Scouts who earn the Citizenship in the World merit badge will discover that they are already citizens of the world. How good a world citizen each person is depends on his willingness to understand and appreciate the values, traditions, and concerns of people in other countries.


  1. Explain what citizenship in the world means to you and what you think it takes to be a good world citizen.
  2. Explain how one becomes a citizen in the United States, and explain the rights, duties, and obligations of U.S. citizenship. Discuss the similarities and differences between the rights, duties, and obligations of U.S. citizens and the citizens of two other countries.
  3. Do the following:
    1. Pick a current world event. In relation to this current event, discuss with your counselor how a country's national interest and its relationship with other countries might affect areas such as its security, its economy, its values, and the health of its citizens.
    2. Select a foreign country and discuss with your counselor how its geography, natural resources, and climate influence its economy and its global partnerships with other countries.
  4. Do TWO of the following:
    1. Explain international law and how it differs from national law. Explain the role of international law and how international law can be used as a tool for conflict resolution.
    2. Using resources such as major daily newspapers, the Internet (with your parent's permission), and news magazines, observe a current issue that involves international trade, foreign exchange, balance of payments, tariffs, and free trade. Explain what you have learned. Include in your discussion an explanation of why countries must cooperate in order for world trade and global competition to thrive.
    3. Select TWO of the following organizations and describe their role in the world.
      1. The United Nations
      2. The World Court
      3. World Organization of the Scout Movement
      4. The World Health Organization
      5. Amnesty International
      6. The International Committee of the Red Cross
      7. CARE
  5. Do the following:
    1. Discuss the differences between constitutional and nonconstitutional governments.
    2. Name at least five different types of governments currently in power in the world.
    3. Show on a world map countries that use each of these five different forms of government.
  6. Do the following:
    1. Explain how a government is represented abroad and how the United States government is accredited to international organizations.
    2. Describe the roles of the following in the conduct of foreign relations.
      1. Ambassador
      2. Consul
      3. Bureau of International Information Programs
      4. Agency for International Development
      5. United States and Foreign Commercial Service
    3. Explain the purpose of a passport and visa for international travel.
  7. Do TWO of the following (with your parent's permission) and share with your counselor what you have learned:
    1. Visit the website of the U.S. State Department. Learn more about an issue you find interesting that is discussed on this website.
    2. Visit the website of an international news organization or foreign government, OR examine a foreign newspaper available at your local library, bookstore, or newsstand. Find a news story about a human right realized in the United States that is not recognized in another country.
    3. Visit with a student or Scout from another country and discuss the typical values, holidays, ethnic foods, and traditions practiced or enjoyed there.
    4. Attend a world Scout jamboree.
    5. Participate in or attend an international event in your area, such as an ethnic festival, concert, or play.


Scouting Literature

American Business, American Cultures, American Heritage, American Labor, Archaeology, Architecture, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Communications, Energy, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Science, Journalism, Law, Public Health, Soil and Water Conservation, and Space Exploration merit badge pamphlets


  • Ammon, Royce J. Global Television and the Shaping of World Politics: CNN, Telediplomacy, and Foreign Policy. McFarland & Company, Inc., 2001.
  • Breuilly, Elizabeth and Joanne O'Brien, Martin Palmer, and Martin E. Marty. Festivals of the World: The Illustrated Guide to Celebrations, Customs, Events and Holidays. Checkmark Books, 2002.
  • Burgess, John. World Trade: Exploring Business and Economics. Chelsea House, 2001.
  • Canter, Laurence A., and Martha S. Siegel. U.S. Immigration Made Easy. 11th ed. Nolo, 2004.
  • Dresser, Norine. Multicultural Manners: New Rules of Etiquette for a Changing Society. Wiley, John & Sons, Inc., 1995.
  • Fridell, Ron. Terrorism: Political Violence at Home and Abroad. Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2001.
  • Friedman, Thomas L. The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization. Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1999.
  • Giddens, Anthony. Runaway World: How Globalization Is Reshaping Our Lives. Routledge, 2000.
  • Giesecke, Ernestine. Governments Around the World. Heinemann Library, 2000.
  • Janello, Amy, and Brennon Jones, eds. A Global Affair: An Inside Look at the United Nations. Jones & Janello, 1995.
  • Lewis, Barbara A., and Pamela Espeland. Over 500 Service Ideas for Young People Who Want to Make a Difference. Free Spirit Publishing, Inc., 1995.
  • Longworth, Richard C. The Global Squeeze: The Coming Crisis for First-World Nations. Contemporary Books, 1998.
  • Perkins, Ralf. International Red Cross (World Organizations). Franklin Watts, 2001.
  • Powell, Jillian. World Health Organization (World Organizations). Franklin Watts, 2001.
  • Power, Jonathan. Like Water on Stone: The Story of Amnesty International. Northeastern University Press, 2001.
  • Shpigler, Debra R. How to Become a U.S. Citizen. 5th ed. Peterson's, 2004.
  • Terraroli, Valerio. Treasury of World Culture: Monumental Sites, UNESCO World Heritage. Skira, 2004.
  • Turkington, Carol. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cultural Etiquette. Penguin Group, 1999.
  • Turner, Barry, ed. The Statesman's Yearbook: The Politics, Cultures and Economies of the World. Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.