More than 400 Boy Scouts, ages 11 to 18, and more than 150 leaders will take over the Southside Center and the National Center for Aviation Technology (NCAT) on Saturday, February 19th to participate in the 7th Annual Merit Badge College hosted by Wichita Area Technical College (WATC).
The all day event gives Scouts the opportunity to earn up to two merit badges in one day. Some categories may have prerequisites that will need to be completed prior to the merit badge college while others may have tasks to finish afterward.
Faculty, staff, and area professionals will be volunteering to instruct Scouts in approximately 20 different categories ranging from Art, to Fish and Wildlife Management, to Engineering. But instructors will not be using their normal classroom text books, instead, they will adopt the Boy Scout’s Merit Badge Books to facilitate their teaching.
In addition to the Boy Scout Merit Badges, all Scouts who attend the event will receive a Boy Scout of America (BSA) participation patch recognizing their involvement in the Merit Badge College.
WATC is using this opportunity as a way to get involved with the community and also to reach Scouts who might be interested in becoming students at WATC in upcoming years.
Feedback from the Scouting community is overwhelmingly favorable for the event. Unit leaders began calling last November, already wanting to schedule their Scouts for the event traditionally held in February.
WATC faculty Linda Sessions has been active in Boy Scouts before her employment as a WATC faculty member. Coordinating the Merit Badge College came about as a natural part of her duties at the college.
“I have seen Scouting change the lives of boys and also their adult leaders,” Sessions said. “The Merit Badge College gives Scouts an opportunity to explore new career opportunities. Last year one of the Scouts that participated in the Dentistry Merit Badge told me that he was considering becoming a dentist after what he learned.”
The day’s activities will begin at 8:00 AM and will end around 3:30 PM. Photo opportunities will be available throughout the day.
Merit Badges offered at the Southside Center
4501 East 47th Street South * Wichita, KS 67210
- Fish and Wildlife Mgmt.
- Public Speaking
Merit Badges at NCAT
4004 N. Webb Road * Wichita KS, 67211
- Traffic Safety
- Composite Materials
- Graphic Arts
- Model & Design Bldg
For more information, contact Ryan Heikes, District Director, Quivira Council Boy Scouts of America, 316-491-2228 or Jessica Ross, Dean, Student Success, WATC, 316-677-9537 or Linda Sessions, Faculty Computer Technology, WATC, 316-677-1051.