scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: Re: Questions of age and rank
Daniel D. Williams (ddwriter@SEMO.NET
Wed Mar 01 2000 - 00:57:22 CST
> 1. Cub is in 4th grade, is 11and is a Webelos I. One leader insists
> this cub must become a boy scout immediately. The mother, our CC, does
> believe the boy is ready and wants him to stay in cubs to get his AoL.
> this boy have to go to Boy Scouts? Would it be in his best interest?
As a general rule, if he's 11, he's a scout, unless he has some sort of
learning problem. Socially, I would keep him with his peers on approval
Council. The requirements can only be changed at the Council level and
grade would be a big consideration. However, there is also the
to move up a boy should be in the fifth grade. Talk it over with your
Commissioner. In this case I would see about keeping him with his
> 2. Cub is in 4th grade, 10 years old, is mentally and physically
> handicapped, and 2 1/2 years behind his grade level. The cub will be
> getting his AoL within the next month or two and Mom, our Webelos I
> wants to move him to Boy Scouts as soon as possible. He has cerebral
> is on crutches and will be having surgery in the near future. Should
> forward? If so should he join the regular troop or one for special
OK. one of the requirements for AoL is that they have an application
a Boy Scout unit. As soon as he gets AoL he should move up.
Part two of this, and this is the fun one, is that the boy should be
"mainstreamed" as much as possible. Meaning that he should go to a
unit. There is no need for him to go to a Special Needs unit for three
1. Being in a mainstream unit will give him the chance for a better
experience. So what if he might not be able to do everything that a non
challenged boy can do. That is no reason to saddle him into a special
unit unless his parents specifically request it, which from your
they aren't making that request.
2. Think of the other boys. Working with him, they will learn not only
him and the challenges he has, but they will also learn a lot about
themselves. There is a specific MB for this called Disabilities
which I am soon going to be a counselor. I am also our District's
District Commissioner for Special Needs, and everything I have stated is
just my opinion, it's the opinion of the National offices.
3. In our District, the only Special Needs units we have are those run
school classrooms. I currently know of fifteen challenged boys,
in a wheelchair, that are all with regular units, and all of them are
active in mainstream Scouting, and the other boys are more than willing
out if necessary. This doesn't mean they should make it easy on
That would take the challenge out of Scouting, and if not challenged, he
The worst thing to do is not even give him the chance to prove himself.
what if he might have to do a few things differently, learning how
the challenge, not the limitation. It will make him a better and more
independent person in the long run, whereas a Special Needs unit is
strictly toward those youth that cannot care for themselves for whatever
reason, even temporarily, in any way shape or form.
You mentioned that he will soon be having surgery. Do you mind if I ask
for? and where? If he will be going to a Shriner's Hospital, they have
Needs units in the hospital for the patients to keep up with their
advancements. Many children's hospitals offer this as well.
I know this very well because my son is physically challenged. He wears
arm and leg prosthetics, and the main problem we have is with his
not surviving his activity level. He went through three legs last year
the feet kept breaking. He just made First Class in December, is the
Patrol Leader for his patrol (The Mighty White Tigers), and will have
requirements except the merit badges done for Star rank by April. His
to make Eagle, even if it means having to adjust some of the
Check with the Council office, Division of Special Needs for more
The biggest thing for the leaders and the parents to remember is that
just a phone call away.
The Council office can also review the Eagle required merit badges, and
necessary, adjust them to the Scout's ability level as long as the
badges are just as challenging as the regular badges.
> 3. Cub is 9 years old and began the school year in 2nd grade. He was
> recently promoted to 3rd grade. While his leader was out due to family
> problems, the cub was moved from Wolves to Bears with only a few
> requirements left for his Wolf badge. In the last month he has
> his Bear badge. Should we have waited and allowed him to complete his
> first before moving him?
Tough call. The move from second to third is the stickler, but in my
yes, he should have been allowed to finish his Wolf, then begin on his
If he has already earned his Bear badge, he can't go back to finish
> 4. Cub is 9 years old and in the 3rd grade. When he joined the pack,
> was in the first grade but was placed in the wolves because of his
> When he got to Webelos he wanted to go back to Bears to be with his
> classmates. It seemed like he was not ready for Webelos so he was
> to move back with his friends where he is having fun. Should he have
> kept in Webelos where he probably would have dropped out of scouting
> because he was not happy?
No. You were right to let him move back to where he was with his
Grade jumping like that can cause a lot of problems, but most can be
best by considering the boy's interests and desires. Something that
too infrequently, I'm afraid.