Once every year, Scouts get a chance to earn merit badges in classes taught by real midshipmen on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
At the STEM Merit Badge Jamboree earlier this month, midshipmen — many of whom are Eagle Scouts — led 700 Boy Scouts through a weekend of fun and learning.
The annual jamboree is the signature event hosted by the Naval Academy chapter of the National Eagle Scout Association.
As the event’s name implies, Scouts earned or partially earned merit badges in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. They also got specialized military skills training from men and women in uniform.
Scouts camped at a site about 30 minutes south of Annapolis, but the day’s activities were held at the Naval Academy itself.
Scouts and Scouters arrived Friday, Jan. 13, to set up tents. On Saturday morning, they gathered at 0800 for a flag ceremony and to begin merit badge and skills workshops. Lunch was in King Hall, the same place where midshipmen eat.
After lunch, Scouts heard a speech from Eagle Scout author Alvin Townley (Legacy of Honor, Fly Navy, Defiant). Then it was back to merit badge class in the afternoon.
Scouts returned to their campsite Saturday night and witnessed a special U.S. Naval Academy admissions presentation. On Sunday, some stayed for a tour of the Naval Academy led by Eagle Scout midshipmen. Others headed home.
If you’re interested in attending the 2018 version of this event, express your interest on this page set up by the Naval Academy’s NESA chapter.
Story idea and main photo via Jim Doyle. See more photos here.