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American Business

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Date(s) - 09/08/2018
9:15 am - 10:45 am

Rustic Chapel


Elective merit badge American Business helps Scouts learn practical business matters that will be useful throughout life. Learning how businesses function will help you understand society and uncover a number of career options. To earn this merit badge your Scout will need to run a business for at-least 3-months.

Please review requirements and study guide (below) before attending and bring a merit badge workbook with you. You will also need a signed Blue Card from your Scoutmaster.

Merit Badge Counselor: Michael Cox. Please add him as your Merit Badge Counselor for this Merit Badge in Scoutbook.

This merit badge will continue into the Spring 2019 Merit Badge Pow-Wow.

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1. Do the following:

a. Explain four features of the free enterprise system in the United States. Tell its benefits and responsibilities. Describe the difference between freedom and license. Tell how the Scout Oath and Law apply to business and free enterprise.

We will discuss this some on the 1st week. Scouts should come to the class the 2nd week with notes on their research and understanding of this component. The “tell” action will more than likely be a part of group discussion led by the counselor in which each Scout will be given an opportunity to share their findings for this component of the requirement.

b. Describe the Industrial Revolution. Tell about the major developments that marked the start of the modern industrial era in the United States. Tell about five people who had a great influence on business or industry in the United States. Tell what each did.

Scouts should make notes to assist them with the explanation components of this requirement.  It is strongly recommended that Scouts bring any notes or supporting documents they may have to help show the counselor that they have prepared for discussion of this requirement.
Consider looking at this page –

c. Identify and describe to your counselor the five primary areas of business.

Scouts will not only need to be prepared to share their identified areas of business but will also need to be able to share a description of each with the counselor during the class.  It is recommended that Scouts utilize a notebook or workbook to make notes that they can reference during the class and to help show the counselor that some preparation efforts took place prior to class.

2. Do the following:

a. Visit a bank or credit union. Talk with one of the officers or staff. Chart the organization of the financial institution. Show its relationship with other banks, business, and industry.

Scouts may choose to complete this requirement ahead of time. During the 1st week of Spring 2019 Pow-Wow we will take a field trip to a local bank to complete this requirement. The 2nd week of the Spring 2019 Pow-Wow we will focus some time for discussion of this component as well as the sharing of the chart as specified in this part of the requirement. 

b. Explain how changes in interest rates, taxes, and government spending affect the flow of money into or out of business and industry.

Scouts should arrive prepared for the class with notes written out for reference to help assist with their explanation on this component.

c. Describe to your counselor green marketing and sustainable business practices.

Scouts should come to the class ready to describe and discuss with the counselor what they have read, researched and learned about the topics in this this requirement.  Examples or comparison can be helpful in showing the counselor that you have a solid understanding of the requirement component and will increase your ability to potentially be signed off on this requirement component at the class.

d. Explain how a proprietorship or partnership gets its capital. Discuss and explain four ways a corporation gets its capital.

Scouts will be given an opportunity to share their findings either one on one with the counselor and/or in group discussion with the other scouts facilitated by the counselor within the class. Scouts should utilize the merit badge pamphlet to prepare for the explanation and discussion items within this component of the requirement.  Consider making notes to help aid in your completion.

e. Explain the place of profit in business.

It is strongly recommended that Scouts come to the class with notes ready for use when completing this component.  Scouts will want to be able to share their explanation clearly and concisely and notes will not only aid in this but help show the Counselor that some thought and effort have gone into preparing for this requirement.

f. Name five kinds of insurance useful to business. Describe their purposes.

Scouts will need to do a little research ahead of time on this part of the requirement.  It is strongly recommended to utilize a Merit Badge Workbook to help organize your notes on this component.  Documenting your research and findings will serve to help make completion of this part of the requirement much easier during the class.

Consider looking at this webpage –

3. Do the following:

a. Pick two or more stocks from the financial pages of a newspaper. Request the annual report or prospectus from one of the companies by writing, or visit its Web site (with your parent’s permission) to view the annual report online. Explain how a company’s annual report and prospectus can be used to help you manage your investments.

b. Pretend you have bought $1,000 worth of the stocks from the company you wrote to in requirement 3a. Explain how you “bought” the stocks. Tell why you decided to “buy” stock in this company. Keep a weekly record for three months of the market value of your stocks. Show any dividends declared.

This is homework between the Fall 2018 Pow-Wow and the Spring 2019 Pow-Wow. Scouts will need to come to the Spring 2019 class with this completed.  Time will be allotted in the class to review any of these components that Scouts have completed or are nearly completed with for consideration by the counselor for sign off.  Some of the concepts required for these different components may be demonstrated and discussed for general knowledge purposes within the class, however ultimately it is the Scout’s responsibility to fulfill requirement completely before the Counselor can consider signing off on this requirement.

4. Do ONE of the following:

a. Draw an organizational chart of a typical central labor council.

b. Describe automation, union shop, open shop, collective-bargaining agreements, shop steward, business agent, and union counselor.

c. Explain the part played by four federal or state agencies in labor relations.

Scouts should choose one of the options in this requirement to work on prior to the class and bring their completed work to the class ready to share for completion. It is strongly recommended Scouts bring any notes or other supporting documentation to help demonstrate to the Counselor that time and effort has gone into preparing for the delivery of this requirement on the day of the class.

5. Run a small business involving a product or service for at least three months. First find out the need for it. For example: a newspaper route, lawn mowing, sales of things you have made or grown. Keep records showing the costs, income, and profit or loss.


a. How service, friendliness, hard work, and salesmanship helped build your business.

b. The benefits you and others received because you were in business.

Comparable 4-H, FFA, or Junior Achievement projects may be used for requirement 5.

It is anticipated that this will be homework between the Fall 2018 Pow-Wow and the Spring 2019 Pow-Wow. Scouts will need to carefully manage their time and resources when working on this requirement.  This is not a requirement that can be done in an hour or two.  Scouts should note that while the Counselor will review the small business choice, strategies, and performance; ultimately it is the reporting that will determine completion of this requirement.  It can not be emphasized enough that Scouts will need to have a very extensive and thorough report covering all aspects of the business and the stated items of this requirement shown. This requirement is best completed by Scouts who allot themselves plenty of time to complete and realize this is not just a single afternoon project. Time will be provided within the class for any Scouts interested in sharing their partial or completed progress on this requirement.

Consider looking at this webpage –

6. Do ONE of the following:

a. Make an oral presentation to your Scout troop about an e-commerce company. Tell about the benefits and pitfalls of doing business online, and explain the differences between a retailer and an e-commerce company. In your presentation, explain the similarities a retailer and an e-commerce company might share.

While not required, it is strongly recommended that prior to making any presentation, you should review the contents of your presentation with your Counselor. Scouts wishing to make their presentation during the class will have the opportunity to do so, however it should be noted that there will be NO time allotted for preparing for this during the class.  Scouts choosing this option will need to come fully prepared and ready to present on the day of the class.  Remember it is at the discretion of the Counselor as to whether the requirement has been satisfactorily completed.  Most often Scouts attempting to complete this requirement meet the greatest challenge of not covering the subject thoroughly, hence not receiving credit. Make sure your preparation is thorough and complete.

b. Choose three products from your local grocery store or mall and tell your merit badge counselor how the packaging could be improved upon so that it has less impact on the environment.

It is requested that Scouts bring the selected three items with them to class to aid in their presentation for this requirement.  Scouts will have an opportunity to share with the counselor and other Scouts their thoughts and evaluation of the three selected products.  Make sure you have your notes to help aid you with your presentation on this requirement.

c. Gather information from news sources and books about a current business leader. Write a two-page biography about this person or make a short presentation to your counselor. Focus on how this person became a successful business leader.

Scouts can share their two-page biography with their counselor for consideration of completion or they may come to the class prepared to make their presentation on this option.  Regardless of which manner a Scout chooses to present their work for this option, Scouts should bring with them complete reference notes of their selected and utilized sources for their work.

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© 2021 Troop 42 – Little Valley Scouts - Boy Scouts of America
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