Troop 868 in Action
MERIT BADGE UNIVERSITY
(Saturday, February 23, 2013)

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2013 marked the 12the year for Troop 868's Merit Badge University program.  The program featured 86 counselor-instructed badges and one-on-one counseling for 7 other badges that don't lend themselves to classroom instruction, making for a record-breaking total of 93 different merit badges from which scouts could choose.

1,240 scouts from 110 different units representing 4 councils attended MBU 2013.  Classes were held in 4 different public schools and at more than a dozen other off-site locations.  Buses and vans were used to transport scouts to and from classes being taught at locations other than the "main campus."  With team-teaching and multiple sections being offered for many of the more popular merit badges, the teaching faculty consisted of more than 200 counselors.  

Government agencies ranging from the Army Corps of Engineers, the National Weather Service, and the Bullitt County Sheriff's Department to the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife and the Shepherdsville Fire Department supplied counselors.  Private companies and foundations such as Blue Lick Airport, United Parcel Service, Dogwood Homes, and Bernheim Forest hosted classes or permitted tours related to their businesses and missions.  Local government officials such as Bullitt County Judge-Executive Melanie Roberts volunteered to counsel merit badges in their areas of expertise.  The qualifications of the teaching faculty was truly impressive.

The average scout was able to work on 2 different merit badges --- one during the morning and one during the afternoon.  Class time varied according to the subject, so boys could sometimes work on 3 or 4 merit badges --- or only 1 --- depending on the subjects they selected.  Completion was not guaranteed and many badges required boys to complete paperwork or projects in advance.  Boys who did the required pre-requisites were generally able to complete the merit badge; others received a "partial" for whatever requirements they were able to complete at MBU.

Scouts taking SKATING MB paused and posed for a group photo. The skaters then resumed their game of roller hockey.
The older scouts working on the SURVEYING MERIT BADGE spent a good portion of their classtime outdoors doing some surveying. The scouts taking CHESS MERIT BADGE played each other in a round-robin tournament.
This would be Bullitt County Judge-Executive Melanie Roberts teaching a CITIZENSHIP IN THE COMMUNITY MERIT BADGE class.  It's possible she just might know a thing or two about local government. The boys taking COMMUNICATIONS MERIT BADGE used computers in the classroom to research and prepare the talks they were required to give.
This was a common scene --- a counselor explaining while scouts listened and took notes.  Later on, the boys would be quizzed to test their understanding of the subject. Yeah, guys, you're getting your picture taken and you just might find yourself on the Internet ... so smile!
Class sizes varied according to the subject being covered and the amount of interest shown by the scouts.  Some classes were quite small. These scouts were working on the Eagle-required FAMILY LIFE MERIT BADGE.
The classroom furniture and room arrangements varied widely, but everyone adjusted to whatever was available. Most classes involved some amount of lecture by the counselor and active listening on the part of the scouts.
These guys were taking an short "nature hike."  Not all the classes spent their entire class time inside a classroom. These older scouts were obviously doing some seatwork.  Equally obvious is the fact that they seem to be having a good time.
These guys are working on the ELECTRONICS MERIT BADGE. The scouts taking COIN COLLECTING MERIT BADGE watched a short movie about how U.S. coins are minted and U.S. currency is printed.

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