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Meet Capturing the Spirit Guide Captain Jenny Carson

Every year at Capturing the Spirit of Oakland, Jenny Carson keeps the tours moving as the head guide captain for our popular Halloween event.

Jenny (center) and two of her kids.

Tell us a little about yourself
I went to the University of Tennessee (GO VOLS!) and have a degree in history. I work as a virtual paralegal, so if there’s wifi, I can work from anywhere. I have three kids: two daughters and a son. My oldest daughter, Audra, is married and has three kids, my middle kid, Katie, is engaged and coaches CrossFit, and my youngest, Ben, is an accountant and studying for his CPA exam. Both Katie and Ben have volunteered at Oakland in the past. Right now I’m living in Delano, Tennessee, which is about two hours from Atlanta at the base of Chilhowee Mountain on the Hiwassee River. I run, do CrossFit, and will stop at any and all cemeteries and historical markers along the side of the road.

How did you become head guide captain, and what do you do in that role?
I started as a guide in 2010 and when guide captains started a couple of years later I was recruited for that role. I’ve been head guide captain since about 2016. I put together the guide script, decide on emergency stops along the route, train the guides and cabooses prior to the tour and make sure all runs smoothly during the tours (or hope that it does).

What do you love about Capturing the Spirit of Oakland and your role?

Staying fit comes in handy when tracking down the occasional wall jumper at Capturing the Spirit

Capturing the Spirit is the one time of year when all of the volunteers come to Oakland and I get to see everyone over the course of the tours. It’s like a big family reunion, and I love it.

Do you have any funny or shocking stories from years past?
We always have wall jumpers, and I’ve been known to chase them. And I broke my toe one year so I did Capturing the Spirit in flip flops for a weekend (that was a bit cold). It’s always an adventure!


If you’d like to volunteer during this year’s Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween tours, please email Special Events and Volunteer Manager Mary Fernandez at

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