For those of you with boys on the autism spectrum, you may remember some of my previous blog postings where I recommended the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts as programs that have great opportunities and are accepting of children with special needs.
Justin has been involved with scouting since 2nd grade, about a year before we learned of his Asperger's diagnosis. We initially looked into scouting for him because he had not had any real social experience with boys of his age and both John and I had been in scouting programs at about the same age and had positive memories associated with our experience. We look forward to the day when Ryan can join scouting too.
Today Justin is in 6th grade and coming up on almost a year from the time when he crossed over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. He hopes to achieve the rank of "Second Class" by March and he has been working hard with John to fulfill his requirements.
Last weekend John and Justin took a scouting trip to do snow tubing and fun in the snow at Mt. Hood in Oregon. Although Ryan and I would have enjoyed doing some snow tubing ourselves, we stayed behind at home and had our own adventures.
On this particular trip, Justin had a lot of challenges to overcome physically, socially and emotionally. It's one thing to go to a meeting a couple hours a week and quite another thing to spend time in a cabin with about 100 other boys, most of which would mainly be considered acquaintances. Memories of some of my own scouting overnights are coming back and I'll share some of the challenges I remember in the future.
One challenge that Justin and I share is definitely the selection of food available when not at home. On Justin's recent trip he did end up trying pancakes (not quite Gram's or IHOPs but he gave them a shot) and as you can see below, he did get in some spaghetti. Always a family favorite. (Some in our family have sauce, some don't but we all enjoy the noodles.)
John witnessed some powerful things on this trip and wrote a special blog which shared the story of a scout who selflessly stepped up and helped Justin when he was struggling while trying to make his way up a huge icy hill with a pack on his back.
This was not a boy who knew Justin particularly well, however this was a boy with an amazing amount of inner strength and character who stepped up and embodied what scouting and being a good person is all about. What happened as described to me by John was the kind of thing you might see in a feel good movie. I am very proud of my son and the other scout as well.
Justin coming down the hill, avoiding a Winter Wipeout!
Here is a link to John's blog. I hope you enjoy the story:
Boy Scout Winter Lodge Challenge - http://johnkrejcha.blogspot.com/2011/01/boy-scout-winter-lodge-challenge.html
In other house news, unfortunately Ryan is still ill and John's cough and cold has gotten worse again. I've seen better days and Justin seems to be the one dodging the flu bullets left and right. I'm glad for that! Both boys have off of school tomorrow so I'm really hoping we can all catch up on our sleep this weekend! It feels like we've all been off our routine for about 5 - 6 weeks and it's time for a change!
Speaking of change, are any of you out there following American Idol this year? I love music and enjoy singing. Our family has been watching this show since season 2, however in the past few seasons, it's been more like background noise while we're working. The pizazz just seemed gone. I knew lots of changes were coming and I was interested to tune in this year and see what the judging panel would be like with Randy, J. Lo and Steven Tyler.
I miss Simon Cowell. Yeah, he could be a horse's patootie sometimes the way he worded things but I was interested in hearing what he had to say and he had a charm about him that kept viewers coming back. Randy... we're looking for a change this season, dawg! John and I have a drinking game (ice water) where we drink each time Randy says the word "pitchy". Last season we ended up having to go to the bathroom a lot.
Let's see what this season holds. I like to give everyone a chance. Hopefully we'll hear some great talent. I like the opportunity for people from all walks of life having a chance to fulfill their dreams.
Hope all is healthy in your home!