CRESTVIEW — Guys who think Boy Scouts is all about rubbing two sticks together to make a campfire might change their minds after viewing the Crestview Public Library's new scouting exhibit.
Just as scouting in the United States has evolved over more than a century, scouting activities and merit badges earned for acquiring new skills have evolved as well.
The library lobby exhibit emphasizes programs such as NOVA, which augments school studies in science, technology, engineering and math.
Holt Cub Scout Pack 532 has incorporated the NOVA program into its summer camps for two years, local Boy Scouts Unit Commissioner Rae Schwartz said.
“In Cub Scouts, everything is geared toward the kinds of things they’re doing in school,” Schwartz said. “It supplements what the kids are doing in their grades and makes it fun.”
The exhibit includes more than a dozen merit badge handbooks, giving a sampling of the many projects a scout can undertake.
“There’s 133 merit badges now,” Schwartz said. “No matter what you’re interested in, scouting has something for you.”
In addition to traditional outdoor skills, scouts can earn badges in diverse skills such as rocketry, robotics, astronomy, programming and game design.
The Boy Scouts’ Cyber Chips program lets scouts earn Internet safety patches. Requirements are knowing how to be responsible online and what to do if they encounter an unsafe situation online.
“We know all our boys are using the Internet and we want them to be safe and responsible,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz expressed her appreciation to the library for allowing the local Boy Scout troops and Cub Scout packs to share information about their diverse programs for all boys.
“The great thing about scouting is, whatever your interests, it’s there,” Schwartz said.
A Boy Scouting exhibit will remain at the Crestview Public Library lobby display cases through August. Visit BeAScout.org and enter your ZIP code, or contact Unit Commissioner Rae Schwartz, 585-5672 or firstname.lastname@example.org, for information about local Boy Scout troops and Cub Scout packs