Recently, for the seventh year, I visited the Camp Staff at Rota Kiwan Boy Scout Reservation to provide information about including scouts with disabilities. Each time I have gone to Rota Kiwan about one third of the Camp Staff is returning for the summer and have participated in my session. What a rewarding experience to have those who have seen the presentation join in the discussion. They share how what they have learned from The Arcadia Institute has impacted their ability to provide successful camp experiences for all scouts regardless of abilities. I’d like to share one story that I heard from a Camp Counselor:
There was a scout who used a wheelchair and wanted to earn his swim badge. His Troup Leaders did not think it would be possible as he could not physically pass the swim test. The water front Camp Staff was a teenaged young man who came up with a solution. What if the scout could earn his swim badge by demonstrating that he knew how to keep himself safe around water. As a team, the Camp Staff and the Troup Leaders came up with a way for the scout to accomplish this goal. The scout was enthusiastic and worked hard to earn his badge. Other scouts supported him in this project. The Camp Staff later related to me that as a camp community they all learned about possibilities and opportunities that had not been imagined before.
This summer, I will be going to Rota Kiwan on a weekly basis to work with Boy Scouts who want to learn more about how to include scouts with disabilities in their own troups. These Scouts are future community leaders who be intentional about including everyone!
If you want more information about having The Arcadia Institute provide information and support for people with disabilities to participate in your organization contact Allison Hammond at 269-217-2205 or firstname.lastname@example.org.