NEW Citizenship in Society Merit Badge

Today, the Boy Scouts of America launched the Citizenship in Society merit badge, its newest Eagle Scout-required merit badge for youth in the Scouts BSA program (ages 11-17).

Like every other merit badge Scouts earn, this merit badge encourages Scouts to embark on a journey of discovery. In this case, it’s a journey of self-discovery. They will explore a variety of topics around diversity, equity and inclusion, and they will discuss how they apply their findings to life as a Scout and good citizen in society.

Though we all come from differing backgrounds, in Scouting, our goals and commitments are the same. We all take the same Scout Oath, and we all follow the same Scout Law. This merit badge aligns with the Scout Oath and Scout Law, which collectively encourage Scouts to respect the beliefs of others, be kind and courteous, and help other people at all times. The Citizenship in Society merit badge builds upon existing merit badges, including the American CulturesCitizenship in the CommunityDisability Awareness and American Heritage merit badges, which require Scouts to learn and grow their understanding of diverse perspectives and spur positive action.

The Citizenship in Society merit badge was developed by multiple Scouting volunteers, youth, and professional staff working together. Just like every other merit badge, this one connects Scouts with a merit badge counselor who will help facilitate discussion with the Scout as they seek to further understand the topic and the world we live in.

Starting July 1, 2022, the merit badge will be required for any youth seeking to achieve the prestigious Eagle Scout rank.

Here’s an overview of the new Citizenship in Society merit badge:

Overview & Requirements

The focus of the Citizenship in Society merit badge is to provide you with information on diversity, equity, inclusion, and ethical leadership. You’ll learn why these qualities are important in society and in Scouting, as well as how to help other people at all times and serve as a leader and an upstander. The Boy Scouts of America continues to be committed to developing a culture in which every youth, volunteer, and employee feels included and welcomed — and to building communities where every person feels respected and valued.

Scouts can start working on this Merit Badge starting November 1st, 2021. 

Counselor Resources

Counseling the Merit Badge:

  • Unlike other merit badges, there is no Citizenship in Society merit badge pamphlet.
  • Counselors should:
    • Be skilled in listening and in guiding discussions.
    • Be knowledgeable in the subject matter before meeting with Scouts.
    • Take the DEI volunteer training; it includes integral information on key concepts the Scouts will be studying.
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