To see what all the hype was about, I took a visit to Maple Dell to check out all the different Merit Badge opportunities that a Scout can experience. From Shooting Sports to Emergency Preparedness, Merit Badge Adventures feature all the training a boy could need.
So, what is a Merit Badge Adventure?
Merit Badge Adventures is a Friday through Saturday adventure at one of our Scout camps that focus on helping youth work on one or more merit badges! Troops can now combine their monthly campout with merit badge work – no extra work for the adult leaders, and great opportunities for the youth. And because of the resources available at the council-level, some very unique experiences and merit badges can be offered! Boys can work on a few Merit Badges each adventure weekend.
The Adventure at Maple Dell
Maple Dell Scout Camp has a lot to offer, even in the fall and winter months. Maple Dell is the Utah National Parks Council’s flagship Scout Camp. It is the oldest camp and is situated in the scenic mountains of Payson Canyon. The morning I visited, fall was just beginning to settle in. Deer wandered throughout the camp and clouds hung low, enveloping the hills of camp.
Despite the low temperatures and the early morning hours, Scouts were already hard at work when I arrived. At the Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge station, the cold weather was used as a lesson for Scouts. “If you’re cold, that’s due to a lack of preparation,” the Scoutmaster said. Luckily, the Scouts were wrapped up and warm because, well, a Scout is always prepared.
At the Climbing Merit Badge area, Scouts were putting their knot-tying skills to the test and learning about safety while rock climbing. It was a great experience for boys to both learn from and teach each other. Their teacher was very knowledgeable in climbing and taught the Scouts about the importance of safety.
In one of the most scenic parts of the camp, on a hill above the main camp, you can find Scouts working on the Orienteering Merit Badge. With compasses in hand, Scouts calculated and measured their way from location to location. The Geocaching Scouts were not far away, as they also explored the surrounding wilderness, this time with GPS in hand.
Other Adventures included first aid, welding, Shooting Sports, plumbing, astronomy, archery, Pioneering, knots and lashings, and more. Scouts could attend Merit Badge sessions both outdoors and inside classroom settings. With around 15 different Merit Badge opportunities, there was plenty to learn for everyone. And luckily, these merit Badge Adventure weekends happen often, so you can get the badges you missed.
Click here to view the Merit Badge Adventure schedule and choose which adventure best suits your needs!
For more Scouting action, check out the photo gallery below.
Author: Madison Austin | Marketing Associate, Utah National Parks Council