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Missoula teen 4th generation to reach Eagle Scout rank

By Faith Smith, KECI Reporter, fcronin@keci.com
Published On: Mar 05 2013 10:31:17 PM MST
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Tuesday night one Missoula teen received the Boy Scouts of America’s highest award.

Loyola freshman Jacob Benson earned his Eagle Scout award for all of his hard work and dedication in the Boy Scouts, and there's a touching twist.

Not only is it a rare honor to be given the title of Eagle Scout but Jacob is only one of a dozen people in the U.S. who is a fourth-generation Eagle Scout.

Jacob, his father Adam and grandpa Bill say scouting is one thing that has always bonded the different generations.

"It’s unique for my family and especially unique for me because I was the last part of the four generations,” said Jacob.  “It was really special to be part of this and have all of the other Eagle Scouts of my family here with me." 

Great-grandpa Max Benson was one of only 1,100 scouts to become an Eagle Scout in 1922.  His family remembers him with pictures and the tradition they carry on.

"Each father in that chain to some degree recognized how important that is for youth to achieve that for themselves and encouraged them and provided them support along the way,” said Adam Benson. 

Local scout leaders tell NBC Montana of the 2.3 million youth scouts only about 4 percent will ever reach the rank of Eagle Scout.

"I feel grateful to have the chance to have a son who's interested and worked very hard to achieve Eagle himself," said Adam Benson.   

Bill Benson says he couldn't be more proud of his grandson. 

"I have been looking forward to this day for a long time,” he said.  “It really is a highlight because scouting did a lot for me and, I think, a lot for my son, and now I get to watch this of my grandson."

"Being an Eagle Scout is a great honor and then being a fourth-generation scout with all of my family members being an Eagle Scout, too, kind of completes the whole deal and makes it that much more unique and special to me,” said Jacob.

Local scout leaders say they believe this is the first time there has ever been four generations of Eagle Scouts in Montana.