WINNSBORO — Troop 49 in Winnsboro earned a rare distinction in February when one of its Eagle Scouts completed a feat that has been done less than 200 times in the history of scouting: Sixteen-year-old Logan Robinson earned all 134 merit badges one can obtain from the Boy Scouts of America.
Though the Boy Scouts of America does not officially keep track of how many scouts have earned every single merit badge they have, Robinson and his mother said they believe this has been done around 180 times in the history of scouting and only the second time it has happened in South Carolina with the first coming to a scout in 2009.
Of the 134 badges, Robinson said the one that took the longest to complete was bugling. He had not had formal music training and had to learn to make 15 different bugle calls. That took him one and a half years, but he stuck with it. Now a junior at Richard Winn Academy, he is taking private trumpet lessons in Chester to continue with his musical hobby since the trumpet is similar to a bugle, but with valves.
Precocious Cub Scout
He began as a Cub Scout for Pack 749 at First United Methodist in Winnsboro. He found he liked learning new things and skills so much that he earned a lot of Cub Scout merit badges. Robinson earned his Weblos and Arrow of Light awards. The Arrow of Light is the highest award a Cub Scout can obtain, and since he did it he was able to go into Boy Scouts at age 11 instead of having to wait another year.
When he was 11 or 12, he worked on a personal management badge which included financial planning and money management. His mother, Laura Bost, said there were some things in that merit badge instruction that even she did not know — and she is a finance major.
Robinson said that SCUBA was a real challenge because he had to get comfortable with being underwater. Once he did, he took to the activity so much that the family vacations in recent years have revolved around finding new places for him to dive.
Crucial support from scoutmaster and parents
Bost said Robinson would not have even tried for this goal had it not been for the influence of his former scoutmaster, Jimmy Joyner. By the time Logan was 13, he was an Eagle Scout, something around 5 percent of all boy scouts ever earn. Logan wanted to remain active in scouts and Joyner had an idea. He challenged the precocious scout who just liked learning stuff to earn every single merit badge the Boy Scouts has.
That journey led him on adventures where he got to see a lot of things most people in the world don’t get to see.
“As a mom, I’m indebted to Jimmy for encouraging Logan to do this,” she said. “From diving, to rappelling, to the trumpet … scouting has opened up so many doors for Logan. Joyner as a leader opened up an awesome opportunity for my son.”
This quest took two and a half years and required a lot of out of state weekend travel to places like Mississippi and Alabama. “As a parent, I’d just like to encourage other parents to (get involved like this in scouting),” she said.
Perseverance and persistence are two things his mother is thankful scouting taught her son.
“We are so thankful to everyone involved in helping with his Eagle Scout project (to refurbish the nature trail at Lake Monticello Park),” she said.
The trail was originally developed by a scout around 20 years ago. SCE&G provided lumber and the town provided poles for parts of the project that included adding four benches along the trail.
Robinson’s next steps
Robinson has held every Troop 49 leadership position over the years except for librarian. Those positions rotate around so younger scouts can get leadership experience. His favorite over the years was being a troop guide, a mentor to younger scouts who befriends them and helps them with basic skills.
Now that he is an Eagle Scout he can remain active in the troop in a different kind of leadership role, something he and current leaders are working out the details on.
He is considering a lot of career options but two areas that interest him are being a lawyer and computer programming. Computing has his heart at the moment, especially after he job shadowed two computer programmers at CSC in Blythewood.
Robinson has advice for other area youth who are scouts or are thinking of becoming scouts.
“Stay active in scouting but do it to have fun and not just because your parents want you to. If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t get the full experience, so find your interests and have fun,” he said.
His FEMA search and rescue, open water SCUBA diving, and first aid certification merit badges provided him with a lot of practical real world experiences.
“The most interesting experience I had was for my robotics merit badge class that I took at Lockheed Martin,” he said. During that excursion he toured the assembly line where F-16 fighters are constructed.
When not involved with boy scouts, Robinson enjoys riding his bike, hiking and is on the Richard Winn golf team. He also is on the RWA math meet and quiz bowl teams.