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Citizenship in the Community Question Req 5

I am the SPL of my scout troop. I have been teaching the citizenship in the community merit badge. I asked a scout for help teaching it and he has done none of the work and is trying to influence some of the major decisions. We are going to be watching a movie over the next two weeks for req 5 of the merit badge. Originally I had picked the movie Clouds. The scout that was helping me was against this, he wanted to watch Kung Fu Panda. He said that he watched Clouds and does not think that it would work well. I conceded and told him my back up which was October Sky but he still wants to watch Kung Fu Panda. I need some advice on how to handle this. I feel that Kung Fu Panda does not complete the requirement well and I do not know what to do. Thank you for your advice.

First question would be have you reached out to your Scoutmaster for advise?


Have you reached out to your Merit Badge Counselor for Citizenship in the Community for advice? The movie has to be approved by the Merit Badge Counselor.


Hi Riley,
Props on taking this challenge on for your Troop. It’s a great opportunity to help a Counselor work with other Scouts on their MBs.

I’d offer two pieces of advice for you here. First is communication! Ask your partner Scout why he thinks Kung Fu Panda is a good movie for addressing Requirement 5. If he has to verbalize his reason for this movie, he may convince one of you to change your opinion about it – maybe explaining it will make him realize it’s not a good candidate for that requirement (though it’s an awesome movie). Or, maybe him explaining it will give you a different point of view about the movie, and whether it works in the context of requiremennt 5 or not.

The second piece of advice is also communication! If you really feel like your partner Scout isn’t helping you, talk to your Scoutmaster or Merit Badge Counselor for some specific advice about handling that relationship with that Scout – they know you and the other Scout better than we do here, and may have some insight that can help you.

I hope that helps you out with the challenge you’re facing. Good luck to you!

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Thank you for your response. The scout in question is the Scoutmasters child. I had already asked for help and he said that we needed to work it out on our own (he is the counselor). He did verbalize his reason for wanting to watch Kung Fu Panda, his answer was not descriptive or informative. I just messaged him so that he can give me a more concise answer.

I think that @JenniferOlinger has a good point, that the movie has to be approved by the MBC, as well as by each scout’s parent(s). Personally, in your situation I would present all of the options to my counselor to see which if any are acceptable. Be prepared to provide a justification for each movie you and your colleague submit, and, as always, to hear back that none of them meet the criteria.

That’s the approach that I use with scouts when they present or propose work that I don’t, at first, think satisfies the requirements. As @SteveCagigas mentioned above, and you noted regarding a change from your initial choice of movie, the process of discussing it can change what people think about whether or not the work done (or proposed) satisfies the requirements as written.

In any case, as others have noted, congrats on taking the reins on this endeavor for your unit. Taking on a teaching role is a great way to motivate your fellow scouts to learn something, and it looks like you’re putting a fair amount of effort into making it a solid learning experience for them.


The person who gets to decide whether a movie is appropriate or not is the merit badge counselor. This should not be left up to the scouts. It is the MBC that makes the call.


While I have no issue with a scout being actively involved in the presentation and discussion of a merit badge - the councilor is the one who should decide on what movie is watched. And the councilor should be actively involved.


That’s not completely accurate.

From the Merit Badge pamphlet:

  1. With the approval of your counselor and a parent, watch a movie that shows how the actions of one individual or group of individuals can have a positive effect on a community.

The counselor AND a parent approve of the movie. Counselors themselves don’t approve it, and counselors themselves don’t decide on it.

Edit: And parents and counselors don’t decide on it. Selecting a movie for approval is on the Scout.

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