Merit badge workshop impressive for judge
David Barkemeyer
Milam County Judge

I ’ve been conducting a merit badge workshop over the past few weeks with several of our Milam County Boy Scouts to assist them in ea rning their “citizenship in the community” merit badges.

The first assignment in their workbook was to discuss with me their counselor the rights, duties, and obligations of citizenship, and to explain how to demonstrate good citizenship in your community.

Next I asked each one of them to list the top seven things that they will do to be a good citizen in order of importance to them personally.

You would have been impressed as I was with the answers these young men gave.

High on many of their lists was such things as showing respect for authority and the rights of others, having a positive attitude and getting involved, voting and staying informed.

Then they’re each asked what they think are the three most important issues facing their town and/or Milam County and what they think should be done about them.

They are required to watch a movie that demonstrates where an individual takes some action that has a positive impact on a community and then discuss what it means to be a concerned and valuable member of their community.

Each scout is assigned a branch of local government (court system, law enforcement, county government, city government, etc.) to research and then make a formal presentation to his fellow scouts, scout masters, and family members, describing how that part of local government works.

Finally each one is required to choose a community service assignment, arrange with the organization to do the service, work up to eight hours, and report back to the counselor when the service is completed, what was accomplished, and how he felt about it.

I don’t know about you, but after seeing the example set by these young Boy Scouts, I realize that I need to do some work to polish up my own citizenship “merit badge”.

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2013-10-17 digital edition

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