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Ceremony honoring three Boy Scouts to occur on 100th anniversary of first Eagle Scout

Boy Scouts of AmericaClubs and AssociationsSean Burke

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."

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.

William Luco, who graduated from Mount St. Joe in June, completed the requirements to become an Eagle Scout just before he turned 18.

Though the completion of his project on the centennial has more to do with luck than planning, the Catonsville resident said he's grateful it worked out.

"I'm very lucky that it just happened to be this year," said Luco, who will attend the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he plans to study mechanical engineering. "It's definitely a momentous occasion and not the type of ceremony I'm going to forget."

Since learning of the ceremony's date, Luco said he considered what exactly his accomplishment means in that context..

"It got me thinking more about the history of the Eagle Scout," he said. "Just thinking about the legacy that's behind me and certainly the legacy that I'll be leaving for Eagle Scouts in front of me."

During Tuesday's celebration, past Eagle Scouts will literally be behind the newest Eagle Scouts as they take the stage to recite the Eagle Scout Oath.

"It'll be fun and nerve-wracking to see a much larger audience and see they were all in my shoes at one point," Brown said.

"I'm thinking it's going to be a little overwhelming," Jordan said.

He said he might get a bit claustrophobic sharing the stage with so many people but described the discomfort as "worth it" to be part of such a special day.

"I've heard of some troops who do Court of Honor for just one guy," Luco said. "I'm not good with being the only person on stage."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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