Citizenship in the World Merit Badge

Click here for the official guidelines from the Boy Scouts of America for the Citizenship in the World Merit Badge.

The Citizenship in the World badge doesn’t lend itself specifically to container gardening, but it does provide an opportunity to explore the issues of food supply on a global scale. Given that all humans must eat to live, the issues pertaining to food are largely global issues and, in some countries, the inavailability of food is devastating entire populations.

Where this badge requires you to pick a current world event, consider the impact of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) on the global food supply and how people around the world have reacted to the proliferation of GMOs in our food with and without public consent, depending on the country. For example, GMO foods are banned in many European countries and have been for years, but citizens in the United States have not yet been successful in compelling the American government to simply label foods as to whether or not they contain GMOs so that consumers in the United States can decide for themselves whether to eat them.

One option towards the completion of this badge is to search the news for a current issue that involved international trade, foreign exchange, balance of payments, tariffs, and free trade. The movement of food products around the world involves all of these things.

Some of the other options towards meeting this badge’s requirements include visiting the U.S. State Department’s website to learn more about an issue that interests you, find a story about a human right realized in the United States that is not realized in another country, and discussing the typical values, holidays, foods, and traditions practiced or enjoyed in other countries. One of the State Department’s programs is the Office of Global Food Security.

Consider access to food and health care in the United States for the poor compared to access to food and health care for the poor in developing nations. If discussing the traditions, including foods, of parts of the world outside the United States for this badge, consider the impact of locally available plants and animals for food compared to the rest of the world and how that has influenced traditions, holidays, and food preparation.

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