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PA Anthracite SME/Boy Scouts Mining in Society Merit Badge course, King's College, Wilkes-Barre, PA

The Pennsylvania Anthracite Section Society for Mining Engineers conducted a course and display for the Boy Scouts of America “Mining in Society” Merit Badge at a Merit Badge College sponsored by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Council BSA at King’s College, Wilkes Barre, on January 10, 2015. More than 300 Scouts worked on some 30 merit badges during the day. The Mining in Society session was also part of the Mining History Week observance in Northeast PA.

The course was organized by Brian Traweek, P.E., member SME and Troop 255 Scoutmaster, of Kaufman Engineering, Inc., Olyphant PA. Walt Kaufman, John Podgurski, Randy Wallett, and Mike Korb of the PA-Anthracite Section SME, Jerry Price and Chad Drzewiecki of Kaufman Engineering, Bob Antion of Metso Minerals, Scott Wolfgang of PA Department of Environmental Protection Anthracite Mine Rescue, Lewis Graver of the Lackawanna Tourist Mine, and Brian’s 10-year-old son David Instructed the course and ran the display. John Podgurski, the Lackawanna Tourist Mine, Jeddo Coal, Reading Anthracite, Stoudt’s Ferry Preparation, Blaschak Coal, Cleveland Brothers, Caterpillar Inc., Metso Minerals, EarthRes, Lehigh Engineering, Kaufman Engineering, PA DCNR Geologic Survey, PA DEP Active and Abandoned Mine Operations Pottsville and Wilkes Barre offices, Minerals Education Coalition, and the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, Inc. contributed to the course and display.

Although we only had five Scouts (Matthew Dovidas, Matthew Trotter, Peter Shay, Sebastian Aparicio, Sebastian Shaffer) working on the Mining in Society badge, because it was the first year for the mining badge we were allowed to have a display, which attracted a lot of attention from the other Scouts, and used the handouts our contributors gave us to recruit for “next year”. Hopefully next year will be warmer than the 5°F, -15° windchill day that we were presented with Saturday. Like Jerry Price said “Brian really owes us one for this!” but the Scouts toured the PA Anthracite Mine Rescue truck like it was a spring day. Bob Antion received the prize for coming the farthest distance (from Morgantown WV), and David Traweek got the prize for youngest instructor (although I think I’m still going to have a problem playing Minecraft).