This is Part 2 of my Boy Scouts of America sponsored post. As I said in the other post, I was only asked to write one. I just could not fit all that I wish to share into one post. This post is dedicated to sharing special moments that my son and husband have had with their Boy Scout troop.
My husband and son love to go camping with their troop. They missed out on the last two summers, because of my son’s issues with his ears, but were able to go this summer. They had a great time. I never thought my son would be able to learn how to fish. Given the fine and gross motor skills involved in that task, I believed that it was an unachievable skill. I was, once again, proven wrong. Thanks to the Boy Scouts, that has happened a few times.
They were on their one-week, overnight camping trip at Raven Knobb, NC, when this accomplishment happened. My son was working on his fishing badge, with the help of my husband. It took the whole week, but my son was able to learn the skills needed to catch a fish on the last day. With the help of a skilled instructor, they were able to locate the best location to cast a line on the last day. It took a lot of patience for both my son and husband, but my son was able to catch a fish just before time ran out. When my husband shared this story with me, I was so happy. And extremely proud.
On a previous camping trip, my son learned how to tie knots. Most people would think that this is an easy task. For a child with poor fine motor skills, it is a huge accomplishment. I was lucky that my husband was able to get a picture of this for me. It is one of my prized pictures.
Over the years, my son has repeatedly accomplished things with the Boy Scouts that amaze me. He has learned to not roam around wherever he wants during outings. He sticks to an area that has been approved. The other Scout Leaders and scouts help to keep an eye on my son. The boys share their snacks with him, too. Although, one young scout learned to be careful about offering my son chips. During one camping trip, a boy in his troop came up to my husband and this little conversation occurred:
“I offered D. some of my chips.” (the young scout)
“That was very nice of you. Thank you.” (My husband)
“Ummm…. Could you ask him if I can have the bag back? (the young scout)
Everyone that heard this laughed, and my husband went and got the chips back for the young boy. My son loves chips. All the boys quickly adapted and now either offer a chip from their fingers, or a bag of for for my son. The other Scout Leaders also learned that the easiest way to get my son to cooperate during a Scout Master meeting for rank is by promising a small bag of chips when it was over.
Our Boy Scout troop has been amazing. For an autistic child that is low-functioning, it is difficult to be able to be involved in an activity away from home for as many years as my son has. I have found that it is a blessing that the Boy Scouts of America look at my son and see him, and not Autism. When we meet a scout, or a Scout Leader, in the community, they always greet him by name with a big smile. He is accepted, and always encouraged when learning new things.