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A cubscout miracle!

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This video was taken just after Cameron turned 11.  Cameron uttered his first full sentence a year earlier as he struggled very intensely, for months to learn the short phrases of the Cubscout promise.  The motivation from being in Cubscouts did what years of speech therapy could not accomplish, get Cameron to speak!  His reading and comprehension skills immediately picked up after he started speaking in full sentences, which was motivated by his sincere promise  “to God and my country to help other people”.

 

One Response to “A cubscout miracle!”

  1. Avatar of awetmedic awetmedic says:

    A cubscout must be able to recite the cubscout promise and law of the pack before he can earn any badges. These are short phrases that most boys can learn in less than an hour or two, but for a young boy with Down syndrome, who only uses two or three words at a time, this is a monumental undertaking. I was a very worried and concerned father knowing that Cameron might come nowhere close to completing this task and he may be very embarrassed as he was the only scout with developmental delays in his pack.
    I did what any good father would do, I started bribing my son with pizza, bowling, video games and more if he would just keep on trying. Cameron was able to start with adding just one word, before and after his name. “I Cameron Grant Kindree, promise”. Each word would slowly and painfully come out of his mouth accompanied by ums, ahs and lots of grinding with his teeth. It could easily take 30 seconds to a minute just for those 5 words. We started working on “to do my duty, to god and my country”, and he was now realizing what he was doing. He was making the most important promise that he would ever make, one to god and his country, but there was more, he was going to help other people.
    Cameron understood exactly why so much importance was being placed on him. He was making a very important promise to help other people. We spent many hours on many days and Cameron would try past his limits of exhaustion and he really put his whole heart into it. I am so proud of him for that. One day, Cameron was able to very painfully recite the whole passage, the look of confidence and accomplishment was inspiring for both of us. His speed and accuracy kept picking up, and his stalling, ums, ahs and teeth grinding was being sharply reduced. We still had a few weeks to go and we started working on “The Law of the Pack”. With his previous victory, Cameron started confidently working on this new passage. There was now just three more weeks when it was time for all the cubscouts to try for their “Bobcat” badge, could Cameron learn this new phrase in time?
    On the big night, Cameron was wearing his new uniform, and he was so very proud. I was still a very nervous father and placed Cameron at the end of the row of 5 boys who would say their promise before him. I was hoping that by listening and watching the 5 boys recite, it would help him to remember it.
    The first boy stood up, he said a few words, then paused, then got it wrong by skipping a few lines, got flustered, tried again, messed up a few more words and then I looked at Cameron. Cameron had an absolute look of wonder on his face. Cameron knew the words, you could almost see them turning around in his head. Cameron was purely awestruck. Never before had he been intellectually better than his peers. This first boy, struggled some more and then finally gave up. The second boy stood up, started, paused, restarted then gave up. He also did not “do my best” and the look of wonder on Camerons face now made him immoveable. The third boy stood up, and did a reasonable job reciting the promise, but still nowhere near pefect. The other two boys were also very weak on their promise. Then it was Camerons turn. He stood up, the only one in uniform, gave a perfect salute at rigid attention and flawlessly recited the cubscout promise.
    Cub Scout Promise
    I, Cameron Grant Kindree, promise
    to DO MY BEST
    To do my DUTY to GOD
    And my Country
    To HELP other people, and
    To OBEY the LAW of the Pack

    The other boys were quiet and just starred.
    Next, they would recite the Law of the Pack.
    Law of the Pack
    The Cub Scout follows Akela.
    The Cub Scout helps the pack go.
    The pack helps the Cub Scout grow.
    The Cub Scout gives goodwill.

    This time, Cameron was ready, he was all smiles and he was sitting on the edge of his seat. Once again these boys had failed to take a few minutes and learn these simple lines and to “be prepared”. Cameron was prepared! You could clearly see it in his face. When it was his turn, he gave it a nearly perfect recital and once again all the boys starred at him in silence. Suddenly, the slowest boy in the class wasn’t the one with Down syndrome! Several parents came over to their boys and asked them why they hadn’t learned that. They may have been a little bit alarmed but they were definitely concerned.
    After this one moment in time, this one single event where Cameron got his turn at being king of the hill, his life changed. He was truly now, a member of the pack. He had proved himself to everyone that he could do it. He had proved it to himself.
    Up until this point, Cameron had never put together a full sentence. Cameron had definitely never put together two passages of so many words. I see it as Cameron had stretched his “vocabulary muscle” in his brain and now his reading, comprehension and definitely his speaking took huge leaps and bounds. Camerons learning and speech accelerated very rapidly and so did his math skills. The biggest change in Cameron was his in his self confidence with his peers and the belief in himself.
    Cameron was inspired by his promise to god and country, to do his best and to help other people. Cubscouts clearly gave him that inspiration. Cubscouts were clearly the reason why his speech, reading, learning skills improved and why his quality of life just took a turn for the best.
    After seeing what happened, I started to teach Cameron how to tie a bowline. We always had rope in the car, took it to restaurants, playgrounds and practiced before every bedtime. As you can see, Cameron can flawlessly tie a bowline. After Cameron had learned this skill, it was time for me to teach all of the scouts, parents too, how to tie a bowline. I gave a brief lesson and then turned the class over to Cameron, our new “knots” instructor. Cameron was able to help everyone in the class as they fumbled and tried and fumbled and tried. Cameron was very patient even when he was teaching the students who were have the most problems tying a bowline, the adults.
    After seeing how a young boys confidence can grow and how it can change the world around him, I started Pack 114. 114 is organized just for special kids like Cameron so that they can also learn skills that they can be proud of and show them off to other boys so that one day they can be “king of the hill”, and to one day be “one of the pack”.

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