Above and Beyond: Local teen earns every merit badge to become Eagle Scout

It takes 21 merit badges for a Boy Scout to become an Eagle Scout. It's no easy task. But for one local teen just getting 21 wasn't good enough. He went above and beyond to the max and got every single merit badge.

FOX 29 Photojournalist Bill Rohrer has the story.

18-year-old Jaxson Bonsall loves doing more than what is asked of him.

"I just set my mind on a task and I keep doing it until it gets done," he said.

That mentality started in the first grade when he joined the Boy Scouts of America. Jaxson quickly made a lot of friends while camping and participating in scout projects.

He eventually worked towards being an Eagle Scout, which is the Boy Scouts of America's highest honor.

To become an Eagle Scout, a scout must earn at least 21 merit badges over time. But Jaxson noticed he had earned more merit badges than was required--a lot more.

"Not a lot of people believe me when you first tell them. They are like, what all of them," he said.
"There are so many of them barely anyone does it."

That's right all of them-- 137 of them.

"When I told people I wanted to go for all the merit badges some people were like it is impossible it will never happen and here I am," Jaxson said.

Earning every merit badge is rarely done.

"Most Eagle Scouts only get the 21 that they need. About 4 percent of all Boy Scouts make eagle so then a lot less than 1 percent that actually done this," he said.

The favorite badge he earned is his scuba badge.

"Now, I'm an advanced open water scuba diver."

Each badge has a different task.

Jaxson did all this while going to high school--majoring in engineering and taking duel enrollment classes that counted towards college credit. So a few days after getting his high school diploma, he also earned an associate's degree.

"I would say I am focused on things."

Jaxson believes all his hard work in scouts helped him get accepted into Virginia Tech's prestigious engineering program, so one day he can build ships that run on green energy.

He still has a few weeks left until he goes away to college. Jaxson says he will enjoy some much needed down time. That may his hardest project yet.