Editor’s note: The Alameda Sun was proud to help Michael earn his journalism badge.
Alameda Scout Earns All Available Merit Badges
Michael Proffitt, 17, was required to earn 21 merit badges on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout. As the highest rank in Boy Scouts. Some 2,250,000 boys have achieved Eagle rank since the award was first presented in 1912.
Proffitt recently joined an even more exclusive group when he earned all of Scouting’s available merit badges — currently 137 — a feat achieved by fewer than 450 boys in the history of the organization, according to meritbadgeknot.com, an unofficial but authoritative site that tracks the achievement. On average there are 800,000 young men enrolled in scouting annually and approximately 6 percent Eagle and just 0.02 percent of those Eagle Scouts accomplish this.
From the Lost Coast Trail of Northern California to the Great Barrier Reef, Proffitt logged more than 2,074 leadership days, 259 miles hiked, 119 overnight camp nights, 145 service hours, 50 underwater scuba hours for advanced scuba certification, 411 merit badge class hours and he learned 16 bugle calls.
He traveled to Nevada, West Virginia and North Carolina to obtain this goal. He attended the Las Vegas Merit Badge Expo in 2017 and 2018 as well as a day class at the University of Nevada School of Dentistry in 2016. He also attended the 2017 National Jamboree in West Virginia where he received exploration and mining in society merit badges. Proffitt made an exclusive trip to North Carolina just for farm mechanics and skating merit badges.
In his home state of California, he traveled far north to Redding for model, design & building and as far South to San Diego for oceanography on the Star of India. Seven of these merit badges were earned on the USS Hornet. He attended five different Boy Scout summer camps multiple times.
Proffitt was inducted into the Order of the Arrow in 2018. The Order of the Arrow is the National Honor Society of the Boy Scouts of America, composed of scouts and scouters who best exemplify the Scout oath and law in their daily lives as elected by their peers.
For Proffitt’s Eagle project he gave back to the Alameda Baseball Little League fields he grew up on for seven years where he built and installed 64 equipment cubbies in the dugouts for the major and minor baseball fields. The project required different teams, staged production and labor outings. The negotiations with the local Alameda Little League association, private businesses and various skilled craftsmen pulled off the project on time and under budget with unanimous accolades.
Proffitt extends his gratitude and thanks to all those involved in scouting and to the tremendous support, coaching and mentoring that everyone has given him along his journey.
Proffitt is a member of Troop 1015, sponsored by the Alameda Elks Lodge. A virtual Court of Honor ceremony date is to be announced.