Meridian Star

February 26, 2012

MCC hosts Merit Badge University

Special to The Star
The Meridian Star


    From making a foot stools to learning how to carry an injured person to safety, some 106 youths from across the area got first-hand experience thanks to the Merit Badge University held Saturday on the campus of Meridian Community College.

    This event sponsored by Boy Scouts of America’s Choctaw Area Council is an opportunity for Scouts to earn merit badges in a college setting. Not only educational, but MBU is an educational, fun-filled day.

    “Merit Badge University offers a unique chance for them to complete or almost complete a badge in one morning,” said Shaun Olynick, senior district executive for with the Choctaw Area Council. He added it offers the Scouts to learn from professionals. “This is definitely one of the highlights of the Boy Scout year,” he said.

    Olynick, who had worked with events such as that on Saturday’s in Cincinnati and Jacksonville, Fla., noted the MCC venue was ideal. Youths as far away as Hattiesburg, Starkville, Columbus and Madison took part because of what they heard about Merit Badge University at the College.

    Scouts worked on badges including Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Communications, Electronics, Emergency Preparedness, Graphic Arts, First Aid, Metalwork, Nuclear Science, Truck Transportation, Woodwork, Engineering and Readyman.

    But the younger Scouts were not the only ones learning, adults got in on the act, too for there were sessions in Cub Leader Specific Training and Scoutmaster Specific Training I and II. “This was convenient for them to strengthen their skills as adult leaders,” Olynick said.

    The Choctaw Area Council covers the Mississippi Counties of Lauderdale, Clarke, Newton, Neshoba and Kemper as well as Choctaw County in West Alabama. The Merit Badge University at MCC 2012 marked the 10th year the College has hosted the event.