Correction: This story misstated the number of Boy Scouts who attended the event due to an error in an emailed news release.
More than 400 scouts from Boy Scouts of America’s Indian Peaks District came to CU Boulder March 18 for a chance to earn more than 25 merit badges in areas ranging from first aid to citizenship in the community. The biannual event, called Merit Badge University, was hosted by CU Boulder’s Alpha Phi Omega Gamma Theta chapter, a coed service fraternity.
“APO Gamma Theta is honored to host MBU each semester since 1994,” said Tiara Stephan, event co-chair. “Not only do the classes engage thousands of scouts each year, but [they] also allow APO members to serve and promote the scouting movement.”
This year’s scouts ranged in age from 10 to 17 years old, and they engaged in badge activities related to chemistry, weather, architecture, swimming and emergency preparedness. The Indian Peaks District comprises Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette, Erie, Superior and Nederland. Scouts participate in the event before becoming Eagle Scouts. They carried out the activities in the Duane Physics, Hellems Arts and Sciences, Rec Center and Muenzinger Psychology buildings.
The Gamma Theta chapter was founded in 1941 and has run the event for more than 20 years. In addition to MBU, the group also assists the Boy Scouts in the Klondike Derby and Cub Scout Camp events and is closely tied to Venturing Crew 492, a CU Boulder student organization of volunteers that assist with MBU.
Event co-chair Patrick Gibbs once experienced the event himself as a Boy Scout. Gibbs earned his first merit badge at the event in 2009 and went on to earn all 141 merit badges available during his time as a scout.
Event volunteers and teachers included members from APO Gamma Theta as well as chapters at Colorado State University and Colorado School of Mines. This year, members from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, also lent a hand at CU’s event.
Alpha Phi Omega has more than 400,000 members on more than 375 campuses nationwide.
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