Bobby Hitte, the great-grandson of the first Eagle Scout, carried on the family tradition by earning the prestigious Scouting rank on June 23 in Derwood.
In August 1912, Hitte’s great-grandfather, Arthur R. Eldred of Oceanside, N.Y., became the first young man to earn the Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout award, the highest rank in Scouting. He was 17 years old.
Hitte, 18, and a 2012 graduate of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, earned the honor 100 years later.
A member of Troop 1492 in Derwood, Hitte is a fourth-generation Eagle. In addition to his great-grandfather, his grandfather, Willard G. Eldred, and uncle, also Willard G. Eldred, both attained the rank of Eagle.
"Achieving Eagle Scout is a significant milestone for any young man and his family," said National Capital Area Council's Scout Executive/CEO Les Baron. "And it's very common for Scouting to be strong generation after generation. Bobby's accomplishment is a testament to his perseverance, as well as a tribute to his grandfather's legacy as BSA's first Eagle Scout."
Hitte said he began his scouting career at the age of 5 or 6.
“There was definitely a lot of pressure to earn Eagle because of my great-grandfather, although my parents never forced me,” he said. “My mom really wanted me to, and although my grandfather said he didn’t care, I cared and wanted to do it for him.”
For his Eagle Scout project, he renovated the food pantry at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Gaithersburg. Hitte, along with a team of volunteers, repaired the floors, painted the walls, fixed the baseboards, and cleaned the windows.
“I had wanted to do a food drive, but they asked me to renovate the food pantry instead,” said Hitte. “The people at the church were very appreciative, as it is now a respectful place to pick up food.”
Hitte said the project went well, and involved a great deal of planning, organizing and leadership. The work was completed in January.
Hitte, who has earned 27 merit badges, said he is proud to have earned his rank.
“It feels great to have accomplished something that I really wanted,” he said. “I started scouting when I was so young, and it feels good that I kept it up and finished.”
Hitte will be attending Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W.Va., in the fall.
He said when he has children, he would definitely encourage them to participate in Scouting, to keep the family tradition going.
Among those present at the Court of Honor ceremony were Hitte’s grandfather, who lives in South Brunswick, N.J.,and his uncle, of Aurora, Colo.
Also receiving his Eagle was fellow troop member Kenneth Phillip Christman, who attends Col. Zadok Magruder High School.