Merit Badge University: Local Boy Scouts Take Flight

Grady Delp/Correspondent

This past Saturday, the Embry-Riddle chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a national service-based fraternity, hosted an event in the College of Aviation to teach local Boy Scouts the knowledge needed to earn four STEM-based merit badges. In total, 55 scouts attended for a day of learning and fun. The four merit badges the scouts learned about included Aviation, Engineering, Digital Technology, and First Aid. At the end of the day the scouts left with merit badges proudly in hand.

Alpha Phi Omega has its roots in scouting, and the ERAU chapter tries to have one event to help the local Scouting council every semester.

Previously, it has hosted the local district’s Camp-o-ree, where scouts camped out on the soccer field behind the Student Village at night, and learned in order to get the Aviation merit badge in the day. The chapter also held several Science Day events. Last semester, the ERAU chapter helped the Florida Institute of Technology chapter host their Merit Badge University. This semester, the ERAU chapter decided to take the initiative with their idea, and help Daytona Beach area scouts earn merit badges that align with what those at Embry-Riddle do best.

Scouts learning about the Aviation merit badge got to tour the Q-hanger, and participate in a pre-flight inspection of one of the aircraft in the Embry-Riddle fleet. The Engineering merit badge class took place in the Rolls-Royce Propulsion and Systems Lab on the first floor of the College of Aviation. Students of the Digital Technology merit badge learned a lot about computers, software, and how to use them. Scouts taking the First Aid merit badge ended the day one step closer to earning their Eagle Scout Award.

Overall, the day was a great success. Scouts were excited about all the new things they learned and experienced, and the brothers of Alpha Phi Omega had fun teaching them. We think we did a great job for our first year hosting this, and can’t wait to do it again next year.