A Frustrated Parent Asks: “What have you done to my son?”

On November 22nd, 2014, the Old North State Council held its second STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Merit Badge College.  Over 350 Scouts and leaders from the Old North State Council came together at the STEM Early College at NC A&T State University to work on several STEM-related merit badges and adult training. Scouts completed merit badges in Game Design, Nuclear Science, Robotics, Programming, and many others.

Below is a letter from a parent of a scout that attended the Merit Badge College…

Dear Colin,

I am contacting you today to vent my frustration with the STEM merit badge college that took place on Saturday.  First of all, when I picked my son up, I was expecting a little peace and quiet in the car, but noooooooo… he talked incessantly about this circuit board he made all by himself during his electronics merit badge class.  What are you teaching these guys???  Don’t you know this stuff will make our kids intelligent???    I suspect it may even be habit forming.  The evidence:   As if I didn’t have enough to do on Saturday evening, my kid begged me on the way home to take him all the way to Radio Shack to see if he could find another circuit board project to build.  Yep, this is all your fault and I am holding you responsible.  So, I had to drive all the way across town, in hopes of finding more electrical gadgets to try to get my boy to settle down.

Fortunately, Radio Shack had a few project kits in stock because I have no idea what I would have done if they didn’t.  I was shocked to learn that in order to assemble the project, he needed to purchase a soldering iron and other tools.   Now my son is pretty frugal, and I know he’s been saving his money to buy something really important like an X-Box.  But, can you believe that he dumped a big chunk of his savings into some electrical tools?  What kind of financial decision was that?    Then, when we finally got home, I had to sit with him for a couple hours in amazement while he assembled some sort of noise-making gadget and had to withstand the spouting-out of such words as “resistor, integrated circuit and capacitor”.  

 Well Sir, I hope you and all of the folks who were responsible for putting together this event are happy now with what you have intentionally done to my dear son.    There’s just two words I have for you all….THANK YOU ! 


Derek Green


A special thanks goes to Randy Koons for teaching the Electronics merit badge and obviously having an incredible impact on his Scouts!

We are very excited about the future of our STEM program.  STEM Executive, Colin Lemon is passionate about its success and is dedicated to promoting the STEM initiative.  We have partnered with Emerging Technologies, NC A&T State University and Guilford County Schools and are thankful for their support in helping to expand the STEM program in our council.

For more information about the Old North State Council STEM Program, visit our web site at http://www.bsaonsc.org/STEM.html or contact Colin Lemon at colin.lemon@scouting.org.


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