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ADVANCEMENT FAQs

Roads Less Traveled

How Scouts with disabilities can earn the Eagle Scout rank.

about Powder Horn is that it connects you with experts in your area.

HIGH ADVENTURE CAN BE RISKY. HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN HEALTH AND

SAFETY?Training is critical, not only for the adults but also for the youth. Another important element is to start small and work your way up to more challenging activities.

SPEAKING OF TRAINING, HOW DO YOU GET ADULTS TO TAKE TRAINING? In

my troop, adults who participate in long-term activities such as summer camp have to be trained. Also, I feel strongly that training is a journey, not a destination. Too many leaders get the essential training and then stop. In my church, the term used is “magnify your calling.” Training is critical to doing this.

WHAT KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED AFTER 25 YEARS IN SCOUTING? A few years

ago my family and I traveled back to Philadelphia to visit. At a church meeting a man approached me with his wife and kids and said, “You don’t remember me, but I’m Chuck.” Chuck was in my first troop. He was a success in his life, and I was so grateful to have played a part as his Scoutmaster. There have been many “Chucks” over the years, and seeing the growth in their lives from crossing over the bridge to being successful adults is why I love this program.¿

NOT ALL BOY SCOUTS look

as if they stepped out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Some have obvious, or not- so-obvious, disabilities that might prevent them from reaching the Eagle Scout Award. So to make Scouting’s highest rank achievable for boys with disabilities, the BSA offers alternate requirements.

WHAT ACCOMMODATIONS DOES SCOUTING MAKE FOR BOYS WITH DISABILITIES? A

disabled Scout may request permission to pursue alter- nate requirements for the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks and/or to substitute merit badges for some of those required for the Eagle Scout rank. He may also request permission to work toward the Eagle rank past his 18th birthday.

WHICH DISABILITIES QUALIFY FOR ACCOMMODATIONS?

Any permanent physical or mental disability that prevents a Scout from completing advancement requirements may qualify. Temporary disabilities, such as a broken leg, do not.

WHERE ARE THE ALTERNATE REQUIREMENTS OUTLINED?

Every case is different, so the BSA has no fixed set of alter- nate requirements.

WHO DECIDES IF A SCOUT QUALIFIES FOR ALTERNATE

REQUIREMENTS? The council advancement committee.

WHAT’S THE PROCEDURE FOR PURSUING ALTERNATE RANK

REQUIREMENTS? First, the Scout completes as many standard requirements as possible. Second, the unit submits to the council advancement committee a request detailing which stan- dard requirements the Scout has completed and suggests alternates for those he can’t complete. A statement from a licensed health-care provider must accompany the request, and, in the case of a mental disability, an evaluation statement from a certified educational administrator must be filed, as well.

WHAT ABOUT ALTERNATE MERIT BADGES? Before

the Scout begins pursu- ing alternate merit badges, the unit should submit an

Application for Alternate Eagle Scout Rank Merit Badges (No. 58-730) and attach a medical statement.

SAY A SCOUT CAN COMPLETE ALL BUT ONE REQUIREMENT FOR SWIMMING MERIT BADGE. WHAT SHOULD A

LEADER DO? Merit badges must be completed in their entirety. If the Scout can’t complete Hiking or Cycling (the standard alternatives to Swimming), submit an Application for Alternate Eagle Scout Rank Merit Badges. Possible alternates include Archery, Athletics, and Snow Sports.

HOW SHOULD A LEADER CHOOSE ALTERNATE MERIT

BADGES? Each alternate badge must be equally as demanding as the required badge it replaces. Ideally, the alternate should provide a similar learning experience.

WHERE CAN LEADERS FIND MORE INFORMATION?

Contact the council advance- ment committee or see “Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures” (No. 33088). ¿

MAY • JUNE 2 0 1 0  ¿ S COUT ING

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