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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Now its Getting Fun!

Too many of these merit badge classes seem like school. It's not that I mind learning something, but what I want is to DO something. I hate riding in a car, but a RAZR on the mountainside is great. At Disneyland I never want to see the shows; I'd rather be on a ride. Reading is o.k. but playing an X-Box is what it's all about. I think you understand what I'm getting at. I'm in the middle of working on several merit badges currently, most of which require a lot of quiet work but on Saturday I finished 2 that were great.

MB#3 - Rifle Shooting

The first was the Rifle Shooting Merit Badge. Dad signed me up for this one over a month ago and I thought it would never get here. It was at the Orem Rec Center indoor firing range. The counselor runs the range and shoots competitively. He talked to us for about an hour about gun safety and rules and then we got to go on the range and shoot. We were firing from a prone (lying-down) position with the barrel of our guns resting on sand bags. The targets were fifty feet away. Our objective was to have groupings of three shots in an area no larger than a quarter. After firing fifty rounds I was getting pretty discouraged. My shots were close together (at least I thought so anyway) but were still in a spread about the size of a baseball. One of my shots blew off the paper clip that was holding the target in place. Other boys were finishing by just firing a minimum of shots. The instructor said that only one boy in the last 10 years had not been able to get the merit badge on the first attempt. I thought I was going to be second. Then I noticed that the boys who were doing it were using semi-automatic .22's with scopes. I went out and took a break (there were only 4 lanes for 17 boys) and took the written test. When I went back in I asked the instructor if I could use his gun. BANG! BANG! BANG! My first grouping was very small. Two bullets even overlapped each other. I continued firing until I had the exact number of groupings on the paper and I didn't take any extra shots. It was a good lesson to learn. Make sure you have a good scope when getting this merit badge.
Me. Sniping the Black Dot on the Paper.

MB#4 - Carpentry

The other MB was Carpentry. I started this one on Friday and finished on Saturday. I found a website that had plans for a "milking stool." My dad, who is the counselor for this one, wouldn't let me use his power tools for this one. He said there were no Skil Saws 100 years ago and I would have to make my project like they did then...with good old fashion hand tools. So, I wanted something I could build that wouldn't be impossible. Even though we don't have a cow, mom said that the milking stool would be helpful in the bathroom for my little sister. That way she could brush her teeth without getting toothpaste everywhere. I simplified the plans and made it with a saw, hammer, nail, screwdriver, screws, sandpaper and plane. My dad built one too at the same time but he cheated. He used his Skil Saw, Brad Nailer, Electric Drill, and Electric sander. He said it was so he could show me what it was supposed to look like but I think he was just trying to show me how much better off we are now than 100 years ago. One really funny thing happened while I was staining my stool. My sister, Savannah (13),  came out to see my handiwork. She said, "What the...." and when I looked up she had stain dots all over her face, clothes, and arms. I must have flipped the brush when I was coming off the edge. It washed off her face so in the end she wasn't too mad with me.
In The Process

The Finished Product

All I Need is a Cow