Some 500 Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts from five states will learn and earn badges at the annual Sea Pines District Merit Badge Academy from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24 at Stockton University.
The event is co-sponsored by the Stockton Center for Community Engagement and the Sea Pines District of the Boys Scouts of America.
“Our annual Merit Badge Academy has grown tremendously over the years,” said Shirvan Acosta, program chair for the Sea Pines District of the Boy Scouts of America and Merit Badge Academy co-chair. “Stockton has hosted the event for four years now and we have been so impressed with the campus and how faculty and students engage with the scouts.”
More than 40 merit badges will be offered in topics including Archaeology, Space Exploration and Citizenship in the Community.
Scouts will have the opportunity to meet and work with professionals in the fields in which they will earn badges. Stockton students, faculty and members of the university’s Bio-Chemistry Society will be among those leading workshops and experiments including a fishing expedition on Lake Fred, insect study, rocketry, geology and coin collecting.
“This event is special because it is not just people talking to the scouts about different fields,” said Margaret Lewis, Stockton professor of Biology and co-organizer of the event. “Here, professionals from different fields of study actually meet with scouts in a lab or the art gallery.”
Community groups also expected to participate include South Jersey Field of Dreams, the South Jersey Area Rocketry Society (SOJARS), AtlantiCare, the Atlantic County Numismatic Society and the Southern Counties Amateur Ham Radio Association.
“We’re so grateful to everyone who has committed to volunteer their time and share their talents and resources to make sure the event is successful,” said Acosta. “We wouldn’t be able to do it without them.”
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