March 09, 2015
On Saturday, February 28, Hampden-Sydney College hosted Boy Scouts from across Central Virginia for its annual Merit Badge College Weekend.
This event is coordinated by Randy Reed '82, Major Gifts Officer for Institutional Advancement. Reed is an Eagle Scout and a current leader of a local Boy Scout Troop.
The idea originated with the College President, Dr. Christopher Howard. He became aware of the large number of Eagle Scouts in the Hampden-Sydney student body who were willing to help young Scouts work towards earning their Eagle award.
Over the years, the College has offered training in the following merit badges: American Business; American Heritage; Astronomy; Citizenship in the Nation; Citizenship in the World; Chemistry; Crime Prevention; Dentistry; Digital Technology; Electricity; Electronics; Fire Safety; Forestry; Genealogy; Law; Photography; Salesmanship; Scouting Heritage; Sports and Weather.
These badges are taught by students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the Farmville community. Students in the Alpha Chi Sigma Fraternity teach the Chemistry, Electronics and Astronomy merit badges while brothers of the Chi Phi Fraternity help with registration and check-in and act as guides throughout the day.
According to Reed, "The most rewarding part of the event is hearing the positive comments from Scouts and leaders who are visiting Hampden-Sydney for the first time. They comment on the beauty of our campus, how attentive our professors are and how gentlemanly our students are." He goes on to say that a parent admitted that, "We didn't know anything about Hampden-Sydney before today, but now, when it comes time for our son to look at colleges, it will definitely be on our radar."
Approximately 250-300 Boy Scouts from the Heart of Virginia Council attend this annual event.