Over five hundred Boy Scouts, ages 11 to 18, and over 200 leaders will take over Wichita Area Technical College NCAT Campus, and Southside Education Center on Saturday, February 25th to participate in the 8th Annual Merit Badge College.
The all day event gives scouts the opportunity to earn up to two merit badges in one day. WATC Faculty will not be using their normal text books to educate the scouts. Instead, they will adopt the Boy Scout’s Merit Badge Books to facilitate their teaching. WATC is using this opportunity as a way to get involved with the community and also to reach Scouts who could become students at WATC in the coming years.
“Last year, we were pleased to include the new Robotics Merit Badge to our lineup at this annual event. This year, with the use of WATC’s state-of-the-art NCAT (National Center for Aviation and Technology) facility, the new Robotics Program offered is a perfect fit for Boy Scouts and Wichita Area Technical College. ”It’s a very popular choice during registration,” says Ryan Heikes, Staff Director for Quivira Council, BSA.
Quivira Council Scout Executive, Mike Johnson, adds, “Spirit AeroSystems is the STEM partner with Quivira Council and a sponsor for this event. Spirit AeroSystems recognizes the importance of the recent STEM program from the National BSA, and that it is important to help our young people learn skills and knowledge in the science and technology areas to help them succeed in life. We are very appreciative of Spirit Aerosystem’s sponsorship.”
Eight years ago WATC & Quivira Council started this event allowing approximately 225 youth work on 13 merit badges. Through the hard work and dedication of scout leaders and WATC faculty and staff such as, Linda Sessions, Lead Faculty, Computer Technology, youth participation grew to 400 Scouts and 20 Badges by 2010. This year’s event will see over 500 Scouts and 200 leaders participating in 30 Badge Studies at both the NCAT and Southside Campus of WATC.
“We look forward to continuing to partner with WATC, which benefits the youth served in Boy Scouts as well as the Wichita Area Technical College”, says Heikes. “This is an event that Scouts and Leaders look forward to all year.”
About the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America is the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. The Scouting organization is composed of 2.7 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 20 throughout the United States and its territories. Locally, Quivira Council, BSA serves 30 counties in southeastern Kansas with more than 13,000 registered youth in their program. 2010 is the 100th Anniversary of Scouting! For more information about Boy Scouts of America, visit www.quivira.org.