Re: CSP Challenge #6
Marie E. Lackore (mlackore@ATHENET.NET)
Sun, 11 Aug 1996 14:32:16 +0000
Last year at Summer Camp, we had a first-year Scout who has many,
many medical problems (severe asthma, hearing aids, etc.). He has about 10 med
cards. His parents were very skeptical about allowing him to attend
summer camp. However, we assured them that his medication would be
handled by qualified staff and encouraged them to call the camp and
speak with the first aid staff. This they did and felt comfortable
and made the decision to send Matt to camp.
We no sooner arrived at camp and Matt said, in tears, I want to go
home. This was his first real trip away from home. We knew we were
going to have one very homesick boy. He begged and begged to call
home and have his parents come and pick him up. We (the leadership)
finally decided to compromise with him. We knew that his father was
coming up to visit on Wednesday and we were on Sunday. We suggested
that he write a letter to his parents telling them what a bad time he
was having and mail that off. We then told him that he could call
home on Tuesday. Finally he agreed to this.
It was astounding to watch Matt as the days unfolded. The rest of
the troop became quite in tune to his special needs. The boys
realized quickly that Matt was practically deaf and could not hear
well, and we would often see the other Scouts repeating directions to
Matt. The boys would take turns with him going down twice a day to
get his meds. We had a rough night Sunday, but by the time Monday
came, it was off to merit badge classes. Again, the boys of the
troop made sure that Matt got to his classes and helped him with
times and locations. It was marvelous to watch.
Matt just blossemed! What he thought was going to be a treacherous
week turned into an adventure of which he had never experienced
By the time we got to Tuesday, I had to remind Matt that it was the
day to call home. The conversation was quite humorous. Matt said,
Mom, about the letter I sent to you...I didn't really mean any of
that stuff. I am having a great time and I don't want to come home.
Matt's dad arrived at camp Wednesday evening, and Matt was just
beaming. He proudly showed his dad the campsite, his tent, what he
was working on, and I know that even his dad was impressed. His
father later said to me, this is not the same boy that left for camp
Matt's dad had to leave on Thursday afternoon and we were a little
nervous that Matt would have a relapse, but not to happen. Matt
walked his dad to the car and said see you on Saturday and gave him a
big hug. He was then off to his next activity.
The boy who left summer camp with his parents on Saturday was
definitely a different boy. He, despite all of his medical
obstacles, was a true Scout. Furthermore, the rest of the troop was
wiser and more mature as a result of having Matt in camp. It truly
brought tears to my eyes, and I knew then that Scouting really can
make a difference.
Matt came to summer camp this year, and there was no homesick boy at
all...only a Scout ready for new challenges and new adventures. We
had two other Scouts who were quite homesick, and I jokingly said to
Matt, remember how you were last year. He said, "Who? Me?" I said,
"Yes...you". He said, "I guess a was a little homesick, wasn't I?"
I said, "A little?" He said, "Okay...I was really homesick," and his
face broke out in a grin, and he gave me the biggest hug that he
We do make a difference. Never think for one moment that we don't!
Marie E. Lackore
Family Camping among other things
I used to be a BEAR, a good old BEAR too...
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City