Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Bill Cabage (cabagewh@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


UT-Battelle supports STEM classroom at BSA's Camp Buck Toms

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., July 5, 2012 — UT-Battelle, the managing contractor for the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has presented the Boy Scouts of America's Great Smoky Mountain Council with a $150,000 gift for its ongoing campaign to renovate the council's Camp Buck Toms.

The gift will be applied toward the establishment of classrooms for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities at the camp, which is located in Roane County near Rockwood, Tenn.

"This corporate gift will help the local Scouting organization establish quality STEM-related learning activities for the hundreds of Boy Scouts in our community who attend Camp Buck Toms," ORNL Director Thom Mason said.

The council is in the midst of a $4 million capital campaign to renovate the camp, which serves scout troops located in 21 East Tennessee counties as well as troops from other districts and states. Improvements made so far through the campaign include the replacement of the camp's tents with more permanent wooden shelters.

The UT-Battelle gift will go toward the renovation of the camp's training center, which will include facilities to help scouts earn merit badges in science and technology-related areas such as energy, engineering, nuclear science, chemistry and forestry.

"UT-Battelle's contribution is a tremendous boost to this area's scouting programs and the Scouting organization's desire to encourage young peoples' interest in the STEM subjects," said council Scout Executive Larry Brown.

By creating a mixture of classroom and outdoor experiences, scout leaders will be able to teach merit badges such as nuclear science, space exploration, astronomy, engineering and robotics, Brown said.

UT-Battelle has targeted a large portion of its corporate giving toward education, including funding science labs in area schools, support for distance learning and, recently, support for eight area high school teams in this year's FIRST robotics competition.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is managed by UT-Battelle for the DOE Office of Science.