Merit badge will be available to youth in Scouts BSA program beginning November 1
Irving, TX – November 1, 2021— Today, The Boy Scouts of America (BSA), one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, announced the launch of the Citizenship in Society merit badge, its newest merit badge for youth in the Scouts BSA program (ages 11-17). The new merit badge encourages Scouts to explore important topics around diversity, equity, inclusion and ethical leadership and learn why these qualities are important in society and in Scouting. Beginning July 1, 2022, the Citizenship in Society merit badge will be required for any youth seeking to achieve the prestigious Eagle Scout rank.
“The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law,” said Roger Mosby, president and chief executive officer of The Boy Scouts of America. “This merit badge aligns with both the Scout Oath and Scout Law, which encourage Scouts to respect the beliefs of others, to be kind and courteous, and to help other people at all times.”
The Citizenship in Society merit badge is the latest initiative as part of BSA’s ongoing commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. Developed by BSA’s Office of Diversity and Youth Development Office, with input from a dedicated group of Scouting volunteers, BSA youth and professional staff, the merit badge pairs Scouts with merit badge counselors who will help guide Scouts on their journey of self-discovery and facilitate discussions as Scouts seek to further understand the diverse world we live in.
“The Citizenship in Society merit badge is an important initiative to help Scouts learn about the diverse identities we each possess, understand different perspectives and experiences, and promote good citizenship in society,” said Elizabeth Ramirez-Washka, chief diversity officer and vice president of diversity & inclusion, Boy Scouts of America.
The new merit badge complements existing merit badges, such as 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.
“As part of earning the Citizenship in Society merit badge, I learned that it’s important to understand different opinions and perspectives to become a good leader so that you’re prepared to handle any situation that comes up,” said Maya, a 15-year-old Scout who participated in the pilot program. “I also enjoyed getting to discuss diversity and inclusion topics with my friends in Scouting, as it felt like a safe environment to be open and honest about these topics.”
For more information on the Citizenship in Society merit badge, please visit www.scouting.org/dei.
About the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation’s foremost youth programs of character development and values-based leadership training, which help young people be “Prepared. For Life.®” For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.Scouting.org.