Evans Boy Scout completes rare feat, earning every merit badge

Carter Harwell, 13, who has earned all 133 merit badges the Boy Scouts offer, sits on a bench he built as a community service project at Reed Creek Wetlands Interpretive Park.

 

Carter Harwell has joined an elite group by earning every merit badge the Boy Scouts of America offers.

The national Boy Scouts of America office doesn’t keep track of such accomplishments, but BSA Public Relations Director Deron Smith said “it is a rare achievement.” Carter, 13, believes he’s the 210th Boy Scout to earn all 133 merit badges.

The Evans resident became a Boy Scout in October 2011.

“For any boy who earns every single merit badge the Boy Scouts of America offers is probably about as rare as a kid becoming the president of the United States,” said Georgia-Carolina Council Scout Executive Jeff Schwab said. “There simply aren’t that many of them.”

Carter will be presented his most recent badges in December at a quarterly Court of Honor ceremony.

The 15 merit badges to be added to his sash include Whitewater, Insect Study, Electronics, Theater, Journalism, Plumbing and Public Health.

“It’s fun,” Carter said of his quest to earn all the badges. “It’s a lot of fun to try and do this stuff. I met so many people along the way.

“I didn’t start scouting thinking I’m going to get them all. It just kind of happened. I started working toward them.”

Carter, who also sings with the Augusta Children’s Chorale and is an avid golfer, is home-schooled through Georgia Cyber Academy. He said he most enjoyed the Snowboarding badge. Backpacking and Wilderness Survival were some of the more strenuous badges to earn. He was required to backpack at least 30 miles plus another trip of 15 miles.

“That was definitely one of the more difficult ones,” Carter said. “They are definitely very difficult. They are very strenuous, too.”

Other badges were more academic, such as Bird Study, which required him to identify 30 birds and study the birds at a feeder for 30 days.

Carter is a Life Scout and registrar for the Order of the Arrow, a scouting honor society. He also has completed his work to become an Eagle Scout, which includes building two log benches for Reed Creek Park Wetlands Interpretive Center. He’ll turn the paperwork into the council on Friday and hopes to earn that honor before his 14th birthday on Jan. 6.

The average age of an Eagle Scout is 17.5 years old, according to Smith.

Carter hopes to continue doing community service and projects in the five years he has left in scouting.

“I’ll probably try to get involved in Venture Scouting and do some of that,” he said. “I’ll be involved in scouting and my troop.”

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