Re: (long) Eagle Scout & the "disability"requirement ref. 18 YOA
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@PIPELINE.COM)
Thu, 7 Nov 1996 22:17:42 -0500
At 10:54 PM 11/6/96 -0500, Jeff Bloom wrote:
>Q: Does anyone know if ADHD qualifies as a "disability" in getting the 18 YOA
>deadline extended for a scout who wants to finish his eagle requirements ?
Okay, I have read the first couple of responses and figured I would give it
a try. First, there are two different situations which can provide age
extensions. Once concerns youth with disabilities and the other involves
other situations. I will deal with the second first, even though your
concern is really with the first.
Page 14 of the Advancement Policies and Procedures Committee Guide (#33088)
discusses "Time Extensions" as follows:
"If a Scout foresees that he will be unable to complete the requirements for
the Eagle rank prior to his 18th birthday, he may file a petition in writing
with the national Boy Scout Committee through the local council for special
permission to continue work toward the award after reaching age 18. The
petition must be filed by the unit leader or unit committee. The petition
must show good and sufficient evidence and detail extenuating circumstances
that prevented the boy from completing the requirements prior to his 18th
birthday. Extenuating circumstances are defined as conditions or situations
that are totally beyond the control of the Scout."
As you can see, this type of extension must be applied for and approved by
The rules for Scouts with disabilities are totally different. They are
discussed on pages 20 and 21 of the Advancement Guidelines and are too
lengthy to copy here. In brief, they state that Scouting uses the
definitions under the Americans with Disabilities Act to determine whether
these rules apply. With regard to membership they read:
"The chartered organizations using Scouting determine, with the approval of
appropriate medical authorities, whether a youth member is qualified to
register (based on the above definitions) beyond the normal registration
age. The . . . Scoutmaster's signature on the Boy Scout Application, . . .
or on the unit's charter renewal application certify the approval of the
chartered organization for the person to register. The local council must
approve these registrations on an individual basis.
"The medical condition of all candidates for membership beyond the normal
registration age must be certified by a physician licensed to practice
medicine, or an evaluation statement must be certified by an educational
administrator. . . . In the case of mentally retarded or emotionally
disturbed candidates for membership, their condition must be certified by a
statement signed by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist."
Thus, it is my understanding that registration (and hence advancement work)
for a Scout with an ADA certifiable disability is a local council matter and
merely requires certification by competent authority, willingness of the
chartered partner to register the Scout, and approval by the local council.
No national approval is required.
If he is over 18 when he makes Eagle, the following additional conditions apply:
"Certification must be given by the appropriate local council committee
responsible for advancement that each Eagle Scout candidate over the age of
18 . . . has met the requirements as stated in the current official
literature of the Boy Scouts of America. (A representative of the council
advancement committee must be a member of the Eagle board of review.)
"The council committee responsible for advancement must then secure approval
of the council executive board. The Scout executive must attach a letter to
the application indicating that the executive board has approved the
I offer no opinion on whether ADHD is a qualifying disability under ADA.
However, if it is then you should be able to get the necessary medical
certification and handle this extension without prior approval from national.
Sorry this was so long, but I hope it helps.
Bruce E. Cobern
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City