Dallin has nearly done it. HE (not WE) has 120 MB's with one to go. He leaves Monday morning (7-17) to get the last requirement for the Backpacking badge. His scoutmaster has planned a 50 mile hike for their troop in the high Uintah mountains. Though he technically only needs a 30 mile hike, they've got the time and have decided to get the 50 miler patch while they're at it.
A couple of notes:
Thanks so much to those who have given the benefit of the doubt on the "we" thing. It's a technicality because there has naturally been a ton of family support for Dallin's goal. He didn't set the goal until Fall of 2003 when he only had 19 badges, so to earn 102 badges in less than 3 years has impacted our family in many ways. We've rearranged so much of our lives to accomodate this. Some men have said, "We're having a baby in July..." when of course they personally are not having a baby, but their wife is. This is the same sort of thing. WE did not earn the badges, but we cheered him on, we supported him, we arranged our vacations to places that would help him get this or that badge, we paid for various supplies and materials and rentals, called in every expert we knew to give personal tours, interview sessions, loan equipment...you get the idea. We have put aspects of our otherwise "normal" life on hold to assist him in this endeavor. That's all I meant, and I appreciate those who understood that without this explanation.
Dallin completed the new Composite Materials badge recently and loved it! In fact, as I prepared a press release I asked him to cite which badges he enjoyed the most. He answered 1. Wilderness Survival, which he earned early on, stating the reason was that he enjoyed knowing that he had learned the skills needed to survive should he need them and felt reassured in this. 2. Bird Study, because he discovered he quite enjoyed bird watching--something he didn't think he'd enjoy until he tried it, and 3. Composite Materials because he learned so much and thoroughly enjoyed the tour and personal involvement the counselor spent in taking him through his shop and teaching him one-on-one the many things he was expert in. His least favorite badge was Bugling because he doesn't play a musical instrument, let alone read music and he had to work for many, many months learning to play it in order to pass of the 15 required bugle calls. Probably more time was spent on Bugling than anything else and he was one happy camper when he successfully passed off with the MB counselor. "I'm never lifting a trumpet to my lips again, mom!"
Another interesting fact about this kid is that he was homeschooled during 9th and 10th grade and his grandmother, a retired school teacher, built their curriculum around the MBs. When they were studying Egypt, they incorporated the Pulp and Paper badge and Archeology. As they studied government they worked on the Citizenships, Law, Public Speaking etc. They went to the library weekly checking out MB pamphlets and reading materials to learn the history and careers, to study all the things they needed to do. They had weekly field trips wherein they learned from experts, usually in personal one-on-one tours and simultaneously fulfilled MB requirements. His education is unique, and not something for every boy, but a fantastic educational experience for him. He has learned a fair amount of material about 121 different subjects, and been exposed to 121 different careers as well.
It's been a thrill to be a part of it, and he's inspired a lot of people along the way. We're holding a recognition ceremony for him soon, to which you're all invited. Should any of you live in this area, we'd love to have you join us. The celebration event will be held on Wednesday, August 2, 2006 at 7pm at the Lodge at Camp Tracy up Millcreek Canyon in Salt Lake City, Utah. We only ask that you RSVP with a head count of how many you're bringing so we can have enough cake. Our council PR person has invited the press and other State and Local Government dignitaries.
Dallin will turn 18 on August 6th, so this great scouting ride is about over....or is it? I've got a 12 year old heading for scout camp on Monday, so I'm not done being a Scout mom yet.
Thanks to all,
PS: Email me privately if you seriously want to come to the recognition celebration. I'll get you an invitation and a map if you need firstname.lastname@example.org