome of that action.

Requirement 2 Helps and Answers

Leadership and Ethics

  • Treat others how you want to be treated.
  • Find common ground with those you are working with.
  • Encourage communication and feedback.
  • Be aware of any bias you might have.
  • Lead by example.
  • Learn from your role models.

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 3: Ethical Decisions

Consider ethical decision-making.
a. Think about a time you faced an ethical decision.
• Discuss the situation, what you did, and how it made you feel.
• Share if you would do anything differently in the future and if so, what that would be.
b. List three examples of ethical decisions you might have to make in the future at school, at home, in the workplace, or in your community, and what you would do.
• Share how your actions represent alignment with the Scout Oath and Scout Law
c. Explain to your counselor how you plan to use what you have learned to assist you when that time comes, and what action(s) you can take to serve as an upstander and help other people at all times.

Requirement 3 Helps and Answers

Steps for Ethical Decision Making

  1. Define the problem.
  2. Seek guidance and resources from people and reliable sources.
  3. Identify possible solutions.
  4. Evaluate the solutions, considering the positive and negative impact they may have. Consider the common good.
  5. Make a decision.
  6. Implement the decision.
  7. Evaluate the decision to determine if it solved the problem.

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 4: Scenarios

Repeat the Scout Oath and Scout Law for your counselor. Choose two of the three following scenarios and discuss what you could do as a Scout to demonstrate leadership and your understanding of what it means to help others who may seem different from you:
a. Scenario 1: While at camp, a youth accidentally spills food on another camper. The camper who gets spilled on gets angry and says something that is offensive to people with disabilities; their friends laugh. What could/should you do?
b. Scenario 2: Your friend confides in you that some students in school are making insulting comments about one of their identities, and that those same students created a fake social media account to impersonate your friend online and post messages. What could/should you do?
c. Scenario 3: A new student in your class was born in another country (or has a parent who was born in another country). Your friends make rude comments to the student about their speech or clothes and tell the student to “go back home where you came from.” What could/should you do?

Requirement 4 Helps and Answers

How to Respond when a Friend Says Something Insensitive

  • Repeat back what he or she said (unless the words themselves are just too offensive). Sometimes just hearing the words will make the person realize they were wrong.
  • Ask them why they said what they did. “Why did you say that? Why do you assume that?”
  • Silently walk away. Hold up your hand in a “stop” gesture while doing so if you really want to make a point. This can also send the message that the comment was offensive.

Cyberbullying and Impersonation

  • Reach out to an adult you trust for help.
  • Report the account
  • Tell the person being bullied that it is not their fault. Be a friend to him or her.
  • Block the social media accounts of the people involved.

How to Be an Upstander

Learn how to stand up to a bully.

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 5: Welcoming

Document and discuss with your counselor:
a. Ideas on what you personally can do to create a welcoming environment in your Scouting unit.
b. An experience you had in which you went out of your way to include another Scout(s) and what you did to make them feel included and welcomed.
c. Things you can do to help ensure all Scouts in your unit are given an opportunity to be heard and included in decision-making and planning

Requirement 5 Helps and Answers

What Is a Welcoming Environment?

It is a place where everyone has a sense of belonging and connectedness. Nobody feels like they are left out. Everyone is valued for their unique characteristics.

Choosing to Be Nice

Read about what some high school students did to make everyone feel welcome.

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 6: Differences

With your parent’s or guardian’s approval, connect with another Scout or youth your own age who has an identity that’s different from yours. (This means a trait, belief, or characteristic different from you.)
a. Share with each other what makes the different aspect of your identity meaningful/special to you.
b. Share with each other either one of the following:
i. A time you felt excluded from a group.
• What was the situation?
• How did it make you feel?
• What did you do?
• Did anyone stand up for you?
• What did you learn?
• Would you do anything differently today?
ii. This imaginary situation:
• You’re attending a new school and don’t know anyone there yet. You notice they dress very differently than you do. At lunchtime, you decide you’ll try to sit with a group to get to know other students. People at two tables tell you there is someone sitting at the currently empty seat at their table, so you end up eating by yourself.
o How would that make you feel?
o What could the students have done?
o If that happened at your school, what would you do?
c. Discuss with your counselor what you learned from the discussion with the other Scout or youth.

Requirement 6 Helps and Answers

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 7: Promoting Diversity

Identify and interview an individual in your community, school, and/or Scouting who has had a significant positive impact in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. If you feel your community, school, or local Scouting group does not have such an individual, then research a historical figure who meets these criteria,and discuss that person with your counselor.
a. Discover what inspired the individual, learn about the challenges they faced, and share what you feel attributed to their success.
b. Discuss with your counselor what you learned and how you can apply it in your life.

Requirement 7 Helps and Answers

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 8: Event in Society

With the help of your parent or guardian, study an event that had a positive outcome on how society viewed a group of people and made them feel more welcome. Describe to your counselor the event and what you learned.

Requirement 8 Helps and Answers

Events Which Changed Society

Click on the image below to view the infographic and get some ideas for events to research.

DiversityAndInclusionTimeline CTI pdf

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 9: Leadership Outside of Scouting

Document and discuss with your counselor three or more areas in your life outside of Scouting where you feel you can actively provide stronger leadership in.
a. Making others feel included.
b. Practicing active listening.
c. Creating an environment where others feel comfortable to share their ideas and perspectives.
d. Helping others feel valued for their input and suggestions.
e. Standing up for others.

Requirement 9 Helps and Answers

Some Ways to Be More Welcoming and Inclusive

  • Don’t always sit with the same people.
  • Make connections through things you have in common.
  • Look for people who seem uncomfortable or left out and start up a conversation.
  • Give someone a real compliment.
  • Ask the other person about their interests and try not to talk about yourself too much.

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 10: Stereotyping

Discuss with your counselor how stereotyping people can be harmful, and how stereotypes can lead to prejudice and discrimination. Share ideas you have for challenging assumptions and celebrating individuality.

Requirement 10 Helps and Answers

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 11: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Scouting strives to develop young people to be future leaders in their workplaces, schools, and community environments. As you look at your current involvement in school, your family, Scouting, your job, and/or community, think about how you can have a positive impact in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
a. Describe your ideas on how you can and will support others with different identities to feel included and heard at your school, workplace, and/or social settings in your community.
b. Explain how including diverse thoughts and opinions from others with different identities can:
• Make your interactions more positive.
• Help everyone benefit by considering different opinions.
c. Give three examples of how limiting diverse input can be harmful.
d. Give three examples of how considering diverse opinions can lead to innovation and success.

Requirement 11 Helps and Answers

Why Are Diversity and Inclusion Important?

  • A wider range of skills and knowledge is available.
  • We learn from each other’s experiences.
  • Society is more balanced and fair.
  • Problem solving is more creative.

Related Resources for Citizenship in Society Merit Badge

Be prepared for this merit badge with these related ideas and achievements:

Threads and Flags Scoutmaster Minute

This inspirational thought reminds us that we are stronger when we work together.

More About this New Merit Badge

Read the press announcement about this new Eagle required merit badge. Learn why it was added and more. Read on.

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3 responses to “Citizenship in Society Merit Badge”

  1. Herbert Cohn Avatar
    Herbert Cohn

    I hope that no reasonable Scouter will pass on the information contained in this site about specific answers for the Citizenship in Society Merit Badge. How are Scouts to learn if they don’t have to do the work, but can copy it off of Scouter Mom?

    1. Janiece Payne Avatar
      Janiece Payne

      I do not see this as being specific answers. I see this as what it is intended to be, a helpful guide. The first law of the Scout Law is that a Scout is Trustworthy. Scouts will not just copy this information word for word. They will use this information as a guide to help them create their own thoughts and ideas. As they should.

    2. Carrie Avatar

      I see it more as a guide for the Counselors to help guide the boys into their own words and It also helps with those questions we may not be sure how to answer… This is all new learning experience for all of us. I appreciate all the help I can find out.

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