Thank you for the great article in the September 2006 issue on Scouts with autism.
Scouting has often been a struggle for my son diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. Like the parents described in the article, I, too, wrestle with how much information about my son to share with others. Your article put it out there for those of us who live with the situation daily and cherish each and every successful social interaction our boys make.
My son recently completed his first high adventure backpacking trip, thanks largely to the commitment of our Scoutmaster and several other dedicated adults. He is currently a Life Scout working on his Eagle.
Thank you and the many other parents, leaders, and youth who shared their personal accounts of successful experiences in Scouting by boys with autism. The September article is available in the magazine's online archive at www.scoutingmagazine.org/issues/0609/a-boys.html.
Planning troop outings
I really admire Troop 709; it is amazing how every month for nearly 35 years they have gone on at least one camp-out. (See "We Go Camping," October 2006, www.scoutingmagazine.org/issues/0610/a-wego.html.)
My troop doesn't do much camping, and I would like to do more. Are any planning tips available?
To help leaders plan monthly programs and outings, Troop Program Features are bound into issues of Scouting magazine sent to Scoutmasters and assistants. The supplements include plans for weekly troop meetings plus an outdoor activity based on the month's suggested feature. Troop Program Features are also available for purchase in three printed volumes, arranged alphabetically, of 12 different features each (BSA Nos. 33110A, Aquatics through Engineering; 33111, Environment through Orienteering; and 33112, Physical Fitness Through Winter Camping), available at local Scout council service centers, Scout shops, and at www.scoutstuff.org.
'New' Scouts doing well
A follow-up to the May-June 2004 article "A Year With a New-Scout Patrol" about Troop 1113, Fairfax, Va. (chartered to the Knights of Columbus of St. Leo the Great Catholic Church), confirms that the new-Scout patrol conceptletting new Scouts stay together in their own patrol during their first yearwith special youth and adult leadershipreally works.
Seven of the then-new Scouts pictured on the cover are still active; most (including my son, Teige) are Life Scouts well on their way to Eagle. Two serve as troop guides for the latest new-Scout patrols, and three others have served as regular patrol leaders.
And the older Scouts pictured on the May-June 2004 cover helping the new-Scout patrolBryce Jones (the troop guide, shown holding a map) and Andrew Janeirohave both become Eagle Scouts.
"A Year with a New-Scout Patrol" is available in the magazine's Web site archive at www.scoutingmagazine.org/issues/0405/a-year.html.
Some more display tips
Here are a few more tips to supplement those in the October 2006 article on displaying Scouting memorabilia.
In the September 2006 letter "Merit badge sash rule," from Kellen K., Troop 526, North Royalton, Ohio, the sentence "Except on formal occasions, I have always worn my merit badge sash on my side, over the belt" was edited incorrectly from the original. The sentence should have read: "I have always worn my merit badge sash (which I understand is worn only during formal occasions) on my side, over the belt."
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