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DMC-hosted “Merit Badge College” recently brought 150 Scouts to Windward Campus

More than 50 College faculty and staff volunteered to teach classes to boys and girls with 33 troops with South Texas Council and others with the Boy Scouts of America; participants learned about life lessons, educational opportunities while earning badges

Article by Melinda Eddleman

While the weather wasn’t exactly cooperative, you could hear the excitement among the 150 Scouts, both boys and girls, on the Del Mar College (DMC) Windward Campus recently. The Scouts were attending the 2024 Merit Badge College co-hosted by DMC and the South Texas Council of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) on Feb. 17.

DMC Professor of Speech and Scoutmaster Michael Jones with Valdar the Viking_2024 Merit Badge College

“The 2024 South Texas Council Boy Scouts of America Merit Badge College was a great success, attracting Scouts from our local council as well as from four additional councils,” said Michael H. Jones, DMC Professor of Speech and Troop 345G Scoutmaster with the South Texas Council and who helped organize the event. “Del Mar College faculty and staff came together to provide this opportunity for youths to explore a number of interest areas and work toward their rank advancements, including course options that are not often available at other merit badge events such as architecture, aviation, crime prevention, drafting, electricity, welding and many other offerings.”

The “learn and earn” one-day camp was revitalized in 2023 after a five-year absence. This year’s Merit Badge College attracted troops from not just the South Texas Council but also units from the Alamo, Capital, Rio Grande and Sam Houston Councils. In all, 33 troops participated, some coming from as far away as Harlingen, Houston,  Laredo, Sea Drift, Shiner, Spring Branch, Victoria and other locations. 

Scouts in Electricity Class_2024 Merit Badge College

Scouts had the opportunity to earn one to two badges with selection from 23 areas taught by 54 volunteer DMC faculty and staff while also learning about various programs Del Mar College offers. Those who chose a full-day activity pursued badges in welding, cooking or first aid. Other Scouts chose to earn two badges from a selection of 20 other sessions ranging from architecture, aviation, communication and public speaking, crime prevention and finger printing, dentistry, digital technology, law and electricity to geology, entrepreneurship, moviemaking, home repairs, traffic safety and truck transportation, health care professions and woodworking, among others.

Overall, the BSA offers 138 different merit badges that Scouts can earn. During this year’s Merit Badge College, participants could choose from areas that not only touch on life lessons but also potential career paths that the Scouts may pursue later on … even at Del Mar College.

This event brought many of these Scouts to a college campus for their first time, and some families have reported that their journeys back home were accompanied by conversations about higher education.

Michael Jones, DMC Professor of Speech

The South Texas Council operates Boy Scouts of America programs in 17 counties in this part of the state that include Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing Scouts, Sea Scouts and Exploring Scouts. The Merit Badge College is available to Scouts and Leaders  of the Scouts BSA program, which is open to boys and girls ages 10 to 18.

The Boy Scouts of America’s mission is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

To learn more about the South Texas Council of the Boy Scouts of America, visit https://southtexasbsa.org/.

(Editor's Note: Click on photos to enlarge, download and get cutlines.)


About Del Mar College

Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.