Over four hundred Boy Scouts staked their tents on Grand Island's Stuhr Museum grounds this weekend for what they call Merit Badge University. Attending scouts study both academic and hands-on topics in scores of classes and workshops.
"This weekend they're actually going to be able to complete three merit badges, so they'll be busy. This evening we're going to the races in Doniphan, and then to the waterpark, so every minute of the day is filled for them," explained Merit Badge University staff member Greg Geis.
"Previously I've learned things like personal management which helps you when you go on in life with your financing, and also communication so you can get jobs in that kind of field," commented Boy Scout Garrett Hanish.
"That's the best thing about is, we have people that are actually skilled and qualified to teach these classes. So the boys are getting top notch instruction on the courses that they're taking," Greg Geis observed.
The Scouts seemed to enjoy the old-fashioned offerings, such as blacksmithing classes, offered by Stuhr Museum's Railroad Town. "I think it's good to keep old things like that alive, you know. And even though it may not be useful anymore, the tradition, it's a good thing to keep up," Boy Scout Garrett Hanish commented.
"This is very useful, you know. It teaches them how to use their imagination to create some sort of a robot. It teaches them all the different types of sensors, and a little bit about controllers. We build a lot of equipment, and we have a tough time finding people who know anything about automation or robotics. That's a new field and I think it's a field that's going to be growing in the next few years," said Merit Badge University robotics instructor Michael Flodman.