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VISTA supports the Mining in Society merit badge


VISTA Training applauds and supports the recent launch of the Mining in Society Merit Badge by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) and the Boy Scouts of America. This worthwhile workforce development initiative will hopefully attract young people to consider a career in mining as the industry faces a growing labor shortage. To earn this badge, Boy Scouts will be exposed to numerous facets of the mining industry, including the ways in which mined materials are used, common equipment and technology used in mining, safety equipment and practices used to protect workers and much more. According to the Minerals Education Coalition (MEC), which is operated by SME, "the badge focuses on the importance of mining in our everyday lives and introduces Scouts to the components of mining and careers in mining." MEC’s mission is to develop and deliver accurate and timely K-12 education materials and activities and conduct public awareness outreach about mining and minerals. The requirements for earning the Mining in Society merit badge include a variety of activities designed to educate Scouts about modern mining:

  1. Discussing with a merit badge counselor the potential hazards a miner may encounter at an active mine and the protective measures used by miners.

  2. Taking a virtual tour of several mines, a mining or mineral exhibit at a museum or an active mine, if possible.

  3. Learning about the environmental impact of mines and best practices for remediation.

  4. Meeting with a worker in the mining industry to discuss the work, equipment and technology used in this individual’s position, and learning about a current project.

  5. Learning about the education, training, and experience required for three career opportunities in the mining industry.Click here to read a full list of the badge requirements. "I applaud SME and the Boy Scouts of America for creating this rich set of opportunities for young people to learn about the mining industry," says Bruce Rabe, CEO of VISTA. "Hopefully, it will make an impact on them as they decide what industry to work in. I’m also pleased to see that the merit badge requirements include an element of mine safety," he adds.


How can you get involved as a mining professional? SME and the Boy Scouts of America are looking for industry professionals who are willing to share their industry knowledge and experience to become merit badge counselors. You can learn more about becoming a counselor and apply here. You can also support the Mining in Society merit badge by purchasing a baseball cap or donating to the SME Foundation to help fund this project.

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