The Merit Badge Pow Wow for the Virgin River Valley Boy Scouts of America was held on Sat. Jan. 9 and 16, for scouts from 12 units in Mesquite, Littlefield, and Bunkerville. There are 11 scout units sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and one sponsored by the Elks Lodge and the Mesquite Resort Association. About 120 scouts ranging in age 11 to 17 years attended classes and worked on earning merit badges in Citizenship in the Nation, Community and World. Some merit badges are required and some are elective. Scouts worked on Cooking, Emergency Preparedness, First Aid and Family Life and Communications which are required. They could also choose to work on elective merit badges in Energy, Genealogy, American Business, Traffic Safety, Chess, Geocaching, Fishing, Medicine, Music, Auto Mechanics, Reading and Art. Scouts were able to sign up for 4 merit badges. Some merit badges have requirements that take a full three months such as Family life which involves keeping track of their duties at home and doing a project around their home to improve it. Personal Management also takes three months to complete and it involves keeping track of their spending and saving for three months.
There were 27 counselors who taught classes and will also do the follow-up when the scouts finish their requirements on each merit badge. Mike Van Houten set up a driving course for scouts to practice their driving skills for the traffic safety merit badge. Counselor Wes Carter helped the scouts mix and bake cookies as part of the requirements for Cooking merit badge. They will also have to prepare meals at home for their family and cook outdoors on a burner as part of the additional requirements to earn the badge.
Firemen Kenyon Leavitt and Spencer Lewis taught First Aid to the scouts. Stephanie Vogel helped them make a family tree showing their ancestors and their dates and places. Steve Hoff and Chris Vogel taught them how to play Chess and look ahead to make strategies to win. The scouts were served breakfast, attended classes and then were served lunch before going to afternoon classes.
Much appreciation goes to all the merit badge counselors who spent their time teaching the youth in our valley. The scouts will now have to finish the requirements and apply for the various merit badges they worked on.