Boy Scouts ages 11-18 will have the opportunity to either begin or complete three merit badges at the third annual Southern Oklahoma Merit Badge Fair at East Central University on October 29.


Boy Scouts ages 11-18 will have the opportunity to either begin or complete three merit badges at the third annual Southern Oklahoma Merit Badge Fair at East Central University on October 29 [SATURDAY] on the ECU campus in Ada. As a part of the merit badge fair Webelos Cub Scouts can participate in what is being called the “Webelos Wrangle.” They will have a chance to earn activity badges and belt loops. The merit badge fair and wrangle will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The cost is $10 per scout or Webelos and more information and a link to the registration form are available at www.arbucklebsa.org.  Scouts may attend as individuals or as a part of a group. Registration can also be done using www.meritbadge.info. For more information or to register one should scroll down to October 29 and the Southern Oklahoma Merit Badge Fair at ECU or the Southern Oklahoma Webelos Wrangle at ECU.

“Merit badges are meant to be educational, fun and an opportunity for career exploration for boy scouts,” said Dr. Pat Fountain, ECU professor of business administration, Eagle Scout and an active scouter. “What better place than a college campus to give scouts a chance to see facilities, perform experiments, do projects and meet with folks who work or will work in the field the merit badge explores?”

The event is being coordinated by the ECU Business Club and the ECU Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) Team. Jessica Coats, a sophomore from Konawa is coordinating the Merit Badge Fair. Yuphin Cheewinkelthong, a senior from Thailand and Milan Khadka, a sophomore from Nepal are coordinating the Webelos Wrangle. Co-Sponsors of the event include the Arbuckle Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and ECU’s Center of Continuing Education and Community Services. A number of ECU student organizations, faculty, staff and community members will be assisting at the event.

“For scouts to earn three merit badges in a day is a rare opportunity,” said Coats. “With 26 different merit badges being offered we think there will be plenty of variety for new scouts as well as those who have been around for awhile.”

Khadka says the Webelos Scouts will be having so much fun they might not even realize they are learning. “That’s why we say that even if they have already earned the badge they can still have a lot of fun as they re-earn the activity badge or redo the American Heritage Award,” he explained.

While several of the merit badges can be completed at the merit badge fair, others will allow scouts to leave with all but a requirement or two completed. Many of the badges require work to be done for time frames ranging from a few hours to a few months and will need to be done at home. The scouts’ home leaders will sign off on the parts done at home either before or after the merit badge fair. ECU merit badge instructors will sign off on the things done at ECU in the same way that many summer camp merit badges are done, Fountain said.

“Getting what is known in the scout world as a ‘partial’ is nothing to worry about,” he explained. “The guys will just get home and get the last of the requirements done so they can receive their merit badges.”

It is recommended that scouts log on to www.meritbadge.com and print out the merit badge worksheets for the badges they intend to work on at the merit badge fair. Many scouts may also want to obtain the merit badge pamphlets that go with the badges they will be earning.

“The more work scouts do ahead of time the better prepared they will be at the merit badge fair,” commented Coats. “A lot of the work can be done before the fair and then scouts can come and show the merit badge counselors what they have done.”
Merit badge classes will be offered in American Labor, Animal Science, Architecture, Aviation, Chemistry, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Composite Materials, Computer, Disabilities Awareness, Dog Care, Dentistry, Electricity, Engineering, Environmental Science, Finger Printing, Graphic Arts, Law, Oceanography, Painting, Photography, Plumbing, Pulp and Paper Salesmanship, Sculpture,  and Veterinary Medicine. Some merit badges may be dropped depending on enrollment.

First year Webelos scouts (9 years old/4th graders) will be working on their aquanaut activity badge in the ECU indoor, heated pool in the morning. Second year Webelos scouts (10 year olds/5th fifth graders) will be working on the US Heritage Award in the morning. Both groups will then choose two of Engineer, Handyman, Scientist and Showman to work on in the afternoon.   

For more information, contact Fountain at 580-559-5270 or pfountain@ecok.edu or Charlee Lanis at the Center of Continuing Education and Community Services at 559-5457 or clanis@ecok.edu.