scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: mentally and physically disabled scout
Tue Mar 21 2000 - 08:19:11 CST
Following up upon Darryl's congratulations and recommendations, you've
done a wonderful job so far in providing an opportunity to a youth with
disAbilities. What the boy, his parents, you, and the Pack have
accomplished thus far has been an important part in the journies of many
lives. Don't stop now.
The paths in life, and towards Eagle, are and should be different and
varied. Scouting provides the program support to make it available to
those with disAbilities.
An important consideration is that these six wonderful boys that you
have graduated into a local Troop have learned to work together, and
provide and accept the contributions and strengths that each have.
There is no reason why that comraderee should not continue at a Scout
If the boy and his parents want him to stay and advance in Scouting,
then that is what should happen. Those are not unrealistic
expectations. If the Unit leader is unaware of the rules and
requirements then he should learn of them.
Scouts with "Special Needs" are addressed in the literature of
Scouting. Relevant to advancement see: "Advancement Committee, Policies
and Procedures", #33088B, Pgs. 25-27. There is, also, the recently
reprinted "A Scoutmaster's Guide to Working With Scouts With
DisABILITIES" (Note: BSA's new typographic focus on ABILITIES), #33056A.
Supplementing those two publications are a host of others which address
Scouts with differing types of disAbling conditions, and the fact that
the issue is important enough to include as an annual Conference at the
Philmont Training Center. I believe that the Y2K Conference is
scheduled for June 24-30, and it's not too late to have your Council
have you invited to attend.
I'd also commend to your (and the Unit Leader's) review the Girl Scout
publication "Focus on Ability" which takes an holistic approach in
readying a unit to host differently-abled youth.
Neither the boy, nor his parents, should dismiss the possibility of
attaining Eagle rank. My son did it at age 22, and I've heard of others
doing it past age 60. As with anyone it takes persistance, but persons
with disAbilities are not limited by chronological age, and there are
alternative requirements which are available, and can be established and
tracked at Unit, District, and Council levels.
There is, also, a website resource: Working With Scouts With
If you, or anyone else, have questions help is but microseconds away.
> Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2000 20:07:47 -0500
> From: Bess B Kannan <kannankrew@JUNO.COM>
> Subject: mentally and physically disabled scout
> I am a webelos leader and have just graduated 6 wonderful boys into our
> local troop. One of them is mentally and physically handicapped. He has
> been with me through all 4 years of cub scouting. The boys love him and
> he loves them. It has been our blessing to have him in our pack.
> He has not been able to always perform every activity or requirement as
> well as the other boys, but has always "done HIS best"! He acheived every
> webelos activity pin as well as his arrow of light. He has camped with us
> when one of his parents could also (as is required for webelos). He is
> often behind or out of place, but the other boys naturally drop back with
> him or gently guide him to where he needs to be.
> He dearly loves being with these boys and his parents want him to stay
> in scouting to get the experiences and fellowship with the boys. They do
> not necessarily expect him to get his eagle, but do expect him to
> The parents have talked to the troop master about his abilities and he
> has not been as encouraging as we have hoped. I am all but sure that
> there are alternative requirements tha this boy can use, but the troop
> master's comments were that cub scouting is more lenient!
> I don't have any boy scout training or access to manuals to research
> this. The troop master has said he will contact the district leaders for
> Does anyone out there have knowledge and or experience with a similar
> Please Email me at email@example.com with any ideas, comments,
> resources, encouragement, or what ever.
> Thanks for your help in advance!
> Bess Kannan
> Pack 17
> Franklin, VA
> Siouan District
> Colonial Va Council
> Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2000 15:19:08 -0500
> From: Darryl Hammill <darryl.hammill@NCMAIL.NET>
> Subject: Re: mentally and physically disabled scout
> First off - bless you for your work with this young man! Way to go...
> If this Scoutmaster contacts his District Exec or Unit Commissioner he will quickly
> find out that provisions are indeed already in place for young men who are
> physically or mentally challenged. If you find out otherwise, contact BSA national
> to get the straight story on this matter. The Troop or Scoutmaster in this case
> does not have to "reinvent the wheel" or make exceptions for this young man - the
> plan is already in place. He can advance through ranks and work on merit badges
> just like the rest of the Troop.
> Good Luck and COngratulations!