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Boy Scouts spend Saturday learning, earning merit badges

By Staff
IMPROVING SKILLS – Kenneth Carroll, left, an instructor at Meridian Community College, teaches David Thomas, a member of Boy Scout Troop 46 in Decatur, how to make a bell circuit. Thomas was one of 112 Boy Scouts who spent Saturday at MCC earning merit badges a necessary step before they can become Eagle Scouts. Photo by Carisa McCain / The Meridian Star.
By Chris Allen Baker/staff writer
Jan. 27, 2002
Larry Robinson spent two to three hours Saturday morning building a rocket, Zach Harris wired a door bell and Merritt Barry wrote a letter to the editor.
The three teens, all members of area Boy Scout troops, worked on the separate projects to earn merit badges awards needed before they can become an Eagle Scout.
Harris, Robinson, Barry and 109 other Scouts from East Central Mississippi and Choctaw County, Ala., spent Saturday at Meridian Community College participating in Merit Badge University.
This was the 18th year the Choctaw Area Council of the Boy Scouts which includes Clarke, Kemper, Lauderdale, Neshoba and Newton counties, as well as nearby Choctaw County offered the program.
Scouts chose one of 16 classes that offered them a chance to earn merit badges in such areas as electronics, archery, communications and space exploration.
Most of the badges are necessary before a Scout can earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Merit badge classes were limited to 10 Scouts each.
After more than three hours of instruction, Scouts completed all or most of their requirements for a merit badge. Most received certificates to present to their troop, showing they earned a badge.
Merit badges usually are awarded during a troop's "Court of Honor" ceremony.
Robinson, 15, a member of Troop 7, said he built a rocket because he wanted to earn a space exploration merit badge. Robinson estimated he had one more year before becoming an Eagle Scout.
Barry, 14, a member of Troop 40 in Meridian, worked on his communications badge by writing a letter to the editor. He already has earned 18 merit badges and is about six months from becoming an Eagle Scout.
Barry's father, Rick, served as a volunteer instructor. Rick also serves as attorney for the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors.