1. Read the Declaration of
Independence. Pay close attention to the section
that begins with "We hold these truths to be
self-evident" and ends with "to provide new Guards
for their future security." Rewrite that section in
your own words, making it as easy to understand as
possible. Then, share your writing with your merit
badge counselor and discuss the importance of the
Declaration to all Americans.
Scouts should come to the class
with notes on their research and understanding of
this component. The "discuss" action will more than
likely be a part of group discussion led by the
counselor in which each Scout will be given an
opportunity to share their findings for this
component of the requirement.
2. Do TWO of the following:
a. Select two individuals from
American history, one a political leader (a
president, senator, etc.) and the other a private
citizen (a writer, religious leader, etc.). Find out
about each person's accomplishments and compare the
contributions each has made to America's heritage.
Scouts may choose to complete
this requirement ahead of time or complete this
after the class. The class will focus some time for
discussion of this component as well as the sharing
of the chart as specified in this part of the
requirement. Only Scouts that have completed their
visit, and can substantiate that with the counselor,
as well as having completed their chart, will have
an opportunity to complete this part of the
requirement during the class.
b. With your counselor's
approval, choose an organization that has promoted
some type of positive change in American society.
Find out why the organization believed this change
was necessary and how it helped to accomplish the
change. Discuss how this organization is related to
events or situations from America's past.
Scouts should arrive prepared for
the class with notes written out for reference to
help assist with their explanation on this
c. With your counselor's
approval, interview two veterans of the U.S.
military. Find out what their experiences were like.
Ask the veterans what they believe they
Scouts will be given an
opportunity to share their findings either one on
one with the counselor and/or in group discussion
with the other scouts facilitated by the counselor
within the class. Scouts should utilize the merit
badge pamphlet to prepare for the explanation and
discussion items within this component of the
requirement. Consider making notes to help aid in
d. With your counselor's
approval, interview three people in your community
of different ages and occupations. Ask these people
what America means to them, what they think is
special about this country, and what American
traditions they feel are important to preserve.
It is strongly recommended that
Scouts come to the class with notes ready for use
when completing this component. Scouts will want to
be able to share their explanation clearly and
concisely and notes will not only aid in this but
help show the Counselor that some thought and effort
have gone into preparing for this requirement.
3. Do the following:
a. Select a topic that is
currently in the news. Describe to your counselor
what is happening. Explain how today's events are
related to or affected by the events and values of
b. For each of the following,
describe its adoption, tell about any changes since
its adoption, and explain how each one continues to
influence Americans today: the flag, the Pledge of
Allegiance, the seal, the motto, and the national
c. Research your family's
history. Find out how various events and situations
in American history affected your family. If your
family immigrated to America, tell the reasons why.
Share what you find with your counselor.
Scouts will need to come to the
class with these items already in the works, if not
already completed. Time will be allotted in the
class to review any of these components that Scouts
have completed or are nearly completed with for
consideration by the counselor for sign off. Some
of the concepts required for these different
components may be demonstrated and discussed for
general knowledge purposes within the class, however
ultimately it is the Scout's responsibility to
fulfill requirement completely before the Counselor
can consider signing off on this requirement.
4. Do TWO of the following:
a. Explain what is meant by the
National Register of Historic Places. Describe how a
property becomes eligible for listing. Make a map of
your local area, marking the points of historical
interest. Tell about any National Register
properties in your area. Share the map with your
counselor, and describe the historical points you
b. Research an event of
historical importance that took place in or near
your area. If possible, visit the place. Tell your
counselor about the event and how it affected local
history. Describe how the area looked then and what
it now looks like.
c. Find out when, why, and how
your town or neighborhood started, and what ethnic,
national, or racial groups played a part. Find out
how the area has changed over the past 50 years and
try to explain why.
d. Take an active part in a
program about an event or person in American
history. Report to your counselor about the program,
the part you took, and the subject.
e. Visit a historic trail or
walk in your area. After your visit, share with your
counselor what you have learned. Discuss the
importance of this location and explain why you
think it might qualify for National Register
Scouts should choose one of the
options in this requirement to work on prior to the
class and bring their completed work to the class
ready to share for completion. It is strongly
recommended Scouts bring any notes or other
supporting documentation to help demonstrate to the
Counselor that time and effort has gone into
preparing for the delivery of this requirement on
the day of the class.
5. Do ONE of the following:
a. Watch two motion pictures
(with the approval and permission of your counselor
and parent) that are set in some period of American
history. Describe to your counselor how accurate
each film is with regard to the historical events
depicted and also with regard to the way the
characters are portrayed.
b. Read a biography (with your
counselor's approval) of someone who has made a
contribution to America's heritage. Tell some things
you admire about this individual and some things you
do not admire. Explain why you think this person has
made a positive or a negative contribution to
c. Listen to recordings of
popular songs from various periods of American
history. Share five of these songs with your
counselor, and describe how each song reflects the
way people felt about the period in which it was
popular. If a recording is not available, have a
copy of the lyrics available.
Scouts will need to carefully
manage their time and resources when working on this
requirement. This is not a requirement that can be
done in an hour or two. Scouts should note that
while the Counselor will review the selected
requirement by each Scout during the class;
ultimately it is up to each Scout to select and
prepare one of the three items either before or
after the class. It can not be emphasized enough
that Scouts will need to have proof of their work to
share during the class if they desire to be
considered for sign off on this requirement at the
class. This requirement is best completed by Scouts
who allot themselves plenty of time to complete and
realize this is not just a single afternoon project.
Time will be provided within the class for any
Scouts interested in sharing their partial or
completed progress on this requirement.
6. Discuss with your counselor
the career opportunities in American heritage. Pick
one that interests you and explain how to prepare
for this career. Discuss what education and training
are required for this career.
Scouts should review this
requirement and its components and be prepared to
discuss. It is strongly recommended that Scouts
bring any notes or supporting documents they may
have to help show the counselor that they have
prepared for completion of this requirement.