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Scouts take part in Merit Badge College at MU

Feb. 16, 2013 @ 11:22 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Class was in session at Marshall University on Saturday with more than 400 Boy Scouts filling in as students.

The Boy Scout Merit Badge College welcomed the scouts and more than 100 leaders, an increase in attendance from last year, as they worked to earn one or two of more than 35 badges offered during the day.

"We're trying to help the boys earn merit badges, particularly ones that will be harder for them to complete, such as chemistry or robotics," said Steven Mewaldt, chairman of the MU psychology department and himself a longtime Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts leader.

Scouts from as far away as Summersville and Logan had the opportunity to learn about topics ranging from music to robotics to fingerprinting, working alongside other scouts and Marshall staff and faculty who lead the various sessions.

Nicholas Molina, a sophomore at Cabell Midland High School, is approximately one year away from earning his Eagle Scout recognition. He said he enjoyed the variety of badges offered as well as building relationships with other people throughout the Merit College experience.

"I like the aspect of it that you can go wherever you want to," Molina said, referring to the numerous sessions of the day. "I went to Indian Lore for the first session, and I'll be going back for the second session to help out."

In addition to earning badges, Mewaldt said the Merit College provides other opportunities for the scouts.

"We're also hoping some of the kids get interested in college or that they find an area they might consider for a major or career. It expands their horizons," he said.

Follow H-D reporter Beth Hendricks on Facebook or Twitter @BethHendricksHD.

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