A 19 year-old boy from Minnesota just became one of the only people to collect every merit badge possible in the 109 year history of the Boy Scouts of America.
Matt Lindbo from Redwood Falls made it his full-time job to collect all of the badges, and he now has so many that he needs three sashes to show them all off!
“I looked at getting every merit badge kind of like getting a state title in sports,” Matt explained. “I’m not a big athlete. So for me, that was my all-time high.”
Matt earned his first badge when he was 12, and he was so proud of it that he decided to collect them all. He even upped the stakes when it came to completing some of the tasks, one of which was selling popcorn. Matt set goals of raising $500 in exchange for the popcorn in his initial scouting year and by the time he’d graduated to the Boy Scouts he was raking in $10,000 annually.
In order to move into the Eagle Scouts at 16, Matt needed 21 merits, but when he had an outstanding 48 by the age of 17, he decided to go for the maximum. In order to do this, Matt had to get almost double the amount he’d earned in his lifetime so far, but in just one year.
“Everyone kind of looked at me like I was crazy,” Matt admitted. “I looked at my mom and said, ‘I’m only 89 away. I think I can do it.’”
Finally it was woodworking that earned Matt his final badge just before he turned 18, making him number 350 out of 100 million people to reach the achievement.
“He’s very persistent,” said his scoutmaster, Patrick Rohland. “Once he sets his mind to something, you don’t need to question it anymore. It just gets done.”
Matt is currently a scout leader to Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts and he plans to go into law enforcement by studying at Minnesota West Community and Technical College.