Cedar Hills teen recognized by city for earning all 141 BSA merit badges

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CEDAR HILLS, Utah -- Only six percent of all Boy Scouts earn the rank of Eagle Scout. One requirement is to earn at least 21 merit badges, but a Utah County teen decided that wasn't enough and that he’d rather just earn them all.

It was Joseph Chou day this week in Cedar Hills, and at the city council meeting, the 17-year-old scout was named a Cedar Hills Champion.

"It is a special award that we give to people truly that have done something outstanding in their life,” Cedar Hills Mayor Gary Gygi said.

Chou earned every merit badge offered by the BSA, a total of 141.

"To be able to make a goal and actually achieve it feels really nice,” the teen said of the effort.

But why did Chou earn 120 merit badges more than he needed to get his Eagle Scout?

"What these have done for me is, it's able to help me be able to figure out, dip my toe into a few ponds, to be able to see what I want to do when I get older I guess,” he said.

Chou said his favorite badges were animation, music and model-building.

His least favorite was life skills. He also said swimming, life saving and SCUBA diving were among the most challenging, along with one other.

“Bugling,” Chou said. “That was one I was stuck on for a little while because I had to learn the trumpet."

Chou thinks finance and cooking merit badges taught him things he'll use the rest of his life.

"Another one I think would be very useful is one called entrepreneurship, where you kinda like figure out how to earn money smartly, I guess,” Chou said.

He said getting all of his merit badges as well as his Eagle Scout award helped him get a job. Chou is now saving money to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints next year.

His parents say they are proud of their son’s accomplishments.

"To see that he can really accomplish if he puts in hard work in to it,” Felipe Chou said of his son.

His mother, Petra, added: “And I really like the Scout program [provides] that many merit badges for the boys, and they can really explore what they like in their life."

The city council recognized Joseph for his commitment and dedication in earning all 141 merit badges as well as all Cub Scout awards.

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