WHY JOIN SCOUTING?
one of the best places for kids with special needs to grow and excel. It
provides a diverse program of fun and learning in areas such as health &
fitness, citizenship, art, leadership, community, sports, outdoor skills,
cooking, games, moral values, independence, and faith. Cub Scouting is also
specifically based on Do Your Best, whatever your individual best is.
I have a son
with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. He is 11 years old, but I have him in a wolf
den (this is allowed with paperwork from a doctor). While he is somewhat
social, he tends not to actually interact with other kids, but does mirror play
instead (acts like them but not with them). During our first campout, I was
attached to him the entire time to help him out and out of fear that he would
have a meltdown. On a recent campout one of the cub scouts came to me and said
my son was not playing fair. I was so proud, he was actually playing with them, only not
playing by the rules.
years that he has been in scouting, I have seen his independence grow. He no
longer wants me with him during scouting events (in a good way). He wants to do
things on his own.
As for the
rest of the pack, they all know him as one of the cubs. Do the boys know that
he is different? Of course they do, but that does bother them.
I know a lot
of families who have similar stories, where scouting has really helped their
FINIDING THE RIGHT UNIT
“The basic premise of Scouting for
youth with special needs is that every boy wants to participate fully and be
respected like every other member of his unit. While there are, by necessity,
units exclusively composed of Scouts with disabilities, experience has shown
that Scouting usually succeeds best when every boy is part of a regular unit.”
As with the school
districts, each unit (Cub Scout Pack or Boy Scout Troop) is a little different.
Some units may not be prepared for your son, or their program may not fit.
Please contact your local scout unit and talk with them about their program and
how they are prepared to welcome your family into scouting. If they are not
prepared, contact your local council and ask for help. They will find you a
unit where your son can succeed.