Matthew Condon Earns Every Merit Badge and Medal of Merit!
A Member of Troop 9451 in Eagan
The Scouting story of Matthew Condon start like most. He started as a bobcat in 2010, eventually becoming a member of Troop 9451 at St. Thomas Becket in Eagan. He is also a member of Venturing Crew 1776 and 777. He recently joined Scuba Crew 9820.
After earning his first merit badge in 2015 (Safety) he was hooked on this learning venue. His initial plan was to earn 100 merit badges but with encouragement and willingness to help whenever needed some incredible Scouting mentors challenged him to reach for the accomplishment of achieving every merit badge offered by the Scouting organization. In late 2018, Matthew earned his 137th merit badge with the completion of backpacking which he found to be the most physically and mentally challenging but also the most enjoyable. Along the way, he also earned two historic merit badges (World Brotherhood and Bookbinding) through the Scoutmaster Bucky program. So in essence, he completed the requirements for 139 merit badges. Matthew is also an Eagle Scout and his Eagle Project took nearly a year to complete since it required widespread support encompassing the citizens of Rosemount, numerous businesses, the Dakota Elks, members of St. Thomas Becket, and students at the United States Coast Guard Academy.
Having lost his father to cancer at an early age, Matthew always looked up to his brother who is an Eagle Scout but left Minnesota to attend the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 2014. Ryan Condon helped guide Matthew the best he could given the hundreds of miles separating the two very close brothers.
Recently, the story was shared guiding the Council's decision to award the Medal of Merit. Having just returned a few hours prior from a long backpacking trip, his family attended a MN Twins ball game with some friends. Matthew chose to risk personal injury to save a young child from serious injury. He knew from First Aid classes taken through Scouting that it would be better for a baseball driven into the stands to hit his arm than the head of a child seated next to him.
More About Matthew
Other Scouting awards he has earned include Ad Altare Dei, Interpreter Strip, Den Chief Service Award, all the National Outdoor Awards (several with gold devices), World Conservation Award, Scuba BSA, Snorkeling BSA, Zero Hero, and Complete Angler Award. He was given the Medal of Merit Award in October of 2018. He has attended Honor Weekends, Grey Wolf, Seabase, the National Jamboree, University of Scouting events, and is a brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow.
Matthew is an honors student at Rosemount High School currently with a 4.0 GPA. He is a member of the Cross Country team, Speech team, Student Council and Winter running program. He will also be a member of the Rosemount High School jazz band and track team. He has acolyted for several years and volunteers at St. Thomas Becket for other tasks on a regular basis.
Matthew's Thoughts on Scouting
Matthew wrote a paper for his honors English class recently, highlighting what Scouting means to him. We especially loved this portion;
An important phrase in Boy Scouts is “Once an Eagle, always an Eagle”; and its meaning became much clearer on that special Monday evening. I became an Eagle Scout after a long, tedious journey. It is a special rank that is with you for life. Mr. Lee also told me that evening after his congratulatory words, “Matthew, you are a marked man.” After these words, it quickly became as clear as water from a mountainous stream that earning Eagle rank is not an end, but a beginning.