The scouting movement has been in existence for 112 years. Millions of boys have moved through the ranks from Tenderfoot to Eagle. Yet few have accomplished what Curry McWilliams did during his seven-year tenure in the organization. McWilliams earned every merit badge he possibly could while in the Boy Scouts of America, which amounts to 132 of the patches.
* The Kansas City Star reports McWilliams is one of an estimated 12 individuals who earn every merit badge annually. ABC News states there are 2.7 million registered Boy Scouts. McWilliams' accomplishment happens in one of every 225,000 scouts.
* The merit badge haul is even more remarkable than usual. Normally, there are 129 merit badges available. During the centennial year of 2010, scouts could earn four vintage merit badges that relied on original requirements. There was a window of nine months from April 1, 2010, to Dec. 31, 2010, for McWilliams to earn badges in pathfinding, signaling, carpentry and tracking. These four awards haven't been regular badges for years.
* The 18-year-old told ABC he earned 60 badges by age 15. That left another 72 badges to earn in three years. That figure pans out to 24 merit badges per year and two per month. McWilliams accomplished this on top of being in school.
* McWilliams also earned a merit badge in robotics. The newest badge was added in 2011.
* There are 21 merit badges required for the Eagle Scout rank. Only 4 percent of Boy Scouts who join the organization reach the Eagle rank.
* McWilliams currently hails from Leavenworth, Kan. His father is a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army.
* The scout motto "be prepared" came in handy for the youngster. McWilliams told the Star his goal to attain all 132 badges didn't take shape until 2010. The Eagle Scout said his natural curiosity simply drove him to learn about as many subjects as he could while in scouting.
* A recent study released by Baylor University purports achieving the Eagle Scout rank leads to more well-rounded individuals. A survey of more than 2,500 adult males reveals Eagle Scouts are more involved in civic activities, healthier, more prepared and commit to achieving goals more readily than those who aren't Eagle Scouts.
* When the Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910, there were only 14 "badges of merit" boys could earn. A year later, the number increased to 57.
* McWilliams earned 20 merit badges at the 2010 National Scout Jamboree. The event was the climactic summer centennial celebration for the organization. From age 11 to 18, the time boys can be in Boy Scouts, McWilliams averaged nearly 19 merit badges per year.
* Upon turning 18, McWilliams couldn't earn any more merit badges. Because of timing, the young man just missed earning the badge for search and rescue announced in early June.
William Browning is a research librarian.