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The Importance of Citizenship as a Scout

By Gabe Coleman

Citizenship implies more than just being a member of a community. It requires a response to one's membership in a community. Promoting citizenship through Scouting provides our country with a new generation of citizens willing to make a positive difference.

If our next generation didn't know about laws and rules and how to follow them, our country would be thrown into disarray. As Scouts, we learn about the rights, duties, and obligations of citizenship, but also resources. We are members of a local community, a nation, and a world, so, therefore, we have to protect our fellow citizens and follow the law, while also upholding the Scout oath and law as they pertain to being a good citizen. As Jimmy Stewart once remarked, "Every Scout should do his best even after he hangs up his uniform and goes out to shake hands with the adult world."

We are supposed to do our best in everything, even after we graduate from Scouts to serve in roles such as pilots, military leaders, or even the next President of the United States. We can volunteer, do service projects around our community, and even help out individual citizens to make an impact on them and on our town or our state.

Through Scouting badges like the Citizenship in theCommunity, the Nation, and the World and through various rank requirements, Scouts study our rights and resources, but we also learn that these cannot be preserved without upholding certainduties and obligations. We have rights like freedom of the press, freedom of speech, or freedom of religion.

Other rights include owning guns, a trial by a jury, and rights granted from states. We have resources provided by our state and national governments like free education from our tax dollars, parks and forests, and economic opportunity. We also have privileges atthe local level like police and fire protection.

In my Scouting group, we have heard from the fire and police departments, visited the ambulance service, and attended City Council meetings. Through Scout activities we learn that our duties are designed to protect these rights. We learn about taking part in elections and voting, as well as, the duty to help prevent fires and report activity to the police.

We have a duty to stay well-informed on political issues and to volunteer at local charities or places that accept volunteers. We have obligations to pay taxes and educate our children. We also have local services to support and use, like the public library system, and we can communicate with our officials if we have any questions.

To show our good citizenship Scouts should be helpful around the community. We should do fundraisers for local charities, get together groups to go fix up a shabby looking building in our town, make meals for the homeless and poor, and go to our local animal shelter and take the cats and dogs outside to play.

Citizenship is an important focus of Scouting because it provides us with multiple resources as well as laws and order. It gives us a purpose and a community to get to know. In conclusion, we should inspire other young people to look up to us and lead the next generation.

Kids should say, "I want to be like Jimmy Stewart, and be a good citizen and a great man in general!" We should teach them about the great people of the past who have worked to ensure our opportunity today.

This story was posted on 2020-09-08 06:03:49
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Scouts at work

2020-09-15 - Adair County, KY - Photo from Gabe Coleman.
As part of the Jimmy Stewart Service Project, Boy Scouts worked picking up trash at Holmes Bend Marina and in the woods nearby Saturday, September 12, 2020. From left are: Jayden Campbell, Ty Coleman, Issac Rexroat, Troy Elmore, Gabe Coleman and Mark Coleman.

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