The family is the basic unit of society and is important to both individuals and communities. The world is rapidly changing, making today's society much more complex than ever before. As Scouts earn this merit badge, they will realize why it is important to know more about family life and how to strengthen their families.


  1. Prepare an outline on what a family is and discuss this with your merit badge counselor. Tell why families are important to individuals and to society. Discuss how the actions of one member can affect other members.
  2. List several reasons why you are important to your family and discuss this with your parents or guardians and with your merit badge counselor.
  3. Prepare a list of your regular home duties or chores (at least five) and do them for 90 days. Keep a record of how often you do each of them.
  4. With the approval of your parents or guardians and your merit badge counselor, decide on and carry out a project that you would do around the home that would benefit your family. Submit a report to your merit badge counselor outlining how the project benefited your family.
  5. Plan and carry out a project that involves the participation of your family. After completing the project, discuss the following with your merit badge counselor:
    1. The objective or goal of the project
    2. How individual members of your family participated
    3. The results of the project
  6. Do the following:
    1. Discuss with your merit badge counselor how to plan and carry out a family meeting.
    2. After this discussion, plan and carry out a family meeting to include the following subjects:
      1. Avoiding substance abuse, including tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, all of which negatively affect your health and well-being
      2. Understanding the growing-up process and how the body changes, and making responsible decisions dealing with sex
      3. Personal and family finances
      4. A crisis situation within your family
      5. The effect of technology on your family
      6. Good etiquette and manners

        Discussion of each of these subjects will very likely carry over to more than one family meeting.
  7. Discuss the following with your counselor:
    1. Your understanding of what makes an effective father and why, and your thoughts on the father's role in the family
    2. Your understanding of the responsibilities of a parent


Scouting Literature

American Cultures, American Heritage, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Cooking, Crime Prevention, Disabilities Awareness, Genealogy, and Personal Management merit badge pamphlets.


  • Block, Joel D., et al. Stepliving for Teens: Getting Along With Stepparents and Siblings. Price Stern Sloan, 2001.
  • Brain, Marshall. The Teenager's Guide to the Real World. BYG Publishing Inc., 1997.
  • Carlson, Richard. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Teens. Hyperion Press, 2000.
  • Coleman, Ronda. Around the Family Table: 365 Mealtime Conversations for Parents and Children. Gryphon House Inc., 2001.
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens Workbook. Franklin Quest Company, 1999.
  • Covey, Sean. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. Simon & Schuster, 1998.
  • Davis, Ken. How to Live With Your Parents Without Losing Your Mind. Zondervan Publishing Company, 1988.
  • Foster, Chad. Teenagers: Preparing for the Real World. Rising Books, 1995.
  • Fox, Annie, and Elizabeth Verdick. Can You Relate? Real-World Advice for Teens on Guys, Girls, Growing Up, and Getting Along. Free Spirit Publishing Inc., 1999.
  • Gurian, Michael, et al. From Boys to Men: All About Adolescence and You. BT Bound, 1999.
  • Hightower, Elaine, and Betsy Riley. Our Family Meeting Book: Fun and Easy Ways to Manage Time, Build Communication, and Share Responsibility Week by Week. Free Spirit Press, 2002.
  • Jukes, Mavis. Guy Book: An Owner's Manual. Crown Books for Young Readers, 2001.
  • Maisel, Eric. 20 Communication Tips for Families: A 30-Minute Guide to a Better Family Relationship. New World Library, 2000.
  • McGraw, Jay. Closing the Gap: A Strategy for Bringing Parents and Teens Together. Fireside, 2001.
  • Life Strategies for Teens. Fireside, 2000.
  • Otfinoski, Steve. The Kid's Guide to Money: Earning It, Saving It, Spending It, Growing It, Sharing It. Scholastic, 1996.
  • Packer, Alex J. The How Rude!(TM) Handbook of Family Manners for Teens. Free Spirit Press, 2004.
  • Bringing Up Parents: The Teenager's Handbook. Sagebrush Bound, 1993.