I have been a Scout Leader for over 20 years, and the Mom of a fabulous young man with Down's Syndrome for nearly 14 years, and I can honestly say that Scouting has been one of the best things that could have happened to my son.
The opportunities that Sam has been offered in Scouts have been incredible, abseiling, climbing, canoeing, camping, team games, survival skills, first aid...…….. the list is endless! In the 9 years that he has been part of a Scout Group, not only has my son taken part in a dazzling array of experiences, from my own perspective, what has been more important is that he has done it with friends. The young people and Adults who have been scouting at Sam's side for the last nine years have been on the whole a pretty incredible group of people, who I for one am proud to know. They have been there when Sam didn't fancy participating, helped him to be part of the team, been thoughtful about the ways that Sam can make a valid contribution to the Scouting community, but more than all of this, they have been accepting. Acceptance is an amazing gift to a young person like Sam, and one that has made him feel valued within his peer group. It has never felt strange to Sam that he has a one to one mentor working with him, he considers his one to one to be his 'friends at Scouts'.
Talk to your local Group Scout Leader, work with them to meet your family and child's needs. The confidence and sense of achievement to be gained is enormous and its amazing from a parents point of view to know that there is a team of leaders who will make your experience as easy and pain free as possible.
(These views are personal and do not represent the views of the Scout Association or Spitfire District)