Alternate Merit Badges, etc.
Jay Thal (jay.thal@TCS.WAP.ORG)
Wed, 18 Jun 1997 21:31:45 EST
Well, a thunderstorm rolled through as I was answering Ms. Pritchard's
request - so here goes again.
Applications for "Required and Alternat Eagle Scout Award Merit Badges
for Advancement of Physically and Mentally Handicapped Scouts" are listed on
BSA Form No. 58-730.
In addition to the normal alternative to Swimming of Personal Fitness
or Sports the "Suggested Alternates" are: Archery, Canoeing, Cycling, Golf,
Hiking, Horsemanship, Orienteering, Pioneering, Rowing, Skating, Skiing, and
My son,who is disabled, earned his Eagle last year at age 22. Instead
of Swimming he used Horsemanship.
If a Scout is disabled, it is imperative that that Form be filled out
early on, and you get a doctor's/professional's assessment, and work within
District. Your Council could approve other MBs, also, of an equally demanding
nature. If fear of the water is the only debilitating issue then Teddy Gossman
is right that Personal Fitness or Sports will do.
However, if a boy is clearly disabled, and an assessment is made then
the Scout Leaders and parents owe it to the boy to be forthcoming about the
boy's disabilities so that a program can be tailored to his needs. This should
start at the first meeting between the boy, family and SM. Once you focus on
ABILITIES rather than the disabilities a path can be found.
It's a small brochure, but extremely valuable: "A Scoutmaster's Guide
to Working With Scouts With Disabilities", #33056, $1.45. Get it at your Scout
Store, and share it with the parents. It charts a path beginning at
There's also "Scouts with Special Needs" # 2-508. These are the
BSA Also publishes: Scouting for Youth with...
Physical Disabilities - No. 33057
Hearing Impaired - No. 33061
Blind and Visually Impaired No. 33063
Emotional Disabilities - No. 33008
Mental Retardation - No 33059
Learning Disabilities - No 33065
and quite a few others.
My past questionas to Scouts-L involve not BSA's commitment -- if one
can accept these publications and expressed alternative routes BUT, I'D LIKE
TO KNOW ANY CREATIVE OR ASSERTIVE APPROACHES YOUR RESPECTIVE COUNCILS ARE
EMPLOYING TO SUPPORT LEADERS AND UNITS WITH SCOUTS WITH DISABILITIES, OR
METHODS USED TO ACTUALLY RECRUIT FROM THAT POPULATION. (end shouting)
ADD and ADHD are recurring topics on Scouts-L, but it would be valuable
to share other experiences/ successes with disabled youth, or problem solve
I'd be happy to continue this thread either on Scouts-L or directly.
Jay Thal, ASM, Troop 666, Benjamin Banneker District
National Capital Area Council
Eagle '55; Silver Explorer '55
I used to be a Buffalo
P.S. We're taking 22 Scouts to the Canadian Jamboree, July 12-20, but will miss
P.P.S. Teddy: I, too, collect CSPs....
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City