scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: Re: mentally and physically disabled scout
William Wolf Jr (BillyDABEARS@AOL.COM
Wed Mar 22 2000 - 22:55:05 CST
Our Troop had a handicapped scout (Downs syndrome). The boys loved working
with him and helping him out to pass his requirements. Even though he was
handicapped he did his very best to complete the requirements. I first met
him at a meeting when he was the first one to come up to me and say Hi. I
had just entered the Troop and I was not familiar with any of the boys there
(except my son of course). In the beginning I was a bit standoffish but the
longer I knew him the more I liked him.
This boy worked very hard and it took him 5 years to finally earn his Second
Class Rank. But he did it with all of the normal requirements. His parents
knew about the alternate requirements but they told us that he wanted to do
the same as the other scouts. He was determined to become an Eagle Scout. I
firmly believe he would have made it but unfortunately he passed away a few
years ago from complications of his Downs Syndrome. The boys in the Troop
loved him so much they wanted to do something to remember him. The boys then
developed an award, named after this scout, that is given to a scout how has
showed the same kind of Scout Spirit that this boy did. The Scoutmaster and
Assistants have no say in the selection for the award and it is done entirely
by the scouts.
The scout changed the way many of us thought about handicapped boys in the
Troop. It changed so much we have now taken in another handicapped scout.
This scout was TURNED DOWN by 4 other Troops before coming to us. He has
worked very hard and has earned his Scout and is now almost to Tenderfoot.
Even though he handicapped he brings with him happiness and friendship
wherever he goes. The boys in the Troop work with him and help him out
whenever he needs it. Also a couple of older scouts have taken him under
their wings to make sure he is doing good. His father even joined as an
Assistant Scoutmaster but we told him to work with other scouts and let his
son learn on his own. He told us that he was impressed with the way our
Troop worked and he has never seen his son so happy.
My advise is to make sure that this boy gets the benefit of Scouting. Not
only will he become a better person but the people who work with him will
Start him on his "Road to Eagle".
If you have any questions I would be happy to speak with you more. You can
email me at WWolfJR@aol.com.
Yours in Scouting,
William Wolf, Jr
Troop 25 Red Oaks Mill, NY
Nimham District, Hudson Valley Council
Nimham District Camping Chair
Nimham District Advancement Committee Member
Nimham District Unit Commissioner
DA BEARS NE-III-138 (98)