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Houston-Area Eagle Scout Earns Every Merit Badge

Samuel Kralowetz - 1
Samuel Kralowetz proudly displays his merit badges. (Credits: JC Penney Portrait Studio in Cypress, TX)

Samuel Kralowetz, an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America’s Sam Houston Area Council Troop 939, sponsored by St. John’s Lutheran Church in Cypress, Texas, has earned every merit badge currently offered by the BSA.

Seventeen-year-old Kralowetz joined Scouting when he was 11. After his first camping trip, he decided that Scouting was a good fit for him. “I realized I loved outdoor living, and I was in this for the long haul,” said Kralowetz.

Shortly thereafter, he read an inspiring story of a Scout who had earned all the merit badges. He decided it was a good goal to set for himself. Approximately seven years later, he has attained that goal.

Of the 139 merit badges (which includes some discontinued badges) Kralowetz has earned, his favorites are Backpacking, Hiking, Lifesaving, Whitewater, Scuba Diving, and Aviation.

Kralowetz’s Scouting journey has allowed him to complete a 12-day backpacking trek at Philmont Scout Ranch, the BSA’s premier high-adventure base in northern New Mexico, and a four-day backpacking trek at Montana High Adventure Base, the Montana Council’s high-adventure base west of Dupuyer.

For his Eagle Scout project, Kralowetz organized a team of volunteers to build picnic tables for Reach Unlimited, a nonprofit organization that provides support to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “I really wanted the perfect project, not something I was personally interested in, but that would benefit my community,” Kralowetz told the Houston Chronicle in an interview.

In order to become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank a Scout can earn, a Scout must earn 21 merit badges, 13 of which are required, and perform an Eagle Scout project. A Scout can earn more merit badges to receive Eagle Palms—Bronze, Gold, and Silver. However, Palms are not considered ranks, so a Scout’s decision to earn badges beyond the number required for the Eagle Scout rank is his choice. Earning all merit badges, though commendable, is not a requirement.

“He went well above and beyond the requirements,” said Wayne Beaumier, Scoutmaster of Troop 939. “It’s nice to see a young man who’s committed to his family, committed to his school, and is committed to his troop,” he said.

Kralowetz is a member of the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s national honor society, and is a senior at Cy-Fair High School in Cypress, where he is a member of the drum line.

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