First of all, we’d like to apologize to Greg Beagan of North Attleboro, a senior at Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro.
Due to the restrictions of the geography of the newspaper page, we were not able to show all the merit badges the 17-year-old Eagle Scout has earned in his scouting career in a photo of his sash that ran on the front page last week.
To do so, the page would have had to have been about six inches deeper.
Beagan has earned all of the merit badges currently available in Scouting.
That’s 138 badges, covering subjects from “American Business” to “Woodwork,” with stops along the way at welding, metalwork, plumbing, orienteering, stamp collecting, chess, lifesaving, citizenship, fly fishing, boating, skeet shooting and signaling — for which he had to learn Morse code and semaphore flags, quite a leap from texting.
A Boy Scout since he was 11 years old, Beagan has been earning badges since he joined Troop 25 at All Saints Episcopal Church on North Main Street in Attleboro.
(He had already earned all the awards available in Cub Scouts.)
Earning all 138 badges — which has to be done before the Scout turns 18 — averages to about 20 badges a year, although Beagan said there were some years he earned more than 30.
According to the Boy Scouts of America, just 31 Scouts in the entire country earned all 138 merit badges in 2016, the last year for which figures are available.
In the last century or so, only 403 Scouts have earned every available badge.
And Beagan did it while keeping up his grades for college applications (he hopes to study animation, another merit badge earned) and a full load of extracurricular activities at Feehan that included theater, fencing, chorus, the literary magazine, STEM club, film club and writing for the school newspaper.
Along with his own hard work, Beagan credits his mother, Lori, and his father, Kevin, who were involved every step of the way. There were trips at times to find the teachers to help him acquire the skills for certain badges, hikes and camping trips and, by the way, a family agreement to acquire a dog — for the dog care badge.
So the next time that you think that your plate is too full to take on anything else — acquire a new skill, learn a new language or maybe take up archery or orienteering — think a bit about young Greg Beagan.
And then go out and acquire some merit on your own.