Scouts hold merit badge college

Scouts in the Genealogy Merit Badge with guest speaker Emily Schroeder who is an archivist with the Kennebec Historical Society. From left to right: Anthony Fortin, of Augusta Troop #603, Ricky Phillips, of Winthrop Troop #604, Manny Stevenson, of Augusta Troop #603, Devyn Deleomardis, and Nicholas Gower, both of Anson Troop #481, and Emily Schroeder, of the Kennebec Historical Society. (contributed photo)

The following release was written by Scouts Anthony Fortin, of Augusta Troop #603, and Stasha Wells, of Winslow Troop #433G. This was one of the requirements for their Journalism Merit Badge they took during the Merit Badge College.

Taking place at the Augusta First Church of the Nazarene, a merit badge college for the Boy Scouts was held by volunteer Scouting leaders of the Kennebec Valley District of Scouting. The event was held on two days, spanning across two months.

The first half of the merit badge college was held on February 25, and the second, on March 25. To make it all possible, adult Scout leaders volunteered their time into teaching classes, and regulating behavior. Julie Mc­Kenney, of Bel­grade, Kennebec Valley Dis­trict of Scouting Program Director, took the lead to get the event up and running again with Theresa Poirier, of Augusta.

McKenney gave out multiple ideas for merit badges and the ones that gained the most interest were Art, Aviation, Cooking, Journalism, Personal Fitness, Reading, Weather, Basketry, Law, Genealogy, American Heritage, and Scholarship along with some additional training being offered for adults. Overall, there are 138 Merit Badges available to Scouts. Nearly 50 scouts attended the various classes, with some coming from as far away as Falmouth, Anson and Gorham.

McKenny, when asked how she thought the event was going, replied, “I think the event is going well.” She added her thoughts after Covid-19, “It has taken us a year to get the event running.” The college had been offered annually before Covid-19 but had not been offered since until this year. She added, “We are getting back after Covid. It is a good turnout.”

Adult Cub Leaders were given the opportunity to take Cub Leader training led by District Training Chairman Walter Fails, of Farmington.

Stacey Wells, an assistant scoutmaster from Troop #433G, in Winslow, said she heard from the “Famous social media outlet called Facebook”. Wells also said this would be an opportunity for both youth and adults to grow. At the end of the February 25 session, McKenney had a message board for scouts to make suggestions on what merit badges they would like to see offered at the next Kennebec Valley District Merit Badge College. Stay tuned for next year’s offerings.

Julie McKenney, of Belgrade, and Theresa Poirier, of Augusta, organized the program with their team of Scouting volunteers. It took several months to plan and recruit the Merit Badge Counsellors. (contributed photo)


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