Pack 33 makes famed Colin an honorary Cub Scout

Pack 33 makes famed Colin an honorary Cub Scout

NORTH PROVIDENCE - Cub Scouts from Pack 33 have made a little boy from Michigan an official member of their group, though he won't find out about the honor until his birthday on Sunday.

Pack leader Lauren Banna said she was touched by the story of "Colin the Great" after seeing it go viral on social media. Colin's mother says she created the page for her "amazing, wonderful, challenging son" after a recent exchange with him about his upcoming birthday.

"Because of Colin's disabilities, social skills are not easy for him, and he often acts out in school, and the other kids don't like him," said his mother. "So when I asked him if he wanted a party for his birthday, he said there wasn't a point because he has no friends. Because no one will let him sit with them for lunch, said his mother, and not wanting anyone to be "unhappy with his presence," he prefers to sit alone in the office to eat.

Colin's mother says she then came up with the idea of creating a page where people can send him positive thoughts and encouraging words, "better than any birthday party." In interviews with Michigan TV stations, she has said that her son won't find out about any of it until he turns 11 on March 9.

Thousands of birthday greetings have come in from all over the country for Colin, including a video birthday card from the Pack 33 Scouts.

Banna said Colin's story reminded her of a boy who was in Pack 33 who had never had any friends to play with before he joined Scouts. The boy had several disorders, but his mother really thought Scouting could help him.

"I just kept thinking that no child in this world should go one day without someone to be their friend, someone to play with, someone to share secrets with, to build forts with," said Banna. "I couldn't believe not one child had approached him to say, 'you're cool, let's hang out.' It broke my heart."

Banna said she watched the young man "change so much" during his five years with Pack 33, a group where she said everyone is accepted.

"He was doing things his family never thought he would be able to do," she said.

After that experience, said Banna, the story of Colin "just kind of touched home." More than half of the 20 or so Scouts in Pack 33 have special needs, she said, but "no one is treated any different here."

North Providence Cub Scouts are sending Colin birthday cards and Pack 33 T-shirts, as well as a letter inviting him to be pen pals with them. There will be a standing invitation for Colin to visit Pack 33 anytime he's in town, said Banna.

Banna said that having her Cub Scouts be long-distance friends with Colin will go a small way toward helping him feel loved but go a long way toward making pack members even more aware that all children are worth being friends with.

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