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

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While many classes were traditional "lecture and take notes" experiences, many others were more "hands on."  Some met at various locations away from the three main school campuses.  This included classes like Aviation, Swimming, Lifesaving, Fire Safety, Horsemanship, and Rifle Shooting.  Other classes took field trips for a portion of their class time.  Classes in that category included Architecture, Journalism, and Truck Transportation.

Some merit badges could be fully completed, start to finish, at MBU; others required a significant amount of advance preparation and prior completion of selected requirements.  

MBU runs so well that many people don't ever stop to think about the planning and logistics that have to happen behind the scenes to make everything work.  For example, food service is a major undertaking.  In addition to serving lunch to a faculty of over 200 counselors, our food service team also delivered lunch to dozen off-site classes and served over 1,600 scouts and leaders on our two main campuses.  All totaled, they managed to deliver food onto the plates of about 2,000 people in a span of less than 15 minutes.  We think that's pretty impressive.

Scouts taking ELECTRICITY MB wired circuits and learned to used test meters.  Jim Fitzgerald has been counseling this merit badge at MBU for many years and is one of our "tenured faculty."  With 4 hours of class time for most merit badges, it's not all lecture.  Counselors typically also have quite a bit of small group or one-on-one discussion with scouts to test their understanding of the subject matter.
Seated talking with a scout Tandy Leather Company manager Steve Peyton.  Steve has been counseling the LEATHERWORKING MB at MBU for many years.  His is also one of our "tenured faculty." Bernheim District Executive Danny Moore was there with his son observing boys tool and stain leather.
With over 1,200 hungry scouts to be fed, we do what we call "Stand Up Lunch" in the school gyms.  Scouts quickly move through one of multiple serving lines then take seats on the bleachers, squat on the floor, stand in a corner, or go outside to find a place to eat.  For boys and leaders used to eating in the woods and sitting on logs, this isn't a big deal.  The scouts are very neat and nearly 100% of the trash makes finds its way to a trash can rather than ending up on the floor.  Spills happen, but they are rare.  The school custodians are always amazed at the scouts' neatness.
To man the serving lines, we draft every available leader.  Most leaders are more than happy to help out and do whatever we ask them to do.  We couldn't do the program without them and deeply appreciate their help. Any photographer should know better than to try to sneak unnoticed into a class of boys taking PHOTOGRAPHY MERIT BADGE.  At least three scouts are shooting back!
These scouts are in one of the school computer labs working on the COMPUTERS MERIT BADGE. These scouts are working on building a project for the WOODWORKING MERIT BADGE in the shop at the Bullitt County Area Technology Center.
A scout taking PUBLIC SPEAKING MERIT BADGE gives a speech before his classmates.  Counselor Ron Heller is seated amongst the boys listening.  Ron is another member of our "tenured faculty" who has counseled this MB at MBU for many years. Scoutmaster Steve Ostling and a crew of his Assistant Scoutmasters from Troop 163 have counseled the COOKING MB at MBU for many years.  Steve is another member of our "tenured faculty."  The scouts don't generally complete this MB at MBU, but they eat really, really well.
This young man was cutting metal with a torch in the WELDING MERIT BADGE class.  Welding was a new merit badge for MBU 2013.  To insure safety, scouts in this class were very closely supervised. Troop 868 Committee Chairman Andy Rodabaugh, a professional machinist and machine shop owner, talked with scouts in the METALWORKING MERIT BADGE class he counseled.
Scouts have the hood up checking fluids, locating fuses, and completing other requirements for the AUTOMOTIVE MAINTENANCE MB. As hosts of the event, Troop 868 scouts and parents hang around after everybody else leaves to clean the schools.  This is Troop 868 scout Nicholas getting a floor mobbing assignment from Shepherdsville Elementary School Plant Operator Carol Waters.  

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