The Boy Scouts were invented in 1907 by Robert Baden-Powell. Baden-Powell was a lieutenant-general in the British army for twenty-six years.
It was an all inclusive boy’s club until over a hundred years later, in February of 2019, when girls were allowed to join. When this shift occurred the organization changed its name from Boy Scouts to Scouts BSA.
Scouting is a club that many youth attend all across America, specifically in the early and preteen years of a child’s life.
According to the official scouting website “scouting helps youth develop academic skills, self-confidence, ethics, leadership skills, and citizenship skills that influence their adult lives.”
The valued skills and life lessons that the Scouts teach is why the organization is so popular.
In fact, many schools offer courses on the weekends to teach Scouts a specific skill so that they can earn their badge in that area.
Oklahoma City Community College is one of the colleges that offers aid to the Scouting program to help their members earn badges.
Kristi Carlucci, Coordinator of Community Education at OCCC, is the organizer between the Scouts program and OCCC. One of Carlucci’s jobs is to reach out to professors at the college and see if any of them are willing to teach one of the merit badge classes.
Through Carlucci’s work, the school offers “a wide variety of merit badge classes, and that gives the Scouts an opportunity to come onto campus and work with various faculty, or myself to earn their badges. In addition, we offer our Webelo classes, Webelo are our younger Scouts. We used to offer more Webelo classes, but we found a greater need for merit badge classes,” she said.
Professor Shanna Padgham, who teaches both political science and environmental science, spent one Saturday instructing the Scouts.
“I had a colleague connect me with Miss Carlucci because they had an environmental badge that they were hoping that the Scouts could earn. So we got connected, and I built a course to help them earn that badge. That’s true of several professors here on campus,” Padgham said.
To earn a badge in the Scouts the youth must meet specific criteria.
The same goes for the educators on what to teach the students. Leaders, or professors, have to make sure that their course is up to date with all of the Scouting regulations so that the young Scouts can earn their badges.
When Professor Padgham taught her course for the environmental badge she made sure her course was fun and exciting to learn about.
“Some examples of what we did was: how could you see what happens to wildlife and water quality with an oil spill? And then what our efforts to clean up that oil spill, and we have like a hands on activity. We talked about different ecosystems, animals, and wildlife. Also, about what happens if you take out a species in that ecosystem. We also did a pollinator section, and so we talked about pollinating plants,” she said.
This is just one course that OCCC offers to Scouts. There are many more like “first aid, pottery, digital technology, programing, medicine, genealogy, and disability awareness” according to Carlucci. The program started small, but thanks to Kristi’s innovation and talent it has grown.
Carlucci would like to give her appreciation to the faculty of OCCC for their help. “I just want to add how grateful I am for the faculty on campus to have taken an interest in what we’re doing, and to want to be a part of it. Without them, my Scouts program would be very small and limited. But with their participation I’ve been able to grow the program much larger and will continue to try to do that in future years. So I’m just very, very appreciative of the faculty on campus.”
The Scouts program is a great way for youth to learn more than what the average school teaches. It is also a way for children to become more responsible and grow into their character. The fact that OCCC offers to help with the program is wonderful and it’s a program that should last for many years to come.