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VC welding instructors help Boy Scouts troop acquire merit badges

Sparks (002) A member of Boy Scouts Troop 231 works toward gaining his Welding Merit Badge on Dec. 2 at Victoria College’s Gonzales Center.

Victoria College’s Gonzales Center helped a nearby Boy Scouts Troop complete a merit badge requirement and experience a new industrial trade in the process.

Victoria College Industrial Programs Director Dwayne Maly and Michael Wilson, a welding instructor at VC’s Gonzales Center, spent a pair of Saturdays helping 13 members of Boy Scouts Troop 231 of Shiner acquire a Welding Merit Badge.

Maly was contacted by a parent of one of the Boy Scouts to see if he could help the troop satisfy the requirements for the badge.

“They asked me if I’d be willing to come out to their home and work with the troop, and I recommended that instead of me going to them, that they could come to us,” Maly said. “They were extremely excited, and every time we would speak to them about it, the number of scouts interested in participating increased.”

On Nov. 4, Maly and Wilson met with the troop for four hours at the VC Gonzales Center Welding Shop to present the basics of welding and welding safety. The troop participants returned on Dec. 2 to complete their requirements. Those who met the requirements to earn the badge were Zane Barta, Frank Benes, Sam Benes, Jeffrey Decou, Gavyn Gipson, Thomas Klozik, Wyatt Machart, Cody Malinovsky, Matthew Malinovsky, Charlie Pilat, Matthew Wagner, Jake Yackel and Reid Yackel.

“I have talked to the boys and parents, and they wanted to express how impressed they were with the merit badge class,” said troop leader Tony Machacek. “The boys enjoyed learning something that will be useful to them in the future. Dwayne and Mike did an excellent job instructing these boys.”

Former VC Gonzales Center welding student Manuel Guerrero and current students Sterling DuBose and Josh Wilson assisted with the instruction.

VC’s Gonzales Center will offer a Level 1 Welding class Jan. 25-June 7 on Fridays from 6 to 10 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. Level 2-3 classes will be offered beginning in February. One will be held Feb.19-Aug. 8 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 10 p.m. Another will be held Feb. 20-Aug. 2 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 10 p.m.

For more information on Victoria College’s welding classes and other industrial programs, call (361) 573-3291.