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Citizenship in Society Merit Badge for 2024

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

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 the Citizenship in Society Merit Badge. Scouts will need to research and formulate answers on their own.

The Citizenship in Society Merit Badge is required for the rank of Eagle Scout starting in July 2022.

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:

  1. 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

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 1 Helps and Answers

What Are Identities? (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 1)

Identities encompass the characteristics, qualities, and attributes that distinguish individuals or groups, defining their uniqueness. These can comprise various aspects such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, nationality, and more.

Our identity encompasses how we define ourselves, including our values, beliefs, personality traits, the roles we assume, physical features, ethnicity, and other factors. Recognizing and respecting the diverse range of identities is crucial for fostering inclusivity and promoting understanding among individuals.

What Is Inclusion? (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 1)

Inclusion refers to the practice or policy of ensuring equitable access to opportunities and resources for individuals who may otherwise face exclusion or marginalization, including those with physical or mental disabilities and members of minority groups. It involves actively engaging and appreciating individuals from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and identities.

Inclusion surpasses the concept of mere diversity and focuses on establishing an environment where everyone feels embraced, respected, and empowered to fully participate, irrespective of their differences.

What Is Diversity? (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 1)

Diversity is characterized by the existence of a broad spectrum of identities and perspectives within a group or society. It encompasses differences in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic background, abilities, and more. Embracing diversity plays a significant role in fostering innovation, creativity, and social progress.

Diversity entails having a multitude of individuals with diverse racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds, as well as varying lifestyles, experiences, and interests. It refers to a collective of individuals who possess distinct qualities and coexist within the same environment.

What is Equity? (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 1)

Equity is the principle of ensuring fairness and justice by providing individuals or groups with the necessary resources, support, and opportunities to overcome systemic disadvantages. It recognizes that different individuals or groups may require different levels of assistance or accommodations to achieve equal outcomes.

What is Equality? (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 1)

Equality refers to the state of being equal or having the same rights, opportunities, and treatment for all individuals, regardless of their differences. It aims to eliminate discrimination and ensure that everyone is treated fairly and without bias.

What Is the Difference between Equity and Equality?

Equity and equality are two distinct concepts that pertain to fairness and justice. Equality refers to the state of treating everyone the same and providing equal opportunities, resources, and treatment to all individuals. It assumes that everyone starts from the same position and requires identical support.

On the other hand, equity acknowledges that people have different needs, circumstances, and barriers that may require varying levels of assistance and resources to achieve fairness. It aims to address systemic disadvantages by providing individuals with the specific support they need to attain equal outcomes. While equality focuses on sameness, equity emphasizes tailored and targeted measures to ensure fairness and equal opportunities for all.

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 Ethical Leadership? (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 1)

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.

Ethical leadership refers to the practice of leading with integrity, moral principles, and a commitment to doing what is right. Ethical leaders consider the impact of their decisions on various stakeholders and strive to create an environment of fairness, respect, and accountability.

What Is Discrimination? (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 1)

Discrimination occurs when individuals or groups are treated unfairly or unequally based on certain characteristics or identities, such as race, gender, or religion. It involves prejudiced attitudes, beliefs, or actions that result in the denial of rights, opportunities, or resources to certain individuals or groups.

What Is an Upstander? (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 1)

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. An upstander is an individual who takes a proactive and positive stance against discrimination, injustice, or unfair treatment.

Rather than being a passive bystander, an upstander actively supports and defends the rights and well-being of others, particularly those who are marginalized or oppressed.

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.

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 2 Helps and Answers

Leadership and Ethics (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 2)

Here are some general guidelines for being an ethical leader. Consider these before starting on Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 2.

  • Lead by example: Ethical leaders set a positive example through their own actions, demonstrating integrity, honesty, and accountability. They adhere to high ethical standards and expect the same from their team members.
  • Foster open communication: Ethical leaders create an environment where open and honest communication is encouraged. They actively listen to their team members, value diverse perspectives, and ensure that everyone feels comfortable expressing their thoughts and concerns.
  • Make ethical decisions: Ethical leaders prioritize making decisions that align with moral principles and values. They consider the impact of their choices on various stakeholders and take into account long-term consequences, seeking to promote fairness, justice, and the greater good.
  • Promote transparency: Ethical leaders are transparent in their actions and decisions, providing clear explanations and justifications for their choices. They share information openly and avoid hidden agendas, fostering trust and credibility within their team.
  • Encourage ethical behavior: Ethical leaders promote and reward ethical behavior within their organization or team. They establish clear expectations and guidelines, offering support and guidance to help individuals navigate ethical dilemmas and make the right choices.
  • Embrace diversity and inclusion: Ethical leaders value and respect the diversity of their team members, recognizing the importance of different perspectives and backgrounds. They create an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to contribute their unique talents and ideas.
  • Take responsibility and accountability: Ethical leaders take responsibility for their actions and decisions. They acknowledge and learn from their mistakes, and they hold themselves and their team members accountable for their ethical conduct.
  • Continuously learn and improve: Ethical leaders are committed to ongoing learning and self-improvement. They stay informed about ethical issues, seek feedback from others, and engage in reflective practices to enhance their ethical decision-making and leadership skills.
  • Treat others how you want to be treated: Ethical leaders embody the golden rule by treating others with respect, empathy, and fairness. They consider the perspectives and needs of others, fostering a culture of mutual respect and collaboration.
  • Find common ground with those you are working with: Ethical leaders strive to find common ground and build bridges of understanding with their team members, stakeholders, and colleagues. They seek common goals and shared values, fostering collaboration and unity.
  • Encourage communication and feedback: Ethical leaders create a culture of open communication and actively encourage feedback from their team. They provide opportunities for individuals to express their ideas, concerns, and suggestions, creating an inclusive and participatory environment.
  • Be aware of any bias you might have: Ethical leaders recognize their own biases and work to mitigate their influence on decision-making. They actively engage in self-reflection, seek diverse perspectives, and make a conscious effort to make unbiased choices and treat everyone fairly.
  • Learn from your role models: Ethical leaders draw inspiration from positive role models and learn from their examples. They observe and study the behaviors and qualities of ethical leaders who have made a positive impact, incorporating those lessons into their own leadership approach.

Remember, ethical leadership is a lifelong journey that requires self-reflection, humility, and a genuine commitment to doing what is right. These guidelines can serve as a foundation for developing and nurturing ethical leadership qualities.

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 3: Ethical Decisions

Consider ethical decision-making.

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 3 Helps and Answers

Steps for Ethical Decision Making (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 3)

Ethical decision-making involves a thoughtful and deliberate process. Consider this while working on the Citizenship in Society Merit Badge . While various models exist, here is a commonly followed framework for making ethical decisions:

  1. Identify the problem: Clearly define the ethical issue or dilemma that requires a decision. Understand the key factors, values, and principles at stake.
  2. Gather information: Seek relevant facts and information related to the situation. Consider different perspectives, stakeholders, and potential consequences of the decision.
  3. Identify applicable ethical principles: Reflect on the ethical principles or values that should guide the decision-making process. Common principles include honesty, fairness, respect for autonomy, justice, and beneficence. Scouts should also use the Scout Oath and Law.
  4. Consider alternative courses of action: Generate and evaluate different options for resolving the ethical dilemma. Assess the potential benefits, risks, and ethical implications of each alternative.
  5. Evaluate consequences: Examine the short-term and long-term consequences of each possible course of action. Consider the impact on different stakeholders and assess whether the consequences align with ethical principles.
  6. Make a decision: Based on the information, ethical principles, and evaluation of consequences, make a decision that is morally justifiable and aligned with your values and ethical standards, including the Scout Oath and Law.
  7. Take action: Implement the chosen course of action. Communicate the decision to relevant parties and ensure proper execution of the decision.
  8. Reflect and learn: After taking action, reflect on the outcome and the decision-making process. Assess whether the decision led to the desired ethical outcome and identify any areas for improvement in future decision-making.

It’s important to note that ethical decision-making can be complex, and different situations may require additional considerations or adaptations to this framework. Consulting with ethical guidelines, seeking advice from trusted colleagues, or engaging in discussions with relevant experts can also contribute to making more informed and ethical decisions.

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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 4 Helps and Answers

How to Respond when a Friend Says Something Insensitive (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 4)

When a friend says something insensitive, it can be challenging to respond appropriately while maintaining the friendship. Here’s a suggested approach to respond in such situations:

  • Stay calm and composed: Take a deep breath and maintain a composed demeanor before responding. It’s important to approach the situation with a level head.
  • Reflect their words (if appropriate): Repeat back what they said, unless the words themselves are too offensive. By echoing their words, it can help them realize the impact of their statement and encourage self-reflection.
  • Ask for their intentions: In a non-confrontational manner, ask them why they made that comment. Questions like, “Why did you say that?” or “Why do you assume that?” can prompt them to reflect on their thought process and potentially recognize the flaw in their statement.
  • Express how their comment made you feel: Share your feelings honestly and calmly. Explain how their words were hurtful or offensive to you or others. Use “I” statements to convey your emotions, such as, “I felt hurt when you said that because…”
  • Silence and non-verbal gestures: If the situation calls for it, silently walking away can send a powerful message. Holding up your hand in a “stop” gesture while doing so can further emphasize that the comment was offensive and that you won’t tolerate such language.
  • Educate and provide alternative perspectives: If the opportunity arises, offer information, insights, or personal experiences that challenge their assumptions or stereotypes. Educate them about the impact of their words and help broaden their perspective.
  • Set boundaries and expectations: Clearly communicate your boundaries and let them know that such comments are not acceptable within your friendship. Articulate what you expect from them moving forward and the kind of respectful communication you value.
  • Seek support if needed: If the comment deeply affects you or the conversation becomes difficult to handle, reach out to a trusted adult, counselor, or another friend for guidance and support.

Remember, each situation is unique, and it’s important to adapt these approaches to fit the specific context and dynamics of your friendship. Consider these options during your discussions for the Citizenship in Society Merit Badge.

Cyberbullying and Impersonation (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 4)

Dealing with cyberbullying can be challenging, but there are steps you can take to address the issue effectively:

  • Prioritize personal well-being: Recognize that the well-being of the person being bullied is paramount. Offer support and reassurance, letting them know that they are not alone and that the bullying is not their fault.
  • Reach out to a trusted adult: Inform a responsible adult, such as a parent, guardian, teacher, or school counselor, about the cyberbullying. They can provide guidance, support, and help navigate the situation.
  • Document evidence: Keep records of the cyberbullying incidents, including screenshots, messages, or any other form of evidence. These records can be useful when reporting the issue and seeking assistance.
  • Report the account: Utilize the reporting features available on social media platforms to report the cyberbullying incidents. Reporting helps draw attention to the issue and prompts platform administrators to take appropriate action against the offending accounts.
  • Block and ignore: Encourage the person being bullied to block the social media accounts of the individuals involved in the cyberbullying. Blocking prevents further direct contact and can help reduce the impact of the bullying.
  • Preserve privacy settings: Review and strengthen privacy settings on social media platforms to restrict access to personal information and ensure a safer online environment.
  • Encourage responsible online behavior: Promote responsible digital citizenship and kindness online. Emphasize the importance of treating others with respect and empathy, and encourage positive online interactions.
  • Seek support from peers: Encourage the person being bullied to confide in trustworthy friends who can offer emotional support and stand up against cyberbullying. Together, they can provide a united front against the bullying behavior.
  • Promote reporting within the community: Advocate for reporting cyberbullying incidents to school authorities, internet service providers, or relevant platforms. This helps create awareness and encourages a safer online community.
  • Self-care and well-being: Encourage the person being bullied to prioritize self-care activities that promote mental and emotional well-being. This may include engaging in hobbies, seeking counseling, or participating in activities that foster resilience and confidence.

Remember, dealing with cyberbullying can be an ongoing process, and involving trusted adults and supportive communities is crucial for addressing the issue effectively. Working on the Citizenship in Society Merit Badge will help you be prepared to handle these situations.

How to Be an Upstander (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 4)

To be an upstander means actively and courageously standing up against injustice, bullying, discrimination, or any harmful behavior rather than being a passive bystander. It involves taking positive actions to support and defend those who are being targeted or marginalized. Here are some ways to practice being an upstander in school and social settings:

  • Speak out against bullying: If you witness someone being bullied or mistreated, intervene by speaking up against the behavior. Confront the aggressor calmly and assertively, expressing that their actions are not acceptable.
  • Offer support to the targeted individual: Show compassion and offer a listening ear to the person who is being targeted. Let them know that you are there for them and provide support in any way you can, whether it’s through comforting words, seeking help from adults, or encouraging them to report the incident.
  • Report incidents to authorities: If you witness or become aware of bullying or any form of harassment, report it to a teacher, school counselor, or another trusted adult. Provide them with any information or evidence that can help address the situation effectively.
  • Create an inclusive environment: Foster a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere in your school or social setting. Encourage participation and respect for diversity, and discourage any form of discrimination or exclusion. Stand up against stereotypes or offensive language when you encounter them.
  • Educate others: Raise awareness about the importance of being an upstander and the impact of bullying or discrimination. Engage in conversations with peers, organize workshops or presentations, and share resources that promote empathy, kindness, and inclusion.
  • Lead by example: Demonstrate respectful and inclusive behavior in your daily interactions. Treat others with kindness, respect their opinions, and stand up for what is right. Your actions can inspire others to follow suit.
  • Support anti-bullying initiatives: Get involved in anti-bullying campaigns or clubs in your school or community. Collaborate with others to organize events, raise awareness, and create a safe environment for everyone.
  • Practice empathy: Put yourself in others’ shoes and try to understand their experiences. Show empathy and support, particularly to individuals who may be facing challenges or discrimination.

Remember, being an upstander requires courage and a commitment to promoting fairness and justice. By taking proactive steps, you can help create a positive and inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and safe. The Citizenship in Society Merit Badge will empower you to be an upstander.

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 5: Welcoming

Document and discuss with your counselor:

  1. Ideas on what you personally can do to create a welcoming environment in your Scouting unit.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 5 Helps and Answers

What Is a Welcoming Environment? (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 5)

Creating a welcoming environment in a Scouts BSA troop is essential for fostering inclusivity, diversity, and a sense of belonging among all members. Here are some ways Scouts can contribute to establishing a welcoming atmosphere:

  • Embrace diversity: Celebrate and value the diversity of your troop members. Encourage open discussions about different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. Recognize that everyone brings unique strengths and experiences to the group.
  • Practice inclusivity: Ensure that every Scout feels included and accepted regardless of their race, religion, ability, or any other characteristic. Encourage collaboration, teamwork, and mutual respect among all members.
  • Foster friendship and camaraderie: Encourage Scouts to build connections and friendships with one another. Organize team-building activities, icebreakers, and social events to foster a sense of community within the troop.
  • Welcome new members: Extend a warm welcome to new Scouts who join the troop. Offer support, guidance, and assistance as they adjust to the group dynamics. Assign a mentor or buddy system to help new members feel supported and included.
  • Be aware of bullying: Promote a zero-tolerance policy for bullying or any form of harassment within the troop. Encourage Scouts to speak up if they witness or experience bullying and ensure that appropriate measures are taken to address the situation.
  • Respect individual differences: Encourage Scouts to respect and appreciate individual differences. Foster an environment where diverse opinions and perspectives are valued, and everyone feels comfortable expressing themselves.
  • Collaborate on activities and decision-making: Involve all Scouts in planning and decision-making processes. Give them opportunities to contribute their ideas and opinions, ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard and considered.
  • Educate on inclusivity and diversity: Organize workshops or educational sessions within the troop to increase awareness and understanding of inclusivity and diversity. Invite guest speakers or experts to discuss relevant topics and facilitate discussions on acceptance, respect, and understanding.
  • Lead by example: As Scouts, exemplify the Scout Law and Oath by treating others with kindness, respect, and fairness. Show empathy, be supportive, and be willing to learn from others’ experiences.

By implementing these practices, Scouts can create an inclusive and welcoming environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to fully participate and contribute to the troop’s activities and mission. This information will help you prepare for Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 5.

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.)

  1. Share with each other what makes the different aspect of your identity meaningful/special to you.
  2. Share with each other either one of the following:
    1. 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?
    2. 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.
        • How would that make you feel?
        • What could the students have done?
        • If that happened at your school, what would you do?
  3. Discuss with your counselor what you learned from the discussion with the other Scout or youth.

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 6 Helps and Answers

What to Do When You Are Excluded (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 6)

When Scouts find themselves excluded from a larger group, it can be challenging. Here are some ways to navigate this situation:

  • Seek alternative opportunities: Explore and engage in activities outside the larger group. Look for other events or activities where you can participate and connect with Scouts who share similar interests.
  • Foster friendships within the troop: Cultivate relationships with fellow Scouts within your troop. Focus on building strong connections and camaraderie with those who appreciate and value your presence. Participate in troop activities and work together on projects, fostering a sense of belonging within your immediate Scout community.
  • Communicate your feelings: If you feel comfortable doing so, express your feelings of exclusion to a trusted adult leader or mentor within your troop. They may be able to provide guidance, support, and help address the situation.
  • Be inclusive to others: Lead by example and make an effort to include others who may also feel excluded. Extend invitations, initiate conversations, and foster an inclusive atmosphere within your troop. By creating a welcoming environment, you can help others feel included and valued.
  • Focus on personal growth: Use the experience as an opportunity for personal growth and self-improvement. Engage in activities that interest you, work on merit badges, develop new skills, and pursue your own goals within the Scouts organization. This can help build confidence and a sense of accomplishment.
  • Reach out to adults: If the exclusion persists and causes distress, reach out to a trusted adult. Share your concerns and seek their guidance on how to address the situation. They may be able to mediate and foster a more inclusive environment.
  • Stay positive and resilient: Remember that exclusion from a larger group does not define your worth or abilities. Focus on your personal growth, maintain a positive mindset, and continue to engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.
  • Seek support from friends and family: Lean on the support of your friends, family, and other trusted individuals. Their encouragement and guidance can help you navigate the situation and provide a sense of belonging.
  • Embrace your individuality: Celebrate your unique qualities and strengths. Remember that being true to yourself is more important than fitting into a specific group. Embrace your individuality and let it shine.

Ultimately, the goal is to find a sense of belonging and connection. Consider your options when discussing Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 6.

Interacting with People Who Are Different (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 6)

When engaging in conversations with individuals who are different from you in terms of traits, beliefs, cultures, or characteristics, Scouts can follow these tips to promote understanding and respectful communication:

  • Approach with an open mind: Be open to learning and understanding different perspectives. Recognize that diversity enriches our experiences and provides an opportunity for personal growth.
  • Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the person speaking. Seek to understand their viewpoint, experiences, and values without interrupting or making assumptions.
  • Show respect and empathy: Treat the person with respect and empathy, acknowledging their worth and inherent dignity. Cultivate a non-judgmental attitude and be mindful of your own biases or preconceived notions.
  • Ask questions respectfully: Ask questions with curiosity and respect, seeking clarification and a deeper understanding of their beliefs, customs, or experiences. Use open-ended questions that invite thoughtful responses.
  • Practice cultural sensitivity: Be aware of cultural differences and norms, and approach conversations with sensitivity. Avoid making stereotypical assumptions or judgments about their culture or beliefs.
  • Be patient and tolerant: Understand that it takes time to develop a thorough understanding of another person’s beliefs or culture. Be patient and tolerant, recognizing that differences can lead to enriching exchanges and personal growth.
  • Find common ground: Look for shared interests or values that can serve as a starting point for conversation. Focus on building connections and finding commonalities that bridge differences.
  • Avoid generalizations: Refrain from making broad generalizations or assuming that one person represents an entire group. Treat individuals as unique, respecting their individuality and avoiding stereotypes.
  • Use inclusive language: Be mindful of the words you use and choose language that is inclusive and respectful. Avoid derogatory or offensive language and adjust your communication style to promote understanding and mutual respect.
  • Reflect on your own perspective: Take time to reflect on your own beliefs and biases. Consider how your own background and experiences may influence your perceptions and be open to challenging and expanding your own viewpoints.

By approaching conversations with an open mind, active listening, respect, and a willingness to learn, Scouts can foster meaningful connections, bridge differences, and contribute to a more inclusive and understanding world. This information also fits in with Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 6.

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.

  1. Discover what inspired the individual, learn about the challenges they faced, and share what you feel attributed to their success.
  2. Discuss with your counselor what you learned and how you can apply it in your life.

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 7 Helps and Answers

How to Promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 7)

People can play a significant role in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Here are some ways people can contribute to fostering a more inclusive society. Consider these before choosing someone to discuss for Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 7.

  • Educate themselves: Take the initiative to learn about different cultures, histories, and perspectives. Engage in reading books, watching documentaries, attending workshops, or participating in educational programs that promote understanding and empathy.
  • Challenge stereotypes and biases: Speak up against stereotypes and biases when encountered. Educate others about the harmful effects of generalizations and encourage critical thinking to challenge preconceived notions.
  • Foster empathy and understanding: Engage in conversations with individuals from diverse backgrounds, listen actively, and seek to understand their experiences and perspectives. Cultivate empathy by putting yourself in their shoes and recognizing their unique challenges and contributions.
  • Be an ally: Stand in solidarity with marginalized groups and advocate for their rights and equality. Use your voice to raise awareness, support their initiatives, and amplify their voices.
  • Create inclusive spaces: Take steps to ensure that the spaces you inhabit, whether online or offline, are inclusive and welcoming. Promote dialogue, respect different opinions, and create opportunities for diverse voices to be heard and valued.
  • Encourage diversity in media consumption: Support diverse artists, filmmakers, authors, and creators by consuming their work. Seek out media that portrays diverse characters and stories, challenging the dominance of stereotypes and promoting representation.
  • Engage in community service and volunteering: Get involved in community service projects that address issues of inequity, discrimination, or social justice. Collaborate with local organizations to make a positive impact and contribute to building a more inclusive society.
  • Stand up against discrimination: Speak out against discrimination or microaggressions when you witness them. Be an upstander by supporting those who are being targeted and promoting respectful dialogue and understanding.
  • Advocate for inclusive policies: Use your voice to advocate for policies and practices that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in schools, organizations, and communities. Write letters, participate in peaceful protests, or engage with local representatives to bring about positive change.
  • Lead by example: Be a role model in your actions and behavior. Treat others with kindness, respect, and fairness. Embrace diversity in your friendships, celebrate individual differences, and foster an inclusive mindset.

Remember, promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion is an ongoing commitment. It requires continuous learning, self-reflection, and actively challenging systems of inequality. The qualities listed above will help you think about who you want to discuss for Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 7.

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.

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 8 Helps and Answers

Events in US History (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 8)

Timeline of Events in U.S. History that Positively Shaped Society’s View and Welcoming of Specific Groups:

  • 1863: Emancipation Proclamation – President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that all enslaved individuals in Confederate territory are to be freed. This significant step leads to the eventual abolition of slavery in the United States.
  • 1869: Transcontinental Railroad Completion – The completion of the Transcontinental Railroad connects the eastern and western regions of the United States. This infrastructure project facilitates economic growth, fosters cultural exchange, and contributes to increased acceptance of diverse communities.
  • 1920: Women’s Suffrage – The ratification of the 19th Amendment grants women the right to vote nationwide, marking a significant milestone in women’s rights and challenging traditional gender roles.
  • 1954: Brown v. Board of Education – In the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, the court rules that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. This decision paves the way for desegregation efforts and contributes to the civil rights movement.
  • 1964: Civil Rights Act – The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is signed into law, prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It plays a crucial role in dismantling systemic racism and promoting equal rights for all individuals.
  • 1965: Immigration and Nationality Act – The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 abolishes discriminatory immigration quotas, opening the door for increased immigration from non-European countries and fostering a more inclusive society.
  • 1990: Americans with Disabilities Act – The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is enacted, prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities and ensuring equal access to employment, public services, and accommodations.

These events mark just a few important milestones in U.S. history where progress was made in challenging discrimination, expanding rights, and fostering a more welcoming and inclusive society for marginalized groups. You can use one of these for Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 8 or choose something else.

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.

  1. Making others feel included.
  2. Practicing active listening.
  3. Creating an environment where others feel comfortable to share their ideas and perspectives.
  4. Helping others feel valued for their input and suggestions.
  5. Standing up for others.

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 9 Helps and Answers

Creating Inclusive Environments (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 9)

Here are some ways that youth can make others feel included and create an environment of respect and value:

  • Extend invitations: Actively include others by inviting them to join activities, group discussions, or social events. Make an effort to include individuals who may be shy or feel left out.
  • Practice active listening: When engaging in conversations, give your full attention to the person speaking. Show genuine interest by maintaining eye contact, nodding, and providing verbal cues that you are actively listening. This is specifically mentioned in Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 9.
  • Foster open communication: Encourage open and respectful dialogue by creating a safe space where individuals feel comfortable expressing their ideas and opinions. Avoid judgment or interruption and allow everyone to have a chance to speak.
  • Appreciate diversity: Value and celebrate diversity by recognizing and appreciating different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. Encourage others to share their unique experiences, which enriches the collective understanding of the group.
  • Validate and acknowledge contributions: Show appreciation for others’ input and suggestions. Recognize their contributions and ideas by expressing gratitude and affirming the value they bring to the discussion or activity.
  • Stand up against exclusion or bullying: Be an upstander by speaking out against exclusion, discrimination, or bullying. Support those who are being mistreated or marginalized and actively work towards creating a more inclusive and supportive environment.
  • Encourage collaboration and teamwork: Foster a collaborative mindset by encouraging teamwork and cooperation among peers. Emphasize the importance of collective success and help individuals recognize the value of working together towards shared goals.
  • Be kind and supportive: Demonstrate kindness and support towards others. Offer a helping hand, a listening ear, or words of encouragement to those who may be facing challenges or difficulties.
  • Embrace others’ perspectives: Embrace diverse viewpoints and be open to learning from others. Encourage individuals to share their perspectives, even if they differ from your own. Engage in thoughtful discussions that promote understanding and empathy.
  • Lead by example: Model inclusive behavior and respectful communication in your own interactions. Treat others with kindness, respect, and fairness, setting an example for those around you to follow.

By actively practicing these behaviors, youth can create a welcoming and inclusive environment where others feel valued, respected, and included. These actions contribute to fostering positive relationships, promoting teamwork, and building a sense of belonging among peers, and will help you prepare to discuss Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 9.

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.

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 10 Helps and Answers

Why Is Stereotyping Harmful? (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 10)

Stereotyping people can be harmful as it involves making generalized assumptions or beliefs about individuals based on their membership in a particular group. Stereotypes often oversimplify the complexity and diversity of people, leading to unfair judgments and biases. These stereotypes can perpetuate prejudice and discrimination, reinforcing harmful social dynamics. This information will help with Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 10.

Rejecting Stereotypes (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 10)

Challenging assumptions and celebrating individuality are crucial steps in combating stereotypes and fostering inclusivity. Here are some ideas for challenging assumptions and celebrating individuality:

  1. Education and awareness: Learn about different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences to gain a deeper understanding of people’s individuality. Educate yourself and others about the dangers of stereotypes, how they form, and their impact on individuals and communities.
  2. Question stereotypes: Be critical of stereotypes when you encounter them, whether in media, conversations, or personal thoughts. Challenge assumptions and avoid making sweeping generalizations about individuals or groups.
  3. Seek personal connections: Engage in meaningful conversations and build relationships with people from diverse backgrounds. Interact with individuals beyond surface-level characteristics to gain a deeper understanding of their unique perspectives and experiences.
  4. Promote diversity in media and representation: Support and seek out media that showcases diverse stories, characters, and experiences. Advocate for greater representation and challenge media that perpetuates stereotypes.
  5. Encourage open dialogue: Foster an environment where open and respectful dialogue is encouraged. Create spaces for individuals to share their experiences, thoughts, and perspectives without fear of judgment or ridicule.
  6. Celebrate individual achievements and talents: Recognize and celebrate the unique skills, talents, and accomplishments of individuals. Encourage a culture of appreciation for diverse talents, strengths, and contributions.
  7. Advocate for equality and fairness: Stand up against discrimination and prejudice. Advocate for policies and practices that promote equality and inclusivity in schools, workplaces, and communities.
  8. Engage in self-reflection: Reflect on your own biases and assumptions. Examine any stereotypes you may hold and actively challenge them. Embrace a growth mindset that allows for personal growth and learning from experiences.
  9. Encourage empathy and understanding: Foster empathy by putting yourself in others’ shoes and seeking to understand their perspectives. Encourage others to do the same, promoting empathy as a tool for breaking down stereotypes.
  10. Embrace cultural exchange and learning: Engage in cultural exchange programs, events, or activities that facilitate cross-cultural understanding and appreciation. Embrace opportunities to learn from different cultures and celebrate the richness of diversity.

By actively challenging assumptions, rejecting stereotypes, and celebrating individuality, we can create a more inclusive society that values the unique qualities, experiences, and contributions of every individual. These ideas will give you a starting point for Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 10.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Give three examples of how limiting diverse input can be harmful.
  4. Give three examples of how considering diverse opinions can lead to innovation and success.

Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 11 Helps and Answers

Supporting Diverse Voices (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 11a)

To support others with different identities and ensure their inclusion and voice in various settings, consider the following ideas before starting Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 11:

  • Foster a welcoming environment: Create an atmosphere that celebrates diversity and promotes inclusivity. Encourage respectful communication, empathy, and understanding among all members of the school, workplace, or community.
  • Actively listen and validate: Practice active listening when engaging with individuals from different identities. Give them space to express their thoughts and feelings, and validate their experiences. Show empathy and acknowledge the value of their perspectives.
  • Encourage participation: Actively invite and encourage individuals with different identities to participate in discussions, projects, or events. Ensure they have an equal opportunity to contribute their thoughts and ideas. Make it clear that their input is valued and respected.
  • Provide platforms for expression: Create platforms, such as forums, workshops, or meetings, where individuals can share their thoughts and experiences. Encourage them to express themselves freely and without judgment. Consider diverse voices when making decisions or planning activities.
  • Educate and raise awareness: Organize educational sessions, workshops, or diversity training to promote understanding and awareness of different identities. By fostering education and discussion, you can create a more inclusive and informed community.
  • Build partnerships and alliances: Collaborate with individuals and groups from different identities to amplify their voices and perspectives. Support their initiatives, ally with their causes, and work together to create meaningful change.
  • Address bias and discrimination: Take a proactive stance against bias and discrimination. Create policies and protocols that address and prevent discrimination based on identities. Encourage reporting and provide support for those who experience bias or discrimination.
  • Celebrate diversity and cultural heritage: Organize events or activities that celebrate different cultures, traditions, and identities. Embrace the opportunity to learn from and appreciate the richness of diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Positive Outcomes (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 11b)

Incorporating diverse thoughts and opinions from individuals with different identities can have several positive outcomes. These ideas will help you prepare to discuss Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 11b.

  • Make interactions more positive: Embracing diverse thoughts and opinions fosters a respectful and inclusive environment. It encourages open-mindedness, empathy, and mutual respect, leading to more positive and enriching interactions. We learn from each other’s experiences.
  • Help benefit from different opinions: By considering different perspectives, you gain a broader understanding of issues and can develop more well-rounded solutions. Diverse thoughts and opinions bring unique insights and creativity, leading to innovation and better decision-making. Problem solving is more creative.
  • A wider range of skills and knowledge is available: Embracing diversity and inclusion allows for a wider range of skills, knowledge, and expertise to be present. Different identities bring diverse backgrounds, experiences, and expertise, enriching the collective knowledge and capabilities of the group.
  • Society is more balanced and fair: Diversity and inclusion create a more balanced and fair society. By valuing and including individuals from different identities, we promote equality and equal opportunities for all. It contributes to breaking down systemic barriers and creating a more just and equitable society.

By actively supporting others with different identities, valuing their input, and embracing diverse perspectives, you contribute to a more inclusive, harmonious, and thriving environment in your school, workplace, and community. Additionally, the incorporation of diverse thoughts and experiences leads to more positive interactions, fosters creative problem-solving, and brings a wider range of skills and knowledge to the table, making society more balanced and fair.

The Danger of Limiting Diverse Input (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 11c)

Limiting diverse input can be harmful in various ways. Consider these before coming up with your examples for Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 11c.

  • Lack of creativity and innovation: When diverse perspectives are excluded, there is a risk of stagnation and limited creativity. Innovation thrives when different ideas and viewpoints are brought to the table, sparking new approaches and solutions.
  • Bias and blind spots: Without diverse input, decision-making processes can be biased and lack critical perspectives. Blind spots may emerge, hindering a comprehensive understanding of complex issues and potential risks.
  • Inadequate problem-solving: Homogeneous groups may struggle to identify and address a wide range of problems effectively. Diverse input allows for a broader range of solutions and approaches to be considered, enhancing problem-solving capabilities.
  • Missed opportunities: Limiting diverse input means missing out on the potential contributions and insights of individuals from different backgrounds, experiences, and identities. This missed opportunity can result in lost talent, ideas, and perspectives that could have propelled success and growth.

The Benefits of Encouraging Diverse Input (Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 11d)

Considering diverse opinions, on the other hand, can lead to innovation and success:

  • Increased adaptability: Diverse opinions challenge traditional thinking and encourage adaptability in response to changing environments. This adaptability fosters resilience and the ability to thrive in dynamic and evolving situations.
  • Enhanced decision-making: Including diverse perspectives leads to more well-informed decision-making. The inclusion of different viewpoints helps identify potential risks, consider a wider range of factors, and make more comprehensive and effective decisions.
  • Market relevance: Embracing diverse opinions enables organizations to better understand and meet the needs of diverse customer bases. This leads to more relevant and inclusive products, services, and strategies, driving success in a diverse marketplace.
  • Creative problem-solving: Diverse opinions bring a multitude of ideas and approaches, stimulating creative problem-solving. Collaborative discussions and diverse perspectives allow for the exploration of unconventional solutions and novel strategies.
  • Improved innovation and growth: Considering diverse opinions fosters an environment conducive to innovation. The collision of different ideas and perspectives sparks creativity, leading to breakthrough innovations and driving long-term growth and success.

By actively seeking and considering diverse opinions, organizations and communities can harness the power of varied perspectives, leading to enhanced innovation, problem-solving, and overall success. Consider this when thinking of examples for Citizenship in Society Merit Badge Requirement 11d.

Related Resources for Citizenship in Society Merit Badge

Be prepared for the Citizenship in Society 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. It reflects the same ideas as the Citizenship in Society Merit Badge requirements.


9 responses to “Citizenship in Society Merit Badge for 2024”

  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.

      1. Christina Avatar

        You are correct! It is an open discussion and very helpful for MBC!

    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.

  2. AlsoAScouterMom Avatar

    You’ve mistaken equality for equity. Equality is people starting a race at the same place. Equity is handicapping the fastest so that everyone finishes at the same time.

    This whole badge is just one more nail in Boy Scouting’s coffin.

    1. Michael Woolery Avatar
      Michael Woolery

      Equality says everyone is allowed to enter. Equity builds a ramp and makes sure the door is wide enough.

  3. Alicia Lynch Avatar
    Alicia Lynch

    I created a Google Slide with the resources shared from this website!
    I figured I should share too since this website is such a valuable resource!

    1. Scouter Mom Avatar
      Scouter Mom

      Love this! Thanks.

    2. Rachel Avatar

      Thank you for this – it was very helpful!

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