Boy Scout Merit Badge College held at VC

Webelos Scouts attending the Boy Scout Merit College at Victoria College listen to instructor Charles Bonorden as part of an engineer merit badge exercise. Some 200 Boy Scouts and volunteers took part in the day-long event.

Some 200 Boy Scouts and volunteers descended on Victoria College recently as part of the Boy Scout Merit Base University to earn merit badges in a wide variety of areas.

This event was sponsored by the LaSalle District of the South Texas Council, Boy Scouts of America and Victoria College. It was organized and staffed by scouting volunteers from Victoria, Port Lavaca, Inez and Corpus Christi.

Counselors and instructors included volunteers from Victoria College, University of Houston-Victoria, the Victoria Fire Department as well as employees of the city and many from the area chemical plants.

Approximately 98 Boy Scouts spent the day on the VC campus participating and earning badges in citizenship, robotics, engineering, composite materials, programming, digital technology, welding and truck transportation, as well as other areas covering life skills and hobbies. More than 100 merit badges were earned by the Scouts.

“A few of the newer merit badges we offered, such as robotics, composite materials, search and rescue and sustainability, generated a great deal of excitement from the Scouts,” said Dr. Art Munford, with the LaSalle District of the South Texas Council. “The class in robotics, taught by Dr. Ali Tavakkoli, UHV assistant professor of arts and sciences, was especially exciting. The Scouts actually had the opportunity to visit his lab, construct robots and put them through a number of challenging activities.”

At the same time, close to 50 Webelos Scouts attended a Webelos workshop in which the scouts could earn seven badges, including citizen, readyman, communication, artist, geology, traveler and engineer badges. Webelos is a 20-month program for 4th and 5th grade boys to prepare them to join a Boy Scout troop while learning outdoor skills and participating in 20 different activity badges. Each Scout could register to earn from 1-4 badges.

“One Webelos Scout was excited to go and then was disappointed when he couldn't stay longer due to a soccer game,” said Cindy Shillinga, with the LaSalle District of the South Texas Council. “One of the favorites was the candy catapult during the engineer badge session.”

Munford said the event allows Scouts to experience the atmosphere of a college environment, as well as actually being in a college classroom.

“The LaSalle District of the Boy Scouts of America has held this event at Victoria College over the last four years,” he said. “VC administration and staff have been extremely helpful in organizing the event.”

Published: Thursday, 13 November 2014

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