Meet our Guests

It's time that you get to meet our guests. here is a list of the people who have appeared on the Autism and Scouting Radio show. Get to know them a bit better. 
Your host John Krejcha
John Krejcha is your host for Autism and Scouting Radio and co-founder of Autism Empowerment.  John has two sons on the Autism Spectrum who are both in scouts (youngest is a Cub Scout and Royal Ranger and his oldest is a Boy Scout). John feels called by God to help those on the Autism Spectrum and is very passionate in being able to support scouts who are on the Autism Spectrum who he sees as being under served. John currently is directing the efforts of the Autism Empowerment's Autism and Scouting Program. 

John has been an Tiger Den Leader, Den Leader, Assistant Den Leader, Webelos Den Leader, Cub Scout Pack Training Chair,  Assistant Scoutmaster, Merit Badge Counselor, Unit Commissioner and Co-founder of the first Sensory Cub Scout Pack in Vancouver, WA.  He has provided BSA Council wide training which has been used around the country. He is also part of the Cascade Pacific Counsel Special Needs Committee that is dedicated to putting the Ability in disability.  John can be reached at
Karen Krejcha has been a host, co-host and guest of Autism and Scouting Radio. She is the co-founder of Autism Empowerment  as well as the Executive Director and is the driving force behind the 501(c)(3) non-profit. Karen has a passion to promote the non-profits, four founding principles of Accept, Enrich, Inspire and Empower. She wants all on the Autism Spectrum to let their lights shine. 

Karen helped co-found the first sensory Cub Scout Pack in Vancouver, WA and was the units first Committee Chair, she is currently enjoying being the Assistant Tiger Den Leader for a typically developing pack and help spread acceptatnce for all scouts. She started out in scouting as an Indian Princess and then Girl Scout. 

She has provided BSA Council wide training which has been used around the country.  She is also part of the Cascade Pacific Counsel Special Needs Committee that is dedicated to putting the Ability in disability.  Karen can be reached at

Meet the Guests 
Jennifer Cook-O'Toole - Author and AspieKids Creator 
Jennifer Cook O'Toole is the winner of the 2012 Temple Grandin Award, GRASP's 2012 DSM Medal, is an Expert Columnist for Modern Parent Magazine and was nominated for Disney's American Teacher of the Year. Asperkids, Jennifer's first book was recently named "One of the Top 12 Books to Read if a Loved One is Diagnosed with ASD" by Autism Asperger Digest. Author. Advocate. Aspie. Mom.
Asperkids is a must read for scout leaders, parents and caregivers and the Asperkids Secret Book of Social Rules is a must read for those on the Autism Spectrum (not just the kids). Both are amazing books and a third book is coming out in early 2013. 
Cubmaster Adam Cox - (AKA Scouter Adam) 
Adam is self admitted that he is addicted to scouting and what scouting has to offer to youth around the country. He loves his family and supports his son who has Aspergers. Adam has been a Tiger Den Leader, Cub Master and is currently a district training chair. Adam Loves the scouting program. He does blogging on Scouting issues as well as Podcasts and is well respected in scouting. 

Here is the Leadership that he has held - Tiger Den Leader, Cubmaster, District Training Chair and Teacher at the Training and Excellence Conference, Woodbadge Troop Guide. He is also a new Girl Scout Leader as well. 

Here are the Awards that he has been awarded: Wood Beeds and various Scouting Awards. 

 Cubmaster/ Girl Scout Leader Lindsay Foster 
Lindsay is a dedicated scouter wants families to know that Your Scout can and will be Successful in Scouting. Lindsay loves working with the scouts and watching them be successful and has a passion for working with scouts on the Autism Spectrum. 

Girl Scout Leadership - Co-Leader Troop 2702 (2008 to present) Media Relations Chair (North Lakes Trail Service Unit), World Thinking Day Event Coordinator, Earth to the Moon Day Event Director 

Boy Scout Leadership - Den Leader, Cubmaster (2010 to present), Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner, Cub Scout Day Camp Director and has written a thesis for Commissioner's Collage on working with scouts with Special Needs. 

Lindsay has a number of various scouting awards and is well respected in the Longhorn Council. 

Scoutmaster Teddy Heanton 
Teddy Heaton is the Scoutmaster for Special Needs Troop 2, he has has over 23 years of scouting under his belt, he is an Eagle scout and has earned a number of scouting awards, he loves working with all of the scouts and is an amazing leader.  He has two nephews with Fragile X Syndrome. He is in the process of starting a Special Needs Cub Scout Pack and hopes to have it up and running by next Spring. 

Den Leader Julie Heiland

Julie is a very dedicate Mom and scout Leader. She started a sensory friendly Cub Scout group and they called it. Faces Cub Scouts to let people know that their are many faces of Cub Scouting. This is a new venture for Julie and she is looking forward to the future. She wants the idea of Sensory Friendly Cub Scouting to grow and be more accepted. 

Scoutmaster Karen Mansfield 
Karen has an amazing run in scouting and well over a decade in scouting. She founded Cub Scout Pack 793 in 2000 and as well as Troop 5280 in 2007.  She loves working with scouts with different needs and is a wonderful role model. 

Here are the positions she was earned. Committee Chair, Den Leader, Webelos Den Leaders, Cubmaster, Scoutmaster,  District Popcorn Chair, Pow Wow Char, Pow Wow Co Chair, District Membership Chair, Wood Badge Staff, Special Needs District Lead, Camporee Special Needs District Chair, National Jamboree Disabilities Awareness Staff (2010), Jamboree Recruitment Staff, Merit Badge Counselor and Special Needs Adviser. 

Here are the awards that she was earned:  Outstanding Scouter (2000), most all of the leadership knots, William D. Boyce Award (for new unit creation), District Award of Merit, Silver Beaver (2010), Silver Acorn (2011), Wood Badge (2004) and OA Brotherhood. 

BSA National Special Needs Chair Tony Mei
Tony is an amazing scouter and is the Scouts with Special Needs BSA National Chairperson. Tony is also the parent to a youth who has special needs. An Eagle Scout himself, he has been dedicated to providing the scouting experience for all scouts what ever the ability. He is also the webmaster for Working with Scouts with disAbilities (

Here are the positions that he has held.: Tiger Cub Adult, Tiger Den Leader, Assistant Den Leader,  Den Leader, Assistant Webelos, Den Leader, Webelos Den Leader, Cubmaster, Committee Member (Cub Scouts), Committee Chair (Cub Scouts), Assistant Scoutmaster, Scoutmaster, Merit Badge Counselor, Council Training Committee,  Council Advancement Chair, Council Recognition Chair, Unit Commissioner, BS Roundtable Commissioner, Philmont Conference Trainer, Council Vice President of Programs, Council Executive Board, Wood Badge Staff Instructor, Wood Badge Staff Troop Guide, Wood Badge Course Director, NCAC Commissioner College Instructor, Member of National Council, Special Needs Specialist, Youth Development Team, Special Needs Scouting Task Force, Scouts with Special Needs (Chair), Webmaster for Working With Scouts with disAbilities and Chair of the Jamboree disAbilities Awareness Challenge.

Here is a list of scouting awards.
Eagle Scout (1963), Ad Altare Dei (1963), Cub Scouter Training (1988), Boy Scouter Training (1990), Webelos Leader Training (1993), OA Ordeal (1993), Scoutmaster Award of Merit (1994), Scoutmaster Key (1996), OA Brotherhood (1996), Community Organization Award (1996), Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Award (1996), Award of Merit (1997), James E. West Fellow (2005), Commissioner Arrowhead (2006), Commissioner Key (2007), Distinguished Commissioner (2007), Silver Beaver (2008), Doctor of Commissioner Science (2009).

Alexander Peila
This is a photo of Alexander's son and his inspiration. Alexander is a Eagle Scout and a huge supporter of the Scouting Program. We hope to have Alexander back on in the future talking about different subjects.

Advancement Chair Cindy Pope
Cindy is currently the Advancement Chair and has been in scouting for a number of years, won many awards and have been involved with a large amount of training. Cindy is an strong supporter of those with special needs and loves giving one on one support to the scouts in her unit. She is an inspiration to those around her and is a important part of what makes the unit run.

Committee Chair Scott Pope
Scott is the Committee Chair for Special Needs Troop 2, he has over 10 years of scouting and in addition to being Committee Chair, he is also Trainer, and ISAP (Individual Scout Achievement Plan) Processor. Scott too holds a number of scouter awards for all of this long hours and dedicated service.  He works as a paralegal/office manager of a law office in Springfield. Scott is an accomplished musician and plays with several local groups. From what I hear as well, he likes to take the music out camping with him as well. 

Scouter and Mom Erika Schron
Erika is a strong advocate for youth with special needs and children on the Autism Spectrum. Erika has been a strong advocate for homeschooling and has been advocating, consulting, writing and speaking on the subject of homeschooling Special Needs children with a focus of kids on the Autism Spectrum and Sensory Processing Disorders through the Journey of Learning Academy which she founded.

Erika is a outstanding scouter and supporter of the Scouting program. She is very involved at both the Pack and Troop level as Committee Member, Secretary, Treasure and Merit Badge Counselor. She pitches in where she can is a strong advocate for those with Special Needs.

Crew Leader and Scouter Sean Williams
(This is not his photo but his Patch)
This amazing scouter has a a long history in supporting special needs scouting. For years he has been an advocate for those on the Autism Spectrum and all special needs scouts. Sean has preformed a number of training events in the St. Charles, IL area and was the creator of the The Great Race to Autism Awareness which was held in the spring of 2012. This event helped both scouts and scout leaders experience of the challenges that those on the Autism Spectrum. have to face. He has also given a number or training sessions on Autism Awareness. In addition to all of his work in training, in the fall of 2012 he launched the first Special Needs Crew (Crew 88) that has an goal to work with the scouts on Life Skills.

Here are the positions that he has held. Cubmaster, Boy Scout Committee Member, Merit Badge Counselor, Crew Adviser, Chair of Special Needs District Committee, Round Table Commissioner, Committee Member of District Activities Committee. 

Here is a list of scouting awards: District Award of Merit, Arrowhead Award, WoodBadge (Beaver), Outdoor Skills. He has also done Special Needs Awareness, AD/HD Awareness and the Autism and Scouting Training. He has put together Special Needs Awareness Night, Great Race to Autism Awareness, Special Needs Awareness Unit Award (Program) and Special Needs and Scouting Roundtable Training.

Thank you so much for visiting this page, we look forward to adding all of our guest information on this page.
Autism Empowerment is not affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, Girls Scouts of America or any scouting organization. We are happy to provide training and leadership volunteer services for scouting organizations upon request. 

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