Daniel Free earned the Eagle Scout rank in 2017. At the time, the 15-year-old of Troop 489 in Germantown, Md., had earned 54 merit badges. But he didn’t stop there. The night of his court of honor, he made it a goal to earn all 137 available merit badges by his 18th birthday.

He recently completed that task.

“Just by completing all these merit badges, I have done tons of things I never thought I would, such as scuba diving, welding and fly-fishing,” Daniel says. “It also opened my eyes to the various career paths that the world has to offer. Scouting provides such great opportunities, but it is up to the Scouts to find them and chase them.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it might be difficult to think of ways to chase opportunities from home. So, we asked Daniel what some of his favorite badges were to work on at home. His answer: Home Repairs and Inventing.

Merit badges at home

For the Home Repairs merit badge, Daniel worked on some projects with his father, including installing a light switch and fixture, painting walls, fixing furniture and weather-stripping the front door.

“Doing these tasks has shown me how I can fix different things around the house, as opposed to replacing these things as they break,” Daniel says. “These skills are important to know because not only can it save you money, but it can also save time and energy.”

For the Inventing merit badge, Daniel brainstormed ideas with his older brother Ryan, who is a mechanical engineer. He came up with a spatula that works with the flip of a switch. He built it using an ice cream scoop with the spatula on top. Watch it in action here:

30-Day Challenge

What are some other fun, meaningful activities you can do at home? You can check out this list of other merit badges a Scouter suggested. You can also find activities in a new 30-Day Challenge video series, presented by Boys’ Life magazine. Watch some of the challenge videos for Cub Scouts below, which are sorted by your Cub Scout’s grade level and can help with advancement:

Be on the lookout for more challenge videos coming soon on the Boys’ Life YouTube page.

Another fun, simple challenge we found comes from Troop 1001 of Caguas, Puerto Rico. Think you and your Scouts can do it?

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