Barry McNamara  |   Published June 29, 2021

Tibbetts Merits Another Honor

Biology professor receives district award from Boy Scouts of America.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – Just days after being honored for his service by receiving one of Monmouth College’s prestigious Hatch Awards, biology professor Tim Tibbetts has been heralded again.

SCOUTING HONOR: Tim Tibbetts receives the Boy Scouts of America's District Award of Merit fro... SCOUTING HONOR: Tim Tibbetts receives the Boy Scouts of America's District Award of Merit from his biology department and scouting colleague, Kathy Mainz.Tibbetts received the Boy Scouts of America’s District Award of Merit, presented by the Inali District of the Illowa Council. The award is available to registered scouts who render service of an outstanding nature at the district level.

“They look for an adult volunteer who has served the district in an exemplary way, having an effect on the larger scouting community, not just their own unit,” said Kathy Mainz, who works with Tibbetts in Monmouth’s biology department and with scouting projects in the three-county Inali District.

Tibbetts was one of four scouts nominated for the award, cited for his exemplary work with the Illowa Council’s Merit Badge University, an event held annually at Monmouth College that helps Boy Scouts earn various Merit Badges, including several that are normally difficult to obtain.

“Merit Badge University is a great chance for scouts to explore different areas they may be interested in and to broaden their experiences,” said Tibbetts, who has taught scouts about orienteering, citizenship and nature through the day-long program. “The event, spearheaded by Kathy Mainz, is also a nice showcase for the College, reminding area scouts that Monmouth College is here and that college is not some crazy foreign place. Hopefully that spills over into them applying here at some point.”

Mainz said Tibbetts works “tirelessly” behind the scenes, driving vans, shuttling scouts, serving as a Merit Badge instructor, and helping to set up and tear down the event, which is held each March during the College’s spring break.

“I have found that scouting at the local level is valuable as a backdrop to get my kids and other kids interested in the outdoors. Campouts and being in nature are great counterpoints to our busy lives with school and work and other activities.” Tim Tibbetts

“I couldn’t do it without him,” said Mainz. “I’ve always relied on him as my right-hand person.”

For the past several years, Tibbets has also served on the board of review for Eagle Scouts, work that sometimes requires travel within the Inali District, which ranges from Colchester to Toulon.

“I have found that scouting at the local level is valuable as a backdrop to get my kids and other kids interested in the outdoors,” said Tibbetts, who through his work with the biology department leads the efforts to maintain the College’s LeSuer Nature Preserve. “Campouts and being in nature are great counterpoints to our busy lives with school and work and other activities. And scouting naturally develops leadership skills in the scouts as well as self-confidence and maturity.”

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