Recently, The Seattle Times featured the inspiring Troop 419, which was founded 20 years ago to serve the interests and development of Scouts with special needs.
It’s no secret that Scouting offers a unique opportunity for young people with a wide variety of interests and abilities to learn skills and character development in an environment designed to promote success. Most parents want their children to succeed, and that is certainly true for the parents of the Scouts in Troop 419 in the Boy Scouts of America Chief Seattle Council.
At their first meeting of the year, the young men in this inspiring troop and their families shared stories about their involvement in Scouting.
The troop was originally founded by Ted Kadet, who was searching for activities that he could do with his stepson, who suffered neurological damage from a seizure disorder. As he began doing research, Kadet discovered that the Boy Scouts of America offers guidance and specific information about serving Scouts with disabilities.
Over the years, the Scouts in this inspiring troop have thrived and enjoyed their Scouting experience.
“The parents are the most committed Boy Scout parents I’ve ever met, and the guys each have their own unique personality,” said Larry Weldon, the junior vice commander of the VFW post where the Scouts meet. “They all really love being in this troop and we’re happy to help.”
“For us, [getting involved in this troop] was like coming home,” said one of the Scouts’ mothers. “When you first come here, a lot of times you are not even sure what your child is capable of, but the troop gives them opportunities, put the tools in their hands and, every time, we are surprised by how capable they are and amazed at what they can do.”
Since its founding in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America has had fully participating members with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. Indeed, James E. West, the first Chief Scout Executive, was a person with a disability. Although most of the BSA’s efforts have been directed at keeping such boys in the mainstream of Scouting, it has also recognized the special needs of those with significant disabilities.
To learn more about this truly inspiring troop of Scouts, be sure to read the powerful and heartwarming article in The Seattle Times.