Troop 98 Eagle Scout William Pitts joined the ranks of the historic Josey Scout Lodge’s brightest scouts of past and present after being selected for the 2021 Outstanding Scout Award at the annual Robert A. Josey Banquet on Sunday.
“Huntsville scouts really connect with the community more than a lot of other troops in different towns. Just the way the community recognizes 114, 98 and 97 in Huntsville is completely different than anywhere else I’ve seen,” Pitts said. “To be able to be recognized as the Outstanding Scout when compared to the other scouts in Huntsville means so much, just because I know how much of a reputation the other finalists have and the scouts in Huntsville have. The point is never to get the recognition, but at the same time, it’s nice to know that what I’m doing is recognized.”
The annual Robert A. Josey Outstanding Scout Award, created by Josey himself, dates back to 1934, recognizing an active scout in a Huntsville Scouts BSA troop who has shown outstanding leadership in school, church, scouting and his or her community.
In addition to receiving a certificate, a $500 monetary award and a custom Josey Lodge jacket, Pitts’ name will become a part of BSA history as it will be engraved on a paver in the Court of Honor in front of the Josey Scout Lodge.
“To have a historic building is great in itself, and then knowing that I will be part of that site for a long time, or forever, is really cool, especially because I’ve been around that building since I was born. It’s always been there. So not only to be part of that building and part of that site, but also to be recognized alongside the other great scouts that are over there is really cool,” Pitts said.
Pitts joined Boy Scouts of America in 2011 at just six-years-old, as a Tiger Cub with Pack 98 in Huntsville. After years of working his way through the ranks, Pitts joined Scout Troop 98 in 2016, achieving his Eagle Scout ranking in 2020 with a total of 34 merit badges. The Eagle Scout was elected into Scouting’s Honor Society, known as the Order of the Arrow, and is an Ordeal member, while currently working on the next level of the order brotherhood.
“The biggest achievement in scouting for me is not the physical awards. The most valuable thing you earn, and the most valuable thing you get from scouting is just the experience. There’s stuff that you get from scouting that you really can’t get anywhere else, whether it be knowledge about the outdoors or interacting with different people from around the world,” Pitts said.
His favorite aspects of scouting is being able to disconnect from the world while visiting isolated places across the country and state with his fellow scouts. He also enjoys working with different people and learning to lead varying age groups, which he does as a junior assistant scoutmaster helping adult scoutmasters lead younger members of Troop 98.
Currently, Pitts is focused on welcoming in Cub Scouts that will be advancing into the troop, while preparing to serve as an assistant scoutmaster of his troop once he turns 18 and, later, as a scoutmaster wherever he should choose to set down roots.