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Why do we need the Citizenship in Society merit badge?


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     To start, from what I read of the requirements, it's almost entirely based on "diversity" and "equality."

     Now, while I agree that no one should say offensive terms, such as racial slurs, body shaming, poking fun at disabled people, etc., I don't think we need a merit badge on it. This sort of thing is already covered by the scout law with things such as Kind, Courteous, Reverent, Friendly, and Clean. The ENTIRE POINT of Scouting is to promote good citizenship! The three original Citizenship merit badges also account for every other aspect of the "Citizenship in Society" merit badge. What is society? Oh yeah, I almost forgot, community, nation and the world are all the different parts of our society.

     So, to conclude, I personally think this merit badge is redundant and should, at the very least, be updated to not be eagle required. What do all of you think?

     (P.S. I also can't find any counselors for any merit badges, so if I could have some resources as well I would greatly appreciate it.)

Edited by TheGreenWizard
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I went from hating the idea of this badge and being very dismissive of it to thinking it has a valid place for a variety of reasons. 

I think many of us would agree the aims of scouting including citizenship development.  The question is the how (methods). In order to achieve the top rank in UK Scouts, you have to complete 9 ch

If the Oath can require duty to country and physical strength, and then we can require Citizenship in the Nation and Personal Fitness, the template has been cast for the overarching things to tell us

Welcome to the forum, @TheGreenWizard.

To answer your question, first, we've beat this horse to death elsewhere. Next, I've decided that advancement is not anything I care about anymore. It is the source of nearly all the problems I've seen on this forum. The scouts, when put in such a predicament, just suck it up and treat the offending requirement as a hoop they have to jump through. It's all just a game for them so I've decided to learn from the masters. I'd rather make a game that reinforces a skill. That, the scouts will play and enjoy.

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11 hours ago, TheGreenWizard said:

P.S. I also can't find any counselors for any merit badges, so if I could have some resources as well I would greatly appreciate it.)

Log in Scoutbook.  Under your unit scroll down and you will see a list of items such as Troop Roster, Troop Reports, etc.  The 4th from the bottom should be MB Counselor List.  Click on that and use the drop down list to select the MB you are looking for.

 

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This sort of thing might already be covered in the Law and Oath, but in my observations those points are not sticking with the Scouts... (and many adults).  Reciting it and the start of meetings and living it are not the same, and I don't see many living it.  I have a great deal of what adults think is included in the requirements for Cit in Society and its obvious they really havent looked at what is really there.  

So, no... its not redundant and honestly I can think of a lot of adults in my own Unit who could benefit from the exercises.

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37 minutes ago, 5thGenTexan said:

This sort of thing might already be covered in the Law and Oath, but in my observations those points are not sticking with the Scouts... (and many adults).  Reciting it and the start of meetings and living it are not the same, and I don't see many living it.  I have a great deal of what adults think is included in the requirements for Cit in Society and its obvious they really havent looked at what is really there.  

So, no... its not redundant and honestly I can think of a lot of adults in my own Unit who could benefit from the exercises.

This is a great point, why would it be bad to have another badge about a topic we cover in rank advancement. We have first aid merit badges while also having many first aid advancements from tenderfoot to first class.

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1 hour ago, Scouterlockport said:

This is a great point, why would it be bad to have another badge about a topic we cover in rank advancement. We have first aid merit badges while also having many first aid advancements from tenderfoot to first class.

@Scouterlockport, the negative effect is that an Eagle-required badge takes up the time that an Eagle-bound scout might use to earn an elective badge. This reduces the diversity of experience that we expect of our youth who earn Eagle.

FYI, at one time, First Aid MB was required for 1st class rank. Pushing it back to Eagle necessitated more components of it to be explicit requirements on the trail to 1st class.

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If the Oath can require duty to country and physical strength, and then we can require Citizenship in the Nation and Personal Fitness, the template has been cast for the overarching things to tell us what to do, and the merit badges to serve as demonstrations of how. Given that BSA allowed segregation until 1974, meaning over half of its existence, I'd argue that perhaps the Oath and Law are insufficient tools to govern good behavior in our shared space. Sometimes we might need some prompting on what good citizenship looks like.

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Probably have stated this before, but from my perspective, the CIS merit badge is covered, as this poster notes, by the foundational principals of Scouting.  Someone's comment that it is not in the purview of many in the program, including adults, is unfortunately true, but that is because the emphasic on the true nature of Scout Spirit, doing our best as individuals, youth and adults, is no longer a main focus.  It should be seriously discussed at conferences when Scout Spirit is reviewed.  Ultimately, the perspective of how well the youth, or even an adult, is doing in living to the best of their ability to the major premises is theirs.  And that is why it SHOULD be not just a passing note in the conferences, and even periodic meeting points, like closing or openings.  We close with the traditional SM Benediction, and we often have short discussions on how well they think they are doing in "living" Scout Spirit.  Had a tenderfoot scout clearly explain why "doing his best" was on him first, and only he could make a valid judgment as to that.  We as leaders, or hopefully mentors, MUST set the examples, then highlight those tenets consistently, recognizing at times great observed examples in our mentees.  JMO of course as an old guy who entered Scouting in its peak and when society did not make fun of basic descency and manners.  

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2 hours ago, qwazse said:

@Scouterlockport, the negative effect is that an Eagle-required badge takes up the time that an Eagle-bound scout might use to earn an elective badge. This reduces the diversity of experience that we expect of our youth who earn Eagle.

FYI, at one time, First Aid MB was required for 1st class rank. Pushing it back to Eagle necessitated more components of it to be explicit requirements on the trail to 1st class.

I dont think adding another merit badge effects any scout under 16 ability to do badges they want to. Earning Less then 15% of badges is required for eagle. 

The adjustment of taking first aid from first class was an adjustment made with the changing of times. So how is this any different?

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2 hours ago, KublaiKen said:

If the Oath can require duty to country and physical strength, and then we can require Citizenship in the Nation and Personal Fitness, the template has been cast for the overarching things to tell us what to do, and the merit badges to serve as demonstrations of how. Given that BSA allowed segregation until 1974, meaning over half of its existence, I'd argue that perhaps the Oath and Law are insufficient tools to govern good behavior in our shared space. Sometimes we might need some prompting on what good citizenship looks like.

This is all the new badge is trying to do, reinforce some of our failing from the past. It sucks that councils are not communicating with units to get councilor information to them

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Citizenship in Society is my daughter's favorite merit badge that she has earned. It's a subject matter she is passionate about. The merit badge counselor invited me to sit in on their session (I asked my daughter if it would be okay with her). When the counselor puts a session together for scouts, she ensures there is sufficient diversity within the group to have meaningful discussion, so that everyone is able to get out of it more than they put in. I was pleasantly surprised by the thoughtful discussion, but at the same time you could see a thoughtfulness difference and a participation difference between those who are regularly interacting with others who are different from themselves vs. those who are not.

I think much of the learning from others as well as the true in-depth discussion can't really be accomplished at the unit level, particularly in any kind of consistency across all units in a meaningful way, due to unit size, lack of time for true in-depth discussion or lack of adults who are capable of facilitating the discussion. It pains me to say this but I know way too many people involved in scouting who actually need to take this merit badge, so I wouldn't expect them to be capable of guiding scouts in the manner in which this merit badge requires.

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2 hours ago, qwazse said:

@Scouterlockport, the negative effect is that an Eagle-required badge takes up the time that an Eagle-bound scout might use to earn an elective badge. This reduces the diversity of experience that we expect of our youth who earn Eagle.

 

Unless the scout has put themselves in a time crunch, electing to work on an elective MB is their decision.  CIS is not different than many other eagle required badges -  there are some that are fun and interesting, and some that can be perceived as more school work.  It is a not a zero-sum argument, unless the scout is only going to work on the minimum requirement.  I can honestly say I have never seen a scout jump up to complete Personal Management or Family Life.  But they are an opportunity to learn fantastic life long skills that most scouts do not realize they will benefit from.

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