OC Boy Scouts earn Soil & Water Conservation badge
OC Boy Scouts earn Soil & Water Conservation badge

Orange County Boy Scouts earn Soil & Water Conservation merit badge at OC water agency

The board of directors of the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) voted earlier this year to become a merit badge sponsor for Orange County Boy Scouts pursing their merit badge in Soil & Water Conservation. A clinic held last Saturday saw the first group of nearly 70 Scouts complete the workshop hosted by El Toro Water District (ETWD) and MWDOC.

The clinic was held at ETWD’s water-recycling plant in Laguna Woods. Robert Hill, ETWD general manager, welcomed the Scouts and provided an overview of how water travels hundreds of miles through either the Colorado River Aqueduct of the State Water Project to arrive at south Orange County homes for use. Hills stressed the importance of efficient water use or recycling water for reuse.

ETWD Director Frederick J. Adjarian also addressed the Scouts. Adjarian, who earned his Eagle Scout Badge as a teen, stressed the importance of the Scout motto, “Be Prepared,” a concept which has guided him through his career in the water industry.

MWDOC Principal Engineer Charles Busslinger instructed the Scouts on water principles before touring the ETWD water recycling plant. In conclusion, the Scouts wrote essays demonstrating their newly acquired water knowledge.

The clinic was the first of three planned Merit Badge workshops scheduled in Orange County. MWDOC and other local water agencies hope more of the county’s 8,000 eligible Scouts will opt to earn the badge thereby better understanding the challenges of delivering clean water to consumers and increasing their knowledge of water conservation. The badge helps tomorrow’s consumers and leaders better understand the “new normal” of water conservation during California’s extended drought.

Requirements of the Merit Badge include instruction on the hydrologic cycle, water conservation practices and runoff and watersheds. A visit to a water-treatment or wastewater plant are also required. The four-hour workshops are led by water district staff and agency volunteers.

Scouts are required to earn 21 badge to earn the Boy Scouts highest honor, the Eagle Scout award. Whereas the Feb. 11 Soil & Water Conservation merit badge clinic is filled the April 1 workshop at Irvine Ranch Water District is open for registration. Registration is available at: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3165150/Boy-Scout-Sign-Up-Form. The clinics are open to all Orange County Boy Scouts.

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