Zanesville, OH (PRWEB) April 22, 2013
At the Muskingum Valley Scoutfest 2013, 112 boys earned their Reading Merit Badge or Belt Loops as part of the Adventures in Reading, a program to promote literacy and boys reading. The event was sponsored by the Muskingum Valley Boy Scouts in coordination with Galaxy Press, publisher of the Stories from the Golden Age line of adventure, mystery, science fiction, fantasy and western stories written by L. Ron Hubbard.
1,200 Scouts and family members were on hand for Scoutfest 2013 which began Friday, April 19, and involved dozens of activities throughout the Muskingum Valley Fair Grounds to assist Scouts to earn additional badges and recognitions. The closing ceremony took place Saturday night and included a performance of L. Ron Hubbard’s “They Killed Him Dead,” a humorous murder/mystery story featuring Emmy award winning actor, John Mariano (Animaniacs), Noelle North (Gummy Bears, Smurfs), both flown out from Hollywood, CA, and also included local performers Brian Wagner (WHIZ-TV meteorologist in Zanesville) and Neal Oxman from Columbus.
John Goodwin, President Galaxy Press, introduced the performance while providing the background for the publisher’s involvement explaining that the number of Scouts earning their Reading Merit Badge is decreasing at an alarming rate. Between 1911-2011, there were a total of 1,467,440 Reading Merit Badges earned. This is an average of 14,674 per year. In 2011, there were only 5,889 badges earned. This is an urgent matter to be addressed. (Statistics provided by Bill Steele, Director of Alumni Relations and the National Eagle Scout Association, Boy Scouts of America, National Development Office.)
It was with this in mind that Galaxy Press teamed up with the Muskingum Valley Council to launch the Adventures in Reading program to encourage Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts to earn their Reading Merit Badge or Belt Loop.
Ed Mulholland, Executive Director Muskingum Valley Boy Scout Council stated, “The important thing here is that Scouting is a gateway to adventure. Reading is a gateway to adventure. L. Ron Hubbard was a great adventurer, and he attributed his skills, and even his survival of WWII to his Scout training.”
The Reading Merit Badge or Belt Loop involves close coordination with the local library, and coaches to help the boys are very often librarians. One such librarian, Dave Stout from the Muskingum Public Library who works with young readers commented, “We usually have three to four Boy Scout Troops a year and even more Cub Scouts who come to our library to work on their reading merit badge.” It is at the library that Scouts learn how to search for books in the computer and then find them on the shelves, all in addition to then reading several books to fulfill their requirements. Stout continued, “This library thinks this is a priority and looks forward to supporting worthwhile organizations. For young people, we need to meet with them where they are. We are looking for ways to help, especially in elementary and middle school.”
For more information on the Muskingum Valley Council and the Boy Scouts of America, go to http://www.muskingumvalleycouncil.com.
Stories from the Golden Age is a line of 80 books containing over 150 thrilling adventures, science fiction, fantasy, western and mystery stories that are as timely as they are timeless. For more information on Stories from the Golden Age, go to http://www.goldenagestories.com.