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Surveying Merit Badge for Boy Scouts

Wednesday, January 8, 2020   (6 Comments)
Posted by: Angela Navarro
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Recently, TSPS was contacted by the father of a Houston-area boy scout who was interested in obtaining all his merit badges, however the boy scout was having a difficult time finding assistance in assembling a Surveying Merit Badge class to help fulfill the requirements needed. TSPS reached out to Heather Sides and she approached Cameron Lowe, RPLS, PLS, the Director of Texas Young Surveyors, and Chuck Jurica RPLS, PLS, PS a former Boy Scout and the father of a Webelo Scout.

Chuck Jurica reported back with the following: 

"I reviewed the tasks required to fulfill the Merit Badge which included:

  • First Aid and different types of injuries that may occur while surveying
  • Find and marking the corners of a five sided figure, including setting up an instrument and recoding angles and distances.
  • Draw a scale map of the survey
  • Write a metes and bounds description
  • Use on of your found corners as a benchmark, assume an elevation and determine the elevations of the other corners
  • Pull a deed of a piece of property
  • Discuss GPS
  • Discuss the importance of surveying and the various types of surveying and mapping

Cameron and I decided a park in Pearland would be a good place to hold our class. We arrived at the job site early to lay out the property corners for the Scouts to find and used 5-3" hub and tack hammered in the ground.

When the scouts arrived, we had them flag up five laths, then look for the hubs and hammer the lath in place once found. Once we assigned numbers to each corner, Cameron went thru the proper technique of setting up a tripod and total station. After breaking the gun down, we had a scout set up the legs and gun over our first point, the other scout ran the rod so we could turn angles and shoot distances. The scouts took turns breaking the gun down, setting it up, turning angles, shooting distances and running the rod.

The scouts were also required to locate some features using angles and distances, we used a tree and fence line that were nearby.

Once we ran our traverse, we had the scouts takes turns running levels thru the corners. Cameron showed them how to set up the level and the proper way to keep level notes.

After the field work was completed, we used the notes and sketches the scouts recorded and completed a scaled map and wrote a metes and bounds description.

With the field portion completed, we had a good discussion with the scouts covering the different types of first-aid challenges surveyors come across in the field and how to deal with them. We covered items ranging from sunburns to snake bites.

We also discussed the exciting new technology (from drones to sonar) that is being introduced to the industry. We also discussed when and where it is a good place to use GPS.

Cameron and I also talked about the different kinds of land surveying we do daily and some of the projects we were currently working. We also expressed what a rewarding career we have in the surveying industry and the need for young people.

Cameron and I both left feeling like we opened some young minds to the possibility of surveying as a future career."

Thank you to Cameron and Chuck for all their hard work and for taking the time to volunteer and help the Boy Scouts earn their merit badges! 









L. A. Thompson says...
Posted Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Excellent work Cameron and Chuck. You have planted seeds that will be remembered longer than you think. The Surveying Merit Badge has been around a long time and deserves to be perpetuated and who better than our younger surveyors. These Scouts can identify with them much easier. You are to be commended for your efforts. Keep up the good work! Keep being "Surveyor Strong and Surveyor Proud"
Cameron S. Lowe says...
Posted Thursday, January 23, 2020
I had a blast doing this. Looking forward to the next opportunity!
Christopher R. Freeman says...
Posted Thursday, January 16, 2020
Thanks Cameron and Chuck for taking time to assist the Scouts with their goal to earn their Merit Badge and at the same time educating them about the surveying profession, field procedures, and technologies. Having been involved for many years in similar opportunities, I can't tell you how satisfying it can be spending time with Scouts and opening a window for them into our world. This is an easy outreach opportunity that all Chapters should exploit, and having several volunteers make it easier to complete. There is a Merit Badge activity in the Dallas area currently being planned for late February.
Kevin Roos says...
Posted Wednesday, January 15, 2020
great work Cameron and Chuck. I was contacted on Friday, Dec. 27th (2019) and asked if I could help that weekend with equipment and volunteers to teach the Surveying merit badge to 15 Scouts at their Winter Scout Camp at Bovay Scout Ranch. I was worried that I could not teach very much of the requirements in only one or two days, but my Senior Survey Tech, Kevin Roos and myself spent all day that Sunday and got through all of the fieldwork. They had great, knowledgeable volunteers to teach the drafting and calculations portion. It was very rewarding to expose a great group of boys and girls to our profession and I volunteered to be called back next time. Previously, in 2009, I had been a merit badge counselor for my son's troop and only one scout took me up on the Surveying merit badge. It was not really my son's choosing, to get this non-required, difficult merit badge, but I told him that he needed to learn more about what Dad does for living :) Henry Mayo, RPLS
Jose A. Pedraza says...
Posted Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Awesome! Keep it up!
Connor G. Brown says...
Posted Wednesday, January 8, 2020
Great job Cameron and Chuck!

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