Some of the Scouts attending the National Jamboree have challenges that make some of the fun activities difficult or impossible. What are some activities these Scouts can do at their own pace?
Scott Hellen has some ideas. Hellen is a staff member at the jamboree’s Disabilities Awareness Challenge Course, where participants can visit 20 stations to learn about special needs and to experience what it feels like to live with a disability. The course is located between the Joe Crafton Sportmsan’s Complex and CONSOL Energy Bridge.
“It’s a great place for Scouts who don’t have a disability to go experience firsthand what it’s like and learn about it.” said Hellen, a retired special-needs school teacher who has had experienced with living with mobility challenges.
For Scouts who feel overwhelmed with crowded places, Hellen recommends visiting an area that is secluded, quiet and relaxing to take a break and cool off. After a few minutes, hit the action again. For physical restrictions, visit the places within the Scout’s personal ability, and any event can be made into a fun one.
“We have staff from all over the nation here. We can give anyone who is interested a point of contact if it would help a Scout with a special need in the area.” Hellen explained.
Joseph C. is a Scout from Troop B2327 who has attended four National Scout Jamborees. He is 31, but because of his severe autism, Joseph is still able to work on his Boy Scout advancements.
He is a Star Scout, and he has been having an absolute blast at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. He is most looking forward to traveling to Brownsea Island this week, and taking in the awesome sights. He loves looking at nature, meeting new people, and most of all, patch trading.
According to his mother, Kathleen, Joseph is very proud and excited to be in Scouting. “He can do everything that the troop does. We just go at our own pace,” Kathleen said.