Scout Organizes Family Conference for Developmental Disabilities

Photo: Kevin Rivoli, The Citizen

Service and family are important parts of any Scout’s life. So when service is inspired by one’s own family, it’s sure to have an incredible impact on the community.

Scout Lance D., 17, of Longhouse Council recognized the challenges his family faced. To ensure Lance’s brother, who has autism, received the best care, his parents routinely had to travel as far as 70 miles.

It was this dedication to family that inspired Lance’s Eagle project. The determined Scout decided he would help other families experiencing similar challenges by organizing a conference on autism and other developmental disabilities.

“Just seeing my parent’s experience, I don’t want other people to work that hard to get that type of help,” Lance shared with the Citizen. 

Lance’s Family Conference for Developmental Disabilities, held earlier this April, provided families with an opportunity to learn from experts — and each other — about caring for loved ones with developmental disabilities.

Anyone who’s dabbled in event planning knows it’s certainly not easy. However, in true Scouting spirit, Lance went above and beyond to make sure the event catered to the needs of both caretakers and people with disabilities. In addition to the panel of experts, the conference also featured fun and engaging activities, such as therapy dogs, teddy bears, and more.

Of course, there’s always plenty of the Scouting spirit to go around. Scouts from Lance’s troop joined the initiative by volunteering at the conference, while citizens from all corners of the community — from young people to adults — found a way to help.

Planning this conference would have been quite an undertaking for anyone, let alone a high school student, but Scoutmaster Andy Roden had no doubt Lance could pull it off.

“He had a vision for this and wasn’t really intimidated by the scope of it,” Roden explained to The Citizen. “But I think that’s really a special thing to see in a young man, to have that vision and follow through on it.”

Lance’s project truly demonstrates what it means to make a meaningful community impact by providing families with new, positive experiences. We can’t wait to see what this incredible Scout does next!

Read more about Lance’s conference and his mission to help his community in the full story from The Citizen. 





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Rochelle Randles is a communications specialist at the Boy Scouts of America. She enjoys sharing incredible adventure stories within the Scouting community and beyond. If you have story ideas or questions, reach out to us at