A young man from East Falls Church became an Eagle Scout and then went even further to earn all of his Boy Scout merit badges. It is quite the accomplishment.
This is an incredibly rare feat. Less than one percent of Boy Scouts accomplish this.
It all started when Michael Hollander was going through a tough time.
"I was really sad," said Hollander.
It's tough on any kid, saying goodbye to a father as he puts on his uniform and travels overseas to defend our country.
Eric Hollander served in Afghanistan beginning in 2010.
Michael Holland was just 11-years-old and was feeling down about himself when his dad left.
"I really didn't feel like I accomplished anything." said Holland. "I was talking to my mom one day and she was like, you like scouts, why don't you get all of the merit badges? I was like that would be cool."
The idea was for Michael to have a goal and distraction.
"It was a way for me to focus my attention on the merit badges and getting the merit badges, instead of focusing on my dad being lost in Afghanistan," said Holland.
With that laser sharp focus, Michael began his journey.
He began taking trips, doing hands-on activities, and learning from professionals in different fields.
“I probably learned about more than 300 careers,” said Hollander.
When Eric Hollander returned from Afghanistan 13 months later, Michael didn't stop.
Father and son worked together, as a way to bond and make-up for lost time.
After seven years, and 5,000 hours of work, Michael has accomplished his goal.
He hasn't only gained 141 merit badges, but also pride and self-confidence along the way.
“I feel like this helped me achieve something and make me feel better about myself,” said Michael.
“I am extremely proud of him,” said Eric Hollander.