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Two brothers earn every Scout merit badge possible

Published: Thursday, Sept. 26 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

"We did an innumerable amount of merit badges together," Aaron said. "I think just doing it together at the same time and doing them at the same place, I think that really helped us grow our relationship and come closer together."

In fact, the teens agreed one of their favorite merit badges was when they had the chance to work together on the scuba diving badge.

"My favorite merit badge was scuba diving, which was also the hardest merit badge I have ever done," Joshua said. "It was super, super fun; we went and did it in Utah to get certified."

While scuba diving was also a favorite of Aaron's, he said he really enjoyed completing the bugling badge.

"Bugling was a really interesting one," Aaron said. "I'd been playing the piano for about 12 years and I was familiar with music, but bugling kind of changed that all up. It was a real challenge, but it turned out to be really fun."

Although many of the merit badges provided fun opportunities, the brothers had to make some sacrifices in some other areas of life.

"A lot of the time with Boy Scouts, doing all these merit badges, I had to take off time with things that I had wanted to do, but doing all the merit badges has been able to help me do a lot of different things that are really important in becoming a great person in the community," Aaron said. "I would say that doing all the merit badges, even though it is a great commitment, is definitely rewarding in the end."

According to Aaron and Joshua, their parents' dedication has been essential.

"My mom takes so much time out of her day to help others in Boy Scouts, especially me and Josh, because we've had to travel around doing a lot of merit badges — I bet she's really tired and exhausted from doing all that work, but I think she loved doing it," Aaron said.

"She once came on a 20-mile hike and a 150-mile bike ride with us. I don't know how she did it, but she's like an iron lady. She's supported me in every way."

The boys have looked to their father as an example of how a Boy Scout should act and have learned many skills from both parents. Allyson Egbert said she has learned a great deal through the process as well.

"I think for me, there were a lot of things that I had never done before," Allyson Egbert said. "I would look at it and go, 'What in the world is this?' So it forced me to learn; I felt like I was in college again."

Although both her sons have now completed Scouts, Allyson Egbert said she will continue to participate in the program.

"I've learned through working with boys that this is very much a needed program," Allyson Egbert said. "It's extremely rewarding and such a positive thing for parents. ... I don't doubt that (my sons) can do anything."

Completing all the merit badges has been an experience the entire Egbert family will never forget, one that will stay with Aaron and Joshua forever.

"I believe that it will really help me as an adult because it's helped me to become more responsible," Aaron said. "Once being an adult and a father, I think those skills will be able to help me go out into the world and do a lot of different things I never thought I could do.

"The Boy Scouts is a really great program with all the skills it brings," Aaron said. "I learned that I can do hard things, even though they may be really challenging; I learned that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to."

Email: spetersen@deseretnews.com

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