Thursday, March 13, 2008

Merit Badge Weekend

Flickr Album: Merit Badge Weekend 2008

Well ... that wasn't too bad.

Last year Scott Davis and I foolishly agreed to be Camp Director and Program Director for our local Boy Scout district's Merit Badge Weekend. Little did we know what we were stepping into. The camp was held from Friday, February 29th to Sunday, March 2nd and attracted over 750 people! We had over 550 Scouts signed up in over 30 merit badge classes and thanks to efforts of our incredible staff of over 75 dedicated Scouters, we managed to pull off what many called the best MBW they ever attended.

And I might ... just might ... be willing to do it again (I can already hear polMom sighing).

And of course our boys participated. Here's a picture of OlderSon helping instruct during the Scouting Fundamentals course that's sponsored by our Order of the Arrow chapter. Every year during MBW the Pamunkey chapter of the Nawakwa lodge holds an all-day course for new Scouts that have recently crossed over from Webelos into a Boy Scout troop. They focus on teaching some of the Scout skills that are requirements for the early Boy Scout ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class. It's always a popular class and this year was no exception with over 60 new Scouts attending.

YoungerSon participated in the Cooking merit badge class taught by Richard Brett who is a great instructor and a longtime Scouting friend. Richard was my mentor during our Cub Scout years and is the one who presented me with my Wood Badge beads. He also runs one of the most popular merit badge classes at camp. Scouts in his class had to come in early to cook breakfast and stay late to cook dinner. In between, they learned about safety, cleanliness, how to plan meals, how to budget, and also became proficient with different cooking techniques. They even took a field trip to a local supermarket to test their planning and budget skills.

During the evening campfire, YougerSon also got "called out" for the Order of the Arrow. We had elections at our troop meeting on February 26th and all Scouts that received votes on over 50% of the ballots that were turned in were elected. To become a full member, he will be participating in an "ordeal" during the OA Spring Service Weekend that takes place March 14th-16th.

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