CHARLOTTE, N.C., November 20, 2003- The Wunita District of the Mecklenburg County Council. has won this year’s National Organization on Disability (N.O.D) Service Award from Boy Scouts of America. This unit is being honored for its inclusive approach to scouting for youth with disabilities. This annual award is administered by N.O.D.’s National Partnership Program and is sponsored by Aetna, Inc.
The Wunita District of the Mecklenburg County Council was created to give youth of all abilities the chance to experience the challenges and accomplishments associated with scouting. This group’s focus on abilities, rather than disabilities, is reflected in its name-Wunita, a Lenne Lanape Delaware Native American word meaning “one who is able.”
The Wunita District reorganized their annual Day Camp to offer all of the time-honored scouting traditions including row boating, archery, and wall climbing. In order to increase the sense of ownership and identity felt by the chapters, the Wunita District began establishing units in community based, family operated chartered organizations. This endeavor allowed parents of the youth with disabilities to control the organizations as opposed to advocacy professionals. Scouts from the Wunita District have begun to assume leadership roles, such as councilors-in training at summer camps, and have gained numerous award recognitions, including Honor Unit.