The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Former Cathlamet residents receive scouting awards


August 31, 2017

Courtesy photo

Dave Backman

Former Cathlamet area residents Dave and Jackie Backman recently received awards from the Boy Scouts of America for longtime service to scouting.

Dave was recently recognized with the Outstanding Eagle Scout Award, and Jackie received the Silver Beaver Award.

Now residents of Stayton, Ore., Dave graduated from Cathlamet High School in 1949, and Jackie graduated in 1950.

David became a scout at age 11. He is a US Marine Corps Purple Heart recipient resulting from combat injuries sustained in the Korean War, causing him to lose his left leg. He and his wife became Cub Scout leaders in 1953. He has served in a variety of community organizations such as the Jaycees. He worked with the Oregon State Employment Service, specializing in finding jobs for people with disabilities. He worked with Oregon's Department of Education to help write and implement federal regulations for disabilities and the handicapped, and he later served as the director of the Governor's Committee for the Employment of the Handicapped. He served on the Presidents Committee for the Employment of the Handicapped under Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan. Over the years, he held a variety of positions with the Cascade Area Council of the Boy Scouts, and since 1971, missed only one national meeting, due to illness.

Besides raising their three children, Jackie has been busy working, first as a case worker and later heading the Oregon State Food Stamp Program, retiring in 1996. She worked on the Governor's Committee for Domestic Violence under several Oregon governors and was a key member of the American Business Women's Association for many years.

Courtesy photo

Jackie Backman

In 1953 she became an Assistant Webelos den leader of 15 boys. She and David built a program that changed the lives of not only the boys in the den but also many of the cub's families. The unit was sponsored by Oregon State College (now OSU), and they would seek assistance from the college with all kinds of things from transportation to engineering pinewood derby cars.

In 1969 they began volunteering with the Cascade Area Council on the Area 1 Disabilities Awareness Team and Camp Inspection Team, and she attended her first National Council meeting as a new National Committee Member in 1971. She has only missed one national meeting since, due to illness, and is planning on attending the meeting in Orlando for 2017.


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