Clary & Associates' four-man team served as the required certified merit badge counselors for the scouts from March 19.

Clary & Associates Professional Surveyors and Mappers partnered with members of the Black Creek District of the Boy Scouts of America to teach a group of interested Scouts the requirements of the Surveying Merit Badge.

As required by the Boy Scouts of America, a licensed surveyor must teach the objectives Scouts must achieve in order to earn the Surveying Merit Badge. Clary & Associates¹ four-man team of Kris Knapp (rodman), Matt Jennings (crew chief), Josh Wilkie (instrument man) and Christian Hawes (instrument man) collectively served as the required Certified Merit Badge Counselor for the Scouts from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 19, at the Clay County Fairgrounds.

Incorporated in 1910 and chartered by Congress in 1916, its mission as stated by the Boy Scouts of America is to "prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law." Through its educational program, Scouts have the opportunity for advancement within a ranking system: Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and the renowned Eagle. It is estimated that less than three percent of all Scouts receive the Eagle Scout Award.

While the achievement of each rank becomes increasingly difficult, Scouts also have the opportunity to earn merit badges in more than 120 subjects. Merit badges serve as introductions to specific life skills, career fields, or subjects of interest and fun.

To achieve the most honored and highest rank of Eagle, Scouts must earn 10 merit badges in subjects of their choosing, and earn an additional 11 merit badges in required subjects. The required badges involve subject matter central to the fundamental Scouting values: Camping, Citizenship in the Community; Citizenship in the Nation; Citizenship in the World; Communications, Personal Fitness, Personal Management, First Aid, Emergency Preparedness, Family Life, Swimming, Lifesaving and Environmental Science.

The Surveying Merit Badge (Badge #109) is one of the original badges approved in the early 1900s by the Boy Scouts of America. With the most recent change having occurred last year, requirements for the merit badge are periodically updated to keep pace with the continuous technological advancements applied within the surveying and mapping industry.

Assisting the Scouts in meeting all of the Surveying Merit Badge requirements, the Clary & Associates team gave instruction in the following areas: Computing height and distance, completing a five-sided horizontal traverse, completing a level run through the five-sided traverse (adding elevation to each point), and transferring the field notes to a map. These exercises involved the use and application of automatic levels, robotic total stations, basic geometry and the latest technology available to surveyors today.

As the Certified Merit Badge Counselor, Clary & Associates acquainted with the Scouts a variety of instruments used in land surveying and mapping. The company also imparted the educational and professional requirements of surveyors, as well as information on a multitude of available career opportunities and professional societies.

According to the Kansas Society of Land Surveyors, the Boy Scouts offer eight merit badges relating to professional societies, including: Engineering, Architecture, Geology and Surveying. Several additional merit badges are indirectly tied to surveying, such as orienteering and astronomy.

Source: Clary, April 14, 2005