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 Cultures, Citizenship in the Community, Disability 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:
With the new merit badge comes a new diversity, equity and inclusion mission statement from the Boy Scouts of America:
BSA DEI Mission
To promote a culture where every youth, volunteer, and employee feels a sense of belonging and to build communities where every person feels respected and valued.
BSA DEI Vision
To partner with all families and communities in raising young people of high moral character, developing their leadership skills, and preparing them to serve and thrive in a world of increasing complexity and challenge.