In June of 2023 Washington, DC will welcome a member of the New Hampton School Class of 2024 to the floor of congress to receive the Gold Medal of the Congressional Award, congress’s highest honor for youth civilians. Scouting, via Troop 89 out of Medfield, MA, has been at the core of Everett Lybrand’s earning the prestigious recognition. Now a junior at New Hampton, Everett lives in Meredith, NH with his family. Tony Mure, Strength and Conditioning Coach at New Hampton, was one of Everett’s validators for the program.
Participants in the program set goals across four areas — public service, personal development, physical fitness, and exploration. For 2021, over 50,000 students across the US enrolled in the program, with only 5,000 being recognized for any award, and only 517 receiving the Gold Medal. Nearly 2,000 of those 50,000 came from New England. Last year, 1 Gold Medal was given out in New Hampshire and 8 for Massachusetts – just 19 in total across the six New England states. Since the program’s inception in 1979, around 6,000 gold medals have been awarded.
Gold Medalists complete 400 hours of community service, 200 hours of personal development, 200 hours of physical fitness, and a minimum of a five-day, four-night expedition or over two years. Troop 89’s trip to Seabase in the summer of 2021 was the subject of Everett’s write-up for the expedition. Young people may register when they turn 13 1/2 years old and must complete their activities by their 24th birthday.
Scouts BSA has been a partner program of the Congressional Award since 1999. “I was able to count many of my activities for the Eagle Scout rank towards the requirements of the Congressional Award. I was surprised that I was called out for individual recognition at the Daniel Webster Council dinner for Eagle Scouts in Concord and I hope others will pursue the award,” said Lybrand. Because of his completion of the medal, Everett was one of three scouts individually called out at a ceremony for over 100 New Hampshire Eagle Scouts. The Congressional Award asks participants to create, set, and achieve goals – in addition to volunteer work and scouting pursuits, Everett completed goals in drone flying, marksmanship, music, and snow sports.
“Everett is a Scout’s Scout,” wrote Scoutmaster Jim Hatch, another of Everett’s advisors in his commendation for the Eagle Badge, which was completed in May of 2022, continuing to say, “and his work with Fin, Fur and Feather was extremely important in helping Troop 89 find a way to meet and stay active in difficult times.”
Commitment to Service
The Congressional Award is one of many ways Everett’s commitment to service has been recognized; he has twice received the New Hampton School award for, “100 Hours of Service” — the school’s top award for community service. Mure said, “Everett comes in and gets the work done. Everett is a shining example of hard work, discipline, and focus. His ability to work independently and follow directions is second to none. He is a natural born leader.” Service and community involvement are important parts of the New Hampton experience and an integral part of the Community, Activity, and Service (“CAS”) element of the International Baccalaureate program.
Pursuing the award is a family affair, Everett’s mother, Wendy White Lybrand, was recognized for the Bronze Medal out of Culpeper, Virginia as a high school senior in 1994. “Service is important to our family, the award is a great program, and Troop 89 is a wonderful way for young people to learn about helping others,” said Mrs. Lybrand. Everett’s sister, Lillian Lybrand, Inter-Lakes class of 2026, is currently pursuing a medal.
When asked about next steps, Lybrand responded, “I’ll get a degree in engineering. A few of us from Troop 89 have applied for the Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP) through the Navy, but it would also be great to work another summer at the Town Docks and enjoy the lake.” Lybrand is one of the 14 members of Troop 89 who will be hiking through the New Mexico back country at Philmont Scout Ranch in July of 2023 and plans to attend the Troop’s annual week at Camp Squanto near Plymouth, MA.
Service isn’t the only thing on Everett’s radar – he was a member of the 21st ranked NEPSAC New Hampton Husky football team, was presented with the ‘Rural and Small Town Recognition Award’ for scholastic achievement as a resident of Belknap County, NH by the College Advisory Board, and is pursuing his International Baccalaureate diploma through his studies at New Hampton. Everett has joined Scouting events in New Hampshire with Meredith’s Troop 55 and Venture Crew 58 out of the Pemigewasset Valley Fish and Game Club. Benches from his completion of Scouting’s Citizenship in the Community merit badge sit in front of the Meredith Historical Society and at the Pemi Valley club.
Ryan Daye, Everett’s advisor at New Hampton, shared, “Everett is a very hardworking, independent young man. He accepts new challenges without second guessing and is a perfect model of a community citizen. I am grateful to have him in my advisory group here at New Hampton School.”
Press release re-shared and edited with permission of the Lybrand family.