Scouting out water education at Stroud

For many young people, slogging around a streambed can offer a great opportunity to experience the delightful muddiness of nature and even learn about the importance of clean water. Now, it can also produce a badge of honor.

Members of Brownie Troop work on planting trees in the streamside forest buffer near the education wing of the Stroud Water Research Center.

Members of Brownie Troop work on planting trees in the streamside forest buffer at the Stroud Water Research Center.

On Saturday, April 30, members of Brownie Troop No. 4070 completed their Wonders of Water Journey badges at the Stroud Water Research Center for the first time. At the Avondale property, which includes a branch of the White Clay Creek, scientists have been working to protect the health of the world’s fresh water for nearly half a century.

Part of that mission involves teaching young people about the importance of maintaining clean streams, a goal with benefits that include providing drinking water. Steve Kerlin, the center’s director of education, said he’s thrilled that Stroud has added Scout programs to its repertoire.

“We are planning to also host our first Boy Scout stream education program on Saturday, June 4,” Kerlin said.

He said the Brownies completed a number of requirements for the Love Water Award, Save Water Award, and Wonders of Water (WOW) Award. Among their myriad activities, the girls planted trees in the streamside forest buffer by the education wing of the building, collected macro-invertebrates to assess the health of White Clay Creek, and examined and identified the macro invertebrates in the education lab, Kerlin said.

The Brownies also learned about the water cycle, shared their favorite water experiences, and brainstormed about ways to save and protect water, Kerlin said.

When the Boy Scouts visit, Kerlin said they would work on the Environmental Science merit badge and the Soil and Water Conservation merit badge, two of three badges required for a special honor called the World Conservation Award. The Environmental Science Merit Badge is required to advance to the top rank of Eagle Scout, Kerlin added.

He said Scout leaders interested in taking advantage of  Stroud's programs should contact him at For more information on the Stroud Water Research Center, visit


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