Arman Kingsland Mengi, from Troop 543 in Orange, has accomplished more than most have during his 17 years of life. The new Eagle Scout has not only earned the 21 mandatory merit badges for Eagle, but earned an additional 117 merit badges. Mengi was able to earn every single merit badge available this year for a total of 138 individual badges.
This feat was not something the Scout first sought after, saying “I inadvertently earned both set of the Eagle required badges that are either Life Saving or Emergency Preparedness and Environmental Science or Sustainability. After that I knew I wanted to keep going.”
Earning this many merit badges provided him with some highlights, whether it was mastering a skill or overcoming adversity.
His favorite merit badge was Rifle Shooting. Mengi had only shot a rifle once before attempting to earn the merit badge, which requires 25 out of 50 clay pigeons be shot down. Not only did he shoot down all 50 clay pigeons launched, he was then told to hit the missed shots of the Scout next to him. He felt pretty good when the camp counselors asked what club he shot for.
His most challenging merit badges included any that required hiking and cycling because it required training to complete a continuous 50 mile hike and ride.
In addition to completing merit badges, a Scout must develop a project to earn the ranking of Eagle Scout. Mengi painted four school recognition murals on the classrooms at El Modena High School in Orange. Each mural was an acronym with a character word that represents the school body al El Modena; E for enlightened, M for motivated, H for honest, and S for strong. “The challenge to my project was that we were working outside and had a very small window of time where it was dark enough to project the mural, yet not so dark that we could not see to work.”
Although earning all the merit badges can be time consuming, Mengi is very proud to be part of an honored organization that provides youth with such incredible opportunities that non-Scouts often don’t have the chance to participate in.