Matt Moniz: Eagle Scout, superstar climber, Outdoor Inspiration Award winner (and he’s just 16)

An incomplete list of the accomplishments of Matt Moniz:

  • Eagle Scout
  • 2010 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year
  • At 12, the youngest and fastest climber to summit all 50 U.S. state high points — he did it in 43 days, three hours and 51 minutes
  • At 16, the youngest person to summit the 27,766-foot Makalu, the world’s fifth-tallest mountain
  • Youngest male climber to summit Mount Elbrus in Russia and Mount Aconcagua in Argentina
  • Sponsored by gear companies Mountain Hardwear, Zamberlan, Q-Force and Leki
  • Advocate for pulmonary hypertension awareness
  • Honored as one of Men’s Journal‘s “22 Greatest Record-Breaking Feats of 2014

At last week’s Outdoor Retailer winter show in Salt Lake City, Matt, 16, added one more honor to that ever-lengthening list: Youth winner of the Outdoor Inspiration Award.

I first mentioned those awards in November when nominations were being accepted. I’m told award sponsors adidas Outdoor and Outdoor Retailer received several excellent submissions, but Matt’s inspiring outdoor résumé stood out.

The Youth category, new this year, recognized an outstanding young person (defined in this case as 16 to 21) who shows leadership and passion for the outdoors and is an inspiration to all. Yep, that’s Matt Moniz.

The category was added because of the BSA’s involvement as a presenting sponsor, but it was open to youth who aren’t in Scouting. And the BSA had no part in selecting the winner, though our Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock did get the honor of presenting Matt with the award.

Want more inspiration? Watch this video about Matt below.

Video: Matt Moniz — Adventurer, Alpinist, Eagle Scout

Hat tips: Thanks to the BSA’s Tom Rugh for the blog post idea and to BSA volunteer Brent Uberty for the photos.


  1. Bryan, thanks so much for the kind words! Wonderful evening and proud to share my scouting experiences with the gathering in SLC. Congratulations to the other finalists Tucker and Charlotte!! I had a great time exploring the Outdoor show with Tucker. Hope to see you again soon Tucker, maybe at Everest Base Camp! Jacob, good point about the website, it’s been a little neglected of late. I’ll “do my best” to get the website updated by the weekend, Scouts Honor. Trick question Outdoor Steps, DC is not one of the 50 Highpoints ; ). But I will make a point to put it on the list!

Join the conversation