- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 10, 2000

Only 2.5 percent of Boy Scouts nationwide reach the rank of Eagle Scout. In the busy Gibb household where scouting is more a way of life than an after-school activity that figure is about to reach 100 percent.

Tonight, brothers Byron, Jordan and Grant Gibb will stand before Troop 839 in Herndon, Va., to accept the honor, the culmination of countless hours spent paddling down rivers, faithfully attending meetings and serving Fairfax County.

What makes the award even more special for the boys' parents is that Byron, 19, and Jordan, 17, earned their Eagles last year, but waited until this year to receive the award with Grant, 14.

"Me and Byron got it. Might as well add a third," Jordan said yesterday, seated in the family home with his quieter brothers.

"It's a thrill to see them all get it at the same time," said the boys' father, Scoutmaster Mark Gibb, 48. "I was never an Eagle Scout when I was growing up."

Racking up merit badges and saluting the flag is truly a family affair for the Gibbs. The boys have taken part in some type of scouting as long as they can remember. Mr. Gibb has always been a leader in some capacity, and his wife, Claudia Gibb, provides the food, rides and support.

"It's been a real fun ride for our whole family," said Mrs. Gibb, 49. "Our whole kitchen and family room have been filled with scouting equipment and scouting food… . We've loaded that car to the hilt."

Said Grant: "She's always been there for us, taking us places, making sure we follow instructions."

Even the boys' sister, Andrea, 22, got involved. She recalled painting a house and jumping off a rope swing.

"This is what makes life really fun," Mr. Gibb said. "I have a lot of priorities in my life. My family comes first."

To qualify as an Eagle Scout candidate, each youth must have a minimum of 21 merit badges, ranging from art and backpacking to botany and aviation.

Grant is particularly proud of his cycling merit badge, in which he was required to complete two 50-mile treks and several of shorter distances.

Each Scout must make a presentation before the Boy Scout Board, which consists of five adults, and successfully complete their Eagle Scout project.

The Gibb brothers, of course, tackled their project together.

They each did their part to renovate a historic property in Fairfax County called the Mount Gilead House. Byron coordinated a massive cleanup of the yard the group filled three Dumpsters while Jordan organized the painting and Grant renovated the fencing around the property.

During tonight's ceremony at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Centreville Road, six Scouts will receive their Eagle Scout Certificate of Honor signed by President Clinton, an Eagle Scout badge and medal, a silver pin and a tie clasp.

Each also will receive a voluminous notebook of congratulatory letters from U.S. senators and congressmen applauding their outstanding achievement. Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, Virginia Republican, will present flags to the new Eagle Scouts.

"To me, it built up my personality a lot," Jordan said of the effort he put into the honor. "I don't think I'd be out canoeing or swimming a mile if I wasn't in scouting. I would have been more lazy."

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