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Scouts with Special Needs

special needsThe basic premise of Scouting for youth with special needs is that every boy wants to participate fully and be respected like every other member of the unit. While there are, by necessity, troops exclusively composed of Scouts with disabilities, experience has shown that Scouting usually succeeds best when every boy is part of a patrol in a regular troop.

Read more about working with scouts with Special Needs and disabilities.


Accessible Scout materials all in one place:




Special Needs Advancement

Youth with physical disabilities and youth and adults with developmental or cognitive challenges can be members of the Boy Scouts of America. Many of these scouts may take more time to satisfy the rank requirements, but can do so with accommodations when give the proper support and encouragement. Others may need specific accommodations, including “alternative requirements” and the opportunity to register beyond the age of eligibility, as outlined in Section 10 of the Guide to Advancement. Section 10 outlines the BSA guidelines and local resources to assist with questions regarding advancement for these members.

More Information

Abilities Digest – A quarterly newsletter which addresses topics related to Scouts with special needs, new leader helps and articles that highlight Scouts with special needs in action! Send an e-mail to subscribe to:

Application for Alternative Eagle Scout Rank Merit Badges, No. 512-730 If a Scout cannot complete a required Eagle merit badge due to a permanent disability or special need.

Book share in Scouting Finding publications for Scouts with impaired hearing or vision. Accessible Scout materials all in one place!

Disabilities Awareness “landing page”– Includes links to most items on this page, as well as the Abilities Digestarchive, the Best Practices compendium and the FAQs –

Guide to Advancement 2013, No. 33088 – Complete guide for all advancement policies and procedures. –

Guide to Working with Scouts with Special Needs and DisABILITIES, No. 510-071– Helpful information and suggestions when dealing with a Scout with special needs or disabilities. –

Individual Scout Advancement Plan, No. 512-936 – Form that leaders and parents can use to map out a Scouts advancement plan or formally request a change in requirements due to a disability or special need. –

Information Sheet – An overview of Scouting with special needs.

PowerPoint presentation – Advancement for Scouts with special needs – could be presented to a group.

Request for Extension of Time to Earn Eagle Scout Rank, No. 512-077 – Request is for a short period of time to complete an Eagle project due to a permanent disability, special need or unforeseen serious circumstance. Reference to GTA Section, to differentiate extension from RBAE and GTA Section 10. Note the conditions in

Request for Registration Beyond the Age of Eligibility, (RBAE), No. 512-935 – Request is for an infinite amount of time to continue as a registered youth, due to a severe permanent disability or special need. See request for extension of time above.

Scouting and Autism – Helpful resource web site for assisting parents and leaders with Scouts that have autism. –

Scouting for Youth with Disabilities Manual, No. 34059 – Helpful information and suggestions when working with a Scout with special needs or disabilities.

Torch of Gold Award, No. 33733 – To recognize individuals who have provided outstanding service in the area of Scouts with special needs. Please note: this award is in the process of revision.

Woods Service Award BSA Nomination Form, No. 512-258 – Application to nominate a Scouter who has devoted countless hours to help Scouts with special needs or disabilities. Please note, this award is in the process of revision. –

Scout Shop
Phone: 201.651.9743

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