I remember Camp Jackson being so big and mysterious when I was a Boy Scout. I remember days spent fishing under the Natural Bridge and hiking the trail to the Pinnacle.
I remember meeting and competing against Boy Scout troops from all over the Southeast at Summer Camp and the Jamboree. I remember being absolutely terrified, as a young Scout at the Order of the Arrow “tap-in” ceremonies, that the Indians were going to jerk me up out of my seat and make me follow them and their torches into the night.
And then one night, they did. Fortunately, I came out of that deal unharmed.
I'm an Eagle Scout, but I don't remember how to tie a timber hitch or a clove hitch, and likely never knew.
Don't ask me what to do if a rattlesnake bites or a nest of hornets sting.
I guarantee you I'm not the guy you want in charge of making the fire on a cold winter night, unless there's a starter log involved. Confession: I don't even remember how to do CPR. Fifteen years later, all that stuff is a blur. What I do remember are the fun times I had at Camp Jackson with my friends, and the values I learned through Scouting. I will never forget that, and I'm so glad my parents made me do it.
Parents of Jackson County, in this era of Facebook status likes and Instagram #hashtags, the Boy Scouts is the perfect way to get your youngsters outside, unglued from their devices, out of your hair, and engaged in something meaningful, something bigger than themselves, which will serve them well as they prepare to face the world as young adults. After all, the road to Eagle is not unlike that of earning a college degree. It takes a similar level of commitment, and in the end, the sense of accomplishment is the same. "Encourage" your kids to join one of the local troops. It will pay dividends for the rest of their lives. One day they will thank you.
We are very lucky to have a place like Camp Jackson right here in our own backyard. For those that don’t know, Camp Jackson is a 515 acre Boy Scout Camp located just East of Scottsboro on the Tennessee River at Jones Cove. Camp Jackson, like Scottsboro and Jackson County, truly is someplace special, where the mountains meet the lakes. The camp is an asset available to us all, not just for Boy Scouts. Let's use it.
Oh, by the way, follow Camp Jackson on Instagram @camp.jackson. Also, feel free to email any questions you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will gladly put you in touch with a local Boy Scout troop or the folks at Camp Jackson.
Jacob Bergman is a resident of Scottsboro.