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300 Boy Scouts work on merit badges
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Lathrop-Manteca Fire Department volunteer Robert Gleason offers a first aid merit badge class to Boy Scouts. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

Boy Scout merit badges are about learning skills to help frame a positive life in whatever profession they choose.

Some 300 boys gathered for merit badge training Saturday at the Mormon church’s stake facility on Northland Road. A bevy of instructors were on hand to lay out the requirements for achieving knowledge in everything from geology to forestry. There are 100 different merit badge studies that boys can master on their way to becoming an Eagle Scout.

Young boys in uniform went from class to class throughout the day and filled the hall for lunch sitting at round tables.

Countless leaders in today’s business world nationwide can attest to the values of Scouting and the importance of the Eagle Scout honor bestowed upon them as a teenager.

Boys from Ripon, Manteca and Lathrop and around the world learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business and future careers.  They don’t need to have rank advancement from Tenderfoot to First Class to be eligible to reach out for their merit badges.

Boys are urged to talk to their scoutmaster about their interest in a particular subject and its merit badge including Law and Medicine as well as what they learn about ethics and morals.  

Scouts are required to learn the tenants of scouting as a guide throughout their lives.  These include being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.  Scout leaders agree if their boys can follow these moral and ethical lessons they can lead an exemplary life.  They are all required to memorize the all-important list. 

When scouts are working toward a merit badge they are required to have another person with them in a “buddy system” effort. That person can be another Scout, parents or guardian, a brother or sister, another relative or a friend and report to a merit badge counselor. That counselor is assigned to help them learn about their chosen subject.