The verdict is in, and the Law Merit Badge Day in South Carolina is one of the best around.

Ninety Boy Scouts have registered to attend this Saturday’s event, presented by the Indian Waters Council. It’ll be held inside the new building of the University of South Carolina School of Law in Columbia.

Nearly a third of the Boy Scouts participating are considered at-risk, meaning the council is offering this activity at no cost to their families. For these Scouts, the event could be a path to a better life — and, if they choose, a law career.

The Law Merit Badge Day counselors include some heavy hitters in the state, like the governor, a state senator, the attorney general of South Carolina, a U.S. district judge and more.

Scouts will participate in a mock trial. They’ll discuss legal matters with high-ranking officials. During lunch, they can explore the Law Enforcement Midway, where a number of local and state agencies will have vehicles and equipment on display.

When the event ends at 4:30 p.m., Scouts will walk away with the Law merit badge. At No. 83 of 137 in merit badge popularity last year, Law is one of the BSA’s lesser-earned merit badges.

But Scouts will walk away with more than a completed blue card. They’ll leave knowing whether a career in the lucrative field of law is for them — long before they spend tens of thousands of dollars on student loans.

What the volunteers and BSA professionals have planned for this weekend isn’t specific to South Carolina. This model is easily replicable in any council whose borders encompass a courthouse, law school or legal practice. In other words, it’s replicable in every single council in the country.

A call for volunteers

If you do happen to live near Columbia, S.C., and are free on Saturday, the council could use your help. You can join as a morning greeter to welcome Scouts to the event. Or you can stay and help present the Law merit badge to each Scout at the afternoon closing ceremony.

If this interests you, email douglas.stone@scouting.org.

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