CROWN POINT | It was only fitting that Boy Scouts and best friends Patrick Hibbard and Carson Hoogewerf both attained the rank of Eagle Scout and held a combined Eagle recognition ceremony after completing their Eagle projects at about the same time and helping each other with their projects.
The two joined Cub Scout Pack 3 as Tigers in first grade at Timothy Ball Elementary School in Crown Point and crossed over to Boy Scouts together, joining Troop 41 in Merrillville.
Both seniors and High Honor Roll students at Crown Point High School, they attended the 100th anniversary of Boy Scouts National Jamboree and are members of the Order of the Arrow.
National Honor Society members, the two have spent four years on the CPHS tennis team, Hoogewerf on the varsity Hibbard playing junior varsity. Both have also been involved for seven years with the Southlake Relay for Life event.
“Patrick and Carson are outstanding young men who are valuable leaders in my Troop," Scoutmaster Jeff Shockey said. "Patrick is my Senior Patrol Leader and shows patience and understanding with our younger scouts. Carson is a past Senior Patrol Leader who leads with quiet confidence. They both have the character to succeed in whatever they pursue.”
Hibbard's Eagle project was to build in-ground staircases on either side of a deep gully at Lemon Lake County Park in rural Crown Point, enabling hikers and disc golfers to access part of the course and help reduce erosion.
“I’ll never forget my scouting experience," Hibbard said. "I will be able to use the knowledge, experiences and skills I’ve accumulated throughout my years of scouting for the rest of my life.”
He raised project funds through sponsors, a garage sale and a hot dog day at a Strack and Van Til store, and received assistance from his parents, Phil and Jen Hibbard, Scouts in his troop and Eagle Scouts from other troops.
Hoogewerf’s two-phase project benefited Every Child Ministries in Hebron, a nonprofit organization that assists children in Africa. He completed a total restoration of the ministries’ well-known sign along Ind. 2, and the restoration of a 350-foot fence that borders the property.
He funded the project through a garage sale and with donated materials and labor from fellow Boy Scouts, friends and relatives.
“Becoming an Eagle Scout has been a great accomplishment," Hoogewerf said. "It taught me how to develop and implement a plan, be a strong leader and to work well with others of all skill levels. Scouting has and will continue to have a truly positive impact on my life in years to come."