Be Prepared. The motto of the Scouting movement is alive and well. Millions of young people are involved learning to Be Prepared to help other individuals and organizations, the community in which they live, and their nation.
Why So Many Badges?
Badges were used as an incentive almost from the inception of Scouting. Their intent was to encourage youth to try new activities and learn new skills. They confirmed a level of standard for “Being Prepared”. Over time, new initiatives were developed after which a badge quickly followed.
An example of one of the many badges is the Citizenship in the Community Badge. That may sound simple. There is much involved in getting the Citizenship in the Community Badge.
The objective of the Citizenship in the Community Badge is to confirm your knowledge of what it means to be a good Citizen. You must understand your rights, duties, and obligations of citizenship. In fact you must demonstrate good citizenship.
To obtain the Citizenship in the Community Badge, a member must:
- Obtain a map of the community, then locate government buildings, emergency services and facilities, and historical or other points of interest.
- Prepare an Organization Chart of the local or state government, then describe how the various positions are filled.
- Attend a meeting of city council or other level of government. Choose one topic for discussion. Describe the issue, the arguments, and outline reasons for supporting one position versus another.
- Pick an issue of importance. Interview the government official responsible to discover what is being done concerning the issue. Seek advice as to ways youth may become involved. Share what you’ve learned with your Scouting Counselor.
- Watch a movie depicting positive action in a community. Discuss with your Scouting Counselor what it means to be a valuable and concerned member of your community.
- Outline the public services supported by your community or state government. Discuss with your Scouting Counselor why these are important to your community.
- Choose a charitable organization in your community. Research the organization to detail when it was formed, what it does, and the scope of help it gives to the community. Contact the charitable organization to discuss how youth can help. Spend a minimum of eight hours volunteering with the organization. After the volunteer experience, present what you have learned.
- Prepare a public presentation about your community. Address the unique aspects of your community. Include information about the history, culture, and ethnic groups living in the community. Describe popular gathering places. Identify a number of challenges your community faces.
Your presentation should be made to your Scout Troop or during some other public event.
The Citizenship in the Community Badge is only one of more than 100 badges. Scouting members can pursue each one to learn new skills and demonstrate “Being Prepared”. Since Scouting began in the early 1900’s, the goal of Lord Baden-Powell was to have youth prepared to be positive contributors in the communities in which they reside. This goal lives on in each and every one who has experienced Scouting. It will continue to be the foundation of Scouting in the future. “Be Prepared.”