Boy Scout Troop 456

Members of Catonsville-based Boy Scout Troop 456, from left, Jordan Flesher, Andrew Brown and William Luco stand along a stone fence in Patapsco Valley State Park. The trio will have a Court of Honor Ceremony to celebrate their rank as Eagle Scouts on Aug. 21, the 100th anniversary of the day the first American became an Eagle Scout. (Photo courtesy of Sheila Wheltle / August 15, 2012)

Since New Yorker Arthur Eldred became the first American to attain the rank of Eagle Scout on Aug. 21, 1912, more than one million Boy Scouts nationwide have followed in his footsteps.

On the 100th anniversary of his accomplishment, Catonsville-based Boy Scout Troop 456 will hold a special ceremony honoring its three new Eagle Scouts.

The troop, based out of St. Mark Church on Melvin Avenue, has invited each of the 119 men who became Eagle Scouts since the troop formed in 1945 to the ceremony honoring Andy Brown, Jordan Flesher and William Luco.

"This year, when they came up with the 100th anniversary of the Eagle Scout, we decided to make it something special," said Sean Burke, the Scoutmaster of the troop. "We're hoping to bring them all back as a celebration of what they did as well as these three boys."

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A Court of Honor Ceremony to honor those who have earned the highest rank within the Boy Scouts, invites Eagle Scouts to take the oath with the newest inductees.

Typically, Troop 456's ceremony attracts between five and 10 Eagle Scouts to the ceremony.

This year, Burke said, the troop expects more than 25.

While many of the Eagle Scouts of Troop 456 still live in the area, the search has extended through the western hemisphere.

Sheila Wheltle, a counselor of the troop, searched the Internet for Albert Bauman, III, who became the troop's first Eagle Scout in 1961.

She sent an invitation to his last known address in Hawaii, which, was then forwarded to his current home, about 30 miles southwest of London.

Bauman responded that he was unable to make the trip back, but added that he appreciated the initiation.

"It was a proud moment in my life that I'll never forget," Bauman wrote in an email. "I owe a debt to my parents and the Troop 456 scoutmaster at the time, Charlie Precht, for encouraging me along the way."

Bauman also congratulated the three newest Eagle Scouts on their accomplishment and wrote that the skills they've learned will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

Andy Brown, a 16-year-old Woodlawn resident, had the choice of having his Court of Honor Ceremony on July 1 or Aug. 21.

He chose the centennial of the nation's first Eagle Scout.

"I think it's because I'm a bit of a history nerd," the junior at Mount St. Joseph High School said.

Brown said he looks forward to when he can tell his grandchildren about the ceremony and brag that it was on the 100th anniversary.

Catonsville resident Jordan Flesher, 15, also a junior at Mount St. Joe, had plenty of time to become an Eagle Scout given the deadline is the Scout's 18th birthday.

Still he finished early and said he "ecstatic" about attending the ceremony and receiving the Eagle Scout badge. The badge will have a special emblem denoting the significant date.

"After learning about the badge and the historical everything, I thought it'd be something cool to do," Jordan said.