Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Casey's Dino Raptor Snack Shack

"Mom, I want to be in Boy Scouts!" This is what I've heard from Casey on a couple different occasions when he's brought information papers home. Up until now, I had put it off for a variety of different reasons; time, money, and the fact that I didn't really believe Casey would ultimately want to commit to something that required more socialization and outdoor activity time (even though it would be good for him). Casey's mild autism has always caused him to have difficulty with socialization (or even wanting to; he usually likes to be alone). He is also very sensitive to temperatures; particularly heat, so he doesn't always enjoy outdoor activities when it's warm outside. Therefore, I was REALLY surprised that he brought up joining the Boy Scouts again. He had let it go the last time when I explained what it all entailed; as well as a "maybe next year" and "wait until we get married and get settled at your new school." This time, he was NOT letting me forget about my "next time" response. "Next time" was now THIS TIME.

When I took Casey to the introductory meeting, all I could think about was how much he hated other things I tried to involve him in. When he was younger, he played special league t-ball. When he wasn't sitting down in the outfield or playing in the sand, he was covering his eyes and running to first base after hitting the ball. In Upwards basketball, he was flailing around the court (and doing his "raptor walk"). He looked unhappy and like he wished it would all be over (see video playlist lol). So, you can imagine how hesitant I was to give into Casey's insistence that he REALLY wanted to do Boy Scouts (especially when I saw how much a uniform and all that stuff costs). However, the scout leaders said that the $12.00 membership fee covered him from now until January; in other words, a perfect time frame for a trial run! I told Casey that we would give things a go and if he didn't like it, we would opt out when it was time to renew. If he still wanted to stick with it, we would invest in a uniform at that time. I don't know if he truly comprehends the whole concept, but he agreed lol.

Casey learned how to
make a duct tape wallet!
So far, Casey has been enjoying everything they've been doing in weekly meetings. Chris and I have observed him playing dodgeball and we were amazed that he was enjoying it and attempting to participate. Granted, he doesn't know how to throw the ball very well (or very far) but he did try. More often than not, he was just the last boy standing after everyone else has been hit because he just stands by the wall laughing, grinning, and avoiding being clobbered lol. It may not seem like a lot to anyone else, but watching him enjoy it was a pretty big deal to us. It showed a lot of personal growth and maturity and it's so good for him to step out of his box!

He also went on a nature hike where they were identifying plants and bugs. This is right up Casey's alley! He LOVES that stuff! I hope that he will impress the leaders and other scouts with his amazing encyclopedia-type explanations of the different species of spiders, bugs, and such. He reads up on those things all the time! They've met their match with Casey in this area! Everyone else might be able to cream him in dodgeball, but he can memorize nature facts like nobody's business! :)

The other thing that Casey and his troop are starting to do is sell their Boy Scout popcorn. This is something that Casey only vaguely understands. He knows that he needs to sell it (and that earning a certain amount will earn him a prize of a rocket kit that he wants) but he doesn't understand HOW to sell it or WHY it costs what it does. When telling his Mamaw about buying popcorn, he said that he was calling his popcorn selling "Casey's Dino Raptor Snack Shack" and that his popcorn was five dollars. "But this says twenty dollars," Mamaw said. Casey looked surprised and confused. He told her, "Um, no. That's too much money. I say just five dollars." We all had a good laugh about that lol. He doesn't realize that fundraising has preset prices and that no matter what you're raising money for, it's always "too much money" - but the money goes to a good cause!

We are so proud of Casey for trying something new; especially something that involves learning good skills, building character, and being part of an honorable and respected organization. Casey has always been a hero in my eyes because no matter what challenges he's had to overcome due to his hearing impairment and autism, he's always come out on top and shown everyone that he's just as smart (if not smarter) and as capable of participating in things just like anyone else!

Grace and peace to you, my friends! Thank you for reading about Casey's story! I will be sure to keep you updated as the fundraising progresses and give you a grand total as well! $600 is what they hope each individual scout will raise and $1600 is the amount they said one needs for free Scout Residence Camp (I'm a newbie, so I don't know what this is, but I'm sure I'll find out lol!). Right now, he has done around $70 in sales (obviously, he has a long ways to go!). Please, feel free to pass this blog post along if he has inspired you as much as he inspires us! Email it, post it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. and use the hash tag #caseysdinoraptorsnackshack . We appreciate your support! If you would like to purchase something from "Casey's Dino Raptor Snack Shack", just click on this link lol. No, Casey's five dollar pricing isn't applicable lol. However, it will go to support his troop as well as get him on his way to earning that rocket kit and purchasing items scouting related. Even if you don't like popcorn, you can buy some and have it sent to our military troops and their families instead! Everybody wins! Thank you for helping to make the dreams of a special needs child come true! God bless you!

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