Venturers and Sea Scouts With Special Needs

10.2.3.0 Advancement for Venturers and Sea Scouts With Special Needs

With a parent or guardian, Venturer-age youth with disabilities must consider the programs presented by individual crews or ships. The activities involved must fit within the capabilities of the prospective member. Discussions with crew Advisors or ship Skippers can reveal what is possible and what is not. Generally, crews may be more able to offer flexibility for members with disabilities than ships. For example, safety concerns onboard a vessel may present barriers difficult or impossible to overcome.

10.2.3.1 Working Toward Boy Scout Advancement

Qualified Venturers and Sea Scouts with disabilities, who are working on Star, Life, or Eagle ranks or Eagle Palms, must meet the same requirements and follow the same procedures as outlined for Boy Scouts. See especially “Alternative Merit Badges for Eagle Scout Rank,” 10.2.2.3.

10.2.3.2 Working Toward Venturing Awards

The candidate must meet all current award requirements. There are no substitutions or alternatives permitted except those specifically stated in current requirements, or as outlined below or set forth in official literature, or where crew Advisors have been provided flexibility with certain awards. The Venturer is expected to meet requirements as stated—no more and no less. If it says, “Show or demonstrate,” for example, that is what he or she must do; just telling about it isn’t enough. The same holds true for such words or phrases as “make,” “list,” “in the field,” “collect, identify, and label,” and so on. Requests for alternative requirements for Bronze, Gold, Silver, Ranger, Quest, and TRUST awards may be made, however, using the same qualifications and process outlined under “How to Apply for Alternative Requirements,” 10.2.2.2. As with alternative requirements for Tenderfoot through First Class ranks, we must be dealing with permanent physical or mental disabilities, or in the case of Venturers, disabilities expected to last more than two years or beyond age 21. Council advancement committee approval for alternative requirements is required in the same way, but to  those for Venturing, the committee must involve an adult with thorough knowledge of Venturing advancement and awards. Unless a Venturer has been approved to register beyond the age of eligibility, alternative requirements must be completed by the 21st birthday.

10.2.3.3 Working Toward Sea Scout Ranks

All current Sea Scout rank requirements must actually be met by the candidate. There are no substitutions or alternatives permitted except those specifically stated in current requirements, or as outlined below or otherwise set forth in official literature. The Sea Scout is expected to meet the requirements as stated—no more and no less. If it says, “Show or demonstrate,” for example, that is what he or she must do; just telling about it isn’t enough. The same holds true for such words or phrases as “teach,” “lead,” “take command,” and so on. With the full cooperation of a ship committee and Skipper, it may be possible for some youth with disabilities to participate in Sea Scout advancement. The requirements are specific, not based on interchangeable merit badges, and they build from rank to rank. The prospective member, with his parent or guardian, should review the requirements to determine whether advancement is feasible with reasonable flexibility. If ship leaders agree, then the same qualifications and process apply, as outlined under “How to Apply for Alternative Requirements,” 10.2.2.2. As with alternative requirements for Tenderfoot through First Class, we must be dealing with permanent physical or mental disabilities, or in the case of Sea Scouts, disabilities expected to last more than two years or beyond age 21. Council advancement committee approval for alternative requirements is required in the same way, but to approve those for Sea Scouts the committee must involve an adult with thorough knowledge of Sea Scout advancement and rank requirements. Unless a Sea Scout has been approved to register beyond the age of eligibility, alternative requirements must be completed by the 21st birthday.