The books have closed on the successful 2017 Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree, held at the Summit Bechtel family Reserve High Adventure Base near Beckley, W.Va.
The 2017 program offered scouts two different settings to learn about geology. A team comprised primarily of AAPG Member geologists volunteered their time to lead the geology program at the event.
The formal geology merit badge classroom was located in a high-traffic zone, Action Point, between two sub-camps and a mountain bike and skateboard park. It hosted twice-daily classes, a rock and mineral collection for visitors to inspect and touch, and a continuous-stream table demonstration of erosion, deposition and stream processes.
At Action Point they received 1,456 visitors who entered and asked at least one question with 250 Scouts completing the Geology Merit Badge.
The second setting was in the nature study area, where the group shared space with several other groups (orienteering, geocaching, bird study, nature photography, etc.) and maintained a geophysical station and hands-on rock and mineral museum. It also offered twice-daily docent lead geology hikes to a nearby quarry where the scouts learned about the depositional features and fault planes.
Scouts were able to qualify for a special nature pin if they could answer questions from all eight nature program areas represented, so visitors stayed for a lengthy amount of time. In all, 2,215 visitors participated in outbound experience and 14 scouts earned their geology merit badge here.
BSA offers 138 different merit badges in their program. In 2016, the geology merit badge placed 30th in overall popularity, and more than 18,500 scouts earned the badge in that year.
Historically, nearly 688,000 have earned the geology merit badge.
The merit badge program is designed to expose scouts to different careers and hobbies. The AAPG Foundation has been a sponsor of this program since 1993. Funding for this event provided though the E.F. Reid Scouting Fund.
For a full report go to foundation.aapg.org.