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story.lead_photo.caption A group of BSA Scouts learn about checking a vehicle's suspension and brakes while earning the Automotive Maintenance merit badge at the 20th Annual Linn Merit Badge University on Saturday. The event is presented by Scouts BSA Troop 17 in partnerhsip with Linn State Technical College, offering 39 merit badge class options to 400 Scouts from 131 Scouts BSA Troops across 8 states. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)

Continuing a 20-year tradition, 400 Boy Scouts of America were invited to participate in the Linn Merit Badge University at State Technical College of Missouri last weekend.

Troop 17 of the Linn Scouts BSA hosted the Merit Badge University, which provides hands-on experience and a merit badge for participating scouts.

Troop 17 coordinator Debbie Backes coordinated the July 24 all-day event with State Tech employees.

After an opening flag ceremony — which included scouts reciting the Pledge of Allegiance — Scout Oath and Scout Law, participants took part in 39 various merit badge classes.

Scouts had the opportunity to earn badges for American cultures, archery, automotive maintenance, chemistry, chess, fingerprinting, first aid, robotics and dog care, among others.

Classes centered around the basics of a topic and provided hands-on experience, which earned the scouts a badge and brings them closer to reaching the rank of Eagle Scout.

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