Three Fires Council hosted largest welding lesson, Guinness World Records confirms

Guinness-World-Records-welding-certificateWelding’s a big deal in Scouting. Like, Guinness World Records big.

The Boy Scouts of America and the Three Fires Council in Illinois now own the world record for the largest welding lesson, Guinness World Records officials confirmed last week.

The event, held April 11 at a trade school near Chicago, included 275 participants. While there was no previous holder of this record, it sets a pretty high bar for any future welders who try to surpass the feat.

Three Fires Council’s welding lesson got 275 Scouts and Scouters excited about welding. That’s a good reminder that welding, which uses all four parts of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), continues to be a hot activity in the BSA.

With the help of Lincoln Electric, the BSA in 2012 debuted the Welding merit badge, which is so popular that in 2014 more boys earned it than earned the Hiking or the Cycling merit badges. 

The largest welding lesson ever

The largest welding lesson ever was held at ETI School of Skilled Trades, a trade school in Willowbrook, Ill., that offers education in welding and other fields.

The event included a group lesson where experts discussed the welding process, welding equipment and welding safety. Then Scouts 13 or older enjoyed a hands-on portion where they got to try welding for themselves.

Event organizer Walter Berkowicz discussed with the event’s importance.

“Welding is a great vehicle by which to show kids really cool science,” he told the site. “It’s a STEM-related thing that kids love because they’ve got sparks flying, there’s smoke, bright lights.”

Kevin Pflanz, director of education at the ETI School, told how much he enjoyed hosting the event.

“I hope they learn the love of [welding],” he said. “Maybe they want this to be a profession. Maybe they want this to be a hobby. Just to see if there’s the love for it.”

Thanks given

Berkowicz, in an email notifying the participants about the Guinness World Records recognition, called this “a long journey” with “a successful conclusion.”

He thanked the following people, so I wanted to pass on his praise here.

  • Charlie Cross, Lincoln Electric
  • Kevin Pflanz, ETI School of Skilled Trades
  • Joe Eberlin, Clipper Industries
  • Paul Chemler
  • Joe Harrington
  • Buzz Wheeler, Three Fires Council program director
  • Volunteers who served as Welding merit badge counselors,
  • Volunteers in Guinness roles
  • Volunteers from the Customs and Border Protection Explorer Post

About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.