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Scout earns all current merit badges - and more

Steven Robert's long, prolific journey through the Boy Scout merit badge roster begins with Electronics and ends with Dog Care.

Steven Roberts learned varied and valuable lessons in earning 127 merit badges.
Steven Roberts learned varied and valuable lessons in earning 127 merit badges. Photo: Photo by Michael Brandy

For many LDS young men, earning the Eagle badge — Scouting's top achievement rank — is the pinnacle of their Scouting experience. But after enlisting a curious mind and plenty of self-motivation, Steven accomplished a Scouting "grand slam" of sorts by earning all of the 119 merit badges offered by the Boy Scout of America — and a few more.

Kay Godfrey, an executive in the Great Salt Lake Council, told the Church News that earning every merit badge is, indeed, a rare feat.

"I've been involved in Scouting for 25 years and can remember hearing of one other young man who earned all the merit badges," he said.

Steven earned his first merit badge, Electronics, when he was 12 and finished his 127th and final, Dog Care, a short time before his 18th birthday. Like many of the merit badges, Dog Care offered unique challenges.

"I don't have a dog," Steven said.

Steven's merit badge bandoleer is covered end to end with the familiar circular awards. A savvy Scout will even spot a few badges like Botany and Rabbit Raising that no longer exist, which is why Steven has earned eight more merit badges than Scouting currently offers.

Steven's favorite merit badges to earn were Atomic Energy, Electronics and Engineering.

"I've always enjoyed technology and science," he said.

He adds Bugling was the most difficult badge, a likely surprise to young Scouts struggling with their Emergency Preparedness or Personal Management merit badges.

"I had to learn 15 bugling songs or calls on a trumpet without ever having had any musical training," he said. And yes, he added, the Bugling merit badge "was murder on my family."

Steven said he was blessed to have had supportive Scoutmasters, Church leaders and parents, Dee and Linda Roberts, who helped him achieve the merit badge sweep. It was sometimes tricky to find a merit badge counselor for an obscure badge such as, say, Cinematography, inside his own stake. But a counselor was always located eventually.

Steven is a member of the Riverton Park Ward of the Riverton Utah Stake. An electrical engineering student at Salt Lake Community College, Steven plans to serve a full-time mission and, later, attend BYU.

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