Nearly 155 Scouts Converged on Windward Campus on Feb. 18 to Attend “Merit Badge College”
Both boys and girls from 30 troops participated during badge-earning event co-hosted by DMC and South Texas Council of the Boy Scouts of America
Article by `Melinda Eddleman
Attending Merit Badge College at Del Mar College (DMC) became a tradition for South Texas Scouts before the pandemic put a damper on the annual “learn and earn” opportunity. The last merit badge-earning event was held in 2018.
On Feb. 18, approximately 153 Scouts and 50 leaders from 30 troops––including local units and some from as far away as Edinburgh, Laredo and Victoria––with the South Texas Council (STC) of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) converged on the Windward Campus to learn lessons for a lifetime as they worked on earning merit badges and developing a sense of what DMC offers among its different programs. Activities covered many topics ranging from automotive and aviation maintenance, truck driving, crime prevention and dentistry to digital technology, environmental sciences, welding, fire safety, first aid and everything in-between including music and bugling.
For many of the youth, this was their first time to be on a college campus and to interact with college instructors . The Merit Badge College exposed the Scouts to the many educational programs offered at Del Mar College, and one parent reported back that this event initiated a conversation about higher education and future careers.
Jones and wife Amy Tilton Jones, who is also a DMC Professor of Speech and a troop committee member, hosted and organized the Merit Badge College this year as College representatives.
Overall, the BSA offers 138 different merit badges that Scouts can earn l. During the Merit Badge College, participants chose two activities from among 34 that not only touched on life lessons but also presented potential career paths the 10- to 17-year-olds may pursue later on at Del Mar College. Some topics even combined merit badge requirements, giving the Scouts the chance to earn two badges through one class, including communications and public speaking, crime prevention and fingerprinting, transportation training (truck driving) and traffic safety as well as health care professions and public health.
And, who taught the activities the Scouts completed while on the Windward Campus? College faculty, that’s who, and the 35 DMC volunteer faculty led instruction throughout the full-day event. Additionally, some of the merit badge classes were assisted by Del Mar College’s Regional Fire Academy cadets and several students from the Criminal Justice, Court Reporting and Paralegal Programs.
The STC operates Boy Scouts of America programs in 17 counties in South Texas that include Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing Scouts, Sea Scouts and Exploring Scouts. The Merit Badge College is open to Scouts and Leaders of the Scouts BSA program, which was formerly named the “Boy Scouts” but was renamed in 2019 after membership was opened to girls. This program is now 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 STCBSA, visit their website at https://southtexasbsa.org/.
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.