SPC Hosting San Antonio Area's Largest Boy Scouts Event
November 2, 2018
IN PREPARATION FOR TRANSFORMATION IN 2019, ST. PHILIP’S COLLEGE HOSTS FINAL YEAR OF ALL-BOY BOY SCOUTS MERIT BADGE UNIVERSITY EVENTS IN SAN ANTONIO NOV. 3
St. Philip's College celebrates its fifth anniversary season (2014-2018) of hosting the largest organized Boy Scouts event in the San Antonio area when a projected 1,000 students and 400 escorts from more than 120 troops throughout Texas convene for a one-day Boy Scout Merit Badge University event Nov. 3 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the college’s 1801 Martin Luther King Drive location.
A Merit Badge University traditionally helps young men ages 11-17 to earn merit badges in such topics as communications and sustainability. Each student completes an epic day of four 90-minute classes in more than 45 career fields. The day also includes training for adults and parents in the organization. St. Philip's College launched its first merit badge university project in partnership with the local Boy Scouts leadership in 2014. Nearly 2,400 merit badges were successfully earned in 2017 in a single day of knowledge building at the college on Nov. 4, bringing the total of badges potentially earned at the college through this partnership to the 9,000-10,000 badge range. The merit badge team should celebrate coming close to or passing the 10,000 badge mark at St. Philip’s College in 2018. The website for the scouting event shows many activities completely full. Visit the Alamo Area Council MBU page at www.AlamoAreaBSA.org/MBU or email volunteer MBU chairman John Haines and his team at MBU@AlamoAreaBSA.org for details.
“Experts from the various Merit Badge disciplines were recruited so that real-life experts could provide instruction to our Scouts; and, this is what makes our program unique and provides an exceptionally rich learning environment,” Haines said of the MBU experience.
The 2018 Merit Badge University program also marks the end of one era and the beginning of one era in San Antonio area scouting. In the mid-first quarter of 2019---just three months away---the program becomes co-ed as girls earn Eagle Scout rank as well, according to local officials within the organization. This announcement means the first female alumni of the new Scouts BSA program at St. Philip’s College---a college founded in 1898 as a school for the daughters of former slaves---is forecast for November of 2019, and all get stay on top of this by asking questions of organizers during the Merit Badge University at the college on Nov. 1.
Angel Martinez is PR director with the Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council.
“Key facts about MBU at St. Philip’s College in the last five years show over 4,500 Scouts in 150 Troops participating with the support of over 300 volunteers. The Alamo Area Council is proud of the five-year partnership with St. Philip’s College to encourage Scouts to explore areas that interest them and to learn valuable skills which influences career aspirations and lifelong hobbies… It’s also cool we get to expand this program in 2019 to include the whole family,” said Martinez.
Using the same curriculum as the current Boy Scouts program, the organization is also scheduled to launch Scouts BSA in February 2019, which will serve boy troops and girl troops, enabling all eligible youth to earn the Eagle Scout rank (Scouts BSA troops will be single gender – all girl or all boy). This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single-gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families. Currently, girls can join the Cub Scout program, Martinez and Haines explained.
For more information about St. Philip’s College or to learn more about their commitment to education and communities in which they operate, visit www.alamo.edu/spc.