Now that’s an achievement!

I’m astonished to read of a young man who’s accomplished something I’m sure most of his contemporaries would have regarded as impossible.

A Long Island teenager has earned all 121 merit badges offered by the Boy Scouts of America. It’s an accomplishment the local arm of the organization calls “an almost unheard-of feat.” Oceanside resident Shawn Goldsmith earned his final badge — for bugling — in time for his 18th birthday in November. He far surpassed the 21 badges required to achieve the elite rank of Eagle Scout.

He said he took about five years to earn his first 62 badges and then nearly doubled that number in a matter of months. He did it with the encouragement of his grandmother, who died shortly before he reached his goal.

The Binghamton University freshman was awarded his final badges on Dec. 19. He said he hopes to become a businessman and politician.

The full list of merit badges, as given on the Boy Scouts Web site, is:

American Business
American Cultures
American Heritage
American Labor
Animal Science
Archaeology
Archery
Architecture
Art
Astronomy
Athletics
Atomic Energy
Automotive Maintenance
Aviation
Backpacking
Basketry
Bird Study
Bugling
Camping
Canoeing
Chemistry
Cinematography
Citizenship in the Community
Citizenship in the Nation
Citizenship in the World
Climbing
Coin Collecting
Collections
Communications
Composite Materials
Computers
Cooking
Crime Prevention
Cycling
Dentistry
Disabilities Awareness
Dog Care
Drafting
Electricity
Electronics
Emergency Preparedness
Energy
Engineering
Entrepreneurship
Environmental Science
Family Life
Farm Mechanics
Fingerprinting
Fire Safety
First Aid
Fish and Wildlife Management
Fishing
Fly Fishing
Forestry
Gardening
Genealogy
Geology
Golf
Graphic Arts
Hiking
Home Repairs
Horsemanship
Indian Lore
Insect Study
Journalism
Landscape Architecture
Law
Leatherwork
Lifesaving
Mammal Study
Medicine
Metalwork
Model Design and Building
Motorboating
Music
Nature
Nuclear Science
Oceanography
Orienteering
Painting
Personal Fitness
Personal Management
Pets
Photography
Pioneering
Plant Science
Plumbing
Pottery
Public Health
Public Speaking
Pulp and Paper
Radio
Railroading
Reading
Reptile and Amphibian Study
Rifle Shooting
Rowing
Safety
Salesmanship
Scholarship
Sculpture
Shotgun Shooting
Skating
Small-Boat Sailing
Snow Sports
Soil and Water Conservation
Space Exploration
Sports
Stamp Collecting
Surveying
Swimming
Textile
Theater
Traffic Safety
Truck Transportation
Veterinary Medicine
Water Sports
Weather
Whitewater
Wilderness Survival
Wood Carving
Woodworking

I’d say anyone who can complete all those badges has a very well-rounded education indeed! Congratulations to Shawn Goldsmith from this former Scout and Naval Cadet on an outstanding effort.

Peter

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