My youngest has HF ASD. He has always loved scouts, starting from when his big brother was there. As soon as he was able to join, we did. I was involved for many years, some of those as Committee Chair for the Pack, and others as just a parent volunteer.
When it came time to cross from Cubs to Boy Scouts, we chose not to go to the troop his brother was in. We found a troop that was smaller and more accepting of his differences. He has done a phenomenal job and had lots of fun with this group. After the older scouts Eagled/aged out this spring, his friend was voted SPL and he was voted ASPL. Due to Covid, there was no summer camp last year. I was secretly relieved, because I wasn’t sure how he would do for a week in the woods away from home. Cut to this year, and I had the same dread. But we signed him up, and got with the leaders to explain the fears/concerns.
We dropped him off last Sunday with high hopes. I’ll admit, I was on pins and needles most of the week, and kept my phone constantly with me – expecting a call any minute to come get him. But that call NEVER came. We got email updates & photos from the leaders telling us what a great time they were all having, and giving us quick snapshots of how the days went. Dad went to pick up, and this kid spent the whole car ride home excitedly talking about absolutely everything they did at camp. When he got home, he came bounding in the house to tell me all about it. And then did the same when his brother got home. He even bought his brother a new knife from the trading post (I swear this kid is always thinking of others!) Seriously. I am in awe.
I cannot put into words how I’m feeling right now. Gratitude, love, elation, happiness, just so many things all rolled into one. I *never* expected this. I’m crying tears of joy right now. My heart is SO happy.
I grew up in a scouting family. My dad was a leader for many, many years. I knew the value of scouting early. I was a Girl Scout (because back then girls couldn’t join the Boy Scouts). I believe in scouting and the programming it offers. I’m proud to be a scout mom. And I know somewhere my dad is smiling.