Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Competence and Camaraderie

I am going back and trying to finish up posts I started several months ago and hit "publish" on as many of them as I can. I'm trying to change my ways of never finishing things. This post was originally started in October 2010. 

Last year with C's difficulties he gradually removed himself from all activities including his beloved Cub Scouts. We had held him back an extra year at Cubs when other boys his age moved up to Scouts because for several reasons - mainly because Scouts comes with huge independence and increased expectations. They begin to treat the Scouts as young men rather than boys and C was just not ready. We wanted him to experience increasing success - such as camping overnight which he had not yet done. Unfortunately the year passed and despite our attempts, C was never quite stable enough to return.

This year he has a new worker, who happened to move to our town this year and she has worked at his Therapeutic Summer camp for the past 3 summer's. I know - it was an unbelievable fortune, one that we have grabbed onto with all possible enthusiasm. She loves the outdoors and was enthusiastic about accompanying him to the weekly meetings and extra outings where possible. So far this year they have enjoyed a trip to the police station, a farm and to a wood shop to cut out their Scout Trucks for racing. There have been other organized trips that C has decided ahead of time that he would prefer not to attend (like a hike in the freezing rain and mud that was a "go" no matter how long or hard it rained because Scouts need to "be prepared") and at this point we support him when he decides to forgo an outing.

He's earned a few badges so far and looks forward to his time with the pack. I just cannot say enough about the dedication and investment of the leaders. I went on one daytime outing (everyone else was camping - we joined them for the day), and I was taken aback by the spirited personalities of almost every boy in the group. The leaders are working with kids with limited social skills, limited interests, difficulty in executive functioning and so on. They are doing it without any extra assistance or information. They have taken these boys under their wings and I was humbled by what I witnessed and experienced the day I spent with them.

I know my son has grown so much from being in Scouting. Every adventure adds to his feeling of competence and camaraderie and that is what every boy should experience.

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