Aviation Merit Badge

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Location: Seattle (KBFI/KRNT)

Aviation Merit Badge

Postby isnoop » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:17 pm

I'm spreading the aviation in a way that is near and dear to me: through Boy Scouts.
Soon I'll be helping my first troop of kids earn their aviation merit badge. I encourage any UCAPer to do the same. It's a really simple one to teach and you can walk a handful of kids through it in under a couple of hours without even burning any avgas!

My lesson plan:
* Assign the scouts homework to learn the following:
** Forces of flight and the major external components of an aircraft.
** Careers in aviation and the education, training, and experience required.
* Meet in an enclosed area (FBO classroom) and debrief the kids on safety and procedures.
* Discuss the career opportunities the scouts researched.
* Show aeronautical charts and have them perform the prescribed exercises (course plotting, magnetic variation, etc)
* Build a styrofoam plate airplane model called the FPG-9.
* Introduce the scouts to the aircraft.
* One at a time, take them on a brief oral exam tour of the plane, quizzing them on parts and forces, and how they interact in flight.
* Have them describe the basic instruments in the panel.
* Preflight the plane.

At this point, if circumstances allow, one might also take the kids on a short flight. However, the above steps are more than enough to qualify the kids for their badge.

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Re: Aviation Merit Badge

Postby kellyrw » Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:18 pm

Good luck. I've tried the same thing with (surprising to me) zero response. As an Eagle Scout and former Scoutmaster, I signed up as an Aviation Merit Badge counselor two years ago and have not had one contact among the two dozen or so troops in our area. Once a year, I do participate in a Merit Badge University, where a couple other pilots and I do a one day program for 15-20 scouts getting them the Aviation merit badge. We spend half a day in the classroom doing much of the same "book" stuff you discussed, then we take the scouts to the airport and let them investigate our airplanes (a C172, a Piper PA-28, and an Ercoupe) and have them all do a preflight. At the end of the day, we give them all a certificate for an introductory flight after parent's permission, have never had even one scout contact any of us for a ride. Pretty disheartening, and next February will probably be my last shot. You can lead a horse to water. . .

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Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:23 pm
Location: Seattle (KBFI/KRNT)

Re: Aviation Merit Badge

Postby isnoop » Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:10 pm

Thanks for the info. I've just completed my MBC registration and will soon be officially sanctioned. As I recall, the local councils aren't always the most organized when it comes to keeping up-to-date info and disseminating information on who is qualified for certain badges. Despite that info being available, it sounds like the search for knowledgeable badge counselors really is still very much word-of-mouth.

I have a few connections to some local troops and there are several dozen in my area. I'm hopeful to have at least a few interested groups of kids, even if I have to call the scoutmasters myself. :D I'm happy to be aggressive to get some kids exposed to aviation. I had an interest in aviation at that age and would probably have started flying a decade earlier if I'd had this type of opportunity.

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Re: Aviation Merit Badge

Postby TheChartLady » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:27 pm

My 99s chapter does a workshop for Girl Scouts (so far annually) to earn aviation related badges.

That has worked well for us. Our workshop is organized by one of our members and rest of us (along with a couple of EAA chapters) pitch in to help out.

The local council has recently opened it up to multiple counties instead just the one around the sponsoring airport. We get between 40-60 girls at each session.
Not mention that it's GREAT fun and good to see the girls getting all excited about airplanes. Many of them seem impressed that all the women present are all pilots themselves.

Building aviation, one Scout at a time.

The Chart Lady --

Jan Squillace
"Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape".

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Re: Aviation Merit Badge

Postby Jimwrey » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:04 am

I have been teaching Aviation Merit Badge about every other year at our local troop and a few years back got involved with "Merit Badge University" at University of Texas ... similar programs at other universities around the country. The Aviation MB class is taught at least a couple of times during the day long event.

If you get a chance to help out or teach a class it is a lot of fun. Other similar topic is Space Exploration MB.
Jim Wreyford
AirCam #40 and Cub Coupe J-4A 1939
Marble Falls, Texas

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