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SpecialScouting

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About SpecialScouting

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    New Lenox, IL
  1. SpecialScouting

    What is hazing?

    I was always taught that the definition of hazing was forcing someone to do something that YOU would not be willing to do yourself in front of your grandparents.
  2. SpecialScouting

    Please keep your eyes open

    There is a lead that he took a Greyhound to Denver and was seen walking his bike in Colorado.
  3. SpecialScouting

    Please keep your eyes open

    Any scouters that may be out hiking/biking this weekend (in Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado especially) please keep your eyes open for Chris. His parents think he is trying to bike from Illinois to Colorado. Please contact your local authorities if you see him or call the number in the article. Thanks. http://triblocal.com/naperville/2011/08/25/family-seeks-safe-return-of-missing-naperville-central-student/
  4. SpecialScouting

    First "Big" Campout

    We had a great time I kept reminding them to think about what they liked and didn't like about what we (the adults) chose to have for them to do because they are in charge of next month's campout. That lead to a huge debate among the boys on the merits of peanut butter and jelly vs. grilled cheese Our 3 boys that wanted to earn "stuff" (activity badges and rank advancements) were able to get a lot done. But my favorite part is one Webelo, who prior to this really struggled with friendships and any physical activity. He actually told his mom "Hurry up, I need to see my boy scout friends." AND he helped build the fire, carved Ivory soap, played kickball and even (to his mother's great shock) tried to do our night hike. He only made it about 200m before he decided he had to leave but that is 200m more than he has even done!! He is insisting that next month he is going to sleep in a tent for the first time ever!! I love my scouts (This message has been edited by SpecialScouting)
  5. SpecialScouting

    First "Big" Campout

    This is a mix of Webelos and young scouts (all with moderate disabilities) so developmentally they are younger. We aren't specifically trying to complete any activity badges or T-2-1 requirements but I will record what they do get done. We have 1 Web and 1 scout who love the feeling of accomplishment from learning all the skills so they are pretty far along their trails but most of the boys are happy just to be there and need multiple exposures to the skills before they will be able to start to get them. (Knot tying for a kid with fine motor issues and 'identifing' for a blind child are unique challenges.) As far as 16 hours of sleep, most of the boys must sleep at least 8 hours (either their meds are sedating or the nature of their disability causes them to need more sleep). Thanks for the games suggestion! They will like that much better We are doing a few different things wrt to food. Friday is tinfoil packets for dinner (where the boys put meat, potatoes, veggies in, seal it up and put it in the fire) and smores for a treat. Sat is cold bfast (the boys picked cereal) and walking tacos using a camp stove to heat up the prepared meat. Dinner is hotdogs on sticks and dessert is a dutch oven cobbler. The boys are doing all the cooking (with help as needed).(This message has been edited by SpecialScouting)
  6. SpecialScouting

    First "Big" Campout

    We had a small campout in my backyard just to introduce the boys to the concept and this weekend is our first 'big' campout. We are camping in the local county forest preserve. We don't have a strict schedule. Mostly just optional activites for the boys to choose if they want. I have "challenge hike" cards where 2 or more boys can pick one, choose a trail and go do the challenge (challenges are "find and examine a tree stump" "identify poison ivy along the trail and as a vine on a tree", "identify 6 different trees" etc.) We have a forest preserve environmentalist taking us on a couple of group hikes to learn about different ecosystems. I'm also setting up "stations" around the camp that the boys can experience at their leisure. (knots, first aid, carving, kickball). I have several 'fireside chats' plan to discuss Leave No Trace, Hiking Safety, etc. (5-10 minute chats, 4 total over 3 days) We are also (as a group) going to learn how to safely build a fire, pitch a tent, etc. So, about 6 hours of "formal" stuff, 16 hours of sleep and 26 hours of free exploration. Am I missing anything??? Is this too much?? too little??
  7. SpecialScouting

    When do you advance your Webelos?

    I think it depends on the "culture" of Boy Scouts in your area. Our troops are designed to bridge the Webelos into their troop in Feb/March. We had one Webelo den leader push very hard for "her" Webs to be allowed to bridge over 5 months early because she felt they were "special" and more ready that the rest of the 5th graders in town. It created alot of resentment among the SMs because they had designed their programs to bring in the Webs from all the different packs at the same time for a new scout patrol. I believe she finally convince 1 SM to take them all as a NSP in October.
  8. SpecialScouting

    So a scout tells you......

    I'd thank the scout for trusting me enough to share his personal thoughts. I'd then ask him if he needed me to help him tell his parents. Pretty much deal with it the same way you did.
  9. SpecialScouting

    Mile Swim

    Two questions... 1. Who qualifies as a "trained instructor"? The local high school's swimming director has offered to help with whatever we need. She is certified in all of the Red Cross swimming/lifeguarding areas as well as a certified PE teacher. Would she be considered appropriate? 2. How long does it take to swim a mile? I imagine it varies from a slow 11 year old to a varsity record holding 18 year old. What is the general range? (just curious) We have 1 boy in our troop who hates all things athletic, except swimming which he loves, I'm going to tell his parents about this. He has such low self-esteem that it breaks my heart, but if he could do this, WOW!
  10. SpecialScouting

    Rest in Peace

    May God grant Pat's family and friends the peace of knowing his life was well lived; that he made a difference in the lives of many children and that he is now in a place of eternal joy. May the good memories you share with each other provide comfort in the days ahead.
  11. SpecialScouting

    501

    Wow, it has gone up a lot since the last time I checked. For organizations under $10K, it is $400. Look here: http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=96210,00.html
  12. SpecialScouting

    501

    As long as your budget is under $10K/year it isn't that expensive. Your council should be able to help. Just get a copy of another "Friends of Scouting" group's 501c3 application and copy it (using your troops contact info). It's a pretty basic thing, it should take 4-5 hours to deal with it. Now, if you are bigger than $10K/year, it gets more complicated.
  13. SpecialScouting

    Held back in school

    This is really 100% the parents call. Having held back two of my children in 1st grade, I would have had my son repeat Tigers had he been in it at the time. That way he is on track with the kids that he will be going to school with for the next 12 years. Now, my daughter's Girl Scout Troop of 12 girls had five held back in either kindergarten or 1st grade so everyone just decided we'd be a 2-grade troop and they stuck together. IMHO, no one from the Pack should offer an opinion. Let the family do what is best for their boy.
  14. SpecialScouting

    Modify Webelos requirements for special needs?

    "Successive Approximations" is a great way to do this. We have a Web with Autism who almost melted down at the idea of doing sit-ups or push-ups. His mom was in tears and the child was rapidly heading into full panic at the idea. First I told him that no one was going to force him to do the exercises (stop the panic). Once he was calm, I asked if he thought he could do 1 of each. He thought that was possible as long as no one but me and his mom looked at him when he did it, and he was able to do 1 of each. Now at future meetings when we do our 'fitness time', he will be in charge of the timer, then when 'no one is looking' we'll ask him to do 2 of each, etc. Break each task into its smaller steps and have him try 1 step. Once he gets that, have him try the next step, then steps 1-2 together, etc.
  15. SpecialScouting

    Merit Badges

    Thanks John. Our council doesn't have a special needs committee yet but I am meeting with our advancement chair next month to touch base on how our boys are doing and get advice on planning the rest of the year. We are definitely going through our Merit Badge Counselor list with a cautious eye. We need creative people who understand that they may need to spend double the time they normally would with the boy(s) in addition to the support we will give them. We have two outstanding MBCs already onboard. Neither of them have boys in our troop but both have experience with a moderately disabled family member so they 'get it'. I'm really hoping that we can idenfity a dozen MBCs that would be good with our boys so that it is a positive experience for everyone and the boys will have a large selection of merit badges with good MBCs so that they can pick the ones they want to work on outside of the ones the troop will work on together. (I was dismayed to see how many people are MBCs for 25+ badges -- seriously? an expert in all that???) I'm attending my first Roundtable in a few weeks. The person in charge of it (I forgot his title) asked me to do a presentation on supporting scouts with special needs cause he knows many of the troops have boys with special needs and are struggling to support them. It feels a little weird to be both a first time Scoutmaster and a presenter
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