The name American Heritage is a trademark owned by
American Heritage Publishing Company, Inc. and is used by permission

These were the REQUIREMENTS before the changes made with
the release of a new merit badge pamphlet during 2005.

To see the current requirements Click Here

  1. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Make a map of your area. Mark the points of historical interest. Show your map in your classroom or troop meeting place. Tell about the points of historical interest.
    2. Research an event of historical importance that took place in or near your area. If possible, visit the place where the event took place. Tell your class or troop about the event and its impact on local history. Describe what it looked like then and now.
    3. Find out when, why, and how your town or neighborhood started. What ethnic, national, or racial groups played a part? Find out how it has changed over the past 50 years. Try to explain why.
  2. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Explain what is meant by the National Register of Historic places. Tell about any National register properties in your area. Describe how a property becomes eligible for listing.
    2. Find something in your area that seems to qualify for National Register listing. Bring it to the attention of the Historic Preservation Officer for your state. Assist him or her, in any way possible, to nominate it for inclusion in the National Register.
  3. Choose ONE of the following; describe its adoption; tell about any changes since its adoption.
    1. The flag.
    2. The Pledge of Allegiance
    3. The seal
    4. The motto
    5. The national anthem
  4. Choose an event, a period, or person from United States history that you would like to know more about. Do FOUR of the following for the subject chosen.
    1. Read a biography, approved by your counselor, of the person chosen. Tell some things you admire about the person. Tell about some of the thing you do not admire. Explain why you think this person had made a good or bad contribution to America's heritage.
    2. Read about the subject in three sources. List the major points upon which all agree. List areas of disagreement. Decide which source is mostly true. Tell how you decided.
    3. Read a historical novel or see a television show, a play, or a movie about your subject. Tell how true you think it was. Tell how it added to your understanding of the subject.
    4. Select an important speech related to your subject and tell when and why it was made. Read the speech to your class or troop. Then lead a discussion about the effect it had at the time.
    5. Gather records of four songs that are related to your subject or be able to sing or play them yourself. Play the records, or play or sing the songs yourself, for your class or troop. Tell about each song.
    6. Collect copies of four cartoons about your subject or draw two in the style of the period. Tell about the meaning of the cartoons.
    7. Collect copies of paintings about your subject. Show them to your class or troop. Tell about them Discuss their accuracy or symbolism.
    8. Collect copies of photographs about your subject. Show them to your class or troop. Tell how they reflect the photographer's point of view.
    9. Build a model to show something about your subject. Show the model to your class to troop. Tell about what it shows.
    10. Visit a historic site related to your subject. Tell your class or troop about the visit. Tell how it has enlarged your view of the subject.
    11. Make a time-line for your subject. Tell how the main events on your chart have affected life in America today.
  5. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Take an active part in a program about a historic event or person. Report to your Class or troop about the program, the part you took, and the subject.
    2. Pick an organization that is directly concerned with the preservation or perpetuation of local, state, or national history. Talk with an officer of the organization about its goals. Find out how you can help meet these goals. Carry out a project that will help meet the goals.
    3. Set up a historic trail or walk in your area. Prepare a guidebook. Include maps and related local history. Develop and carry out a plan to bring your trail to the attention of your community.

BSA Advancement ID#: 16
Pamphlet Revision Date: 1976
Requirements last updated prior to 1982

Page updated on: November 28, 2017

Scouts Using the Internet Cartoon - Courtesy of Richard Diesslin - Click to See More Cartoons
© 1994-2019 - U.S. Scouting Service Project | Site Map | Disclaimer | Project Team | Contact Us | Privacy Policy

Materials found at U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. Websites may be reproduced and used locally by Scouting volunteers for training purposes consistent with the programs of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) or other Scouting and Guiding Organizations. No material found here may be used or reproduced for electronic redistribution or for commercial or other non-Scouting purposes without the express permission of the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. (USSSP) or other copyright holders. USSSP is not affiliated with BSA or WOSM and does not speak on behalf of BSA or WOSM. Opinions expressed on these web pages are those of the web authors. You can support this website with in two ways: Visit Our Trading Post at or make a donation by clicking the button below.
(U.S. Scouting Service Project Donation)

(Ruth Lyons Memorial Donations)