Troop 419 Partners with BMW Club for Merit Badge Day

On the morning of Saturday, February 20, 24 Scouts from Troop 419 (Skyloo District) descended on Tyler’s Automotive in Tigard.  Over the next eight hours, these Scouts would receive 6.5 hours of instruction in pursuit of the Automotive Maintenance Merit Badge.  Troop 419 partnered with the Oregon Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America (BMW CCA, http://bmworegoncca.org/) to instruct the Scouts on all things automotive.  

The teaching was divided into 6 instruction stations, with each station teaching a different set of topics.  Each station had a instructors from the BMW CCA and a merit badge counselor from Troop 419.  The Scouts divided into patrols, with each patrol starting at a different station.  Over the course of the day, the patrols each rotated through all six stations, getting merit badge requirements signed off as they progressed.  Instruction included a variety of topics ranging from checking fluids and changing tires to brakes, ignition and oil changes.

Tyler Ellensen is the owner of Tyler’s automotive and helped instruct at the merit badge event. Tyler has hosted similar Automotive Maintenance merit badge events twice before and is a former Assistant Scoutmaster (Troop 423, Tigard). His two sons (Trever and Tanner) are Eagle Scouts and also helped at the merit badge event.

Assistant Scoutmaster Larry Morris said of the event: “I've never seen our boys as focused or interested in working on a Merit Badge.”  Drew Lagravinese is a BMW CCA member and former Assistant Scoutmaster.  He said concerning his interests in BSA and BMWs, that it was “fun to be able to mix the two together for a day and see how well one meshes with the other.”

By the end of the day, 864 merit badge requirements were signed off and 15 merit badges were completed.  A few Scouts missed part of the instruction because of schedule conflicts, but follow up sessions over the next few weeks allowed them to complete the merit badge.

If you would like information about how to organize an one day Automotive Maintenance Merit Badge event for your troop, please contact Dan Sides at drsides@gmail.com.  Dan Sides is an Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 419 and was the organizer for this event.