Smarties, I am so excited to introduce you to local mom and Scouting extraordinaire Jennifer Clutter! Jennifer was kind enough to answer a few questions from me on all of the exciting changes going on in Scouts BSA. We have some remarkable leaders in our city helping our youth, and Jennifer is one of them! Enjoy getting to know her.
Smarty Mom: Jennifer Clutter
Married to: Ryan Clutter (19 years)
Children: Carson (12) and Kennedy (9) and dog Ramsey (4)
Hometown: All over the USA: Parkersburg, WV, Indianapolis, IN, Rochester, NY, Seattle, WA, Mission Viejo, CA back to Rochester, NY – My Dad worked for Eastman Kodak, and we moved all over the country growing up. It was the hardest and best part of my childhood. I finished high school in Fairport, NY outside of Rochester, NY
Years in Charlotte: 19 years
Area of Charlotte you call home: Myers Park
Alma Mater: Indiana University, BS Business
Tell us a little bit about how your family got involved with Scouts BSA.
My dad, John Mahaffey has been involved in Scouting since he was 12 years old – he earned his Eagle Scout in Louisville, KY. His father was a Life Scout as well. My parents moved to Charlotte in 2009, and my dad immediately got involved with the Mecklenburg County Council as a way to give back to Scouting and get plugged in to a new community. My dad now serves on the Executive Board for the council, serves on several committees and even chairs a few of them.
My dad had my son, Carson, involved in Scouting before he was even old enough to be a registered Cub Scout. Carson could not wait to get into Scouting, and the day he registered my dad made me fill out an adult volunteer registration form, too. I remember telling him this was not going to be my thing and now 6 years later, I have served on our Pack committee in several roles. I was Carson’s Cub Scout Den leader for 4 years, and now I serve as my daughter, Kennedy’s, Den leader. I also worked a summer at Cub Scout Day Camp running the BMX bike track, and last year I was asked to serve on our Council Executive Board. I have co-chaired the Council’s Annual Volunteer Recognition banquet with my Dad for 3 years. My involvement just snowballed, and it has been a ton of fun! I have met so many outstanding men and women who volunteer their time and talents to our youth in the Charlotte community. I am always in awe of the commitment that adult volunteer scouters give to the BSA organization and its youth.
What are some of the changes taking place in Scouts BSA with regards to girls?
BSA has made a move to officially include the entire family in Scouting. Like my daughter Kennedy, sisters have been going to Cub Scout meetings for years, doing the same activities as their brothers but have not be able to “officially” earn any badges or ranks. BSA answered the plea of many families who wanted their daughters to have the same opportunity to be a part of the family leadership program that Cub Scouts offers and then proceed to the youth leadership and service program that Scouting provides for youth 12-18 years of age, which has traditionally been knows at Boy Scouts and will going forward be rendered to as Scouts BSA. BSA has had girls in Scouting since the 70s through their Ventures program, which is a co-ed leadership and service based program for youth ages 14 and older.
You’re leading the first official all-girl BSA group in Mecklenburg County’s council. What made you want to get so involved?
What are some of the things your all-girl group is doing?
Our girls have gone, hiking, camping, learned how to use pocket knives safely, community service, attended summer day camp and overnight camp. Really everything our pack has done with the boys for so many years our girls are now doing it too.
How is it different than your son’s troop?
Kennedy’s Cub Scout Den is really no different than my son’s Cub Scout Den when he was in Cub Scouts (he is now in Boy Scouts), except that its a room full of girls vs. a room full of boys. The only difference is that the girls seem to listen better and aren’t always trying to wrestle with each other in the corner! Ha!
How is it the same?
Its the same in that they are using the same proven curriculum that BSA has used with boys in Cub Scouts for years. Its simple – kids and Scouting is just fun!
What makes our council so great?
Our professional staff leadership, which is lead by Mark Turner, our chief scout executive. Mark’s leadership is like none I have ever witnessed, I feel very fortunate that my family gets the opportunity to do Scouting under his vision and leadership and that we have the privilege to know him well. Mark’s leadership is what inspires the other Scouting professionals in our council and the over 2,000 registered Adult Scouting Volunteers in our council like myself who make Scouting possible. I love that my children are mentored by men and women of all ages in our community who are passionate about Scouting and Scoutings Values. My son and my daughter have friendships and relationships with some of our communities top business leaders because those leaders have chosen to give their time and talents to Scouting in our county. My son said it best – being a part of Scouting has given him a diverse tool box, he can be in a room of adults and can almost always strike up a meaningful conversation as a result of his participation in Scouting.
Boy Scout Oath or Promise
On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.
We’re living in a city and an age where kids have lots of choices for activities. Why should a child considering choosing Scouts?
Scouting provides skills for life, instills values for life and gives our youth tools they can use everyday. Scouting is a service and leadership organization that utilizes the outdoors and many other hands on activities to develop youth. Scouting gets kids and families into the community and into the outdoors to, learn new skills and develop strong core values and leadership skills. It would be hard to find any family that does not want to see their children participate in an organization who is instilling duty to God and country, duty to other people and duty to self.
Smarty lightening round…
Favorite date night spot? In my kitchen with everyone helping to make a nice dinner so we can watch a family movie or play a family game.
Favorite place to meet friends for lunch? Luna’s
Best place to spend a day off? Home with my family or traveling to a new city with my family
Family’s favorite vacation spot? Skiing out West
Favorite app (phone, not food)? Cookie & Kate (recipe app)
Last book read? Orphan Train
Best part of raising a family in Charlotte? The variety of things to do with great weather for so much of the year.