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Helping Scouts, the United Way

By Kimberly Morrison

Special to the Salisbury Post

Isaiah Jones, 17, of Salisbury is one example of the Rowan United Way’s positive impact.

Isaiah, a Life Scout in Troop 300, is set to become the troop’s first Eagle Scout in April.

Troop 300 is sponsored by the Emmanual Church of Salisbury, which also sponsors a Cub Scout Pack and coeducational Venture Crew. They are chartered through the Central North Carolina Council, Boy Scouts of America, a proud Rowan United Way partner agency.

Jones began his Scouting career in 2008 as a Cub Scout in Pack 300, but his favorite memories are from when he crossed over into Boy Scouts. Since becoming a Boy Scout in 2010, Jones has learned over 40 new skill sets through the merit badge program, with kayaking and first aid being his favorites. Through Scouting he was able to experience whitewater rafting and BMX for the first time on his weeklong trip in 2016 to the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia. He learned to swim at the Central North Carolina Council’s Camp Barnhardt in New London and continued on to join his local swim team.

Completing the journey to become an Eagle Scout has not been a simple one. To obtain the rank of Eagle, Jones had to earn 13 required merit badges and 10 elective badges, hold a leadership role within his troop, as well as complete a community service project, which requires many hours of planning and fundraising. But for Jones, Scouting has been so much more than learning new skills and having fun with friends.

“His growth was extraordinary,” said his mom, Tichica King, reflecting on the nine years her son has been involved in the Scouting program. “He went from a playful child to a person of responsibility and standing up to challenges. Scouting taught him to overcome. Scouting will help him — especially in college with things that students haven’t experienced. He won’t be a victim of peer pressure and will stay focused.”

Jones has big plans for his future after high school graduation, inspired by the cooking merit badge he earned one summer at Camp Barnhardt. He plans to attend culinary school and continuing onto baking and pastries. Once he completes his culinary training, he plans to attend Winston-Salem State University to study music like his three older sisters, all of whom are involved in Scouting.

“Scouting helps me be brave — a Scout is brave. And it helped me ‘be prepared,’ ” concluded Jones.

Funding from the Rowan County United Way made this Scouting experience possible.

Morrison is development director for Boy Scouts of America, Central North Carolina Council.

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