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Boy Scouts of America Launches Mining in Society Merit Badge

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SOURCE Boy Scouts of America

Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration hosts official merit badge launch events at its annual meeting

DALLAS and SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) launches the Mining in Society merit badge, the latest in a series of merit badges focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics. The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME), which was instrumental in the development of the Mining in Society merit badge, is holding a number of special launch events at its annual meeting in Salt Lake City, Feb. 23–26, 2014.

Mining is highly important in society. From communications, transportation, power, construction, agriculture, and medicine to education, entertainment, and recreation, nearly every aspect of society relies on mining. The materials found within a host of widely used items (or found in the machines used to produce those items) come from a mine.

"Whether it's the source of the metal in a Dutch oven or the key components in a smartphone, mining affects Scouts both in their Scouting activities and in their everyday lives, making this Mining in Society merit badge a great way for Scouts to gain a better understanding of some of the key building blocks of commonly used items," said Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock. "There are some important STEM lessons to be learned through earning this badge, and that focus may lead some Scouts to develop an even greater interest in the vastly important fields of science, technology, engineering, and math."    

"By providing a factual and comprehensive program of instruction, the Mining in Society merit badge ensures that, for years to come, members of the next generation will be introduced to the importance of mining and minerals in their daily lives and have the opportunity to learn about careers in the industry," said John Murphy, SME past president and chair of the SME Merit Badge Advisory Panel.

The BSA selected SME to lead the development of the new Mining in Society merit badge because of the dedication and expertise of SME's members. The SME Merit Badge Content Development Team and Advisory Panel worked diligently with the Boy Scouts of America to create a fun, compelling badge program that would focus on mining's key components of exploration, permitting, excavation, processing, production, safety, and reclamation. 

Mining in Society merit badge launch activities at the SME annual meeting include the following:

SME Foundation Gala Dinner (Sunday, Feb. 23, 6–11 p.m., Ticket Event, Marriott Downtown Hotel)
SME volunteers who developed the badge and attended the 2013 National Scout Jamboree will be recognized.

Keynote Session (Monday, Feb. 24, 8:30–9 a.m., Salt Palace Convention Center)
Scouts will lead a flag ceremony, SME volunteers who developed the badge and attended the 2013 National Scout Jamboree will be recognized, and a video featuring Mining in Society badge expectations will be shown.

Mining in Society Merit Badge Counselor Training (Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2–4 p.m., Salt Palace Convention Center)
With the launch of the Mining in Society merit badge at this SME annual meeting, it is now imperative that informed and committed individuals volunteer to serve as counselors to assist Boy Scouts in earning the badge. This session will cover the topics of: 1) Mining in Society merit badge requirements; 2) Understanding the merit badge pamphlet and resources; 3) Facilitating Scouts earning the badge; and 4) How to become a merit badge counselor.

SME Awards Dinner (Wednesday, Feb. 26, 6:30–9 p.m., Ticket Event, Marriott Downtown Hotel)
The first Mining in Society merit badges will be awarded to Salt Lake City area Scouts and the SME Presidential Citation will be presented to John Murphy, Stan Krukowski, and Bob Pruett for their Mining in Society merit badge leadership.

Sunday through Wednesday (Feb. 23–26, Salt Palace Convention Center)
The Boy Scouts of America will have a booth in the exhibit hall and Mining in Society merit badge baseball caps for sale in the SME Foundation booth and SME bookstore.

For more information on the Mining in Society merit badge, visit www.scouting.org/meritbadges, www.mineralseducationcoalition.org/MiningInSocietyMB, or www.smenet.org/MiningInSocietyMB (site available in early March). Resources for individuals who are interested in serving as a merit badge counselor are available here: www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/GuideforMeritBadgeCounselors/Resources.

About the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be "Prepared. For Life.®" The Scouting organization is composed of 2.5 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and nearly a million volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org.

About the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc.
SME is a professional society (nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation) whose more than 15,000 members represent all professions serving the minerals industry in more than 100 countries. SME members include engineers, geologists, metallurgists, educators, students, and researchers. SME advances the worldwide minerals community through information exchange and professional development. SME exists to be the resource and advocate for the mining community. For further details, see www.smenet.org.

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