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by mark ray WHAT I’VE LEARNED

Kellauna Mack-Jackson What a female Scouter knows about developing successful young men.


Kellauna Mack- Jackson

Scoutmaster, Troop 53; District Commissioner, Prairie Dunes District of the Calumet Council

DAY JOB: Church office manager

FAVORITE CAMP: Ransburg Scout Reservation, Crossroads of America Council

PROUDEST MOMENT IN SCOUTING: There are so many, but it always touches me when a Scout goes out of his way to do something that he ordinarily wouldn’t do.

BOY SCOUT TROOP 53 has a proud history at St. Timothy Community Church in Gary, Ind., but that future was threatened in 2006. The church’s pastor and Scoutmaster, Dr. Robert Lowery, became seriously ill and had to step down from leading the troop, which had dwindled to just a few members. Webelos Den Leader


Kellauna Mack-Jackson worried that her eight Webelos Scouts (including her son, Kenneth Whisenton) would have no troop to join. Then, Dr. Lowery approached her with a surprising request. “You’re doing a great job with the Webelos,” he said, “but I need you to be the Scoutmaster. Don’t let my troop die.” Mack-Jackson couldn’t say

no. She took over the troop that summer and quickly grew it to a vibrant unit of 27 Scouts. Seven of those Scouts attended the 2010 National Scout Jamboree, where Mack- Jackson served on staff.

WHAT WAS IT LIKE FOLLOWING SOMEONE WHO HAD BEEN A SCOUTMASTER FOR SO LONG? It was difficult to follow in his footsteps. But I just think about what’s the best I can do for the boys. I don’t try to emulate him. I just try to do what’s right.


WHAT HAS MADE YOUR TROOP SUCCESSFUL DURING YOUR TENURE? We do every activity that we possibly can. We attend all of the camporees. We do the merit badge clinics. We do the parades. We meet every Thursday without fail unless they just refuse to let the street open. One thing I’ve learned is to be consistent.

SINCE YOU STARTED WITH A VERY YOUNG TROOP, HOW DID YOUR SCOUTS LEARN LEADER- SHIP SKILLS? They jumped right in with all the training and things they needed. They’ve learned so much from other Scouts by going to the campo- rees and other outings.

YOUR TROOP MEETS AT THE SAME TIME AS THE CUB SCOUTS. DOES THAT HELP WITH RECRUITING? Yes. The little kids see everything that we do, and they’re like, “Oh man, I can’t wait to be a Boy Scout.”

YOUR CHURCH IS VERY SUPPORTIVE OF SCOUTING. WHY IS THAT? For one thing, they see the boys working. We have giveaways twice a year, and our boys are there in the morning. They help with line control, they help with carrying things to people’s cars, they help clean up afterward. They do whatever needs to be done.

WHAT CAN TROOPS WITH POOR CHARTERED-ORGANIZATION RELA- TIONSHIPS DO? If they see that you’re giving your all to their organization, they will give to you as well. You can’t expect something for nothing. Make sure you have a good rapport with those who are in charge. Sometimes they might not even know that you need anything.

IS IT HARD TO BE A WOMAN IN A TRA- DITIONALLY MALE POSITION? It is difficult at times. Going to roundtable meetings, mostly I’m the only female. Sometimes you don’t get the same


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