This blog is a continuation of our observing the truth about the importance of children and youth being in nature. Being in nature and having boys lead activities is a central part of Boy Scouts. Camp Rota Kiwan is the Boy Scout Camp in our area. Each summer, we go out once a week to do some training and coaching with Scout Leaders about supporting Scouts with disabilities. This story demonstrates just how being in a natural environment and learning to work cooperatively makes a difference in the lives of youth.
A few summers ago, a young man who uses a wheelchair was attending Camp Rota Kiwan with his troop. All of the scouts in this troop wanted to earn their swimming badges. To earn the badge, Scouts have to demonstrate various swim strokes and swim certain lengths. For the young man in the wheelchair these were not possible. The Troop Leaders were puzzled about how the young man could earn the swim badge.
While the adult Troop Leaders were discussing this as a problem, one of the Camp Counselors who was sixteen years old immediately saw possibilities. He suggested that the young man in the wheel chair could learn and demonstrate how to keep himself safe around water and in a lake. The Scouts in his troop helped him earn his badge. The Troop Leader that related this story to us was inspired by the way the Counselor and the Scouts worked together to find an opportunity in the face of a challenge.
Being outside, being given opportunities for leadership and supporting each other – can you think of anything more important for children and youth to experience?