Now, with the rare accomplishment complete and all 141 Boy Scouts of America merit badges in hand (and on a sash), John Folwell IV can fondly look back at the 50-mile bike ride that almost derailed his efforts when he was only 12. Folwell, an 18-year-old senior at McQuaid Jesuit High School, has wrapped up securing all 141 merit badges that were available during his six-plus years as a Scout, including four that were available for only a year.
"This is the first young man that I've had that's done all of them," said Stephen Hoitt, the Scout executive of the Rochester-region Seneca Waterways Council of Boy Scouts of America. Hoitt has worked with the Boy Scouts for 24 years in six different regions.
Said Folwell, "I didn't want to leave Scouting knowing that I had not done it to its fullest."
He discovered early on how challenging some merit badges might be. Folwell had not been riding a bike long when he decided to get the merit badge for cycling. It required two 25-mile trips and a 50-miler. Living in Fairport, he and his father, John Folwell III, decided to ride the Erie Canal from their home to a relative's home in Gates, then return.
On the way to Gates, he got a flat and did not have a pump handy. Someone else biking on the canal did, and the father-son Folwell team pumped up the tire and then continued on their way as the helpers, told of the pursuit of the badge, cheered. The Folwells reached Gates, and watched part of a Bills game (the team lost), as John IV's mother, Tina, brought them a pump for the return trip — which happened to be into the wind. "I remember as we were going and pedaling and feeling like I was going nowhere," he said. They reached Fairport after traveling a little under 50 miles, went farther alongside the canal, turned back, then reached their home at 49.9 miles. They biked a bit farther, with a fear that they would not complete the ride in the required time of eight hours. Instead, Folwell said, they were done in seven hours and 57 minutes.
That badge is simply one of the 141, but, like all of the others, Folwell has a story that accompanies it. Point to any badge on the front and back of the sash (he has consolidated the badges from two sashes to one) and he remembers distinctly just what the achievement required. There's the Public Speaking badge, for which he made a presentation to others about galaxies, while thinking, "I don't know how I'm going to do this. I've never really spoken before people before." There's the Theater badge, which required him to perform in a drama. Large for his age at 12, he tried out for the school musical Oklahoma and ended up with the major role of the villain, Jud Fry. Or the Backpacking badge, completed at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, that was particularly challenging for Scouts from the Northeast unaccustomed to the arid climate.
For 2010, the Boy Scouts issued four merit badges available only for that centennial year. The badges were not available until spring, shortening the time frame to complete them.
Folwell recalls how he had the final one to complete — signaling — over his Christmas holiday break. It required creating a telegraph for Morse code, and knowing how to use flags for the semaphore code.
That badge was the toughest of the four, Folwell said, and "I just wanted a break" over the holiday. Instead, he wrapped up the challenge at a Scoutmaster's home on Dec. 30. "I thought, 'I can only do this once, and I think I'll really regret this if I don't get this done,' " Folwell said. "I pushed through and was able to get it done."
There is no formal accounting of how many Boy Scouts have secured all merit badges. One website has informally compiled a list and the total now stands at 270.
"It's pretty much the equivalent of seeing a no-hitter in baseball," Hoitt said.
Asked about the achievement, a communications representative with the Boy Scouts of America replied, "While the Boy Scouts of America does not track statistics on the number of Scouts who earn all available merit badges, neither per year nor in total, it is certainly an extremely rare achievement and we congratulate this young man on this amazing accomplishment in Scouting."
Folwell, no longer a Scout now that he has turned 18, was a member of Troop 31. His father is a Scoutmaster.
To Folwell, the badges themselves are simply the physical manifestation of what he did, what he learned, and what he is sure to carry into the future. (He is now in the college search phase of high school.)
"I didn't want to think to myself, 'Why didn't I do it then?'
"I didn't want to leave a stone unturned."
The Scholarship is given by Louis and Sally Langie to an Eagle Scout who is pursuing a college degree, has displayed high academic achievement in high school and has a demonstrated financial need. The $12,000 Scholarship is distributed over four years. Congratulations to Eagle Scout Tyler Borrelli, Troop 31 in the City of Rochester on being the 2015 Louis and Sally Langie Eagle Scout Scholarship Recipient. Earlier in May, Mr. Langie and his daughter, Roberta, along with Council President Bob Kessler and Council Scout Executive Steve Hoitt, met with several candidates. Mr. Langie personally meets with each of the Eagle Scout candidates to learn more about them and their aspirations before granting the scholarship to one outstanding young man. Tyler is pictured here with Louis Langie.
He has also served in many leadership roles in Scouting– patrol leader, assistant patrol leader, junior assistant Scoutmaster, is an Order of the Arrow member, attended NYLT, attended Philmont and Sea Base in 2014, and National Jamboree in 2013. Tyler is graduated from McQuaid Jesuit where he also excelled as a member of the Football, Rugby, and Wrestling teams along with the Robotics team. Tyler is currently attending Clarkson University. Tyler, along with 35 others, was also awarded a 2015 Northeast Region NESA Merit Award and a $1,000 College Grant from the National Eagle Scout Association.
In 2015, Tyler was asked by Seneca Waterways to provide an address to the SWC 2015 Eagle Scout Dinner Reception: Please Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbDC2tpJrrs
The Scholarship is given by Louis and Sally Langie to an Eagle Scout who is pursuing a college degree, has displayed high academic achievement in high school and has a demonstrated financial need. The $10,000 Scholarship is distributed over four years.
Congratulations to Eagle Scout Daniel Leisner, Troop 31, on receiving the 2014 Louis and Sally Langie Eagle Scout Scholarship Award. Daniel is pictured here with Louis Langie.
He has also served in many leadership roles in Scouting– patrol leader, senior patrol leader, assistant patrol leader, junior assistant Scoutmaster, attended NYLT, attended Philmont in 2011, and is an Order of the Arrow member. Daniel also comes from a long line of Eagle Scouts as his father and paternal grandfather are both Eagle Scouts. He will study accounting at Boston College and then go on to study law.
Charles August was an American businessman who founded Monro Muffler and Brake.
August's career in automotive maintenance and repair began as a Midas Muffler franchisee in 1957 in Rochester, New York. In 1966, he discontinued his affiliation with Midas. August launched a new company, Monro Muffler, the same year with two business partners, his brother, Burton S. August, and Sheldon Lane. The company was named for Monroe County, New York, except August dropped the "e" in the name. The company later added brake service several years later and was renamed Monro Muffler Brake Inc.
In 1977, Monro Muffler had twenty stores in New York. By the mid-1980s, August's Monro Mufflers had expanded to 59 stores, which sales of $21 million per year. Most of these stores were located in upstate New York. August sold his controlling interest in Monro Mufflers in 1984 to an investment group headed by Donald Glickman and Peter J. Solomon. The company later had its initial public offering in 1991. August remained as a member of the Monro Muffler board of directors during the 1990s, when the company rapidly expanded. He resigned and retired from the board in 2002.
August actively supported the Boy Scouts during his life. He was a member of the Otetiana Council Boy Scouts of America for more than 60 years, and served as the council's president. He was awarded the Silver Antelope Award and the Silver Beaver citation for his involvement with the Boy Scouts.
He donated more than $1 million dollars to the United Way of Greater Rochester over a period of 10 years. The United Way awarded August with the Tocqueville Award in 1992.
August was named to the Rochester Business Hall of Fame in 2003. He was a member of the Nathaniel Rochester Society at Rochester Institute of Technology. August was also a founder of the Temple Sinai in Brighton and a member of the board of directors of the Jewish Home Foundation.
August originally resided in Brighton, Monroe County, New York, with his family for many years before moving to nearby Pittsford, New York.
August died on November 3, 2009, at the age of 90. He was survived by his wife, Jean August, his brother and co-founder of Monro Mufflers, Burton August, and three grown children - Susan Eastwood, Jan August and Andrew August. His memorial service was held at the Temple Sinai in Brighton, New York.
The Seneca Waterways Council is proud to announce that Eagle Scout Brady S. has been awarded the 2011 Louis and Sally Langie Eagle Scout Scholarship. The Scholarship is given by Mr. & Mrs. Langie to an Eagle Scout who is pursuing a college degree, has displayed high academic achievement in high school and has a demonstrated financial need. The Scholarship was increased to $10,000, and is distributed over four years. Brady plans to attend Hamilton College and then pursue a law degree.Brady is a senior at Penfield High School. During his high school career he was a member of the track team, both indoor and outdoor, and a member of the cross-country team. Brady was a member of the Penfield High School Wind Ensemble and served as Editor-in-Chief of the high school newspaper He is also served as President of the National Honor Society. Brady has served as an OA Troop Representative, Vice-Chief of Unit/District Relations for Ty-Ohni Lodge and Vice-Chief of Program for Tschipey Achtu Lodge. He attended Philmont and the 2010 National Scout Jamboree. Brady is a member of Troop 31, chartered by Third Presbyterian Church. Brady became an Eagle Scout in September 2008.©2011 SenecaWaterways.org.
Rowan Muhly, a Boy Scout from Northern Ireland, talks with Annie Callanan at the Susan B. Anthony House.
Democrat and Chronicle-12/29/2011 Written by Alicia Smith, Staff writer, Shawn Dowd/staff photographer
Multi-lane highways, large shopping malls and biting winter weather were all unfamiliar to Rowan Muhly when he arrived in the United States a couple of weeks ago with his family.
The 13-year-old Boy Scout from Strangford, a small village in County Down, Northern Ireland, came to the area with his parents so that he could pursue the Global Challenge badge while visiting family in Hilton.
Earning the Global Challenge badge entails interacting with a troop from another country. Troop 31 of Rochester, which regularly meets at Third Presbyterian Church, 4 Meigs St., invited Rowan to join in some activities this week.
On Wednesday morning, Rowan and his parents joined the sixth- to ninth-graders as they worked on their Citizenship in The Nation merit badge at the Susan B. Anthony House, 17 Madison St. The group was led on a tour of the house and museum by Annie Callanan, director of programs and visitor services. Callanan taught the boys about Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass and the history of American civil rights.
Earlier in his visit, Rowan joined Troop 31 in selling Christmas trees and learning about first aid and American football. "The boys taught him how to throw and catch," said Patti Borrelli, who serves as the assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 31, which she said is the oldest in the area.
Peter Muhly, Rowan's father, is originally from East Rochester. After meeting his wife, Barbara, who is from Ireland, they decided to live there. Although Rowan was born in the United States, he hasn't been back here since he was a baby. "It's very different here. There is more of a variety of things here and it gets very cold here," Rowan said. Peter Muhly said that he and Rowan went skiing, which he never would have had an opportunity to do in Ireland. "I couldn't stand for very long," Rowan said.
Visiting the mall and driving on the major highways also were new experiences for Rowan, who has grown up in a rural community.
In examining American Boy Scouting vs. being a Boy Scout in Ireland, there also are some differences. "In Ireland, we do different kinds of badges individually instead of in groups," he said. His mother added that the badges in Ireland are generally pretty small, while the American merit badges are large and colorful.
Barbara Muhly said their experience has been so pleasant that they have invited Troop 31 to visit them in Ireland. "While it seems new and strange, it's all the same," she said. "Everyone has been very nice and friendly."
Supporting Youth through
Scouting for 109 years
Boy Scout Troop 31
Rochester, New York