Draper resident and Corner Canyon High School senior Greg Memmott never thought it was possible to earn 138 Boy Scouts of America merit badges when he set the lofty goal at age 14, but he now knows what hard work and dedication can bring. The 17-year-old earned his final merit badge last month during a BSA Court of Honor ceremony.
Greg said that one of his neighbors had achieved the same feat, and it inspired him to try it himself. During the three-year undertaking, the dedicated Scout spent about six hours a week working on the requirements for each badge. Along the way, he earned his Eagle Scout (21 merit badges) and nine Eagle Palms (five additional merit badges each).
“I didn’t realize the sheer magnitude of what I had sent out to accomplish,” Greg said. “I got to learn about and experience many different areas above those commonly known in scouting.”
Some of those areas included mining in society, composite materials, fire safety, search and rescue and automotive maintenance. Scouts can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades and future careers while earning merit badges. The requirements vary in difficulty and include research, oral presentations, written reports and hands-on experience.
Greg said he completed hundreds of pages of worksheets, thousands of requirements and more hours of work than he can count.
Eagle Scout is the highest rank awarded to youth scouts in the BSA. Of those who achieve this rank, only a portion remain active and go on to earn additional merit badges and Eagle Palms for their service. Because the accomplishment is so rare, the BSA does not keep a formal record of the number of boys who have earned all possible merit badges and thus does not have an award. However, Greg’s parents made a plaque to give to him during the awards banquet.
“He really decided to do this on his own,” Greg’s father Lester Memmott said. “My wife made sure he had the materials and scout books he needed, and he’s had very supportive scout and church leaders who have helped him throughout. I got to accompany him on many of these experiences...great opportunities for us to spend more time together.”
One of the most memorable activities the father-son team accomplished together was getting certified in scuba diving.
“I was really excited about earning the scuba diving merit badge because it was something I never thought I would do,” Greg said. “Even though I found it challenging at times, in the end I had a great sense of accomplishment.”
Draper Mayor Troy Walker recognized Greg’s achievement with an award at an Oct. 7 Draper City Council meeting.
“This rare accomplishment is really a testament to Greg’s setting a goal and achieving it,” Walker said. “Both of my sons are Eagle Scouts, and I think the merit program, if run well, is a great program for young men. It’s like a mini aptitude course—it gives you a working knowledge—just enough information to know if it’s something you might be interested in for the future.”