College of the Canyons has been named the Community Organization of the Year by the Boy Scouts of America Western Los Angeles County Council (WLACC).
The award was presented during the annual WLACC “Bill Hart District” Recognition Dinner in Saugus on March 3. The event operated under the theme “STEM Trek … The Next Generation in Scouting.”
College faculty members Tim Baber, chair of the welding technology department, and Regina Blasberg, chair of the engineering technologies department, were presented with awards. Dr. Ron McFarland, dean of the School of Applied Technologies, was also in attendance.
The annual recognition dinner honors volunteer leaders from throughout the community for their dedicated efforts in supporting and bringing scouting to local youth.
Baber and Blasberg were both recognized as part of the Boy Scouts of America’s NOVA program, which incorporates learning with hands-on activities while introducing elements of science, technology, engineering and mathematics for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers.
The hope is that the NOVA program will stimulate scouts’ interest in STEM-related fields and show how science, technology, engineering and mathematics apply to everyday living and the world around them.
College of the Canyons has routinely hosted scout groups from across the Santa Clarita Valley for on-campus ‘merit badge’ day events.
Faculty members from the college’s welding technology department regularly host “Welding Merit Badge” events designed to introduce participating scouts to the world of welding, with college partner Lincoln Electric also stepping in to help provide access to the tools, equipment, materials and training needed for scouts to earn their merit badges.
“It has been such a remarkable to see local scouts experience welding for the first time,” said Baber. “We have even had some of the scouts from our first merit badge return to campus years later as COC welding students.
“I want to thank the Boy Scouts of America for their continued support of the welding technology program, and our partners at Lincoln Electric which have enabled us to continue offering these merit badge events,” Baber continued.
In December, faculty members from the college’s land surveying department hosted a similar experience for scouts looking to obtain their ‘Surveying Merit Badge.’ The event was so popular that a follow up event has been scheduled for later this semester.
“I am deeply honored to receive this award and look forward to future merit badge events, as well as other opportunities to work with both dedicated scouts and surveyors,” said Blasberg. “As a faculty member, it’s always rewarding to see students engaged and excited about land surveying.”