Sunday, October 30, 2011

Local Scouts Attend Merit Badge University

 Boy Scouts in the photography merit badge took some time during class to explore the outdoors for textures and backgrounds for their pictures.

Scouts ate their lunch at the Prairie Winds Merit Badge University while listening to Concordia Professor Tim Huntington (far left) give a lecture on entomology.

Concordia University was invaded by Boy Scout uniforms as they hosted the largest Merit Badge University in the Cornhusker Council this year on Saturday, October 22.

Scouts from Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri traveled to the campus for a day of learning and training. Over 20 merit badges were offered, including the most recently released Chess merit badge.
In addition to the offerings to the Boy Scouts, adult leadership courses were also available. Over 275 participants registered for the day long courses with close to 200 of those Boy Scouts working on merit badges.

Many of the merit badges were taught by Concordia University professors who were recruited by the chairman of the Merit Badge University, Kevin Potratz. Potratz, who is the Scoutmaster of Troop 256 out of Seward, also serves as a computing service system analyst and infrastructure support coordinator at Concordia.

This event was the first Merit Badge University offered by the Prairie Winds District’s since 2003. District Executive Jerad Reimers noted “This is a great way for scouting access opportunities in the community to help the scouts attain merit badges that they wouldn’t normally be available to accomplish like nuclear science and energy.”

Each scout was able to register for two merit badges, many which were required for the Eagle Scout rank. Scouts registered in advance were also given a list of prerequisites for each merit badge that could not be completed during the class time and were given time to present those if possible.

As part of the special event, scouts and leaders were treated to “The Decay Café Buffet” a presentation by Professor Tim Huntington, PhD, D-ABFE, a board certified Forensic Entomologist and faculty member at Concordia during their lunch break.

Locally, scouts and leaders from Cordova Troop 359, Geneva Troop 175, Troop 173 and 174 out of York and Troop 270 out of Friend attended the event.

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