Westchester-Putnam Council has support for all unit leaders that have youth with Special Needs ….

The Special Needs Scouting Committee has been formed to address the growing demand from packs, troops, crews and all scouting units for full support for all youth with any special needs and/or disabilities. 

The SNS Committee meets monthly (except July & December) on alternating last Wednesdays and Thursdays of the month at the Council Service Center in Hawthorne, 7:30--8:30pm and we encourage any leader that is curious or has an interest in learning more about our SNS Committee or disability awareness efforts to join our meetings.  Every unit should have an adult Special Needs Advocate and attending our meetings is a terrific way to learn how the SNS Committee is a helpful resource to unit leaders!


Special Needs Scouting Committee:

Steve Owen & Kristine Kingsley-Mulder  - Committee Co-Chairs 

Algonquin: Andi Anderson, Steve Baker, Kristine Kingsley-Mulder, Rob Levine, Monica Moss, Charlie Zegers

Manitoga:  Kathleen Kaiser

Mohican: Lindsay Buttenschon, Paxton Louis, Steve Owen, Donna Ragusa, Dominick Venturini, Jay Werner

Muscoot:  Crystal Kennedy & Christine Zirkelbach

Professional Advisor:  Andrew Nam

Chairman Emeritus:  Tom McCandless

For any specific inquiries please contact the SNS Committee by email: SNScouting@wpcbsa.net

Our Mission Statement

Our mission is to support and encourage all scouting youth with special needs & their families; & to offer equal opportunities for these scouts to participate to the best of their abilities in a rewarding scouting experience within the Westchester-Putnam Council, BSA. 

Our Mandate

Assist all Scout Leaders developing and coordinating an effective Scouting program for scouts with disabilities and special needs, using all available BSA & community resources.

Special Needs Scouting Unit Annual Survey 

The Special Needs Scouting Committee will be conducting a Special Needs survey. The purpose of the survey is to increase disability awareness, provide activities for all scouts and to better assess training needs. We will be distributing the 2017-2018 survey in November at roundtable meetings. It is also available on this website. Please complete the survey and hand it in with your charter on December 2, 2017.

If you have any questions about filling out the survey please contact the Special Needs Committee at SNScouting@wpcbs.net

Yours in Scouting, 
Steve Owen
Kristine Kingsley
Co-Chairs Special Needs Committee

How the Special Need Scouting Committee Supports Units & Council:


• Promote all aspects of Disability Awareness • Assist & Approve Advancement Alternatives

• Assist with Disability-specific Advancement • Assist & Approve Alternative Registration

Provide Community Service Opportunities • Assist with Onboarding new scouts & Intake Assessments (as needed)

• Provide Exceptional & Continuous Training Present Annual Awards to Scouters & Scouts for Exceptional Service


• Other Council-specific Strategic Initiatives (longer term):

Program Adaptations for Council-wide Events, inc disAbilities Awareness Challenge (dAC)

Develop & Promote New Special Needs Scouting Units

Provide Input & Assist with Needed Property Adaptations & Accessibility

Assist with Strategic Funding For These Initiatives

Key Messages to all Units:

• The WPC Special Needs Scouting Committee is an enormous & available resource; visit our monthly meetings!

• Be prepared and welcoming of any special needs youth & their family that wants to join your unit.

• Let your youth leaders know that your unit is available to potential Special Needs youth.

• Be aware of alternative membership registration and advancement substitutes, reach out to our Special Needs Scouting Committee for assistance.

• Depending upon the severity of the disability or handicap, reach out to the Special Needs Scouting Committee to assist with a suggested pre-joining family conference.

Special Needs Advisory Members

The Special Needs Scouting Committee has developed a team of professionals that have spent the majority of their professional lives serving the special needs community.

The purpose of this Special Needs Advisory team is to assist in the following areas:

1) provide professional input in ruling on alternative registration requests.

2) provide professional training opportunities through University of Scouting.

3) provide professional input for community service opportunities.

4) provide professional advisory input for disAbilities Awareness Challenge events.


Gayle Cratty - NFP Executive, Board Member SPARC

Robert M Tudisco, ESQ -  ADHD Specialist,  Board Member CHADD

Judy Gillet - Special Education Teacher, BOCES, Pines Bridge School Yorktown Heights

Evan Latainer & Anna Masopust - Westchester County Office for the Disabled, Board Members Miracle League of Westchester

Paul Rowe - Wee Zee World; Occupational Therapy Specialist

Tricia Zarro - Regular Ed Teacher Dobbs Ferry for inclusive classroom; Inclusion Director - Camp Combe; Therapeutic Recreation & Autism Spectrum Specialist