Redwood Empire Scouting Serves Special Needs Youth Too!
Right here in our Council there was a seventeen year old who wanted to be an Eagle Scout. He was only at Second Class Rank and had earned many merit badges. The issue was that he has a valid medical special need that was recognized by his parents, his attending physician and his high school. His troop leaders may not have been aware of the provisions in the BSA for Special Needs youth and they let him remain at the Second Class Rank for some time..
This example is offered to bring awareness to remind Cub, Scout and Venturing leaders that the BSA does want to serve youth with special needs and there are provisions in Section 10 of the Guide to Advancement. See the specific provisions in the GTA but as an overview:
- Cubmasters and Committees may jointly determine appropriate substitutions that are consistent with the Cub Scout showing he can "do his best".
- The Council Advancement Committee with required documentation, can approve a substitution requirement for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class ranks. See GTA 10.2.2.2 for documentation requirements. The Council Advancement Committee can also approve a qualifying, substitute merit badge for Eagle Rank.
- The Executive Committee of the Council Board of Directors can approve a registration beyond age 18 for a Boy Scout who qualifies.
The story of our REC Scout continues happily. He did receive approval to substitute one requirement for First Class Rank and the Board's Executive Committee gave unanimous approval for the Scout to remain registered beyond age 18. Hopefully he will someday reach his goal of being an Eagle Scout in the Redwood Empire Council.