Citizenship in the Nation merit badge is an essential part of the journey for every American Scout aiming to attain the Eagle rank. This badge educates you about what it truly means to be a responsible citizen, equipping you with the knowledge and tools necessary to make a positive difference in your country.
By delving into the principles of democracy and embracing good citizenship in your community, you’re not only enhancing your personal development but also leading your nation toward a brighter future.
The process to earn this badge is a blend of learning, research, and engaging activities, which you’ll find both challenging and rewarding.
Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge Requirements
Earning the Citizenship in the Nation merit badge involves a balance of learning, studying, and doing activities. I’ll offer some insights and advice from when I earned this badge myself.
Keep in mind, some of the requirements can be tricky, and it will take at least 2 weeks to complete, so get ready.
If you’re up for the challenge, it’s time to begin. Spend a few minutes to read and understand what you need to do. Then, you can start working on your Citizenship in the Nation merit badge.
Here are the requirements to earn Citizenship in the Nation merit badge:
|1. What is the Constitution of the United States? What does the Constitution do? What principles does it reflect? Why is it important to have a Constitution?|
|2. List the six purposes for creating the United States Constitution set forth in the Preamble to the Constitution. How do these purposes affect your family and community?|
|3. List the three branches of the United States government. Explain:|
(a) The function of each branch of government.
(b) Why it is important to divide powers among different branches.
(c) How each branch “checks” and “balances” the others.
(d) How citizens can be involved in each branch of government.
|4. Discuss the importance of:|
(a) The Declaration of Independence.
(b) The Bill of Rights (the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution) and the 14th Amendment.
(c) The traditional United States motto “E Pluribus Unum.”
|5. Watch the national evening news for five days in a row or read the main stories in a national media organization (e.g., a newspaper or news website) for five days in a row. Discuss the national issues that you learned about with your counselor. Choose one issue and explain how it affects you, your family, and your community.|
|6. With your counselor’s approval, choose a speech of national historical importance. Explain:|
(a) Who the author was
(b) What the historical context was
(c) What difficulties the nation faced that the author wished to discuss
(d) What the author said
(e) Why the speech is important to the nation’s history.
(f) Choose a sentence or two from the speech that has significant meaning to you, and tell your counselor why.
|7. Do TWO of the following:|
(a) 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.
(b) Tour your state capitol building or the U.S. Capitol. Tell your counselor what you learned about the capitol, its function, and the history.
(c) Tour a federal facility. Explain to your counselor what you saw there and what you learned about its function in the local community and how it serves this nation.
(d) Choose a national monument that interests you. Using books, brochures, the Internet (with your parent’s permission), and other resources, find out more about the monument. Tell your counselor what you learned, and explain why the monument is important to this country’s citizens.
|8. Name your representatives in the United States Congress. Write a letter to your representative in Congress explaining your views on a national issue. Show your letter, along with any response you receive, to your counselor.|
1. Understanding the U.S. Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land and serves as the framework for the government. It sets out the principles by which the country is governed, including the separation of powers among the three branches of government (Legislative, Executive, and Judicial), and it outlines the rights and freedoms of American citizens.
The United States Constitution is like a blueprint for running our country. Created in 1787, it’s the rulebook that guides how our government works. Let’s break it down into simpler terms:
A. Three Branches of the U.S. Government
The Constitution establishes the three main parts of our government:
- Legislative Branch: Makes laws and includes the Senate and the House of Representatives.
- Executive Branch: Enforces laws and is led by the President.
- Judicial Branch: Interprets laws and is headed by the Supreme Court.
These three branches make sure that no one person or group has too much power.
|Legislative||Creates Laws||Senate and House of Representatives|
|Executive||Enforces Laws||The President|
|Judicial||Interprets Laws||Supreme Court|
Drafted in 1787, a mere 11 years post the Declaration of Independence from Britain, the Constitution was the founding fathers’ solution to centuries-long governance challenges. Their goal? To craft a resilient system, ensuring a government of the people, for the people, and by the people.
B. Principles of the Constitution
Beyond just laying out the government’s structure, it incorporates a checks and balances system, minimizing the risk of any one sector gaining undue dominance. Here’s how:
- Balance of Powers: Presidents might veto Congressional laws. However, a two-thirds Congress vote can negate this. The Judiciary also keeps a watch, declaring any unconstitutional actions void.
- Amendments: The Constitution isn’t static; it evolves. With a two-thirds majority from both the Senate and the House or a call from two-thirds of state legislatures, alterations can be proposed. To solidify these changes, three-fourths of states must ratify them. Notably, the initial 10 are termed the “Bill of Rights”.
- Federalism: This principle delineates powers between the central and state entities. For example, while the federal body handles inter-state commerce, states decide on topics like education.
C. Why Is It Important?
The Constitution is like the backbone of our country. It helps keep things stable and fair. Without it, we wouldn’t have the same freedoms and rights that we enjoy today. It’s been changed 27 times to make sure it fits our needs, like giving women the right to vote.
D. What Makes It Special?
Our founding fathers were pretty clever. They wanted to make sure that the government always works for the people and doesn’t become a dictatorship. That’s why they included ways to balance power and make changes when needed.
Here’s a simple way to look at some of the key points:
|Branches||Legislative (makes laws), Executive (enforces laws), Judicial (interprets laws)|
|Principles||Balance of Powers, Amendments, Federalism|
|Importance||Keeps government stable, protects rights, allows for change|
2. Understanding the Preamble to the United States Constitution
The Preamble, positioned at the beginning of the United States Constitution, acts as an opening statement by our founding fathers. It outlines the key goals, guiding principles, and values that the Constitution seeks to uphold. This concise paragraph holds great significance, and it’s essential to comprehend its implications fully.
The Preamble begins with the iconic phrase: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Let’s break down the six main purposes laid out in the Preamble and consider their impact on your family and community:
- To form a more perfect Union: This emphasizes the Constitution’s role in uniting the newly independent states, creating a more cohesive and stable nation. For your family and community, it means living in a more unified and harmonious environment.
- Establish Justice: The Constitution promises a fair legal system that protects the rights of all citizens. This ensures that laws apply equally to everyone, promoting fairness within your family and community.
- Insure Domestic Tranquility: The government’s commitment to maintaining peace and stability translates to safer and more supportive communities for families and individuals.
- Provide for the Common Defense: This obligation to defend the nation from external threats ensures the safety of all citizens, safeguarding your family and community from potential dangers.
- Promote the General Welfare: By focusing on citizens’ well-being, the Constitution supports access to essential services like education and healthcare. This directly impacts the quality of life for your family and community members.
- Secure the Blessings of Liberty: This pledge to protect citizens’ rights ensures that both your family and community can enjoy freedom, express themselves, and pursue their goals without fear of oppression.
In summary, the Preamble serves as the foundation of the Constitution, encapsulating its core purposes and values. Each of these aims directly influences the lives of individuals and the harmony of communities. Understanding the Preamble’s significance sheds light on how the Constitution strives to create a just, secure, and prosperous society for everyone.
Also Read: Eagle Required Merit Badges
3. Understanding the Three Branches of the U.S. Government
The U.S. Constitution established three branches of the federal government: the legislative, the executive, and the judicial. Each branch has its own functions, powers, and responsibilities, as well as ways to check and balance the other branches.
The purpose of this system is to prevent any one branch from becoming too powerful or abusing its authority. Citizens can participate in each branch of government by voting, petitioning, protesting, lobbying, serving on juries, and running for office. This part will explain the main functions, importance, and interactions of each branch of government.
A. The Function of Each Branch
The U.S. government has three branches: the legislative, the executive, and the judicial. Each branch has a different role in making, enforcing, and interpreting the laws of the country. Here is a brief overview of what each branch does and some fun facts about them:
|Legislative||Makes and passes laws. Approves the budget, proposed laws, and presidential nominees. Can override presidential vetoes.||The Senate has 100 members, two from each state. The House of Representatives has 435 members, based on the population of each state.|
|Executive||Enforces and carries out laws and policies. Nominates Supreme Court justices and other officials. Conducts diplomacy with other countries. Can veto laws passed by Congress.||The President lives and works in the White House, which has many rooms and amenities, such as a movie theater, a swimming pool, a bowling alley, and a putting green.|
|Judicial||Interprets and applies laws and the Constitution. Reviews the actions of the other branches and decides if they are constitutional. Can overturn unconstitutional laws.||The Supreme Court is the highest court in the country. It has nine justices, who are appointed for life by the President and confirmed by the Senate.|
B. Importance of Dividing Powers
The U.S. government divides powers among different branches to prevent any one branch or person from becoming too powerful or abusive. The founders of the country wanted to avoid having a king or a dictator who could do whatever they wanted. They also wanted to make sure that the government would serve the people and respect their rights. That’s why they created a system of checks and balances, where each branch can limit or influence the actions of the other branches. Here are some examples of how this works:
|Branch||Checks and Balances|
|Legislative||Can pass laws, approve the budget, confirm presidential nominees, and impeach the president or other officials.|
|Executive||Can veto laws, nominate Supreme Court justices and other officials, issue executive orders, and pardon criminals.|
|Judicial||Can declare laws or executive actions unconstitutional, interpret the meaning of laws and the Constitution, and issue rulings that affect the whole country.|
C. Balancing Power Between Branches
A system of checks and balances means that each branch of government can limit or affect the actions of the other branches. This makes each branch responsible to the other branches and, most importantly, to the people like us!
Here’s a closer look at how these checks and balances play out:
|Branch||Checks and Balances|
|Executive||– Veto Power: The President can veto laws proposed by the Legislative branch. This acts as a safeguard against unjust legislation. |
– Nomination Authority: The President holds the influential role of nominating Supreme Court Justices for the Judicial branch, shaping the composition of the highest court.
|Legislative||– Veto Override: Congress, through a 2/3rd majority vote, has the capacity to overturn a Presidential veto, reflecting the collective will of the people. |
– Budget Control: Congress wields control over the budget allocated to the Executive branch, ensuring fiscal responsibility and wise resource allocation.
– Impeachment Authority: Congress possesses the authority to initiate the impeachment process for members of both the Executive and Judicial branches, holding them accountable for misconduct.
|Judicial||– Judicial Review: The Supreme Court, part of the Judicial branch, has the power to declare proposed laws and presidential actions unconstitutional. This ensures that the laws align with the Constitution’s principles and safeguards citizens’ rights.|
D. Citizen Engagement in Each Branch
Citizens play a crucial role in all branches of our government, ensuring it remains of the people, by the people, and for the people. Here’s how you can be involved:
|Branch||How Citizens Can Get Involved|
|Legislative||– Contact Your Representatives: Reach out to your representatives through letters, emails, or calls to voice your opinions. |
– Attend Town Hall Meetings: Participate in town hall meetings and events to connect with your representatives.
– Vote: Once you turn 18, cast your vote in elections for candidates who represent your values and beliefs.
|Executive||– Stay Informed: Keep up with the President’s actions and policies, and express your views to your representatives.|
– Vote in General Elections: Every 4 years, cast your vote to help decide the President.
|Judicial||– Serve on Juries: Citizens over 18 can participate in trials by serving on juries. |
– Observe Court Proceedings: Attend court sessions to learn about the workings of our legal system.
– Engage in Legal Reform: Join demonstrations for legal reform or volunteer with organizations aiding those in need of legal support.
By actively participating in each branch, citizens like you contribute to the functioning of our democracy, helping to maintain fairness, representation, and accountability across all aspects of our government.
4. Importance of Foundational Documents in American History
The United States of America’s history is characterized by a series of foundational documents that have played a pivotal role in shaping its identity, governance, and principles. These documents embody the values, rights, and aspirations upon which the nation was built.
Three of the most significant documents that have profoundly impacted the course of American history are the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights along with the 14th Amendment, and the traditional U.S. motto “E Pluribus Unum.”
Each of these documents holds a distinct significance in shaping the nation’s past, present, and future, fostering a sense of unity, liberty, and justice among its citizens.
A. The Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence, a seminal document drafted by the founding fathers of the United States, stands as a testament to the nation’s ardent pursuit of independence and self-governance. Officially ratified on July 4, 1776, this historic declaration severed the American colonies’ ties with the British monarchy, establishing the United States as an autonomous nation driven by the principles of democracy and individual rights.
At its core, the Declaration of Independence crystallized the belief in natural rights – the inherent entitlements that every individual possesses by virtue of being human.
The eternal words, “We consider this truth as a definite proof, that all human beings are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Freedom, and the pursuit of Happiness,” summarize the essence of these inalienable rights.
This pivotal sentence not only challenged the prevailing notions of monarchy and tyranny but also laid the groundwork for the democratic ideals that continue to underpin the American way of life.
|Thomas Jefferson||Primary Author||Drafted the declaration’s eloquent and powerful prose|
|John Adams||Committee Member||Advocated for independence and helped refine the text|
|Benjamin Franklin||Committee Member||Added a unifying touch and facilitated compromises|
|John Hancock||President of Congress||First to sign, his signature remains iconic|
Declaration of Independence Fun Fact: The signing of the Declaration was a process that extended beyond July 4th, 1776. While some founding fathers, like John Hancock, signed on that day, others signed at later dates, finalizing the process on August 2nd, 1776.
Had Thomas Jefferson not penned the Declaration of Independence, the trajectory of history might have taken a dramatically different course. The document’s assertion of the right to self-determination set a precedent that echoed far beyond the American shores, influencing the formation of democracies worldwide.
The Declaration of Independence stands as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring pursuit of liberty and justice for all.
Also Read: Citizenship in Society Merit Badge
D. The Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights, encompassing the initial ten amendments to the United States Constitution, stands as a vital safeguard for the personal liberties of American citizens and a bulwark against potential governmental overreach. In succinct terms, these amendments assure individual rights while also curbing the potential abuse of state authority. To distill its essence:
- Freedom of Speech, Religion, Press, Assembly, and Petition: The First Amendment establishes the bedrock of free expression and ensures that the government cannot impede the dissemination of ideas or religious beliefs.
- Right to Bear Arms: The Second Amendment guarantees citizens the right to own firearms for self-defense and other lawful purposes.
- Quartering of Troops: The Third Amendment ensures that citizens cannot be compelled to house soldiers during peacetime without their consent.
- Protection from Unreasonable Searches and Seizures: The Fourth Amendment safeguards against unwarranted intrusions into citizens’ privacy and property.
- Due Process, Double Jeopardy, Self-Incrimination: The Fifth Amendment assures fair treatment within legal proceedings and prohibits self-incrimination.
- Right to a Fair Trial: The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury.
- Trial by Jury in Civil Cases: The Seventh Amendment ensures the right to a jury trial in civil cases involving significant sums of money.
- Protection from Cruel and Unusual Punishment: The Eighth Amendment prohibits excessive bail and cruel punishments.
- Unenumerated Rights: The Ninth Amendment clarifies that the enumeration of specific rights does not negate the existence of other rights held by the people.
- Powers Reserved to the States: The Tenth Amendment reinforces the idea of federalism by reserving powers not explicitly given to the federal government to the states.
C. The traditional United States motto “E Pluribus Unum.”
“E Pluribus Unum,” a Latin phrase signifying “Out of Many, One,” stands as the official motto of the United States, etched onto the majority of our currency. This motto, resonating since the nation’s inception in 1776, embodies a core national principle: unity.
Unity takes on paramount significance within the United States due to its remarkable diversity. Established on the foundations of immigrant contributions, the nation is a melting pot of cultures, faiths, and histories from around the globe.
Remarkably, despite these disparities, a shared identity as Americans unites us. “E Pluribus Unum” serves as a poignant reminder that, while our distinctions may vary, we are all constituents of a single nation.
The value of unity has proved indispensable in moments of crisis, such as the Civil War or post-9/11, compelling us to transcend political divides and collaborate for a common cause. During periods of tranquility, the motto imparts the wisdom of celebrating our differences, acknowledging each individual’s unique contributions to our nation’s fabric.
|Moment in History||Significance of Unity|
|Civil War||Unity crucial in overcoming deep-seated divides and preserving the nation|
|Post-9/11||Unity pivotal in healing and responding effectively to a national tragedy|
|Ongoing Diversity||Unity fosters a cohesive society amid vast cultural variety|
Thus, “E Pluribus Unum” is far from a mere phrase adorning our currency; it encapsulates a foundational principle that has empowered the nation’s evolution into the diverse and resilient entity it stands as today.
Also Read: Citizenship in the Community
5. List the six functions of government
Participating in this requirement provided me with a rich understanding of current national issues and a newfound appreciation for the importance of staying informed. Over the past five days, I watched the evening news on television, focusing on a variety of topics. One issue that particularly caught my attention was the recent increase in healthcare costs.
This issue affects not only my family but the broader community as well. With rising healthcare expenses, my parents have expressed concerns about affording necessary medical treatments. We discussed how this might impact our budgeting and the importance of staying healthy to minimize potential costs. In our community, the higher costs could lead to reduced access to healthcare for those with lower incomes, creating disparities in health outcomes.
To further understand the issue, I consulted multiple sources including APNews.com and NPR, which helped me analyze the situation from different perspectives. I found that the increase is due to various factors such as inflation, increased demand, and changes in healthcare policy.
Here’s a brief table summarizing my findings:
|Aspect||Impact on Family||Impact on Community|
|Increased Healthcare Costs||Budgeting concerns, potential difficulties in affording treatment||Possible reduced access for lower-income families, health disparities|
|Inflation||Economic challenges in the community, potential job loss||Economic challenges in community, potential job loss|
|Policy Changes||Uncertainty about future healthcare access||Changes in local healthcare services, potential clinic closures|
Watching the news and engaging with my family allowed me to view national issues through a personal lens. The experience deepened my understanding of how broader trends can have tangible impacts on individual lives, and I look forward to continuing to explore current events with my family.
6. Analyzing a Historical Speech
For this requirement, you are tasked with selecting a speech that holds a place of significant importance in national history. You may refer to a curated list of noteworthy American historical speeches by following the provided link.
Choose one that resonates with you. As an illustration of how to approach this task, I will use Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech to highlight the main points you might consider when examining your chosen speech.
Analysis of Martin Luther King Jr. ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech: A Call for Equality and Justice
(a) The author of this powerful speech was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights activist who played a central role in the American civil rights movement.
(b) The speech was delivered on August 28, 1963, during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, at a time when racial segregation and inequality were deeply entrenched in American society.
(c) The nation was facing the difficult challenge of racial discrimination, segregation, and lack of equal rights for African Americans. Dr. King’s speech aimed to address these issues and call for immediate change.
(d) Dr. King’s speech eloquently framed the struggle for racial equality as a quest for the fulfillment of America’s fundamental promises of freedom and equality. He drew upon the imagery of America defaulting on a “promissory note” and the need to cash a check for justice, affirming the belief in the nation’s potential for change.
(e) The “I Have a Dream” speech stands as a landmark in the nation’s history, symbolizing the pursuit of equality and freedom. Its lyrical power and moral vision played a vital role in propelling the civil rights movement forward, leading to legislative changes that began to dismantle institutionalized racism.
(f) A sentence that holds significant meaning is: “We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: ‘For Whites Only.'” This sentence encapsulates the intolerable conditions that African Americans were forced to endure and underscores the urgency of the struggle for equality. It resonates with me as a poignant reminder that the fight for human dignity and respect is an ongoing endeavor.
Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech remains a profound testament to the struggle for racial equality and a beacon of hope for the realization of a society where all people can live together in harmony. Its legacy continues to inspire and challenge us to strive for a more just and compassionate world.
7. Exploring America’s Historical Sites and Government Buildings
In a country rich with history and diverse in its cultural heritage, understanding the significance of landmarks, government institutions, federal facilities, and national monuments is vital. These places not only represent the milestones in our nation’s story but also embody the principles and values that have shaped our society.
By visiting these locations or researching their importance, we gain a personal connection to our shared history and a deeper appreciation of the intricate workings of our government and community.
Whether it’s standing at the site of a pivotal event, walking the halls of legislative power, observing federal operations, or learning about a monument that symbolizes national values, these experiences foster a sense of identity, pride, and citizenship.
A. Visit to the Statue of Liberty (National Historic Landmark)
During my visit to the Statue of Liberty, located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, I was struck by the sheer scale and detail of this magnificent monument. Standing at 151 feet tall and symbolizing freedom and democracy, the statue is an iconic representation of American values.
I took a guided tour, which provided insights into its design by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, and the collaboration with Gustave Eiffel who built its metal framework. The informative history of the statue’s dedication in 1886, as well as its renovation between 1982-2000, deepened my appreciation for this landmark. I found the symbolism behind the statue, representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, to be particularly compelling.
D. Research on the Importance of the Statue of Liberty to the Country’s Citizens
|Name||Statue of Liberty|
|Date Established||October 15, 1924|
|Location||New York/New Jersey|
|Description||151 feet tall, commemorates independence and symbolizes friendship from France|
|Annual Visitors||Over 4 million|
|Fun Fact 1||Designed by Bartholdi, framework by Eiffel|
|Fun Fact 2||Dedicated on October 28, 1886; renovated from 1982-2000|
|Fun Fact 3||Represents Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom|
|Additional Fact||Visitable crown and pedestal, but must be reserved in advance (Source: nps.gov)|
The Statue of Liberty serves as a beacon of hope and freedom for many, and it has become a symbol of the nation’s commitment to these ideals. By commemorating the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence and symbolizing friendship from France, the statue emphasizes international cooperation and shared values.
The ability to visit the crown and pedestal adds to the personal connection many citizens feel with this monument. Understanding that you are able to physically engage with such an important symbol of liberty truly enhances its meaning. This connection and the values it embodies are why the Statue of Liberty continues to be an important monument for the citizens of the United States.
8. Communicating with Your Congressional Representatives
Writing a letter to your representatives in Congress is an excellent way to voice your opinions on national issues and to actively participate in the democratic process. Whether it is an environmental concern, healthcare policy, education reform, or any other matter, you can make your voice heard by reaching out to those who represent you.
First, identify your representatives in Congress. This typically includes two U.S. Senators and one U.S. Representative. You can find this information on various government websites or by using online tools that provide contact information based on your address.
Next, choose a national issue that matters to you and gather some basic information about it. Consider how this issue affects you, your community, and the country as a whole.
Now you are ready to write your letter. Start with a respectful greeting, introduce yourself, and briefly explain why you are writing. Clearly state your stance on the chosen issue and provide supporting evidence or personal anecdotes if applicable. Always maintain a respectful tone, even if you disagree with your representative’s views.
Below is an example table of content for a letter:
|Introduction||Your name, location, and brief introduction to the issue you’re writing about.|
|Body – Part 1||Explanation of your views on the issue, supported by facts or personal stories.|
|Body – Part 2||Request for specific action or support from your representative.|
|Conclusion||Thank you note and hope for consideration or response.|
|Signature||Your full name and contact information for the response.|
Keep in mind that your representative may receive many letters and emails, so patience may be necessary while waiting for a response. Once you receive a reply, it is important to review it with your counselor and discuss the process, the content of your letter, and the response you received.
Also Read: Citizenship in the World Merit Badge
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
It is a Boy Scouts of America (BSA) merit badge that focuses on the rights, duties, and obligations of being a citizen. Scouts learn about the U.S. government, important documents, national landmarks, and how to actively participate in the nation’s civic life.
The time can vary depending on individual progress, but it typically takes a few weeks to complete all the requirements.
Yes, working together can enhance the learning experience. However, each scout must complete and demonstrate their understanding of each requirement individually.
There are no specific prerequisites, but it is recommended that scouts have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government. Working with a merit badge counselor, they will complete various requirements that include studying, visiting landmarks, and engaging in civic activities.