This story is not about Michael Holland completing all 141 merit badges. Nor is this story about Holland completing something that only .0018% of all Scouts do. This story is about how by accomplishing 141 merit badges and doing something very few have done, Scouting has changed the life of Michael Holland for the best.
“The most important thing I’ve learned from Scouting is how to be a good member of our community,” said Holland. “I’ve done a lot of service in Scouting, and it has helped me realize how much service impacts our society.”
Holland has clearly been impacted in the best ways possible by the Scouting program. Through his seven years and projected 5,000 hours of work to accomplish this task, Holland has not only changed himself, but has also uplifted and change fellow Scouters.
Last summer, Holland decided to attend Scout camp as part of a provisional troop to finish up a few merit badges he still needed. When he arrived, he was promptly elected Senior Patrol Leader of the provisional troop. By the end of the week, the rag tag group had so impressed the camp staff that they were recognized as the “Troop of the Week” — the first time a provisional troop had been so honored at this particular camp.
Kelly Wise, Holland’s advancement coordinator, had only the greatest things to say about him. “What really sets him apart is his ability to successfully juggle multiple projects and demands at once without dropping any,” said Wise. “He was able to handle multiple merit badges concurrently, all the while planning his next major service project.”
Holland attributes his hard ethic to his father. He admires his father and says he is his role model. Completing all the merit badges was a way of honoring his father and spending the time while his father was deployed to Afghanistan. This is never more evident than in this video, done by WUSA9.
Holland wasn’t always sure he would accomplish his goal of attaining all of the merit badges. However, with encouragement from Wise and a few gentle pushes along the way from his mother, he was able to achieve his goal. Holland says he continued to do the merit badges because he knew there was so much more to learn from them.
“Scouting has been such an anchor in my life,” said Holland. “I will look back on my experiences and knowledge to help me make decisions in the future.” The Scouting program has functioned in the exact way that it is hoped to work in the lives of all Scouts.
Although a consummate Scout, Holland is also much more. He works after school as a Starbucks Barista, a responsibility he takes quite seriously. He is also an active church member who attends services each Sunday where he has specific duties, and he attends an early-morning scripture study class for high school seniors focused on the New Testament. He is a cheerful young man who works hard and enjoys life
Holland has just been accepted to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. All because of the Animation Merit Badge, he plans to get into the animation program after serving a 2-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He hopes to one-day intern at Pixar Animation Studios.