Silver Cross Hospital

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New Lenox Troop 44 recently held its first Merit Badge University in which 22 boy scouts worked on 72 merit badges earning a total of 35 in a single day.  The inaugural event was held September 15 in Silver Cross Hospital’s Conference Center. 

“Merit Badge University is a great way for scouts to learn about different fields of knowledge,” said Bill Schade, Troop 44 Scoutmaster. “In just a few hours, they can start a merit badge or tick off those last requirements as they work their way through the ranks to Eagle Scout.” 

Scouts, ranging in age from 11 to 17 years old, had an opportunity to work with 12 volunteer counselors on the requirements needed to earn the following merit badges: American Cultures, Art, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Collections, Communications, Cycling, Digital Technology, Energy, Environmental Science, Family Life, First Aid, Graphic Arts, Inventing, Programming and Wood Carving. 

Comet, a Siberian Husky with Silver Cross Hospital’s Pet Therapy program, even visited with the scouts working towards the Dog Care badge.  

“In previous years, our scouts traveled to other Merit Badge University’s outside of our council’s district,” Schade added.  “We wanted to provide this same experience close to home and hope to expand the event next year working alongside other local troops.” 

Scouts who completed badges were recognized at a special Red & Green awards ceremony on October 2.

Troop 44 is part of the Ishkote District of Rainbow Council chartered by American Legion Post #1977.  One of the larger boy scout troops in the area, 44 is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Over 50 of scouts in Troop 44 have gone on to earn the rank of Eagle, an accomplishment achieved by only 6 percent of eligible scouts nationally. 

For more than a century, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has helped build the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun. BSA believes that helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society. 

In addition to Merit Badge University, Troop 44 meets every Monday at 7 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in New Lenox. New and transferring scouts are always welcome. 

“We are a very active troop with campouts every month,” said Schade.  “In September, we went on a 50-mile bike ride, white water rafting on the Menominee River in Wisconsin, and spent 4 days back packing through Red River Gorge in Kentucky.” 

In recent years, Troop 44 has gone skiing, cave exploring, rock climbing, hiking, swimming, and visited the Harley Davidson and Volo Car Museums. Several of the scouts and leaders will be attending Philmont Scout Ranch– Boy Scouts of America's largest national High Adventure Base in northern New Mexico next summer.  The Troop also gives back to the community in a variety of ways such as collecting American flags for retirement at Sharefest’s Recyclepalooa last month. 

“Our ultimate goal is to guide young men in the Lincoln Way community into becoming men of character and strength,” says Schade. “We always have room for one more.” 

To learn more about scouting, visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Located at 1900 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox, IL 60451   Main Phone (815) 300-1100

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Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care.  These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.