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Super Scout from Arrowhead earns all the badges there are to earn

Jan. 14, 2013

Arrowhead Union High School senior Stephen Osowski, 17, of Hartland has earned all 134 merit badges offered through the Boy Scouts of America, the first person from Southeastern Wisconsin to do so in almost 20 years.

He could, if he were so inclined, explain to you the three different types of weaves used in basketry (the Basketry Badge), or he could show you how to tie a roundturn knot with two half hitches (the Pioneering Badge).

Osowski said he has been involved with the Scouts since first grade, when he began as a Tiger Scout.

"Initially, I joined Scouts to kind of meet new people and get out there in the community," Osowski said.

He became a full-fledged Boy Scout at the earliest possible time, in fifth grade. He says he enjoys the Scouts because it offers him a chance to work in the community and teaches him important leadership skills.

"Some of our past Eagle projects have included running extra food drives, performing blood drives, and we have planted gardens in the area," he said.

What was the most difficult badge to earn?

I would say the most difficult badge to earn would be dog care," Osowski said, "Because you have to watch over a dog for two months, and my family does not have a dog."

He said to complete the badge, he had to go to a friend's house every day and walk, brush and feed his dog.

"At one point we ended up taking the dog to the vet, too," he added.

Osowski said there was no real process to picking what badge to do, but he started with the ones that interested him most and branched out from there.

"For me, it was kind of like close my eyes and pick some badge in my Scout book: 'Oh, it looks like I will do energy now,' " he said. "There was no set process."

The last badge he finished - and the one that took the most time - was backpacking.

"The biggest problem for that one was actually going on backpacking trips," he said.

The Backpacking Merit Badge requires, among other things, that the Scout participate in at least three, three-day backpacking treks of at least 15 miles. The Scout must also plan and complete a five-day backpacking trip of at least 30 miles.

Osowski said he completed the 30-mile trek last summer in New Mexico.

Osowski said that he wanted to thank all the merit badge counselors, Scout masters, fellow Scouts, mentors, friends and family who have helped him get through all 134 merit badges.

"I could not have done it without them," he said.

The last Boy Scout to earn all available merit badges was Luke Teske in 1993.

Osowski became an Eagle Scout in 2010.

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