Shakopee Scout Earns All 137 Merit Badges
15-year-old Brandon Neri succeeds in his challenge to himself
At only 15 years old, Brandon Neri, an Eagle Scout from Troop 316 in Shakopee, MN, has earned all 137 merit badges.
Neri joined Scouts as a first grader, and swiftly moved up the ranks
to his current rank as Eagle Scout by the age of 12. He has obtained
many leadership roles along the way, including Patrol Leader and
President of Crew 316. After he achieved the role of Eagle Scout, he
became a mentor for his troop and began challenging himself to earning
more merit badges.
Neri decided to start collecting badges as a "push" and "challenge"
to himself. He believes that "setting your goals high" and "believing
strongly in what you are doing" is the key to accomplishing such a
"In addition to learning a bunch of new skills, I have had some
of the greatest experiences, such as whitewater kayaking, high ropes
courses, and many other activities," Neri said. "I have also met some
really good friends that I'll have for a lifetime."
How It Began
He began his challenge with the earning of his
first merit badge, snow sports, and earned his last on June 25, 2017,
with the earning of the Oceanography badge. He said his favorite badge
to earn was the Kayaking badge because it made him learn a new skill
that "helped [him] paddle [his] way through rapids" on the St. Louis
"By earning all of the Merit Badges, I have been exposed to a
wide variety of topics that have helped me find hobbies and potential
careers that I would have never know of without these badges," Neri
With every merit badge earned, Neri has learned new skills, and
was able to find his passion for engineering and computer science. He
plans to use the skills he has learned through Scouts in furthering his
education and "making the world, and the lives of those on it, better."
A Look to the Future
Neri plans to stay active in Scouts in the future
as well. As well as mentoring younger scouts in his troop, he has spent
the last two years serving as a staff member at Grey Wolf Youth Leadership Training. He
recently has been spending his time in Scouts finishing earning all the
merit badges, and earning other special awards such as the God &
Life religious emblem and World Conservation Award.
Scout program has taught me many great things and has given me a great
deal of opportunities that I am very grateful and appreciative of,"
Neri said. "I would like to be able to do all I can to give back to the
program and the others involved in it."