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Senior makes Boy Scouts history

Earns every Merit Badge joining just 366 others to accomplish the feat

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It’s not often a student receives a day in their honor, but it also isn’t common to receive every Boy Scout merit badge possible. After a feat accomplished by only 367 people since the founding of the Boy Scouts in 1910, senior Jeffrey Nebeker has earned every merit badge, and February 6 was named Jeffrey Nebeker Day in Frisco.

provided by Jeffrey Nebeker
Displaying his Merit Badges, senior Jeffrey Nebeker is one of only 367 Boy Scouts to ever earn every Merit Badge since the scouts began in 1910.

“When I was twelve years old, I had gotten the first badges, and when I got them sewed onto the sash, I turned to my dad and said ‘I wonder what this thing would look like with every single one on it,’” Nebeker said. “That’s kind of how it started, but over time, I realized this is valuable; I can learn exactly what I wanna do for the rest of my life and learn everything that I can.”

Boy Scouts currently offers 137 merit badges, but Nebeker earned 138, as one was recently discontinued. The Boy Scouts began with just 57 merit badges, and the increasing amount has made the task more difficult over time. There have been an estimated 126 million registered Boy Scouts since 1910, making Nebeker’s achievement all the more rare.

“In all of history, only around 370 Boy Scouts out of millions have been recorded as completing every merit badge, and far fewer have the amount Jeffrey has earned,” Troop 187 Scout Committee Chairman Mike Miller said via email. “We are all incredibly impressed with all that Jeffrey has accomplished with his dedication to Scouting and how it has shaped him into the great leader he is today.”

Nebeker first joined the Boy Scouts through his church group six years ago. Since then, he’s had the opportunity to earn badges in scuba diving, snow sports, and cycling among the hundred plus he accumulated.

“My dad was the one who went out and did stuff with me, since I can’t go rent a car or go scuba diving alone,” Nebeker said. “Him and I went on a bunch of different trips, and that’s something I’ll miss doing.”

provided by Jeffery Nebeker
From snow skiing to
scuba diving and cycling, Nebeker has traveled to several different states to earn his 138 Merit Badges.

Nebeker’s objective may have been to get every badge, but to his family, his success has brought him much more than that.

“Boy Scouts has helped Jeff understand his duty as an American to make our country a better place by helping and serving others any time he can,” father Ryan Nebeker said via email. “The program has taught him many skills, such as how to snow ski and survive in the wilderness, but these are simply activities to help teach patience, endurance, leadership, problem solving, intuition, and fortitude.”

While scouts can only be in the program until the age of 18, Nebeker intends on applying his experience in the Boy Scouts far beyond that. Nebeker plans to attend Brigham Young University for a year before attending a two year mission trip for his church, and then plans to get a degree in mechanical engineering after his mission.

“Especially with these badges, I definitely learned how to organize my time and money, and you just know a lot more things than you otherwise wouldn’t have,” Nebeker said. “I’ve learned basically nothing is impossible. If you just start doing the work and putting the time in, most of the time you’ll be able to accomplish what you want.”

About the Contributors
Brooke Colombo, Editor-in-chief

Brooke Colombo is Editor-in-Chief of Wingspan, and has been involved in journalism since her freshman year. It’s been a year now, and present Brooke...

Wade Glover, WTV Executive Producer

Wade Glover is a senior. He is serving as the Executive Producer for Wingspan TV in his fourth year of the Wingspan program. Wade is also the Student Body...

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