Eagle Scout earns all merit badges, feat he says only 544 others have done in history

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A local Eagle Scout is in a special club: he’s earned every single merit badge. Michael Romeo says he’s the 545th person in Boy Scout history to achieve that feat.

There are 139 merit badges in total, including the Animal Science badge, Paper and Pulp badge and Archery badge. Tonawanda resident, Romeo, has every single one.

“Pioneering or rifle shooting… those were the most enjoyable,” Romeo said.

It’s taken him almost eight years to get here. He earned five of them on a trip to Israel, including the Water Sports badge and Archeology badge. At home, he worked hard to earn newer scouting badges, like the Programming badge and Digital Technology badge.

And he didn’t do it alone.

“As a scout master, you hear a lot of kids who have great ideas how to do it, or they want to do it, but it’s a lot of work,” Scout Master, Scott Swagler said.

Swagler is Romeo’s scout leader, of Troop 630. He said he’s even learned a lot as Michael was going through this.

“It is such a rare achievement in scouting to get all 139 badges,” he said. “And it’s hard to get people in this area who have all the skillsets to be able to teach and certify these badges, that’s the hard thing that you don’t realize.”

So what was Romeo’s toughest badge to get?

“Bugling, because I’ve never played a trumpet before,” Romeo said.

It took Romeo four months alone to get that one.

“Michael is evidence himself that it can be done,” Swagler said. “He stuck to it and I’m very proud of that, to have him apart of my troop.”

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