Badges at college
Boy Scouts get high-tech
The course Doug Breyfogle, a troop leader with Fort Dodge Troop 8, was teaching Saturday at the Twin Lakes District Merit Badge College on the Iowa Central Community College campus had nothing to do with what might traditionally be thought of as a Merit Badge subject.
There’s no campfires, no knot tying, no first aid, no wood craft and no tents in this one.
Instead, it was taught in a classroom full of new computers with the latest version of Adobe InDesign software. His introduction to the Graphic Arts Merit Badge, given as the students took their seats was pretty modern and up to date too.
“We’re going to be working with Adobe InDesign,” he said. “We’re not going on the internet and we’re not playing games on the computers.”
The task before the Scouts.
“We’re going to start with a box and then build your own logo,” he said.
Like many other fields, graphic arts have undergone a transition into the modern era where the methods of old, large process cameras that photographed manually built pages have been supplanted by direct to plate printing and computer-designed content.
“The goal is to give them an understanding of what a graphic artist does,” Breyfogle said. “We also offer them an understanding of what this college can do for them in the field.”
Course like the Graphic Arts Merit Badge are part of a general update by the Boy Scouts.
“The whole organization has really started to update to current technology,” he said. “It’s what kids are interested in. They keep evolving.”
Brandon Sayer, 14 and Tyler Eggett, 13, both members of Fort Dodge Troop 7, were taking the Graphic Arts Merit Badge class.
“I took an Introduction to CAD in school,” Sayer said. “It got me interested in computer design.”
Eggett thought it looked interesting.
“It seemed fun to do,” he said. “It’s something new to do.”
Both Scouts liked that Scouting has a variety of Merit Badges to explore. While they were enjoying the high-tech world of graphic arts, the also both enjoy the more tradition subjects usually associated with Scouting.
“I like the traditional ones too,” Sayer said.
Janet Earls, Twin Lakes District Merit Badge chair, said that almost 100 Scouts signed up to attend the college. Scouts from Nebraska and Kansas as well as many communities in Iowa attended, she said.
The college offered an opportunity to explore one or two of a total of 17 badges.
She’s deeply appreciative of being able to hold the college at Iowa Central.
“It’s an ideal place,” she said.
Don Schuur, assistant scout leader with Le Mars Troop 100, attended the Merit Badge College with his son, Tyler Schuur, 11.
He likes that the colleges allow the Scout to earn several badges in one day. He also stressed that by getting to meet other Scouts from other areas, social networks are built and maintained.
“The Scouting community builds a lot of friends,” he said.
He, too, got to sit down at a computer terminal and work on his logo.