Find summer fun at local museums, nonprofits

A Scout at the Cosmosphere.

Scouts who visit the Cosmosphere, a science and space museum in Hutchinson, Kan., for its summer Scout camps get to program robots, build rockets and fly drones, all while working on merit badges, NOVA STEM activities or Cub Scout Adventures.

Sound fun? It’s just one example of an organization that offers programs or camps to Cub Scouts and members of Scouts BSA.

Your unit might be looking for summer outing opportunities. Check with local museums or nonprofit organizations to see if they are providing anything specific for Scouts.

Some, like the Rochester Museum and Science Center in Rochester, N.Y., and the MAPS Air Museum in North Canton, Ohio, offer private weekend programs or tours for Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA members that you can book. Others, such as The Durham Museum in Omaha, Neb., host merit badge workshops in the spring and fall.

These are outstanding ways to help Scouts learn as they get to see exhibits and artifacts and sometimes experience hands-on displays.

Scouts at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Museums, like the Cosmosphere and the Houston Museum of Natural Science, have camps where Scouts can have fun, learn a lot and work on advancement over the course of multiple days. The Houston museum offers 54 different merit badges throughout the year while Cub Scouts can work on five different Adventures during its five-day summer classes. This year, the Cosmosphere is offering 20 merit badge classes.

Always check local COVID-19 guidelines and review the BSA’s COVID FAQs if your unit plans on attending in-person. Call ahead before you head out, too, to see what the COVID guidelines are for that museum or organization.

Some places might still be providing virtual visits or programs because of the pandemic rather than in-person visits. You can check out some virtual tours here.

For steps on how to earn a merit badge, click here.

If you know of a museum or nonprofit in your area offering a program for Scouts this summer, share it in the comments. It might help units find some fun during these challenging times.

About Michael Freeman 445 Articles
Michael Freeman, an Eagle Scout, is an associate editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines.