Re: MBs and the Handicapped Scout
Rob White (rsw@TFS.COM)
Wed, 2 Aug 1995 11:40:32 -0400
The is a very good publication put out by BSA which addresses
the issue of Scouts with Learning Disabilities. It is not very
big but covers a lot of ground.
As for advancement requirements, BSA authorizes the waving of
requirements for MB and advancement where necessary. In
"1993-1995 Boy Scout Requirements" there are various notes
stating: "This requirement may be waived by the troop committee for medical or
Under Eagle Rank Requirements:
NOTE: If you have a permanent physical or mental disability you
may become an Eagle Scout by qualifyiing for as many required
merit badges as you can and qualifying for alternate merit
badges for the rest. If you seek to become an Eagle under this
procedure, you must submit a special application to your council
service center. Your application must be approved by your council
committee for advancement BEFORE YOU CAN WORK ON ALTERNATIVE MERIT
This whole conversation of whether to waive or not waive requirements
has me a bit steamed. We send boys to summer camp every year to work
on advancement items and merit badges. In almost every case, the boy will
will return with items signed off that we know he could not have possibly
done at camp. How many merit badges have been handed out for Environmental
Science at camp? This MB requires a minimum of one MONTH of observations.
These observations require measurements of rain, temperature, and
wind. Forestry MB requires a trip to a "managed" forest area or a logging
operation (scout camps to not qualify in either case).
Orienteering requires that the scout must take part in three orienteering
events plus, act as an official in one event, plus teach orienteering
techiniques to patrol, troop, or post, plus set up a course (all in
one hour a day at summer camp? I don't think so.). I could go on and
The point I want to make is that requirements are waived all the time
in the name of expediency but some would have us not waive a few
requirements in the name of doing it by the book. Well the book
says that requirments may be waived in the case of individuals with
physical and mental limitations. We obviously do not want to wave so many
requirements for a MB that it is a joke, but wave (or bend) one or two that may
be difficult for the scout to do.
Examples: A scout in a wheel chair may take a "trip" rather than a hike.
A scout with a learning disorder may give his written reports
As leaders we are tasked with protecting the integrity of the
advancement system, but let us not forget the reason for
the program in the first place. We wish to challege boys to experience
new things and to grow from those expericences. We want them to
learn to welcome challenges and overcome them.
We want them to learn how to succeed not how to fail.
Rob White rsw@tfs.COM
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