My name is Matthew Christman from Troop 1550B in Leesburg, VA which is part of Goose Creek District, National Capital Area Council. I earned the 50th Anniversary Environmental Protection Agency Award on March 6, 2021.
About the award: To commemorate the Environmental Protection Agency’s 50th anniversary in 2020, the Boy Scouts of America and the EPA created an award that encourages youth in the Scouts BSA program to learn about and protect the environment. The award is a patch and can only be awarded in 2021.
To earn the award scouts must earn the Public Health merit badge and one merit badge from each of three following groups: Animal Study, Outdoor Activity & Earth Sciences. A scout could have earned the merit badges before the award came out but they must do their conservation service project hours in 2021.
There’s a form to fill out with the dates you earned the merit badges and the date you completed your conservation service project. Your Unit Leader signs the form for approval. You take this to a scout shop and they will give you your award patch.
I completed a lot of merit badges before the award came out that I could choose from. Here’s the ones I submitted with my paperwork.
1: Animal Science group: I chose Animal Science- I earned this merit badge in March 2017 at Frying Pan Park in Herndon, VA
2: Outdoor Activity group: I chose Fly Fishing- I did most of the work for this at a merit badge class at The Virginia Wine and Fly-Fishing Festival. My counselor for this was Pete Adams who’s on the BSAs Fishing Committee. I went to Orvis for their Fly Fishing 101 class. I also participated in their Fly Fishing 201 outing and did some fly-fishing. I finished the “catch a fish while fly-fishing” requirement & emailed Mr. Adams a picture of my catch to complete the merit badge in May 2017.
3: Earth Science group: I chose Oceanography- I did this merit badge with Sea Scout Ship 1942 in Alexandria, VA during one of their Sea Scouts Afloat weekends in April 2018.
4: Public Health is a required merit badge that you have to earn to receive this award. I completed this merit badge at the Fairfax County Health Department in January 2018.
For the 6 conservation hours needed for this award: My parents, Jim and Sandra Christman and I met Sara Holtz, who volunteers with Fairfax County Park Authority Invasive Management Area Program at Difficult Run Stream Valley Park on Oakton, VA three different Saturdays to pull Japanese barberry, multi floral rose and wineberry. These are all invasive species that grow and kill off native species. Removing these will help native species start to grow again which will help wildlife return to an area as well.