Troop 868 in Action

MERIT BADGE UNIVERSITY (February, 2004)

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On the last Saturday in February, Troop 868 hosted a MERIT BADGE UNIVERSITY program at Bullitt Lick Middle School and invited interested scouts from any area unit to attend.  The turnout was outstanding with over 40 counselors and nearly 200 scouts participating.  Our goal was to offer not only a wide variety of merit badges, but to purposefully offer badges that aren't commonly available at weekly troop meetings or summer resident camp.  Our program included badges like Aviation, Engineering, Chemistry, Painting, Crime Prevention, Auto Mechanics, Law, and American Labor.  Also included were Electricity, Disabilities Awareness, Art, Photography, Safety, Computers, and all three Citizenship badges.  Also Leatherwork, Cinematography, Camping, Pioneering, Personal Management, Reading, Public Speaking, Family Life, Scholarship, and the list continues.

Counselors included scout leaders and parents from 15 different units, each well-qualified to teach their chosen subject area.  Most badges could be started and finished at MBU, but some required additional work and boys could only earn partials.  Still, the work done at MBU was usually the lion's share and a significant start on the badge.

The day's schedule included 4 formal 2-hour "class" periods.  Lunch and all class materials were included in the nominal participation fee.  As host of the event, Troop 868's unit committee handled registration and all logistical details.

Despite an early morning bottleneck with check-in, everyone agreed the day was a resounding success.  Troop 868 plans to make this an on-going annual event to be held each year on the last Saturday in February.

Jim Fitzgerald from Troop 4036 works with scouts on the Electricity MB.  (T-868 scouts Philip and Clinton are at lower left.) Steve Hess, Scoutmaster of Troop 8, (in white lab jacket) has a group of boys focused on an experiment in the Chemistry MB class.
A couple of shutterbugs taking Photography MB (including Stephen from Troop 868) shoot back at our staff photographer! It may look like an afternoon break, but it's actually an experiment for Engineering MB (counseled by Troop 848 parent Sandy Kmiec).
Cherokee District Chairman Mac Barr is obviously enthusiastic about teaching Personal Management. Troop 868 Assistant Scoutmaster Clinton Vissers talks with scouts working on the Collections MB.
When lunch time rolls around, scouts and scouters alike don't seem to need any instruction on how to chow down!  Troop 868 SPL Tyler and JASM Paul share a lunch conversation about their mutual interest in paintball.
Troop 868 ASM Chuck Davis has the Auto Mechanics class crawl through his van to locate the fuses. Troop 30 Scoutmaster Dan Sturtzel counsels an afternoon class on the Camping MB.  Surprise!  This badge does involve paperwork!