I was able to participate in a HUGE merit badge college in Rhode Island. There were over 1,000 scouts registered! It is the largest MBC I have ever seen.
Mr. DelPonte organized the MBC and he helped with my trip. He was a big source of information on places to stay and helped find a counselor in Massachusetts. I couldn’t have done this trip with out his help. Thanks Mr. DelPonte.
I decided that this time, I was just going to have fun! I had been wanting to take Woodwork merit badge but didn’t have the chance yet. So this was it! The tricky part… I had to make a wood project & collect wood samples AND get them to Rhode Island on a plane! Fortunately, this time we were taking checked luggage (thanks Delta Airlines!!). I decided to make hockey bookends. I put the wood before I left Michigan for my trip to Mississippi. I also did the sanding at home. I thought it was going to be easy… until I found that I could not use power tools! All of the boards had to be sawn by hand! That was EXTREMELY frustrating (for me AND my dad!). Mom stepped in and helped with a trick that she learned in wood shop from her teacher Mr. Prout (his son Bill is a scouter in our area and still supports my activities!). The boards weren’t perfect (there was a bit of a “chamfer” or angle, but it worked). I packed the boards up and took them with me. I finished assembling the bookends during my free time at camp. I really wish I could have used a drill, but no power tools, so I had to use a screwdriver and it took forever!!
Once everything was assembled, I painted them gray and black. They were then packed up for the trip to Rhode Island. I did not put the pucks on them because of weight in my luggage but I do have them. For wood samples, I was able to get flooring samples from Home Depot. They were great because you could see the different wood grain because they were sanded already.
At MBC, our teacher Mr. Salter (Ash – like the wood LOL) was really nice. He helped us learn lots of new things and was very patient with us. He wasn’t the initial teacher but he stepped up and did a great job! I am really glad he did the class. We were able to make a couple projects. I made a spaghetti measuring device and . It took a lot of work to sand it and I understand the value of cutting the shape as close as possible to what you are making!!
Another cool thing that happened here is I met Taylor Bell. She is on the same quest as I am – to earn a merit badge in every state. Her dad, Mr. Bell, is helping her. Taylor’s brother also went on the same adventure but wasn’t able to finish. I hope Taylor and I both can. She has been to more states than me (over 20) already but I will have a couple extra years to get mine complete. I hope we get to see each other again - I like the idea that there is someone else out there doing this too!
Until next time, happy scouting!