Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

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  1. Citizenship in the NationMerit Badge

  2. Skills you’ll learn • US Citizenship • Charters of Freedom • Branches of Government • Important Speeches • Functions of Government • Writing your Congressional Representatives Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  3. Plan for the half day • Introduction and badge overview 30-45 min. • US Citizenship Discussion • Charters of Freedom • Bio break [maximum 5 minutes] • Branches of Government • Six Functions of Government • Bio break [maximum 5 minutes] • Final Discussion • Reserve [20 minutes] Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  4. How to earn a Merit Badge • Read the Requirements • You are expected to meet the requirements as they are stated -- no more and no less. • If it says "show or demonstrate," that is what you must do. Just telling about it isn't enough. • The same thing holds true for such words as "make," "list," "in the field," and "collect," "identify," and "label." • Meritbadge.org – requirements, workbooks, reference links (very helpful) • Use the workbook (not required, but helpful) • Read the MB booklet • Listen and participate in class • If you don’t know, say so and ask, don’t guess • The goal here is to demonstrate command of the subject • no one knows it all • You can finish up the requirements anytime – no time limit • But: requirements can change at any time Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  5. Remember… Earning a MB is a Learning Experience When you do more than is required, you benefit Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  6. Citizenship in the Nation MB Requirements • Explain what citizenship in the nation means and what it takes to be a good citizen of this country. Discuss the rights, duties, and obligations of a responsible and active American citizen. • Do TWO of the following: a. Visit a place that is listed as a National Historic Landmark or that is on the National Register of Historic Places. Tell your counselor what you learned about the landmark or site and what you found interesting about it. b. Tour your state capitol building or the U.S. Capitol. Tell your counselor what you learned about the capitol, its function, and the history. c. Tour a federal facility. Explain to your counselor what you saw there and what you learned about its function in the local community and how it serves this nation. d. Choose a national monument that interests you. Using books, brochures, the Internet (with your parent's permission), and other resources, find out more about the monument. Tell your counselor what you learned, and explain why the monument is important to this country's citizens. • Watch the national evening news five days in a row OR read the front page of a major daily newspaper five days in a row. Discuss the national issues you learned about with your counselor. Choose one of the issues and explain how it affects you and your family. Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  7. Citizenship in the Nation MB Requirements • Discuss each of the following documents with your counselor. Tell your counselor how you feel life in the United States might be different without each one. a. Declaration of Independence b. Preamble to the Constitution c. The Constitution d. Bill of Rights e. Amendments to the Constitution • List the six functions of government as noted in the preamble to the Constitution. Discuss with your counselor how these functions affect your family and local community. • With your counselor's approval, choose a speech of national historical importance. Find out about the author, and tell your counselor about the person who gave the speech. Explain the importance of the speech at the time it was given, and tell how it applies to American citizens today. Choose a sentence or two from the speech that has significant meaning to you, and tell your counselor why. • Name the three branches of our federal government and explain to your counselor their functions. Explain how citizens are involved in each branch. For each branch of government, explain the importance of the system of checks and balances. • Name your two senators and the member of Congress from your congressional district. Write a letter about a national issue and send it to one of these elected officials, sharing your view with him or her. Show your letter and any response you receive to your counselor. Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  8. US Citizenship • Why is it important? • Military Protection • Individual Rights and Freedoms • Standard of Living • What does it mean to you? • What type of Government do we have in the US? • Democracy? • Monarchy? • Republic? • Parliamentary? Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  9. How to become a US Citizen? • Natural Born Citizen • Parents are US citizens • Born in US • Naturalized Citizen • Earn citizenship by working five years in the US, • pass citizenship exam, • swear an oath to the US • In the Oath of Citizenship, swear to defend the Constitution and laws of the US and, when required by the law, • to bear arms on behalf of the U.S. and/or perform noncombatant service. Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  10. What are the rights, duties, and obligations of U.S. citizenship: • Rights: • Vote • Bill of Rights – first 10 amendments of constitution • Many other rights from constitution, laws, and court rulings • Duties • Serve on Juries • Public Safety • Vote • Participate (stay involved, express your views, etc.) • Obligations • Pay taxes • Male U.S. citizens are required to register with the Selective Service System at age 18 for possible conscription into the armed forces. Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  11. Life in Other Countries • North Korea • Citizens can not vote • Public Speech severely limited • Saudi Arabia • Citizens can not vote • Public Speech severely limited • Iran • Ruled by Muslim law (limited speech, assembly, candidates “approved” by mullahs) Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  12. How do we amend the constitution? • Two ways: • Passed by Congress, signed by President and ratified by ¾ of the states • 10,000 amendments proposed to Congress, most fail • 33 have passed, 27 of these have been ratified • 6 have failed to gain the ¾ state ratification • 4 could still be ratified • Constitutional Convention • Two-thirds of the State legislatures may call a Constitutional Convention to consider one or more amendments. • This second method has never been used • It is unclear exactly how, in practice, a Constitutional Convention would work Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  13. Review • What are the rights of Citizenship? • What are the duties? • What are the obligations? • What does it take to be a good citizen? Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  14. 3. Read the front page of a major daily newspaper five days in a row. • Read the front page of national newspapers for one week • USA Today • Washington Post • Washington Times • New York Times • Wall Street Journal • New York Post • Discuss the national issues you learned about with your counselor. • Choose one of the issues and explain how it affects you and your family. Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  15. How To • Read the Headlines • Headlines are often deceptive – made to sell papers • Notice the ‘by line’ • author, date, location & affiliation • Check out the photos • Read captions • Skim the story • Read the stories that interest you in detail • Consider the impacts on your family • You should always use multiple sources for news to get all stories and some balance Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  16. Discuss • What are the national issues that you read about? • Name one that will impact you and your family • How? Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  17. 4. Discuss our Founding Documents • Declaration of Independence • Established the 13 American Colonies as a Sovereign nation b. Preamble to the Constitution • We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. c. The Constitution • Defines our Government • Limits the Government’s Power d. Bill of Rights • 1st ten amendments of the Constitution • Freedom of expression, religion, assembly, press, avoid self incrimination, trial by peers, and much more e. Amendments to the Constitution • Allows for changes and flexibility • There are 27 amendments to our constitution • Most recent amendment was ratified in 1992 • “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened. “ • Tell your counselor how you feel life in the United States might be different without each one. Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  18. Challenge Question • After the Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776 and before the US Constitution was drafted September 17, 1787, • What Documents Governed the US? Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  19. 5. Six Functions of Government • List the six functions of government as noted in the preamble to the Constitution. Discuss with your counselor how these functions affect your family and local community. • We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  20. What do these functions mean? • A more perfect union • The new Government in the Constitution is not perfect • Stronger centralized Federal Government • establish justice, • Create a Federal system of justice • insure domestic tranquility, • Peace at home – authority to quell rebellions and prevent violent conflict between governments at the lower levels such as between the states • provide for the common defense, • Centralize military defense for all states • promote the general welfare, and • Congress should pass laws that act in a general best interest of a nation • secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity • Freedoms for the people now and ongoing forever Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  21. The American Journey • Decentralized Government (1776) • Articles of Confederation • Colonies had all the rights • Distrust of kings/central government • Stronger Federal Government (1788) • US Constitution • Balanced power between small and large states • Protections for states • US Civil War (1865) • Stronger Federal Government • Made the Constitution binding and permanent • States could not succeed from the union • Federal Government is superior to State Government • Today (2009) • Cooperative Federalism • Federal Government gives money to states for cooperation Federal Government Transition Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  22. 6. A speech of national historical importance • With your counselor's approval, choose a speech of national historical importance. • Find out about the author, and tell your counselor about the person who gave the speech. • Explain the importance of the speech at the time it was given, and tell how it applies to American citizens today. • Choose a sentence or two from the speech that has significant meaning to you, and tell your counselor why. Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  23. Suggested speeches: • Abraham Lincoln “Gettysburg Address” • November 19, 1863 • John F. Kennedy “Inaugural Address” • January 20, 1961 • Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, “I have a dream” • August 28, 1963 • Woodrow Wilson “War Message” • April 2, 1917 • George Washington “Farwell Address” • September 19, 1796 • Franklin Delano Roosevelt “Infamy Speech” • December 8, 1941 Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  24. 7. Branches of Government • Name the three branches of our federal government and explain to your counselor their functions. • Executive • President & Cabinet • Departments • Legislative • Congress: House and Senate • General Accounting Office • Library of Congress • Judicial • Federal Courts • Supreme Court Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  25. Explain how citizens are involved in each branch. • Executive • People interact with Government agencies • Vote for President • Write to Government officials • Legislative • Writing you congressman • Voting for congressional representatives • Members of House and Senate • Public Hearings • Judicial • Bring court cases • Serve on juries • Stand trial Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  26. Checks & Balances • For each branch of government, explain the importance of the system of checks and balances. • President has veto power over any legislation • Congress can override President with 2/3 majority • Congress approves executive appointments by President • Supreme Court can invalidate any law or part of a law as unconstitutional • President appoints judges including Supreme Court • Senate approves all Federal judge appointments • Congress can amend the constitution Shares Power Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  27. Name your Congressman • Can you name Maryland’s Senators? • How many Senators does Maryland have? • Can you name our Congressional Representative? • What is our Congressional District? • What part of Maryland does that cover? Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  28. 8. Write your Congressional Representative • Name your two senators and the member of Congress from your congressional district. • Write a letter about a national issue and send it to one of these elected officials, sharing your view with him or her. • Show your letter and any response you receive to your counselor. • 111th Congress • Maryland Senators: • http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?State=MD • Sen. Barbara Mukulski • 503 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510 (202) 224-4654 • Sen. Benjamin Cardin • 509 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510 (202) 224-4524 • 8th Congressional District Congressman: • Hon. Chris Van Hollen Phone: (202) 225-5341 Fax: (202) 225-0375 • Web site: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml • US Mail Address: Capitol Hill Office 1707 Longworth H.O.B. Washington, DC 20515 Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  29. How to • Introduce yourself • Who you are, where you live, how old you are • Why you’re writing • Boy Scout merit badge • Learn about Government • Name the issue that concerns you • Ask what his/her position is on this issue • Ask for a brief response Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  30. Issues • Deficit Spending by Congress • Spending more than we take in in taxes • Adding to the National Debt • Deficit is trillions of $s • Will be paid by your children • National Health Care • Could flood the system • May lead to rationing health care • Will add to national debt • Doctors will leave the system • Private insurance will be destroyed by public insurance • Pollution • Cap & Trade legislation • How will other countries participate Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  31. More issues • Economy • Stimulus isn’t working fast enough • Need for tax cuts • War in Afghanistan • Problems with Pakistan hideouts • When will it end? • Iran building nuclear weapons • Korea threatening US • Space Program ending for US Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  32. Write your letter Bring the response to me for the final signoff Troop 944 Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

  33. Thank you for coming Great Job.