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Matteo Musso Earns Eagle Award

Original post made by Ken mano, Willow West, on Oct 1, 2022

Matto Musso has qualified to become an Eagle Scout, his Court of Honor was held on Aug 20, 2022. He is the son of Mark and Annette Musso of Livermore and is a member of Troop 939 sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church of Livermore.

Matto has been an active leader in his troop, serving as Assistant Chaplain many times. He especially loved the opportunity to make new friends in scouting, while learning many new skills through the merit badge program.

For his Eagle project, Matto created and published a handbook containing ways to encourage inclusion of the neurodiverse community in civic events, community group settings and activities. It’s entitled, The Handbook of Inclusion. Matteo has minimally-verbal autism, and communicates by pointing to letters on a letterboard, then he types or someone takes dictation.
Matteo described his project, “My goal was to provide insight into the lives of neuro-diverse people and the specific and helpful ways neurotypical people can include us in community and group settings. I hope that when used, this Handbook will greatly enhance the lives of people who are too often isolated from the community, limited in opportunities to develop friendships and too often judged as being "off, strange, rude, uncaring and unsocial," by a community that doesn't understand them. It will help leaders of groups gain confidence in opening up their organizations/events to ALL people, by sharing firsthand autism experience from an autistic Boy Scout and other autists and their parents. It also provides specific suggestions on how to communicate and encourage participation of any person who may find it challenging to "fit in."
When the surveys were done, the results analyzed, the thoughts organized, the text written, the artwork created, the creative design developed and the booklet edited, printed and bound, my Eagle Project was complete! I had officially become a leader. I think the most rewarding thing about being a leader is that I created something in my mind, built a team, created steps to assure success and was able to execute directions through spelling my thoughts. People took directions from me instead of me having to follow. That hadn’t really happened in my life before. It was fun!”
The Livermore Cultural Arts Council (LCAC), with its 28 members, was the beneficiary.
If anyone would like a copy of his book, email [email protected]

Matteo describes “The best parts about Scouting”:
Adults have taught me so much all of my life. I have been surrounded by kind and loving therapists, communication partners and play buddies, but Scouts opened up my life to a new world of friends and peers. “In Scouts, I’ve got to tell you that it felt great to be treated just like “one of the guys.” This may sound odd to many of you, but that's the biggest and brightest gift Scouting has given me.
Throughout my Scouting career, I attained milestones and got to feel myself learning and growing, including earning 41 merit badges. I’ve always been a lover of learning and as a misunderstood neurodiverse person, sometimes the bar for achievement was set pretty low. But my Eagle Path was as challenging for me as it was for my neurotypical peers, not minimized for a kid with autism. Neurodiverse Scouts are given the opportunity to rise above expectations of neurotypical people who just aren’t seeing past the autistic behaviors, and to rise above their own expectations to achieve that which seemed impossible. I wish all of my autistic friends had the opportunity to be a Scout in a troop like 939, just as I have.
Beyond the merit badges, I had another special opportunity to grow and learn. That was to earn the God and Life Award. I am so happy I chose to study and earn this award. Believe me, it was a lot of work, about 80 pages of writing, but the contents will be in my heart and soul forever, and the concepts are a part of me.

Because of Scouting, I’ve changed inside. I slowly transitioned into the guy I am today. I used to be a shy kid yearning for stimulation of all kinds…social, educational, spiritual and adventurous, and totally dependent on my mom or dad for a feeling of security. Now, I’m a guy who can ask for help if needed, take direction from others, tie a few knots, be comfortable sleeping under the stars, go hiking and camping without Mom, pass Boards of Review, and create and lead a project which will positively affect my community and neurodiverse friends. I can even cook things, my favorite being cobbler and coke cake in a dutch oven!

I stand taller today, bursting with pride, bathed in love and support from all who have supported my journey to this place, and so full of excitement about my future. No matter the specifics of that future, I know that what I learned in Scouts will help keep me stay grounded in my life's purpose of helping others. “

To earn the rank of Eagle Scout, a Scout must be active in their troop, provide leadership, earn 21 merit badges including the areas of citizenship, camping, communications, cooking and lifesaving or emergency preparedness as well as demonstrate that they live by the principles of the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. They must also plan, develop and give leadership to others in a service project benefiting a religious institution, school or community group.

Anyone interested in joining any level of Scouting can contact the Twin Valley District Executive, Andrew Evans, [email protected]


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