In life, it’s the little things that count.


At William Yates Elementary School, this is the fifth time that special needs students and Cub Scouts of Pack 485 got a taste of the little things in life.

In life, it’s the little things that count.


At William Yates Elementary School, this is the fifth time that special needs students and Cub Scouts of Pack 485 got a taste of the little things in life.


They threw small bean bags, ran a relay, painted their faces, tried their hands at a guessing game and learned that they, too, belong.


“It was important to have an activity for them because many can’t get to day camps,” Marie Benz, a scout volunteer, said on Thursday during the annual event. “They need to experience it.”


It was Jim Mansfield, an active Scout member before he passed away, who started the event at Yates, bringing together kids for a day of activity and social engagement.


For Bob London, the CEO of Alpha Phi Omega, a national coeducational service fraternity based in Independence, the day is one of celebration and honor for the kids, whose ages range from kindergarten to fifth grade.


“We want to make it fun for everyone involved,” he said.


London received the Torch of Gold Award at the beginning of the event, an award given to outstanding service to youth with disabilities.


With more than 400 chapters throughout the United States, the APO cherishes its role with the scouts. London is also a board member with the Blue Elk District.


“It’s important to give these kids this kind of opportunity,” he said. “I love working with them.”


Cub Scout members from Franklin Smith Elementary School in Blue Springs also attended the event. Pack 485 is chartered by the Friends of William Yates Elementary School, and nearly all the boys at Yates Elementary in specialized instruction, from kindergarten to fifth grade, belong to the in-school unit.


The Boy Scouts of America has been committed to serve boys with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities since its inception in 1910, according to organizers for the event.


One of the teachers at the event said that many of the kids come alive during the activities, specifically one child who, while engaged in the relay race, appeared to be headed toward the kitchen.


“He loves chicken nuggets,” she said. “He can smell them in there.”


Another child, Jacob O’Dell, completed the relay in his wheelchair. His vigorous pushes and pulls and yanks impressed all who watched him.


It may have only been a small relay, but it’s the little things.