Teachable Moments in the Shadows of National Events

Dear Scouting Leaders and Parents:

The recent images from the US Capitol were stunning.  The crises that played out in real time on television last week in Washington DC, and this past year in Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle and here in Los Angeles may cause you as a Scout leader to ask, “how do I explain this to the members of my unit and to my own children?”  These events further highlight the need for Scouting and its programs that embrace respectful discussion and tolerance for differing views.

As we condemn the violence, the loss of life and the destruction of property, Scouting leaders have an opportunity to use the tools in the Scouting program to educate its members on their rights and responsibilities as citizens to participate in the electoral process and to peacefully protest when they see injustice. 

Below are some ideas about how citizenship training is incorporated into the Scouting program.  We encourage you to use this time as a teachable moment to help your Scouts learn about American Democracy as they prepare to become tomorrow’s leaders. 

Tim Greenleaf 
Council President 
John O. Johnson
Council Vice President
Travis Williams
Council Commissioner
Jeff Sulzbach
Scout Executive

Scouting Citizenship Programs

Cub Scouts

  • Cub Scouts learn about America’s heritage
  • Through small service projects, Cub Scouts learn to take pride in helping the community
  • Cubs learn flag etiquette and basic citizenship skills
  • Cub Scouts learn about everyday heroes who make our communities better and safer places to live

 Scouts BSA

  • Scouts BSA learn about their rights and duties as US citizens as part of the early rank requirements
  • The Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, and Citizenship in the World merit badges help Scouts BSA learn how they can be useful members of larger communities.
  • By learning to take care of the environment, they preserve our natural resources for everyone’s benefit
  • Scouts BSA also perform service projects to benefit organizations and individuals in the community.


  • Venturing develops strong leaders who will serve our country as they mature
  • Venturers learn about the importance of putting others before themselves through service projects. Service is one of the four pillars of Venturing.