U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar is flanked by (from left) cadets Adam, Leah, Erin, Rachel and Seth Campbell, all wearing the Congressional Award Silver Medals they just received from him.
U.S. Rep. Todd Young with (from left) cadets Leah, Seth, Erin, Adam and Rachel Campbell, whom he has just presented with their Congressional Award Bronze Medals.
Cadets Erin, Adam Campbell and Seth Campbell – the Alpha, Bravo and Charlie flights' respective distinguished cadets – and their sister,Rachel, at the 2010 Ohio Wing Encampment.
The Congressional Award Silver Medal.
2nd Lt. Don Campbell
Assistant Cadet Activities Officer
Harrison Composite Squadron
OHIO – Civil Air Patrol squadrons with five siblings in their membership ranks are few and far between. Squadrons with five siblings, including two sets of twins, who’ve earned the Congressional Award Bronze and Silver Medals and are working toward the Gold are even rarer.
That select category includes – and may even consist solely of – the Ohio Wing’s Harrison Composite Squadron, where Cadet Capts. Adam and Seth Campbell, Cadet Staff Sgts. Erin and Rachel Campbell and Cadet Airman Basic Leah Campbell are doing just that. Adam and Seth are twins, as are Leah and Rachel.
The five, ages 16-19, received their Silver Medals in June 20 from U.S. Rep. Todd Young of Indiana. Their Silver Medals followed Dec. 10, presented by Indiana's U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar.
The U.S. Congress established the award in 1979 “to recognize initiative, service and achievement in young people.” Anyone between the ages of 13 1/2 and 23 may register for and earn the award, for which six levels exist -- Bronze, Silver and Gold Certificates and Bronze, Silver and Gold Medals.
Bronze and Silver Medals are awarded by a member of Congress. The Gold Medal is awarded at an annual ceremony in June in Washington, D.C.
To earn a Congressional Award, a candidate must set goals and complete specific hours in four areas: Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness and an Exploration/Expedition.
Each person working toward a Congressional Award has an adviser who helps oversee the entire process, along with individual validators for the four areas who support and help the candidate set goals. When the work is completed, the paperwork is submitted to the office in Washington, D.C., for final approval.
Achieving the Silver Medal requires completion of 200 hours of voluntary public service. To meet that standard, the Campbells participated in such activities as drywalling a home destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, assembling personal care kits for victims of the earthquake in Haiti and the tsunami in Japan, organizing community Christmas toy boxes, sorting clothes at a distribution center and installing a sink at a children’s home.
Combined, they totaled more than 1,000 hours of service.
The five also needed to complete 100 hours apiece in the categories of Physical Fitness and Personal Development. They did so in the course of helping establish and competing in a local intramural volleyball league.
As for Personal Development, four of the Campbells participated in the National Bible Bee, memorizing hundreds of Bible verses. All four qualified for the national level of competition.
The fifth sibling developed her musical skills by participating in a community choir and an acapella show choir and by singing in a summer musical.
To complete the fourth part of the award, an Exploration or Expedition, the brothers and sisters traveled from Indiana to Maine and hiked part of the Appalachian Trail. They also participated in project caving in Virginia.
“The Campbells add a lot to our squadron,” said their unit’s commander, Capt. Michael Nakoff. “This honor is typical of their level of performance.”
It’s not the first time that the siblings – Erin is 19, Rachel and Leah 17 and Adam and Seth 16 – have excelled together.
In 2010, four of them attended the Ohio Wing Encampment in Youngstown. (Keah was too young to join CAP at the time.) At the end of the week, Erin, Adam and Seth were awarded all three of the Distinguished Cadet awards for the Alpha, Bravo and Charlie flights.
In December 2010, three of the Campbells participated in two ways at the Indiana All-Academy Ball. Adam and Seth served in the honor guard and presented the colors at the beginning of the event, which Erin attended as a guest at the invitation of Lugar’s office for having been nominated to the U.S. Air Force Academy.
“Young people actively involved in Civil Air Patrol find the Congressional Award to be a natural fit with many of the activities they are already involved,” said Lindsay Lofton, North Region program manager for the award. “The Campbells excelled at seeking unique opportunities and setting challenging goals.”