101 Merit Badges and Counting

Nate Nemeth earns 101 merit badges (and counting!), sets new troop record

Seven years after becoming a Boy Scout, Nate Nemeth of Clinton Township reached his goal of earning 100 merit badges. A member of Annandale’s BSA Troop 200, Nemeth recently earned his Eagle Scout rank, which requires 21 badges.

“When I first joined the troop, I saw another Troop 200 scout, Alex Pittinger, earn his hundredth badge, so I decided that I wanted to do something similar,” Nemeth recalled. “A few years later, when I had already earned a substantial amount of badges, I decided I wanted to actually beat the record and set my own troop record for badges earned.”

Over the years Nate’s had the opportunity to learn and experience things he never would have if he wasn’t a scout. Above are pictures as he earned the Gardening, Pet Care, Motor Boating, Fly Fishing, Chess, Cooking and Welding merit badges, along with a photo from his Eagle Board of Review with his very full sash!

Among the merit badges on Nemeth’s sash are:

  • The Music merit badge was the very first one Nemeth earned. He earned it while cabin camping at Camp Nobebosco with his older brother Jake’s troop a few weeks into scouting.
  • The Pioneering merit badge is his favorite because “it was a lot of fun to earn.” A close second would be the Home Repair merit badge because his counselor was “very helpful.” Both badges are special to Nemeth because “they’re something I had little to no knowledge of but was guided in a hands-on manner to learn really valuable skills.”
  • Fly Fishing was the hardest badge to earn is also the one that means the most to Nemeth. It was the most satisfying to earn and ended up being his hundredth merit badge.
  • The most recent badge to the Scout’s sash is Motor Boating; and it is the badge that set the new troop record. He earned this locally on Round Valley Reservoir with the help of one of his troop’s merit badge counselor.

“This record means a lot to me,” Nemeth said. “It took me nearly seven years to accomplish it, hours upon hours of time, and a lot of effort. To be able to have that time and effort be recognized as the record for scouts to come to try and beat, it feels really good that I managed to pull off such a tremendous feat.”

“While still a Cub Scout, Nate studied the poster of all available merit badges and made plans to earn particular merit badges once he became a Boy Scout,” said Pam Nemeth, Nate’s mother. “As a Boy Scout, Nate took advantage of every opportunity that came his way, and when opportunities weren’t knocking, he sought them. Nate has loved not just earning merit badges, but the process of earning them. He never races through the work. He has used every merit badge as a means to learn about something he might otherwise never have been exposed to. Nate’s approach, more than his finish, is what I think is truly inspirational.”

“Scouts has provided me with so many different experiences and opportunities. Because of scouting, I’ve been exposed to 101 different topics, many of which I had no knowledge about. I got to ride horses, weld a metal eagle, spend a day at the vet, survive in a make-shift shelter for a night, and so much more,” Nemeth said. “Beyond badges, scouting has allowed me to experience things like camping, being a respectful member of my community and country, and most importantly gave me experience as a leader which I will cherish for the rest of my life. I hope younger scouts will continue their scouting careers and make their own path towards eagle, because you get out of scouts double what you put in.”

Note: since this article was published in the newspaper, Nate has earned FIVE additional merit badges! Good luck to the scouts who have their eyes set on joining Nate and Alex in the 100 club!