Boy scout leaders and supporters heard from an astronaut and former boy scout during the annual Friends of Scouting luncheon Wednesday.
Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr., a graduate of the Texas Tech School of Medicine, was this year's speaker for the Friends of Scouting luncheon, an annual fundraiser for the South Plains Council of The Boy Scouts of America.
He advised local scout troops to get involved with STEM initiatives.
"My message is pretty clear," Harris said, "that in order for us to stay relevant, we need to make sure that our scouts are prepared for the 21st century."
Harris said the Scouts have begun a national program, NOVA, that awards scouts for accomplishments in the sciences, engineering, math and technology.
"Our plan in initiating this NOVA program throughout the nation is to get more councils, like the South Plains Council here, to get their young adults and kids to be involved with this program," Harris said. "What this program does, it takes what they've already been doing in engineering and technology, and combining it with this focus on preparing them for their future."
The South Plains Council of Boy Scouts of America serves over 5,100 youth in 20 counties across west Texas.