Naperville Scout arranges camping weekend for developmentally disabled adults

Naperville Boy Scout Adam Deutsch arranged a camping weekend for developmentally disabled adults for his Eagle Scout project. | Submitted

A Boy Scout from Naperville Trop 222 arranged a camping outing for developmentally disabled adults for his Eagle Scout project. Read the full release below.

“Usually, people with disabilities aren’t able to go camping,” said Adam Deutsch, 14, of Naperville’s Boy Scout Troop 222. “I wanted to give them the chance.”

From Fri., May 30 to Sun., June 1, 2014, Deutsch arranged for seven clients of Naperville’s Association for Individual Development (AID) to experience a camping weekend at Hoover Forest Preserve, 25 minutes from Aurora.

The group slept in cabins. The male clients of AID were between the ages of 20 and 40.

“I wanted them to know what Boy Scouts is all about,” said Deutsch. “I joined Cub Scout when I was six. This camping weekend was my Eagle Scout project.”

As the highest rank in Scouting, only a small percentage of young men become Eagle Scouts. Requirements include acceptance of troop leadership positions, completion of 21 merit badges, implementation of an approved service project before reaching age 18, and receipt of six adult recommendations.

Deutsch contacted AID to begin planning his Eagle Scout project. He also asked 11 family members and friends to assist him as volunteers. One volunteer was a nurse. Deutsch contacted Whole Foods for the donation of groceries.

Weekend activities included hikes, a scavenger hunt, a soccer game, Bingo, soap carving, dramatic skits, and a sing-a-long. The group made s’mores and used telescopes to gaze at the stars.

The weekend was a win-win. “The clients LOVED the camping trip,” said Terri Davis of AID. “They all asked when they can go again.”

As a result of Deutsch’s camping weekend, the Special Needs Committee of Three Fires Council – which covers the western suburbs – is looking to create a new Scout troop at AID.

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