Profile of a special needs Scout and family
By: Steve OConnor
Posted On: 2018-09-11
First, every registered adult is a volunteer and those in uniform paid for their own uniform and those are not cheap. Let me repeat, every registered adult leader in a Unit is a volunteer and pays annual dues on top of that. Scouting is not respite and too many families with Special Needs Scouts seem to view Scouting as this. Many Special Needs Scouts have multiple or severe disabilities which need constant support. I have been involved with my sons every step of the way, but they earned all their own Ranks, Awards, Merit Badges, Etc. My oldest has several disabilities and will always need someone to assist him and has thrived in Scouting and has grown more than I can put in words. As he continues in Scouting I or someone else will have to be there with him at all events.
Helping a special needs Scout
What will make a Scout with Special Needs successful on his path to Eagle? First, the Scout must be having fun playing the Game of Scouting and want to continue. Second, the Scout’s family must be committed to their success and willing to be at every Unit Meeting, Camping Weekend and other events. The family will also have to learn how to step back and let their Scout travel the Path to Eagle but be there to support when the Scout needs it.
Mom or Dad, sorry you can’t drop your Scout off for the meeting and come back later and pick them up. For us, we need to park the car and go in and watch them grow. It also helps if you bring a cup of coffee!!
Council Advocate, Baltimore Area Council, Special Needs Scouting Committee
Assistant District Commissioner for Special Needs Scouting, Dulaney District
Assistant Scoutmaster, Special Needs Troop 927
Unit Commissioner, Troops 927 & 1908
Associate Crew Advisor 1778