Zach Sierra and His 136 Merit Badges

Zach Sierra and His 136 Merit Badges

Amanda Mourelatos, Associate Editor-in-Chief

“I would highly recommend going into Scouting and earning your Eagle Scout because Scouting provides you with opportunities that most people don’t get the chance to even try, such as scuba diving or backpacking,” said Zach Sierra, a senior at Sahuaro, who became an Eagle Scout in 2015 in Troop 777.

Zach earned all 136 of his merit badges over his seven years of Boy Scouts; not only that, but he is one of only 350 scouts to do so, and he is the fifth in Arizona! All of this would not have been possible without his family, but mainly his mother. “Without her, I probably wouldn’t have gotten my Eagle that early on and as many merit badges as I have now,” he said. The first badge he earned was the Chess merit badge, which inspired him to earn all 136 badges, and his last badge was American Business, where Zach ran a house-sitting business for a couple of days and got paid for it. His favorite badge earned was the Aviation merit because he got to learn how to fly an airplane and got to fly in a glider. Zach’s least favorite was Citizenship in the Nation because it was “one of the most boring and dry topics” to learn about and comprehend when you’re 13 years old. The most difficult badge he earned was the Scuba Diving merit because of the expenses and how hard it was to dive into the deeper part of the water. The craziest badge he earned was the Wilderness Survival, where he had to build his own shelter and sleep in it, and hike 50 miles in the Gila Wilderness. The badge Zach is most proud of is the Hiking badge because of how long it took to complete the 50 miles worth of hikes.

The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with 2.4 million youth participants. You learn valuable life skills, go camping, create a family with other boys your age, and much more. Zach’s most valuable life skill learned was public speaking. Earning badges isn’t the only thing you do in Boy Scouts; Zach also got to go water skiing at Patagonia Lake when he was 14; and he also got to go to the San Diego scout camp called Fiesta Island, where he went small boat sailing for hours on end, “just enjoying the breezes and the ocean.” About being an Eagle Scout, Zach said, “Being an Eagle Scout means that you have learned how to use and teach specific skills, such as knot tying and leadership skills that you can bring into whatever field you want to go into.”

“The fact that it felt like another family and that everyone was really nice and supportive of what everybody else did,” is what roped Zach Sierra into stay a Boy Scout for so long and earning all of his merit badges.