Mining merit badge announced for Boy Scouts

Posted on July 23, 2013 by Minerals Make Life

Since its inception in 1910, The Boy Scouts of America has awarded more than 110 million youngsters with 115 million merit badges in topics ranging from first aid to American business. With more than 130 different types of merit badges, Scouts are encouraged to follow their passions and learn more about the world around them. Now, thanks to the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME), Scouts will soon be able to earn a new badge for mining:

“The ‘Mining in Society’ Merit Badge will focus on the importance of mining and its key components of exploration, permitting, extraction, processing, production, safety and reclamation.”

SME’s Executive Director David L. Kanagy said, “This project has become a mission of many of our members and industry partners. We are thrilled with the opportunity to turn this dream into a reality.” After nearly a decade of advocacy, SME can now move forward to develop factual and comprehensive program instructions to educate Scouts on the mining industry.

With the unemployment rate still at such high levels, it is important to expose our youth to different economic and career opportunities. As older workers retire over the next five to 10 years, an estimated 55,000 new workers (including coal miners) will be needed. A job in U.S. minerals mining is one of the highest paying jobs of any industrial category, with the average salary registering more than $70,000 a year, and oftentimes climbing above $100,000 for experienced workers.

In 2008, U.S. mining supported nearly 1.1 million jobs, contributed $189 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product and paid $45 billion in federal, state and local taxes. Learn more about the economic benefits of minerals mining.

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