“During that first year, my husband and I were Den Leaders, I didn’t quite know what to expect,” Christel Jackson says.
Though her two older daughters had both been involved in similar activities, her first exposure to Cub Scouts came when her son entered first grade.
The Jacksons learned a lot in their first year with Pack 2020. They were used to camping in cabins, but on their first Cub Scout outing they learned to pitch tents and sleep on the ground.
“The whole camping thing was unexpected for us; we had never camped as a family, but we learned to enjoy it. I never expected to enjoy it and actually want to go on a camping trip.”
Christel became a trained Cub Scout leader and put her professional experience with database administration to work by volunteering as the Pack Treasurer. She knew she had something to offer and wanted to use her gifts to make Scouting better for all of the families in her Pack.
“When we started in the Pack, we made a commitment with the other families,” she says, “that all of our boys were going to become Eagle Scouts.”
From an early age, Christel taught her son, David, and the other Scouts in Pack 2020 to stay engaged and work toward their own advancement. They camped regularly and planned their year around annual trips to destinations such as the National Space Center, Jekyll Island and even a tour of The White House.
Five years later, all of the Scouts in David’s Den earned their Arrow of Light. They weren’t the only ones advancing either; many of the parents in the Pack went through Wood Badge. For their ticket, they founded a Troop so that their sons could continue in the program.
“It wasn’t easy going, it was a rough start, but we worked through it and stayed true to our commitment that every Scout had to make it to Eagle,” Christel said.
David earned the Eagle Scout Rank at fifteen. For his service project he combined Scouting with his love of music and refurbished over 100 music stands for his middle school’s band. He remained involved, earning three Palms before turning eighteen.
Though her son has completed the program Christel says, “The legacy of our Troop is really important to us. We see the benefit and the value of it. All of the boys in the Troop have been model students and citizens in our community. We see the value in how it has shaped them and we want to see that continue.”
Christel plans to remain involved by helping new families joining Scouting, teaching them how to operate a Troop and Pack effectively. “I want to remain involved, but I want to see other parents take the helm,” she says “I would tell any parent that they should try to be involved, because that involvement carries over into every other aspect of their child’s life.”