Area scoutmaster inducted into Boy Scouts Hall of Leadership

Hilliard Gibbs, Jr. of Opelika, AL
Hilliard Gibbs, Jr. of Opelika, AL

Press Release 

COLUMBUS, GA -  During a closing ceremony at the BSA Centennial Parade in Washington, D.C., Hilliard Gibbs, Jr. of Opelika, AL was among 300 Scouts and Scouters from across the United States to be inducted into the Boy Scouts of America's National Hall of Leadership.

Mr. Gibbs is a Scoutmaster for Troop 373 which is sponsored by the Greater Peace Missionary Church in the Saugahatchee District of the Chattahoochee Council in Columbus, GA.

In a special ceremony, Mr. Gibbs was given the additional honor of representing the Southern Region for the Boy Scouts of America.

The Southern Region, one of four, represents 93 councils in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia and serves more than 1,000,000 youth.

Through a nationwide campaign, more than 7,000 nominations were submitted for the National Hall of Leadership. Three hundred were inducted to represent each Scout Council in the United States. All nominations are a permanent record in the archives at the National Scouting Museum in Irving, TX.

Hilliard Gibbs, Jr. was nominated by his daughter as the "Last Boy Scout" for his time and dedication to Scouting. Specific details were given for his leadership with Troop 373, the mentoring of his three sons through Scouts, motivating his daughter to be a den leader and his coaching of three African-American Scouts to achieve Eagle Scout rank – the first for the Saugahatchee District in the Chattahoochee Council.

Mr. Gibbs lives in Opelika, AL, works as a physical scientist for the USDA Forest Service and has been involved with scouting for nearly 40 years. He joined Scouts at the age of eight and remained in Scouts until 16.

For the last 31 years, he has served as a leader and Scoutmaster. Mr. Gibbs is, also, the Chairman of the District and Council committees for Eagle Scout Advancement.

When asked about his commitment to Scouts, Mr. Gibbs said, "Growing up an African-American in a rural community in Western North Carolina, Boy Scouts afforded me opportunities I would not have otherwise had. For example, I was introduced to environmental education; which played a significant part in choosing my profession. Being from an African-American community I did not have access to merit badge counselors and advancement review boards to achieve the Eagle Scout rank. So, these experiences inspired me to stay with Boy Scouts and provide opportunities to other Scouting youth."

For more information about the Chattahoochee Council, visit or call (706) 327-2634

Source: Chattahoochee Council