USSSP: A Scout's Duty to God and Country





A Scout's understanding of his Duty to Country can begin in the activities of a Cub Scout Den.  Each time you have a meeting that opens or closes with a flag ceremony, a patriotic song, or the Pledge of Allegiance, you are reminding a Scout of his Duty to Country.  Being reminded and learning, however, are two different things.  And each Scout does need to learn his duty.  So how do we help him learn his duty?


One answer is to incorporate activities into your den's regular program that involve citizenship building skills.  The following activities can help a Den Leader teach citizenship skills and help Scouts begin to learn their duty:


1.   Den Elections can teach Cub Scouts the importance of participating in a democracy and prepare them for their responsibilities as a citizen to vote in local, state and national elections.


2.   Tours and field trips to government organizations can help a scout understand how his Country's government works and what his duties are. 


a.   A citizen's duty to obey laws and help enforce laws can be explored  when visiting a police station. Scouts begin to appreciate that law enforcement is a civic responsibility that the police cannot accomplish alone. 


b.   The duty of a citizen to be informed on the issues and vote can be reinforced by visiting a session of a legislative body (City council, Supervisors meeting, Parks board, General Assembly or Congress).  This helps scouts understand their duty as a citizen to be informed on the issues such as those being debated or discussed and the importance of communicating with their elected representatives who will make decisions on the issues. 


c.   The duty of service to one's country can be encouraged by visits to military museums, ships, posts, forts and historical sites.  These visits can make a scout aware of the duty of citizens to serve in their country's defense in time of war or conflict. 


3.   Role playing in "Ethics in Action" scenarios can foster an understanding of citizenship values.  The "Caring and Sharing" activity found in the "Ethics in Action" section of the Cub Scout Leader How-To Book allows scouts to participate in a mock trial, learning how a citizen's duty to serve on a jury when called, while learning to respect the property and belongings of others.






4.   Advancement related activities can also be used to help Scouts understand their "Duty to Country." 


a.   Wolf:  Scouts working on their Wolf Badge (Requirement 2) must learn the Pledge of Allegiance and what it means, learn how to honor the flag, learn about their state flag, learn how to fold the flag and lead a flag ceremony.  Practicing flag ceremonies, teaching how to fold the flag, and discussions related to this advancement requirement can be used as den activity. 


b.   Bear:  Scouts working on their Bear Rank (Requirements 3 and 4) must explain why America is special to them, learn what things some great Americans did to improve life, visit places of historical interest, learn about their state, take part in a flag ceremony, fly the flag at home, and explore folklore.  Each of these advancements can be used as an opportunity for the Den Leader to plan a den activity that reinforces or teaches Scouts citizenship values


c.   Webelos & Arrow of Light:  Both awards require a Scout to explore the Scout Oath and their "Duty to God and Country" with a leader.  The Citizen Activity Badge  can be used as one of the required badges for Webelos and must be earned for the Arrow of Light.  The Citizen Activity Badge includes six mandatory requirements and two elective requirements.  During the course of a year Scouting Magazine, Boy's Life, and Program Helps feature activities suitable for a Webelos den related to the Citizen Activity Badge.




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