Peter and Andrew Austin have each earned every merit badge awarded by the Boy Scouts of America, a rare accomplishment usually only achieved by one scout per year nationwide.
There are 136 merit badges available. Peter Austin earned 140, including four which were brought out of retirement for a single year in 2010. By comparison, an Eagle Scout must earn 21 merit badges.
Tooele Search and Rescue helped the brothers earn the Search and Rescue merit badge, the one they hadn’t yet earned.
“This endeavor has been difficult and has taken a lot of persistence and time,” said Shari Austin, Peter and Andrew’s mother. “We went on a few family outings to help them complete some merit badge requirements such as backpacking, fly fishing on the Green River, SCUBA diving and other sporting activities. We were busy every summer since 2010 helping them with a few of their requirements.”
Shari Austin noted that her sons enjoyed the opportunities that they had while earning their merit badges, including pathfinding, cinematography, electronics, kayaking, bird study, sculpture, journalism, snow sports, pottery, whitewater, welding, fly fishing and shotgun.
“They also had the privilege of meeting numerous merit badge counselors,” Shari Austin said. “We were always amazed at the dedication, goodness and helpfulness of so many merit badge counselors who are so dedicated to Scouting.
“While they are glad their endeavor is over, they have appreciated the wide exposure to many various skills and sports. They were able to experience a huge variety of fields of study, career options, hobbies, et cetera.”