Old Hickory Council - Hanging Rock District

Troop 444: American Heritage Merit Badge


American Heritage




  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 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 of Independence.
  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.
            and learn.
        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.
        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 accomplished.
        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.
  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 America's past.
        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 anthem.
        c. Research your family's history. Find out how various events and situations in American history
             affected your family. Share what you find with your counselor. Tell why your family came to
  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 have indicated.
        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
        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 listing.
  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
        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
            America's heritage.
        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.
  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.

American Heritage Worksheets for use in working on these requirements

Boy Scout Oath

On my honor, I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

Boy Scout Law

A Scout Is...

A Scout tells the truth.
He keeps his promises.
Honesty is part of his code of conduct.
People can depend on him.
A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.LOYAL
A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.HELPFUL
A Scout is a friend to all.
He is a brother to other Scouts.
He seeks to understand others.
He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position.
He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle.
He treats others as he wants to be treated.
He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop.
He obeys the laws of his community and country.
If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
A Scout looks for the bright side of things.
He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
A Scout works to pay his way and to help others.
He saves for unforeseen needs.
He protects and conserves natural resources.
He carefully uses time and property.
A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid.
He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean.
He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals.
He helps keep his home and community clean.
A Scout is reverent toward God.
He is faithful in his religious duties.
He respects the beliefs of others.