Troop provides scouting for kids with special needs - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Troop provides scouting for kids with special needs

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

On a day like Saturday, not even a pounding rain could dampen the spirits of the scouts in Troop 2 in Cedar Rapids.

The group was on a mission, going door to door to collect canned food items to be distributed to families in need.

"While other boys are in bed, sleeping, and saying I don't want to go outside because it's raining, our guys are out saying, hey, let's have some fun," said Lloyd Plume, scoutmaster of Boy Scouts of America Troop 2.

The 22 member troop is like few others in the country, giving kids with special needs the opportunity to learn the real values of scouting.

"They will be doing the same leadership and same life gaining experiences as other boy scouts do, at their own pace and becoming better citizens quite honestly," Plume said. 

For this group, that opportunity previously wasn't available

"There really wasn't anything out there, and so we're really blessed to have it here in Cedar Rapids," said Regina Behmlander of Center Point, whose two boys are members of the troop.

Her 15-year-old son Cal has enjoyed his time as a scout since joining when the troop formed back in 2010.

"He has grown as a kid that maybe I never saw as being a leader to senior patrol leader, and leading his own group of boys," Behmlander said. 

Cal suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Prader-Willi syndrome which causes him to want to eat all the time.

Joining the scouts has helped keep him healthy.

"His mind is constantly on food.  Boy scouting allows that food brain to be put on the back burner and to do more activities," Behmlander said. 

From community service to hiking and camping, Cal and his peers are a part of something they look forward to every week.

And no amount of rain can change that.

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