First person: Immersed in scouting

CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson Kathleen “Katie” Haynes Burns was awarded the Bronze Pelican award earlier this month for her work counseling scouts in their quests to earn scouting emblems associated with the the Catholic faith.

Kathleen “Katie” Haynes Burns of Clovis was never involved in scouting as a youth, but her family and personal involvement is now a staple of her life.

Haynes, a religious emblem counselor, was recently given the Bronze Pelican award. It is a diocesan recognition for adults who have made a significant and outstanding contribution to the spiritual development of Catholic youth in the Boy Scouts of America.

Haynes was not aware the award existed before she received it Feb. 6 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and isn’t sure she deserved such an award.

Time in Clovis: I was born here, and don’t go there. Don’t ask when (laughs).

Scouting: My son was an eagle scout, and my husband (James Burns) is very involved in scouting at the council level. It was just all around me.

Jack Schonberger asked me (three years ago) if I would be interested in being a religious emblem counselor. I did Bible study at the church, and I enjoyed that very much. It seemed like a natural thing for me.

The job: We make sure they stay on track to get their religious emblems from the Catholic Church. There are also religious emblems from other churches. I would promote any of them obtaining whatever emblem. It’s just to foster a relationship with the Lord and have that be part of their scouting experience.

What she enjoys about scouting: There are two aspects. There’s family involvement, and the other aspect is the independence of the boys themselves to handle things. They are self-governing, self-regulating, self-initiating, and that’s what’s fostered in scouting.

There is parental and counselor involvement, but really the focus is on the boys to become leaders and do things themselves.

— Compiled by CNJ staff writer Kevin Wilson