Boy Scouts Earn Welding Merit Badge in Appleton at Miller HQ
Across the United States, the Boy Scouts of America has awarded more than a thousand Welding merit badges since the badge became available in February of this year. On September 15, more than a dozen Scouts gathered at the world headquarters of Miller Electric Mfg. Co. to earn their badges.
Scouts from eastern Wisconsin and upper Michigan assembled at Miller on a perfect Saturday to go through the BSA-prescribed and American Welding Society (AWS)-approved course.
The day began with the Scouts convening near the American flag and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Then, the employee volunteers from Miller instructed the young Scouts on welding safety and the importance of safety vigilance at all times when in the shop.
Next it was on to the proper torch techniques using the latest in top of the line Miller equipment. For many of the scouts this was the first time they’d tried welding. Scouts like Matt Messing of Troop 606 found the first opportunity to strike an arc and give welding a try was a stimulating experience that sparked thoughts about the future.
“I think welding is a much-needed job skill and its applications are endless,” said Messing. “I really enjoyed the kindness of the instructors and their enthusiasm for their work. I like welding because it’s a simple idea, but it is still very challenging. I definitely need more practice.”
The Scouts, by virtue of the traditions of camping and outdoors activities, are a hands-on group. Welding and plasma cutting fit right into the self-made and self-reliant nature of being a Boy Scout.
“I really liked how it (the program) was all hands-on. You could look at what you worked on and get to keep it,” said Ben Mehn of Troop 615. “Using things with electric current running through it is always fun.”
The Scouts were able to fulfill the badge requirements by the end of the day.
The Boy Scouts need volunteers with welding experience to help local Scouts obtain the Welding merit badge. You can find more information and learn about the requirements to become a volunteer by going to www.BSA.org or contacting your local chapter of the Boy Scouts of America.
Thank you to all of the Miller employees who volunteered to help the scouts earn the welding merit badge. Shanen Aranmor, Amanda D’Arcy, Pete Mehn, Ken Fisher, Caleb Haven, Ken Puls, Doug Watkins, Megan Cahak, Tim Kinney, and Dan Benish all gave part of their Saturday to help the scouts. Nice work!