Boy Scouts Survey Badge


Boy Scout Badge


Winston-Salem area surveyors helped 10 scouts from Troop 926 earn the Surveying Merit Badge.

Scout leader Paul Nelson says having professional surveyors volunteer to teach the merit badge course was a huge help to the troop and that career-related badges, like the surveying one, help the boys in a number of ways.

“It gives the boys the opportunity to do something that isn't offered very often,” Nelson says. “It gives them nice, broad, well-rounded exposure to options they may have when they grow up. This helps with their rank advancement as well.”

David Whitt of Whitt Land Surveying, Clint Osborne of Allied Associates, David Alley of Cavanaugh & Associates and Sid Autry of Autry-Abernathy helped scouts Brady Artz, Robert Fyfe, Levi Holbein, Chris Nelson, Bill Patton, Jimmy Patton, Mark Patton, William Reid, Grant Spencer and Tyler Stinson earn the special badge.

“I thought offering the surveying merit badge course would be a good opportunity for scouts here,” says Whitt, who also has a son in the Cub Scouts program. “I started talking to local Boy Scout leaders about it and they agreed.”

The course was broken into several sessions to fulfill the badge requirements. First, in the classroom, Whitt and his colleagues gave an overview on surveying careers; discussed first aid and safety; talked about GPS use; and reviewed applicable math, such as how to measure angles and how to measure distances.

In the second session, the boys used modern surveying instruments, including laser total stations, to measure a traverse course the surveyors set up. They then recorded the distances and measurements in their notebooks.

The remaining sessions focused on the boys taking their notes and measurements and drawing little maps of what they surveyed.

In addition to volunteering to teach the course, Whitt and the other members of the Piedmont NCSS chapter donated money to purchase books, protractors, scales and other tools for the scouts to use. Plus, the North Carolina Society of Surveyors and vendors at the surveyors’ annual convention donated items, such as field books, for the boys to use and keep.

Whitt says the Piedmont NCSS Chapter will keep the surveying tools available should other area Boy Scout troops ask them to teach the course.

Nelson says his troop members enjoyed the classes, especially the session for hands-on training.

“It’s good for the boys in general to broaden their perspective in the world,” Nelson says. “It’s something fun to do outside rather than sitting inside hearing someone talk about something.”

WANT to schedule a surveying merit badge course for your troop? Contact Melissa Beard, executive director of the North Carolina Society of Surveyors, by phone at 919-833-9808 or by via the

NCSS Website