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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

Boy Scouts Go Wild for Merit Badges at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge

Region 3, April 25, 2012
Scouts participate in traditional flag raising at event opening at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge.
Scouts participate in traditional flag raising at event opening at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. - Photo Credit: n/a
Scouts try their luck at fishing as part of the Boy Scout Fishing Merit badge.
Scouts try their luck at fishing as part of the Boy Scout Fishing Merit badge. - Photo Credit: n/a

Nearly 130 Boy Scouts and Leaders from across Wisconsin and Minnesota descended on Necedah National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday April 21, 2012 to spend the day focused on working on merit badges on the refuge. The event was the idea of Refuge Manager Doug Staller, who also serves as Assistant Scout Master for Troop 97 in Necedah, Wis.

After taking some scouts to a geology merit badge day at a cave, Staller asked himself, "Why not do this at the Refuge?" Working with Scoutmaster Brian Stewart and the Gateway Area Council, Staller organized and promoted this very successful event. Everyone was pleased with the turnout and with wonderful weather, as the day began with a flag ceremony.

Two classes of scouts worked on their environmental science merit badge, which was an all-day event. This merit badge is sought after by scouts because it is a requirement for Eagle Scouts and not offered often. Scouts who already earned the Enviornmental Science merit badge were welcomed to work on their Fishing of Fish and Wildlife Management merit badges. Kara Zwickey (SCEP student) and Marge Staller (Service volunteer) taught the Fish and Wildlife management session where scouts observed wildlife, made bludebird houses and learned about banding.  

The new visitor center was an excellent setting to teach the environmental science badge since it features alternative energy, water conservation, recycled materials and other elements that the scouts need to learn for the merit badge. Service staff and volunteers taught the sessions and scout leaders were treated to a showing of "Green Fire."

 

By the days close, work was either totally completed or nearly completed on more than 100 merit badges. "It was a great day, "Staller added. "I don't think there's much I would change, we look forward to working with the Council on this event next year."

Contact Info: Doug Staller, 608-565-4400, Doug_Staller@fws.gov