Citizenship in the Nation - Req 2a & 2c

Camping, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Cycling, Emergency Preparedness, Environmental Science, Family Life, First Aid, Hiking, Lifesaving, Personal Fitness, Personal Management, and Swimming.

Moderators: Site Admin, Moderators

Citizenship in the Nation - Req 2a & 2c

Postby SoCal76 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:41 pm

Requirement 2a: "Visit a place that is listed as a National Historic Landmark or that is on the National Register of Historic Places. Tell your counselor what you learned about the landmark or site and what you found interesting about it."

I worked in cultural resources management before I became a teacher. I worked with properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places almost every day.

I'm suprised that the merit badge pamphlet for Citizenship in the Nation is so vague regarding the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and the National Historic Landmarks (NHL) [see the merit badge pamphlet pp. 43-44; also Resources on page 47]. It's hard enough for adults to know about this, let alone middle-school and high-school kids.

The NRHP and NHL programs are administered by the National Park Service (NPS). NHLs are automatically listed in the NRHP.

The NPS website is difficult to navigate to find this information.

Since I "may share (my) knowledge or experience" [merit badge blue card], here are some tips:

To search for a site on the NRHP look at NPS Focus:
http://nrhp.focus.nps.gov

To search for a site that is an NHL:
http://tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/default.cfm

A vast majority of the sites listed in the NRHP are private property (i.e. somebody's house). Scouts should be warned about trespassing and respecting people's property and privacy - in other words, these types of places may not be worth visiting.

However, many NRHP sites are open to the public, including parks, cemeteries, post offices, courthouses, city halls, museums, and railroad stations. Most state capitols are also listed on the NRHP (a couple are also NHLs).

The forms for these places are free and available to the public. One can send an email request to nr_reference(at)nps.gov with the name of the property (official name the NPS uses [see NPS Focus]), and its county and state. Include also the requestor's name and address. The forms should be mailed within two weeks. Note that the forms for NHLs have been scanned and are available as PDFs from the NPS Focus site. Also, several NRHP forms have also been scanned as PDFs and are on the NPS Focus site depending on the state. There are around 80,000 places listed in the NRHP.

As for Requirement 2c: "Tour a federal facility. Explain to a counselor what you saw there and what you learned about its function in the local community and how it serves this nation."

As mentioned above, many federal facilities are listed in the NRHP and that may also be NHLs, including post offices and federal courthouses.

I hope this helps and gives you all some ideas.
SoCal76
Star
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:25 pm
Location: San Gabriel Valley Council

Re: Citizenship in the Nation - Req 2a & 2c

Postby Quailman » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:46 pm

Great advice! In our area, there's one place - an old farm with several outbuildings- on the NRHP. It's the only one within 15 or 20 miles, and it's about a half mile from my door, right next the local middle school. It sure comes in handy for this badge.
Quailman
Bronze Palm
 
Posts: 872
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:52 am
Location: Sam Houston Area Council, Spring, TX

Re: Citizenship in the Nation - Req 2a & 2c

Postby SoCal76 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:59 am

Yes, this requirement would be a tad more difficult to complete living in a rural area.

I didn't mention this before, but it's possible that some Scouts go to a church that is on the National Register every Sunday. Some may also go to a school that is on the National Register. Some may cross a bridge that is on the National Register when they go to the mall.
SoCal76
Star
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:25 pm
Location: San Gabriel Valley Council

Re: Citizenship in the Nation - Req 2a & 2c

Postby SoCal76 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:43 am

Oh, and libraries. There are libraries on the NRHP (Referring back to my Reading MB posts).
SoCal76
Star
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:25 pm
Location: San Gabriel Valley Council

Re: Citizenship in the Nation - Req 2a & 2c

Postby smtroop168 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:15 pm

Thanks for the links...We have multiple places to choose from around here and Gettysburg is less than 30 minutes down the road.
"Providing Quality Info One Paragraph At A Time"
smtroop168
Silver Palm
 
Posts: 2283
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:37 pm
Location: New Birth of Freedom Council Carlisle PA

Re: Citizenship in the Nation - Req 2a & 2c

Postby SoCal76 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:08 pm

How cool is that! I'd love to see Gettysburg!

This requirement would be easier in the Northeast - Pennsylvania and Massachusetts have tons o' historic places.

Luckily, I have four NHLs in town and two are readily open to the public. The other two have tours once per year.

There are about 100 other NRHP properties in my city and several are districts where you just have to walk through the neighborhoods.

I also have at least three federal facilities here not counting post offices.
SoCal76
Star
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:25 pm
Location: San Gabriel Valley Council

Re: Citizenship in the Nation - Req 2a & 2c

Postby WeeWillie » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:53 pm

SoCal76

Welcome to MeritBadge.net!

I disagree with your assessment of Cit in the Nation MB pamphlet relating to Requirement 2.
A qualified MBC should possess knowledge beyond what is presented in the pamphlet. He or she should do an assessment of his or her knowledge and it there are any shortfalls, and do the research to correct the shortfalls. A qualified MBC should know how to navigate a website to find the information he or she needs. If the desired information is not available on that specific website, he or she should know who to find information on other websites. I binged National Register of Historic Places and selected the 1st site on the list. Within 3 mouse clicks I had a list of all the sites in Cochise County, AZ. (On Google it was the third menu item) Then there is good old Wikipedia.

When I became a Cit in the Nat MBC I completed all the requirements myself before my 1st MB session. I also collected additional info for each requirement so that I could coach my Scouts.

Several years ago I took my son to administer OA elections. I visited most of the troops in Cochise District and what I saw was eye opening. Too many leaders and MBCs were winging it.

If our Scouts are capable of using their cell phones, playing complex games on their Play Stations they are capable of “surfing the net.” The education term for “surfing the net” is active learning. If they only stopped and read the information while surfing, they would learn more than enough to meet the requirement. If they are confused then go back to the MBC for clarification (or parents, teachers…)

Too many Scouts, Parents, Leaders and MBCs expect to be spoon fed requirements. A.k.a. passive learning. Closely related is the desire to knock out the requirements as quickly and effortless as possible. These are concerns that I have with merit badge clinics. I’ve seen both good and bad, so it is not the merit badge clinic concept that I object to. It is the attitude of the Scouts, Parents, Leaders and MBCs.

I would also like to point out that Webelos AOL can cross over at 10.5 and others after completing 5th Grade. These Scouts may not be academically or socially ready for the MB. (The information is covered in 7th Grade here in AZ.)
When I administer a MB I go over each requirement with the Scout(s) and insure that they understand the requirements and suggestions on how to meet the requirements. For Cit in the Nation that includes additional websites (not webpages).
On a related topic.

When I was a Scout 40+ years ago, my troop (T261 Farmingdale, NY) had one historic/cultural camping trip a year. We went to Gettysburg, Mystic Seaport CT, Morristown NJ and Valley Forge PA. I have continued that practice in T480 with trips to local sites. Last weekend we had a hike along the San Pedro National Riparian Conservation Area.
Mike Wilson
MBC, Cochise District, Catalina Council, Sierra Vista, AZ
WeeWillie
Eagle
 
Posts: 450
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 11:40 pm
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ

Re: Citizenship in the Nation - Req 2a & 2c

Postby SoCal76 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:14 pm

Hi WeeWillie. Thanks for the welcome.

Yes, an MBC should be qualified. I would hope that is always the case.

Why find other websites when there is only one official government website?

I also "Binged" National Register of Historic Places. The first listing that comes up is a commercial site that purports to have a listing of all NRHP sites, but it is inaccurate. It includes properties that were never listed (they were nominated, but the NPS rejected these sites for whatever reason). This website doesn't even say who is running it.

Now, the second listing on Bing is the official government site. Two clicks from that one and you can find the NPS Focus page (I mentioned this above).

NB: On Google, the official site is first and the commercial site is third.

If a Scout came to me and said he visited XYZ Property that he found on this commerical website, and I know for a fact that it was never officially listed, then what? Tell him he shouldn't believe everything he finds on the Internet and sorry? Tell him he wasted his time and needs to try again? Or do I accept his work, knowing it was sincere, but still knowing that the requirement wasn't 'officially' completed? Why not send him in the right direction from the very beginning?

As for the other point. Yes, Wikipedia is useful. The state lists are up to date (maybe a few days behind). Their information comes directly from the NPS website. (Full disclosure: I am an editor at WP:NRHP)

The links I provided above only go to a search page. I never once told anyone what to search for or how to complete a search. I can see no harm in providing a tip. As I said, I can share my experience. I can hardly call this spoonfeeding. And it will steer folks away from bad information.
SoCal76
Star
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:25 pm
Location: San Gabriel Valley Council

Re: Citizenship in the Nation - Req 2a & 2c

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:58 am

SoCal76 wrote:If a Scout came to me and said he visited XYZ Property that he found on this commerical website, and I know for a fact that it was never officially listed, then what? Tell him he shouldn't believe everything he finds on the Internet and sorry? Tell him he wasted his time and needs to try again? Or do I accept his work, knowing it was sincere, but still knowing that the requirement wasn't 'officially' completed? Why not send him in the right direction from the very beginning?

As for the other point. Yes, Wikipedia is useful. The state lists are up to date (maybe a few days behind). Their information comes directly from the NPS website. (Full disclosure: I am an editor at WP:NRHP)


No more, NO LESS. If he's sincerely WRONG, it doesn't count. What are you teaching him, then? That trying is good enough? It's not. The requirement is clearly stated. If he brings wrong information, the requirement has not been fulfilled. This isn't Cubs. Would your employer accept a "good try" if he knew you were sincere in that try? I doubt it.

Wikipedia can be useful -- but it's HIGHLY biased. Every single instructor I know knocks a student's grade considerably for citing Wikipedia as a source. Good jumping off point for those rare kids who don't know how to properly use a search engine. A better alternative is to begin with the links on the page at MeritBadge.org. They've all been vetted (if you edit for WP, you know how much of that is wholly inappropriate for children).
AquilaNegra2
Eagle
 
Posts: 478
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:51 pm
Location: Chief Seattle Council

Re: Citizenship in the Nation - Req 2a & 2c

Postby FrankJ » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:14 am

My parent's house is listed on NHPS. Makes that one easy.

Slightly of subject. I really have not found Wikipedia to be any more biased or inaccurate than other sources. But then I mainly use it for technical subjects. And like any source, you need to cross check it.
Frank J.
Venturing Crew Adviser, Assistant Scout Master, Renegade Merit Badge Counselor
Owl-2 WB 92-49
Foothills District Atlanta Area Council
I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.--Albert Einstein
FrankJ
Gold Palm
 
Posts: 1640
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:25 am
Location: Atlanta Area Council Foothills District

Re: Citizenship in the Nation - Req 2a & 2c

Postby SoCal76 » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:29 pm

"No more, no less" - exactly. I was trying to be outrageous.

If a Scout came to me under the circumstances above, I would tell him that he would have to do it over.

I agree about Wikipedia and its problems. That is why I didn't include it in my original post. I tell my own students not to use Wikipedia as a source when they do research.
SoCal76
Star
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:25 pm
Location: San Gabriel Valley Council


Return to Merit Badges -- Eagle Required

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest