Dads Launch Special Needs Boy Scout Den
INDIAN LAND, S.C. - They've been in the paper. Taken exotic trips. One was hailed a hero. And now, Troop 275 in Indian Land is expanding, and in the process, trailblazing.
"He has Aspergers," says Assistant Scout Master Scott Huggins of his son. Huggins wanted to include his son in scouting, so he helped launched a den for kids with special needs. He believes it is the only of its kind in the area.
At first, "We were a little unsure about it," says dad Johnny Dima. But because it's more one on one and heavy on parent participation, the dads say the den is working. Huggins says, "You figure out what their (the kids) needs are."
So far, there are four kids in the special needs den. They meet once a week to work on projects like bird houses or radios. But their parents say where they see these kids really flourish is in the relationships they develop.
"In a typical scenario, children would never engage him, they would stay as far away as possible," says Dima of his ten-year-old son with autism. He continues, "I never thought he would be able to handle a camping trip."
The dads hope to bring more special needs scouts on camping trips. But they need gear. Dima says, "If anybody had anything laying around the garage, something they weren't gonna use, these boys could use it."
They need pretty much every type of equipment, "cook stoves, tents, ground covers," but the dads are determined. Huggins says, "We're not gonna fail. We're gonna make this go."
The special needs den is open to kids with any type of disability. If you'd like to make a monetary or equipment donation, email email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, pack275IL@gmail.com, email@example.com or visit www.ILPack275.org.