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Kane County Chronicle Features Troop 41 Scouts for Automotive Maintenance Merit Badge

posted Nov 6, 2018, 8:35 AM by Cindy Loo

Troop 41 Scouts had a great experience during the Automotive Maintenance Merit Badge workshop at Waubonsee Community College. Reporter Chris Walker with Shaw Media captured sound bites from Seth C., Nicholas C., Dominic F., and Leader Joe C. And Hayden S. captured the Front Page!  The Kane County Chronicle article is excerpted below.


"Flat tire? These local boys can help!"

Oct. 31, 2018

Scouts from Boy Scout Troops 41 and 53 pair with college mechanics to learn and earn Automotive Merit Badge.

Recent surveys suggest that more than half the population doesn’t know how to change a tire. But quite a few teens in the Sugar Grove area now have that knowledge, thanks to a Scout program and the help of some local college students.

About 20 enthusiastic Boy Scouts earned their automotive maintenance merit badges Oct. 24 at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove.

There they were afforded the opportunity to accompany college students enrolled in the Mopar Career Automotive Program (CAP) in checking under the hood, checking tire pressure, making sure fluids were properly filled, and seeing for themselves firsthand how technologically advanced today’s motor vehicles have become.

For 14-year-old Scout Seth C., the evening included his first tire change.

“That was the first time I learned how to do that and it was easier than I thought it would be,” he said.

Seth is less than two years away from potentially getting his driver’s license, and while he acknowledged he’s not really into cars, he knows he’ll be driving soon, so it’s good to learn as much as he can about cars and maintenance and safety.

“I really did enjoy this,” he said. “I learned a lot.”

Joe C.said his 13-year-old son, Nick, enjoyed the experience, as well.

“He got to use the air tools, which is always a motivator, and the impact gun, which makes a noise,” Joe C. said. “They lifted the whole car so they were able to walk underneath it. They learned about the colors as far as fluids go, and what they are, where they go and what they’re for, and learned everything about having a flat tire and knowing how to fix it so they don’t have to worry about calling a friend or a tow.”

While the Scouts gained a better understanding of automobiles, including general maintenance, safety and registration, they also were required to find out about career opportunities in the automotive industry in order to earn their merit badges.

Dominic F., a 14-year-old Scout from Sugar Grove, really liked the event. Dominic, who intends to pursue engineering, recognized a lot of similarities with his interests and the automotive industry.

“I’m not sure what was most interesting, but it was probably figuring out how to change the oil and transmission fluid and stuff like that,” Dominic said. “I’ve actually thought about becoming an engineer or something like that, so the first college I’d be going to would be Waubonsee. I’m definitely thinking of taking that type of class.”

Attendees were able to learn a lot in a short amount of time by spending time with some of the 120 students in the CAP program at Waubonsee, which began a partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles last year.

“I got a chance to talk to some of the college kids in the program, which was cool,” Dominic said. “I found out you don’t really need a partner when you lift a car to do work or someone to supervise you.”

FCA estimates about 5,500 auto technicians will be needed in the next two years to fill open positions and the number will increase to 780,000 by 2024.