Troop 868 in Action
MERIT BADGE UNIVERSITY
(February 25, 2012)
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Major support came once again from the Bullitt County Public School system and the principals and staff at four Bullitt County Schools:  Bullitt Lick Middle School, Shepherdsville Elementary School, Hebron Middle School, and the Bullitt County Area Technology Center. 

Units attending MBU 2012 represented 6 different councils.  We had individual scouts come from as far away as Michigan and Colorado.  We once again had several boys attending who were striving to earn every available Boy Scout merit badge.  But regardless of where a scout may be on his walk of the Eagle Trail, the goal of MBU is to offer him an opportunity to learn from counselors who are true experts in their respective fields.

Standards for Eagle-required badges are particularly high and counselors quiz scouts to make sure they actually know the material.  Scouts who are inattentive or can't demonstrate adequate mastery of the subject, don't earn the badge. PowerPoint presentations were commonly used to illustrate points that counselors wanted to make.  Access to technology aides the learning process and counselors make full use of it when appropriate for their subject.
Access to school computer labs made it possible to offer merit badges such as Computers.  Counselor Julia Brown watched as students completed in-class project work. Citizenship in the World counselor Frederick Allen talked with scouts about the current political situation in the area of the world they had chosen to study.
Working in small groups is common for many merit badges.  Just as in other areas of Scouting, older or more knowledgeable scouts are able to teach younger or less knowledgeable boys.  Boys can often learn as much from their peers as from adults.
Lunch for the scouts and the adults who bring them is what we call "stand up lunch" in the school gymnasiums.  Our food service team set up multiple serving lines who waiting time in line was minimal.  After getting their food, boys found a space to stand or sit on the bleachers, in the hallways, or on the floor.  
Without being told, scouts instintively cleaned up after themselves and cleanup after lunch was quick and easy.  Scouts were able to get seconds so that no one went away hungry except by their own choice.
Our teaching faculty was treated to a sit-down lunch in the school cafeteria that featured a salad bar, a buffet dinner with fried chicken, and a desert bar to top things off.  This is our way to thanking the counselors for all the time, energy, and effort they invest to planning and teaching the various merit badge classes.  Our counselors are the people who make the program work.

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