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Advancement Flexibility 

10.2.0.0 Advancement Flexibility Allowed

Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, Venturers, or Sea Scouts who have disabilities may qualify for limited flexibility in advancement. Allowances possible in each program are outlined below. It does not necessarily matter if a youth is approved to be registered beyond the age of eligibility. Experience tells us those members whose parents are involved, or at least regularly consulted, progress the farthest. Some units have also followed the example set by Individualized Education Plans, and have established “individual Scout advancement plans” with the same benefits.

10.2.1.0 Advancement for Cub Scouts With Special Needs

Advancement is so flexible that, with guidance, most Cub Scouts with disabilities can complete requirements. The standard is, “Has he done his best?” It may take him longer to attempt requirements and demonstrate this, but his accomplishments will be rewarding to him, his parents, and his leaders. There could be times, however, when a Cub Scout’s “best” isn’t enough even to get a start. For example, a boy in a wheelchair cannot pass requirements calling for walking or running. In these cases, Cubmasters and pack committees may jointly determine appropriate substitutions that are consistent with the Cub Scout showing he can “do his best.” For example, elective requirements could take the place of those found in achievements. Or in consultation with parents, other adjustments representing similar challenges could be made.

10.2.2.0 Advancement for Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts With Special Needs

Members must meet current advancement requirements as written for merit badges, all ranks, and Eagle Palms— no more and no less—and they are to do exactly what is stated. If it says, “Show or demonstrate,” that is what they must do; just “telling” isn’t enough. The same holds for words and phrases such as “make,” “list,” “in the fi eld,” “collect,” “identify,” and “label.” Requests for alternative requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks can be made using the information outlined below. It is important to remember that the advancement program is meant to challenge our members; however, not all of them can achieve everything they might want to—with or without a disability. It is for this reason all Scouts are required to meet the requirements as they are written, with no exceptions. For boards of review for Scouts with special needs, the board members should be informed ahead of time about the special circumstances and needs. It may be helpful, too, if the unit leader is present at the review. He or she may be able to help answer questions and provide background. It may be important to allow parents or guardians to be present at the meeting as well—especially if they are able to help interpret and communicate what the Scout is saying. At the least, parents should be available to help board members understand the Scout’s challenges and how he copes with them.

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