The Presbyterian Friendship Center does not have a spotlight, still Ed and Michele Hibbard received the attention they deserved the morning of Feb. 6.

The Hibbards, longtime Boy Scout volunteers, were called to the Friendship Center’s podium during the annual Friends of Scouting Breakfast to receive the Gene Palmer Eagle Within Award. The honor is given annually to the year’s top local adult Boy Scout volunteer or volunteers.

“They are of the unsung heroes of scouting,” said Bryon Quebbeman, a
La Grande Boy Scout volunteer who won the 2018 Eagle Within Award and introduced the Hibbards.

Ed and Michele were honored at the annual Friends of Scouting Breakfast in La Grande. The couple were saluted in large part for an annual day camp for Cub Scouts they put on at Antone Creek about 10 miles west of North Powder. Science is a focus of the day camp, at which Ed Hibbard teaches Cub Scouts about subjects including steam engines, airplanes, nature, cooking, crafts and the art of making root beer. The root beer is made with substances including flavoring and dry ice, which provides carbonation.

“(Putting on the day camps) is always fun. We try to get (the Cub Scouts) excited about science,” said Ed Hibbard, who teaches the science classes.

Ed Hibbard is an engineer who works in
La Grande for Anderson Perry and Associates, and Michele is a registered nurse who works at Baker Technical Institute in Baker City where she teachers Certified Nursing Assistant classes.

Michele is the program director of the three-day Cub Scout day camp, organizing its classes and much more.

“Michele is very creative and comes up with great ideas. She makes things more fun,” her husband said.

The Hibbards started putting on the day camps seven years ago. Today many Scouts who attended the camp still refer to Ed Hibbard as Mr. Science.

“When someone calls you Mr. Science that is great feeling. You know that you made an impression,” Ed Hibbard said.

Day camps are just one of many Cub Scout activities the Hibbards have been involved in. Ed was earlier a cub master for a pack, and Michele was a den leader.

The Hibbards are the parents of four sons, all of whom have been scouting, and two daughters.

The couple, who have come to every Friends of Scouting Breakfast since 2007, said they had no idea they were in the running for the Eagle Within award.

“We were shocked,” Michele Hibbard said of their reaction to learning they had been selected.

Ed said the award is particularly meaningful because he holds its past recipients in such high regard.

“I really look up to them,” he said.