Scout program has ‘merit’

MCC hosts Merit Badge University

From making birdhouses to proper swimming strokes, some 100 youths from across the area got the first-hand experience thanks to the Merit Badge University (MBU) held Saturday on the campus of Meridian Community College.

This event sponsored by Boy Scouts of America’s Choctaw Area Council is an opportunity for Scouts to earn merit badges in a college setting. Not only educational but also MBU is a fun-filled day that allows Scouts to complete or almost complete a badge in one morning. Another benefit: Scouts get to learn from professionals. Several MCC instructors and staff members led the classes.

Saturday’s Merit Badge University classes included Aquanaut, Electronics, Engineer, First Aid, Game Design, Metalwork-Forging, Moviemaking, Robotics, Sustainability and Woodwork.

Scout Tate Smith wanted to learn more about electronics, so he joined his troop in creating terminals in the Electronics class, which was led by MCC Telecommunications Technician Program Coordinator Allyson Nelson. Another Scout, Braden Smith, said since had not done any metal badges yet, he wanted to work on Metalwork-Forging badge, which was taught by Eric Jones, MCC welding and cutting instructor. “It’s been fun,” Smith said after he finished hammering flat a metal cross.

Saturday’s session marked the 25th year MCC has assisted in Merit Badge University.

“This can’t happen without MCC,” said Ken Kercheval, Scout executive and CEO, as he addressed the Scouts, leaders and instructors.

But the younger Scouts were not the only learners, adults got in on the act, too for there were sessions in Adult Leader Specific, Commissioner Training, Den Leader Specific and Scoutmaster Specific.

The Choctaw Area Council covers the Mississippi Counties of Lauderdale, Clarke, Newton, Neshoba and Kemper as well as Choctaw County in West Alabama.

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