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Gravois Trail Eagle Scout Earns Every Merit Badge

May 18, 2018

written by Nate Latsch of St. John Vianney High School

John Allen started collecting merit badges because it was fun. Eventually, the challenge to earn every single merit badge became a goal.

“People have said only 305 people in America have accomplished this,” Allen said. “They were saying how big of an accomplishment it would be, how awesome it would be to join them. So at the beginning I was just doing them because they were fun and then once I got further along people were saying I could do this and that inspired me to keep going.”

Allen, who turned 18 on Feb. 23, is an Eagle Scout and a model student at St. John Vianney High School. He’s involved with Student Council, plays soccer and baseball and serves as a school ambassador.

He was recently honored with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Model of Justice Award for his volunteer work and was one of 14 recipients of the 2018 Marianist awards at Vianney, which recognize students who best represent the five characteristics of a Marianist education and are voted on by the school’s faculty and staff.

“John is an incredible young man who breaths life into everything he does,” Vianney president Mike Loyet said. “His humility is so inspiring. I am so proud of John and feel blessed that he is part of the Vianney family.”

Allen added to his impressive list of accomplishments by earning his merit badge for scuba diving, his 138th and final merit badge, during a trip to Boca Raton over Christmas break. It was definitely one of the most fun experiences, he said.

Allen, who followed in his father’s footsteps in Boy Scouts and also becoming an Eagle Scout, chose Vianney after loving the atmosphere of the school during a shadow visit and cites the school as helping him develop leadership skills as he grew from a shy freshman to outgoing senior.

He has seen similarities between his time at Vianney and with the Boy Scouts.

“I could see some of the Scout laws through here,” Allen said. “The Scout laws are ‘trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.’ I see a lot of being helpful to other students, being reverent during church, obedient to our teachers, cheerful every day coming to Vianney. That’s kind of like the foundation of what Scouts are and maybe Vianney doesn’t have that in their syllabus but all the students you can see that in them and who they are.”