Boy Scouts come to Mines for Mining in Society merit badge

On Oct. 22, 45 Boy Scouts from various troops in the Denver Area Council came to Mines to learn about economic minerals, mine safety, environmental stewardship and the mining industry in Colorado. 

Boy Scouts working to earn their Mining in Society merit badges with SME at Mines.

The event was led by the Mines student chapter of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME), in conjunction with local members of the Minerals Education Coalition.
“The Boy Scouts and Mines have been doing this for several years,” said Evan McCombs, campus relations chair for Mines' SME chapter. “This was the largest class of scouts taking the Mining in Society merit badge class from an SME student chapter ever in the U.S.” 
Nearly a dozen SME members volunteered to teach scouts about the history of mining and why it remains important today, as well as the future of the industry. The day included a trip to Mines’ Geology Museum, where the scouts saw minerals from many of the mining districts in Colorado, as well as gems from around the world.
To give the scouts an even more hands-on experience, SME brought them to the Edgar Experimental Mine in Idaho Springs the following weekend. The boys were given the opportunity to see all the elements of a working mine and discover how mining has developed from the 1860s to today. 
After two exciting weekends of immersive learning, the merit badges awarded to the scouts were certainly well deserved. 
SME expects to see the number of scouts double at next year’s event, and is also considering offering another merit badge class in the spring, depending on the demand. 
“Colorado’s rich mining history is simply fascinating to these youngsters,” said McCombs, “just as it is to the students of SME.” 
Story and photos courtesy of Evan McCombs, Mining Engineering Class of 2018; edited by Agata Bogucka and Mark Ramirez.
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Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 |

Mark Ramirez, Communications Manager, College of Applied Science & Engineering | 303-384-2622 |


About Mines
Colorado School of Mines is a public R1 research university focused on applied science and engineering, producing the talent, knowledge and innovations to serve industry and benefit society – all to create a more prosperous future.