Scout Doesn’t Let Autism Impede Progress Toward Eagle

When John S. initially joined Cub Scouts as a boy, he was completely nonverbal as a result of autism.

John’s father, an Eagle Scout himself, encouraged his young son to join Cub Scouts in the Boy Scouts of America Garden State Council.

“He said it was fun, so I tried it out and liked it,” John said.

Scout Doesn't Let Autism Impede Progress Toward Eagle
Scout John S. restored a veterans memorial park for his Eagle Scout project (photo: Taylor Henry, NJ Advance Media)

The Scout leaders and other Scouts worked closely with John to encourage him and help him along the way. Many of the Scouts became friends with John, and some even recently supported him by walking along with him in the annual Gloucester County Autism Walk in West Deptford.

Through the support of his family as well as his friends in Scouting, John continued through the Scouting ranks, earning merit badges, going on camping trips, and growing to love his Scouting experience. He even gave back to Scouting by instructing some of the younger Scouts in the principals of Leave No Trace outdoor ethics.

When it came time to start working on his Eagle Scout project, John thought long and hard about what would serve his community and honor his own family, many of whom had a background in service to the military.

The local veterans memorial in his community had fallen into disrepair over the years. Sunken marker stones, peeling benches, and faded signage made it virtually unusable for the citizens of the community. John decided to fix all that.

He worked with his fellow Scouts to complete a full restoration on the veterans memorial. They also planted flowers and fixed nearby items that also needed a touchup.

To learn more about this remarkable Scout and his project, be sure to read the full article in the New Jersey Advance Media.



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