Reprinted from the Spring 2017 Abilities Digest, from the Invisible 411 blog.
Here is a reading that is often used in training to support Scouts with disabilities.
Life can be cruel, and growing up in the real world isn’t easy. Kids pick on other kids for any reason they can find. The list is long, but anything that makes someone different is fair game: height, weight, gender, age, religion, bad hair day, clothing, where you live, kind of car, curfew, athletic ability, parent’s jobs, their marital status, siblings, bad teeth, bad breath, glasses, braces, and any number of things regarding sexual matters, intelligence, learning disabilities, opinions, or following rules. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a safe place to go where everyone was treated fairly, honestly, equally, and respectfully? A place where everybody lived by the same rules? A place where mistakes could be made without fear of ridicule? Wouldn’t the world be a better place if people could just learn to get along with each other?! Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could do something about it? What would you do if you had that privilege … that responsibility … that obligation? What if you could change the world?!
Scouting is a special place
The rules are the ones we know well …the Scout Oath and the Scout Law.
We create a safe haven in Scouting; a place where everyone should feel physically and emotionally secure.
We do this in several ways:
- We set the example for ourselves and others by always behaving as Scouts should. We live the Scout Oath and Law each moment of each day to the best of our abilities.
- We refuse to tolerate any kind of put-down, name-calling, physical aggression, or inappropriate behavior.
- We communicate our acceptance of each other through expressions of concern, and by showing our appreciation whenever possible.
- We create an environment based on learning and fun. We seek the best from ourselves and each other, and we do our best to help achieve it.