Close to 200 Boy Scouts converged on the MSUM campus Saturday, Nov. 23 to work on merit badges. Named the “Merit Badge University” this is an event held annually at one of the three universities in the area to give scouts work on the badges that assist them in their trail toward the Eagle Rank. Merit badges represent skill or knowledge areas where scouts can explore an area of study in depth and complete tasks in that area. In this way, they get a feel for at least 21 different potential career paths in addition to all their outdoor adventures along the way. The merit badges offered at Saturday’s event were: Citizenship in Nation, Chemistry, Citizenship in World, Fingerprinting, Geocaching, Scouting Heritage, Swimming, Cinematography, Engineering, Surveying, Geology, and Archeology. Some scouts were given the opportunity to earn an Interpreters Strip to be displayed on their uniform to demonstrate their proficiency in the Spanish language.
Professors Benjamin Smith, Languages and Cultures; Karl Leonard and Michael Michlovic, Anthropology and Earth Sciences; worked with local Scout troops and dozens of community members recruiting MSUM students to participate in this experience with the scouts and give the students another level of opportunity to engage in their majors.