Spend the summer learning, not lounging: HMNS Ecoteen & Scout talks competitive edge and making science social

Some kids think of summer as a time to take a brain break. But for campers and young volunteers at HMNS, it’s an opportunity to keep learning, make new friends and edge past the couch potatoes.

Nick Schaupp‘s involvement with HMNS — both as a camper and later as an Ecoteen — began three summers ago. While spending a summer learning instead of lounging around might seem nerdy to some, Nick says he was surprised by the social aspect of being an HMNS Scout.

“I thought it might be a little boring or bland, but there was a lot of social interaction,” he says, with field trips and plenty of opportunity to goof off with new friends and fellow Scouts. Nick says that within three days, he’d forged new friendships that he could tell from the start would outlast the summer.

In addition to providing an outlet to meet and hang out with like-minded, accomplished young people, HMNS’ Scouts program helped Nick accelerate his progress toward becoming an Eagle Scout; he arrived at his first Scout meeting after that first summer with a stack of merit badges when most kids had only tans to show for their summer.

And after being asked to ramp up his volunteering as an Ecoteen, Nick found that many of his friends were envious of his summer job. “They think it’s cool working at a museum,” Nick says. “Definitely cooler than flipping burgers or lotioning up as a lifeguard.”

Now looking forward to the next challenge, Nick says his experience at HMNS has given him an edge when it comes to college applications. “I know what it’s like to work hard, and being an Ecoteen has helped with interviews.”

Follow Nick’s lead and make the most of your summer as an Ecoteen or Scout! Learn more at hmns.org.

Get your wings with Your Community and Heritage, a new Eagle-required badge available this summer!

After the rip-roaring success of our Spring Break series, we’re offering Summer Scouts a new Eagle-required badge as one half of a week-long class: Your Community and Heritage. In just one five-day course, Scouts will have the opportunity to earn both the Citizenship in the Community badge and the American Heritage badge.

Citizenship in the Community explores how the local community works to provide services for its residents. Participants will talk to a government representative to learn how city services are provided, learn about community organizations and ride the light rail downtown and visit a court session.

In earning the American Heritage Badge, Scouts will research their family’s history and their community and explore how our Nation’s past has led to its present.

Boy Scouts - Chemistry Merit BadgeIt’s going to be a big summer at HMNS for Scouts: Scouts can earn up to four Eagle-required badges at HMNS Main and up to three at HMNS at Sugar Land, in addition to an array of other badges.

But it’s not all Boy Scout-centric! We’ve also got Webelos Super Science for the younger set and a brand new summer summer edition or Careers in Science for the Girl Scouts.

To learn more, view a full schedule and register for classes, click here!

Make the most of your Spring Break by earning badges at Eagle Week! Be a triple threat March 11 through 13

Some people might lounge away their Spring Break on a deck chair or — worse — in front of the television. But not you. You’re a doer, not a sitter. You take life standing up, not splayed out on the sofa! Let the other kiddies waste their week; you’re soaring to Eagle Week at the Houston Museum of Natural Science!

don't be a couch cat

Trade in those two-summers-old swim trunks in favor of a crisp Boy Scout uniform and show the world you mean business by earning Eagle-required badges like Citizenship in the Nation and Environmental Science.

Classes are from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday, March 11 through Wednesday, March 13. To register, instruct your parent to click here and review the attached documents. Classes are selling out, so don’t dally! We know you won’t.

Scout out the George Observatory on February 2: Cub Scouts earn Astronomy Belt Loop and Pins in one day!

What are your Scouts doing next weekend? We have an idea!

Bring your Cub Scouts out to The George Observatory on Saturday, February 2 to earn their Astronomy Belt Loop and Pins in a single day.

Hands-on activities taught by staff astronomers help Scouts enjoy completing their requirements, which include: learning how to focus and diagram a simple telescope, making and using a star map, and interviewing an astronomer.

Scouts will also get a tour of our large research telescope, in addition to learning astronomy concepts in the Discovery Dome portable planetarium.

Can’t make the February date? Don’t fret; we’ve got another day for Scouts coming up on April 20. Space is limited, so reserve your tickets in advance by clicking here.

New Scouts class Feb. 2 at The George!

What: Astronomy Belt Loop & Pin at The George Observatory
When: Saturday, February 2 from 1 to 3 p.m.
Where: The George Observatory; 21901 FM 762, Needville, TX, 77461
How Much: $15 per Scout + standard $7 park entrance fee for everyone over 12 years old.

Stay awhile and explore beautiful Brazos Bend State Park with a picnic after class. Tickets to view the night sky through our telescopes — weather permitting — go on sale at 5 p.m. For more information on The George Observatory and Brazos Bend State Park, click here.