Read how Alma Castaneda, Scouter and mom from the Yucca Council, went from Scouting skeptic to Committee Chair for her son’s pack, thanks to inclusivity and family fun in this ‘Families Like Mine’ story.
Scouting Wire: What Scouting programs are you connected to?
Alma: Our family is active in Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA in the Yucca Council, Wapaha District in El Paso, Texas. My husband, Rick, is Cubmaster for the pack, and, as for myself, I am the Committee Chair for the pack. Our oldest son, Alex, is a brand-new member of a Scouts BSA troop. Our youngest son, Tony, is a Bear on his way to becoming a Webelos Scout this summer.
In fact, we’ve been involved in Scouting for three and a half years now. It all started back in 2015.
SW: How did you first get involved in Scouting?
Alma: We first got involved in Scouting when our son, Alex, a second grader at that time, came home with a flyer and information he had received from a presentation during P.E. at his school. The flyer stated that there was going to be a parent meeting to get information about Scouting and how to register our son. My son begged us to go, and, while we were hesitant at first, we went. Mr. Arenas from Unidos Prosperamos, gave us a brief presentation, and we figured it wouldn’t hurt to go to a pack meeting to see how it goes.
To be quite honest, we thought our son was only going to be interested for a few meetings then get bored with it and not want to return. To our surprise, both he and we as parents enjoyed the Scouting experience. We decided to stay. Our younger son enjoyed the experience, as well, even though he was not quite at the age to fully participate. A short time later, my husband became a den leader.
A few months later, Alex, was diagnosed with having Autism. We thought that this might be the end of Scouting, but once we spoke to leadership, they assured us that Alex was welcome. We believe we found a great support from Scouting.
SW: What has been your favorite Scouting experience?
Alma: Our favorite part of the Scouting experience is how family oriented it is. We became part of something very special. We consider the pack our second family.
SW: What is the most important thing about Scouting that you think people should know?
Alma: One of the most important things I believe people should know about Scouting is how welcoming packs are to Scouts with special needs. They open their door, arms, and hearts to make sure these Scouts enjoy their Scouting experience to the fullest.
Special thanks to Scouter, Alma Castaneda of the Yucca Council for sharing her family’s story.
The Scouting Wire ‘Families Like Mine’ series features unique stories of Scouting families and their experiences. Do you know someone who has a great story to share about the positive impact Scouting has had on their family? Share it with us at communications@Scouting.org, and it could be featured in a future edition of the ‘Families Like Mine’ series!