Unlike traditional merit badges, Citizenship in Society (CitSociety) requires Scouts to undertake independent research about diversity, equity and inclusion. There is NO published merit badge pamphlet. Instead, Scouts discuss what they have researched on the 11 requirements with the other members of their Cohort of 7 other Scouts. Merit Badge Counselors act as Facilitators to ensure discussions stay on-topic. They may give guidance through questioning but never give answers or offer their own personal opinions. Typically, there will be four separate sessions with each lasting up to two hours. Scouts should allow a minimum of four weeks to complete this merit badge. We use the Email function in Scoutbook to communicate with Scouts and Parents/Guardians. We hold virtual meetings.
The Council Advancement Committee has set the following standards for Facilitators:
Cohort – A group of 6 – 8 Scouts within 2 years of age. May be co-ed.
Access Code – An authorization code sent to a Scout’s parent / guardian allowing the Scout to register for a Cohort.
Our research with counselors involved in National’s pilot program found it of value if a Scout has earned any of the following merit badges. They cover aspects of CitSociety and may give a Scout some ideas for research topics. Those counselors also reported that Scouts should be capable of independent research.
A Scout who wishes to take the Citizenship in Society (CitSociety) merit talks with their unit leader. From this point on the process is unlike that for other merit badges.
Unit leaders meet with a Scout and the Scout’s Parent/Guardian. The purpose — to review what will be covered in the merit badge and how it will be administered.
Unit leaders submit the Unit Leader Signature of a CitSociety Merit Badge ‘Blue Card’ form. From this point all communications about the merit badge will take place between the Scout, the Scout’s Parent/Guardian, and the CitSociety team – administrators and counselors.
On receipt of a Blue Card, the system emails a receipt to the sender – typically the unit leader, and the administrator enters the Scout in the priority list by birthdate.
CitSociety Administrator emails Parent/Guardian with instructions for signing up to join a Cohort for the merit badge along with a Access Code to register to take the merit badge.
Note: The access code is a one-time use code and is not transferable.
Scout registers for a cohort that is most convenient for their schedule.
A Merit Badge Counselor sends a link for the scheduled sessions to the Scout and Parent/Guardian
One of the assigned Merit Badge Counselors updates the completion of requirements through final sign off after each session. These updates are visible in Scoutbook and provide an opportunity to view progress.
The Scout is responsible for notifying the Scoutmaster that the merit badge is ready to be marked as complete in Scoutbook.
Unit leaders must not act as a Gatekeeper. Provided there are no other limiting circumstances, a Scout’s request to pursue the merit badge must be approved.
Guardian of the Gate
In addition to the process for applying to be a Merit Badge Counselor, the following additional steps are required for those who wish to be Citizenship in Society counselors.
First, try to connect the Scout and counselor in Scoutbook. If that is successful, the counselor is registered and qualified. If unsuccessful, go to the counselor’s home council and search for their Advancement Administrators. Most will have an email address for either the Council Advancement Committee or Professional Advisor. Send an email asking if the counselor has been registered and qualified for the merit badge(s) in question and the status of their Youth Protection Training. Ask California councils if the counselor has completed AB506 training and LiveScan. The unit leader’s “blue card” signature verifies their counselor credentials verification.