OAK CREEK, Wisconsin. – An Oak Creek teenager accomplished something very few people ever did: earn the 137 Boy Scout Merit Badges.
Josh Rich, 17, used time during the COVID-19 pandemic to achieve the goal – a feat that has only been achieved by about 1% of the nation’s Boy Scouts in the organization’s history.
When rich finished his Eagle Scout project, he knew he wanted to do more. Being an Eagle Scout is an integral part of his life, using the skills acquired over the past five years every day.
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The high school student from Oak Creek High School has done everything from archeology to whitewater rafting.
“The scuba diving merit badge, I actually got to do it in the Bahamas,” Rich said. “It just has a lot of sentimental value behind it.”
Boy Scout Merit Badge Chart
Rich helped create a Salvation Army sign for his Eagle Scout project – but it wasn’t done there.
“My forties hit, I had some free time, I started to get bored,” Rich said. “I was like, ‘I’m going to do some merit badges.'”
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Only about 20 people in Wisconsin have already earned the 137 badges. Nationally, that number is around 500.
“He’s ready to take on tasks that many others can’t,” said Edward Rich, Josh’s father.
Josh Rich sits next to the Salvation Army sign built for his Eagle Scout project
Every inch of Rich’s Boy Scout belt is filled. The experiences will last a lifetime.
“It’s just going to give him a lot of things to lean on that he can use for the rest of his life,” said Susan Rich, Josh’s mother.
Eagle Scout Josh Rich with parents
The humble scout can do it all and is ready for the next adventure.
“A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful and so on,” said Josh Rich. “In a way, I put them in my own life and I use them to live from day to day.”
Rich will be graduating from high school in the spring. He will go to university and one day wants to become a medical assistant.