Central Indiana

Merit Badge Events

News and Events

Six Central Indiana Merit Badge Universities have been held annually each May, starting in 2009.  An annual Central Indiana "Eagle Academy" (of Eagle-required merit badges only) was added in November, 2011.  Below are photos from several of these events. 


In addition, the most recent MBU events generated significant newspaper coverage in 2012 and 2013, including a story before the event (see Greenfield Reporter 5/10/2012 ) and a story after the event (see Greenfield Reporter 5/15/2012 ). 

We have been fortunate to have amazing volunteers that step up and do everything from teach merit badge classes, behind-the-scenes preparation for the event, coordination and execution of the event while it is underway, and organizing service projects.

 

In the first picture at left, retired Air Force Major Matt Dickerson, a US Air Force Academy graduate that flew the F-4 Phantom and later the F-15 Strike Eagle while on active duty, reviews the parts of an airplane with members of one of the Aviation merit badge classes during the 2011 MBU.  A small private airstrip is just across the cornfield from the St Michaels School and the owner graciously rolls out his planes for Major Dickerson and the Scouts during the Aviation classes.  

 

Aviation has been taught by Major Dickerson at every MBU except the first one.  He missed teaching at the first one since his oldest son, the first of his two Eagle Scout sons (there is soon to be a third one), was graduating from high school that weekend.  

 

In the second picture, three Scouts in the Engineering merit badge class during the May 2012 Central Indiana MBU show their completed bridge structure, built with gumdrops and toothpicks. 

 

In the third picture, the bridge is tested, and found capable of holding the weight of two books, three frisbees, and a small box.  Our Engineering merit badge classes in 2012 were taught by a professional engineer that recently received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University.

 

In the fourth picture, some of the Scouts from local Troops 233 and 770 surround the "mountain of food" collected by Scouts attending the 2012 MBU and delivered to the St Michaels venue during the MBU (another "mountain of food" was also collected at the other main venue during the MBU, the Hancock County 4-H Fairgrounds).   All collected canned food was donated to the Hancock County Food Pantry. 

 

Every Central Indiana Merit Badge University and Eagle Academy program has had a service project, and projects have included:

 

  • Packaging and boxing (fifth picture) of 11,000 meals of dehydrated food packets for food pantries in east central Indiana (2010 MBU) 
  • A mini-telethon that raised over $3,000 in pledges for a Scout Council hit hard by tornadoes in Alabama (2011 MBU)
  • Painting as well as brush and pasture clearing work at the new Edelweiss Equine Assisted Therapy location (2013 MBU)
  • Collection of nearly $20,000 worth of current and recently expired food coupons to send to the Coups for Troops organization, that then sent them to US military families overseas for use in military commissaries (2011 Eagle Academy)
  • Repair and gardening work in Greenfield's Riley Park and the Hancock County 4-H Fairgrounds (2009 MBU) 
  • Building tent platforms for Nameless Creek Youth Camp (2009 MBU).
  • Repainting more than 40 picnic tables at Greenfield's Riley Park (2012 Mini-MBU).
  • Collecting bags of used clothing for donation to the local Goodwill store in Greenfield (2012 Eagle Academy).

 

In the sixth picture, Scouts attending the 1st Central Indiana MBU in 2009 carry out welding and pipefitting tasks as part of the Plumbing merit badge class.  The Plumbing merit badge has been offered at all four annual Central Indiana MBU programs by master plumber Rob Schindler.

 

The seventh picture shows Mike Dolan, a longtime Scouter in the Crossroads of America Council, teaching Scouts in the Leatherwork merit badge class during the 2009 Central Indiana MBU.  Mike has continued to teach not just Leatherwork, but also the Geology merit badge at our events when he is available.