As a child, Ken Koziol remembers having many great experiences in Cub Scouts, including one memorable camping trip with his dad. Years later, when his son, Alex, was in first grade, Koziol happened to see a sign for Cub Scout recruiting night in his area. He knew he wanted his son to have the same special experiences that he did growing up.
“I knew right away that we had to go,” says Koziol, who lives in Greenwood with his wife and six children. “We have been active in Pack 245 ever since.”
Koziol’s daughter, Emily, joined Boy Scouts of America after seeing all of the neat projects and activities that her brother Alex was doing. “She saw that girls could join and knew she really wanted to,” Koziol says.
Now, the Koziols enjoy Scouting as a family and have racked up many achievements. They shared their Scouting experience with Indy’s Child.
What is it about Scouting that made you think it would be a good fit for your family?
Ken Koziol: Scouting gives kids a well-rounded experience that they won’t get anywhere else. They make new friends, learn self-worth as well as working as a team, they learn to set goals and achieve them, they learn how to interact well with adults, and they learn outdoor skills. Most of all, they participate in a variety of activities that are fun, keep them active, and help them mature into responsible human beings.
Tell us about Alex’s and Emily’s accomplishments as Scouts.
KK: In 2018, Alex was one of the top popcorn sellers in the whole council for our annual fundraiser. Alex did more than strive to obtain prizes for his efforts. He knew that he was “helping his Pack to do more adventures,” which was part of his pitch. He liked introducing himself to new people and explaining what it means to support Scouting. The ability to speak to adults in an educated manner is only learned through experience, and he mastered it through this experience. I am really proud of him for his perseverance, his approach to learning and his achievement of the goals he set.
Emily has followed in her brother’s footsteps since joining Scouts, but once she was in she has been a trailblazer. I am especially proud of how she is in Scouting because she loves being a Scout. She looks forward to every meeting and every activity, fully prepared to participate. She is the kid who is listening intently because she loves being where she is.
Her first summer camping trip was in June at Camp Kikthawenund, and she was one of 10 girls at camp, but the only girl from Pack 245. To her, that was no problem. She made new friends, was excited for every activity, and was the leader of expeditions to capture a couple dozen frogs in her free time. She even hiked back to the “rock climbing wall” twice during free time because she wanted to ring the bell at the top of the wall. When she finally reached the top, the camp counselors said she was only the second girl to accomplish it — and I saw no boys do so when I was there!
How has Scouting brought you closer together as a family?
KK: There is no better way to become closer than to experience things together like we do in Scouting. We look forward to that one night each week to do new fun activities, and to those special activities like camping, selling popcorn, building pinewood derby cars together and trips that we take as Scouts. With Boy Scouts of America, we can go on adventures as a family that are unique compared to any other childhood experiences. Cub Scouting is a hands-on way for our family to watch our children mature physically, mentally and morally.