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Why do we need the Citizenship in Society merit badge?


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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

42 minutes ago, yknot said:

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 have some opinions on the rollout of the merit badgem mostly because my council has continued to do a poor job of getting MBC approved and getting opportunities to do the badge. But the badge itself seems to be a very good implementation of that sort of thing.

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2 hours ago, nolesrule said:



This topic can't really be done effectively via Powerpoint. 

IMO, no merit badge can/should be done via powerpoint. If it *can", then the badge is really no more than reading a condensed book. IMO not worthy of a mB which should require scouts to DO more than just "repeat".

Second, the mB program is predicated on adult association as a method. A mB reduced to a ppt presentation more often than not has little/no adult association. (It is extremely rare that a mB counselor is skilled enough to use ppt and provide meaningful adult association, mostly b/c if they have the ability they would not choose to use ppt in the first place).

 

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21 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

IMO, no merit badge can/should be done via powerpoint. If it *can", then the badge is really no more than reading a condensed book. IMO not worthy of a mB which should require scouts to DO more than just "repeat".

Second, the mB program is predicated on adult association as a method. A mB reduced to a ppt presentation more often than not has little/no adult association. (It is extremely rare that a mB counselor is skilled enough to use ppt and provide meaningful adult association, mostly b/c if they have the ability they would not choose to use ppt in the first place).

 

You are absolutely correct, and I probably should have chosen my words with a little more thought. What I meant to say, and i was responding to a specific post,  is that the subject matter isn't something that can be done through presentations. This is regardless of whether it's a merit badge or not.

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On 12/9/2022 at 9:32 AM, 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.

Scouts are supposed to be active.  21 merit badges and too many are redundant with school or just boring paperwork.  Now, we have yet another.  Four citizenship MBs is just too many.  ... Five actually ... family, society, nation, world, society?  What next?  Universe?  ... Citizen of the Ecology?  

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11 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

Scouts are supposed to be active.  21 merit badges and too many are redundant with school or just boring paperwork.  Now, we have yet another.  Four citizenship MBs is just too many.  ... Five actually ... family, society, nation, world, society?  What next?  Universe?  ... Citizen of the Ecology?  

IMHO,  community service projects may be a better approach to developing  good neighbors and citizens, i.e., part of the program as opposed to part of advancement.

My $0.02,

Edited by RememberSchiff
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31 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

Scouts are supposed to be active.  21 merit badges and too many are redundant with school or just boring paperwork.  Now, we have yet another.  Four citizenship MBs is just too many.  ... Five actually ... family, society, nation, world, society?  What next?  Universe?  ... Citizen of the Ecology?  

How about replacing all of those with the only one that a scout can actually do - Citizenship in the Patrol? Elect a new PL. Solve a problem. Decide on something fun to do. Do it. Talk about how it went. Really easy if the patrol is run well and a tool to use when it's not.

Why are nearly a quarter of all the MBs needed not supporting the fundamentals of learning by doing? You can't do Citizenship in the World. No matter how noble it is to understand this subject it's a square peg in a round hole. Scouting is supposed to be a microcosm of the real world where a scout can learn and take skills to the bigger world outside of scouting.

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1 hour ago, fred8033 said:

Scouts are supposed to be active.  21 merit badges and too many are redundant with school or just boring paperwork.  Now, we have yet another.  Four citizenship MBs is just too many.  ... Five actually ... family, society, nation, world, society?  What next?  Universe?  ... Citizen of the 

41 minutes ago, MattR said:

How about replacing all of those with the only one that a scout can actually do - Citizenship in the Patrol? Elect a new PL. Solve a problem. Decide on something fun to do. Do it. Talk about how it went. Really easy if the patrol is run well and a tool to use when it's not.

Why are nearly a quarter of all the MBs needed not supporting the fundamentals of learning by doing? You can't do Citizenship in the World. No matter how noble it is to understand this subject it's a square peg in a round hole. Scouting is supposed to be a microcosm of the real world where a scout can learn and take skills to the bigger world outside of scouting.

 

Not all merit badges are based on being active alone. There always has been a few book learning (American heritage, Law) ones and to act like that hasn't always been true is a lie.

To only have 4 or 5 of them be eagle required is not a crazy amount, no matter how much our older forum members complain about.

We are talking about less then a quarter of the badge required for eagle?

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1 hour ago, Scouterlockport said:

Not all merit badges are based on being active alone. There always has been a few book learning (American heritage, Law) ones and to act like that hasn't always been true is a lie.

To only have 4 or 5 of them be eagle required is not a crazy amount, no matter how much our older forum members complain about.

We are talking about less then a quarter of the badge required for eagle?

Even if the mB is more knowledge based, the reqs IMO should have the scouts do something with that knowledge whether it be during the acquisition of the knowledge, and/or after the fact. 

Almost 25% of  mBs in one topic is too much IMO. I would also not like it if they had 4 mBs for Cooking. Cooking for family, Cooking on open fire, Cooking International Recipes, Cooking for a Patrol all as different badges.

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4 hours ago, DuctTape said:

Even if the mB is more knowledge based, the reqs IMO should have the scouts do something with that knowledge whether it be during the acquisition of the knowledge, and/or after the fact. 

Almost 25% of  mBs in one topic is too much IMO. I would also not like it if they had 4 mBs for Cooking. Cooking for family, Cooking on open fire, Cooking International Recipes, Cooking for a Patrol all as different badges.

We are not talking about a individual skill like cooking though. Citizenship is one of the most important parts it shows up in the scout oath. Cooking does not.

The actual equivalent would to the topic of citizenship is the topic of outdoor skills which has a total of 4 badges also in first aid, camping, cooking and hiking/swimming need for eagle.

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6 minutes ago, Scouterlockport said:

We are not talking about a individual skill like cooking though. Citizenship is one of the most important parts it shows up in the scout oath. Cooking does not.

The actual equivalent would to the topic of citizenship is the topic of outdoor skills which has a total of 4 badges also in first aid, camping, cooking and hiking/swimming need for eagle.

The cooking example was just that, an example. I am not trying to dicker around about what badge(s) are more important than others. The example was illustrative that any badge can be broken down into multiple badges with a more intense focus.

It is my opinion that citizenship as 4 separate badges is grossly over-represented in the mB line-up. I have no intention to argue over my opinion. You have yours, we disagree.

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     Another thing is, the primary difference between the other three and CIS is the others force you to go searching for outside resources, such as a public meeting, rather than sitting around and talking about your personal opinion. A good citizen understands that unless someone's Constitutional rights are being inhibited, their opinion is just that; theirs. Others may agree with you, and you are allowed to voice that opinion, but unless a Constitutional right is being infringed, nothing needs to be done.

     That's another thing too; the other three merit badges, or at least community and nation, encourage you to talk about the law and governing documents in your country. This is something CIS lacks, and thus it should really be a non eagle-required merit badge called Society, not Citizenship in Society.

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4 hours ago, TheGreenWizard said:

     Another thing is, the primary difference between the other three and CIS is the others force you to go searching for outside resources, such as a public meeting, rather than sitting around and talking about your personal opinion. A good citizen understands that unless someone's Constitutional rights are being inhibited, their opinion is just that; theirs. Others may agree with you, and you are allowed to voice that opinion, but unless a Constitutional right is being infringed, nothing needs to be done.

     That's another thing too; the other three merit badges, or at least community and nation, encourage you to talk about the law and governing documents in your country. This is something CIS lacks, and thus it should really be a non eagle-required merit badge called Society, not Citizenship in Society.

You seem to be saying that CIS being different from other required merit badges is disqualifying criteria for it being required.

I'll wait for the irony to hit.

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To me the irony is the BSA already has the answer with Citizenship in the Community in particular and community service projects in general.  Lurching for popular remedies like "Citizenship in Society" just introduces more boring adult "requirements" while taking our eyes off the ball where focus needs to be:  in our local communities.

Indeed author Scott Galloway literally cites BSA membership as a metric in his book "A Nation Adrift" where he makes the point that what's needed is "Participation on a Community Level" at 6:40 in this clip:  https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2022/10/01/smr-galloway-america-adrift.cnn 

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4 hours ago, AltadenaCraig said:

To me the irony is the BSA already has the answer with Citizenship in the Community in particular and community service projects in general.  Lurching for popular remedies like "Citizenship in Society" just introduces more boring adult "requirements" while taking our eyes off the ball where focus needs to be:  in our local communities.

So, CIS, which focuses on developing an understanding of the people in the community, is less useful than learning how the community works for a common good?   Are the concepts of understanding diversity, equity, and inclusion not all part of how to strengthen a community, or even a nation?  How to include your ethics in decison making -Not useful? 

The four citizenship merit badges are all about the developing of our youth to be successful in their endeavors, to be leaders of this nation and the world.  

 

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