Blog Post List

Cub Scout Program Updates 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Thursday, December 1, 2016 3:40:00 PM

Modifications to Cub Scout program give den leaders more flexibility

Source: Scouting Magazine, posted on November 30, 2016 by 

The Boy Scouts of America has announced modifications to Cub Scouting that make the program more flexible for busy parents, den leaders and Cubmasters.

The BSA gathered feedback from den leaders who had delivered the new Cub Scouting program for a year. What they learned was that some den leaders had difficulty fitting into their program year all of the adventures required for advancement. This resulted in boys not advancing. After a thoughtful and deliberate review, the BSA has released some modifications to address this concern.

What are the modifications? Some adventure requirements that previously were mandatory will become optional, in a move intended to give Cub Scouters more control over their den program.

The changes, which take effect today (Nov. 30, 2016), were approved by the National Executive Committee of the Boy Scouts of America.

The fine-tuning reflects the BSA’s three-step approach to new programs: Launch. Learn. Modify.

Here’s a quick look at what you need to know. 

Cub Scouting’s fall 2016 modifications, an overview

  • First of all, you won’t need to buy any new materials. The new requirements will be posted in a free addendum available at scouting.org/programupdates. This will supplement the handbooks in current circulation and for sale online and in Scout shops.
  • While the overall feedback from den leaders about the new Cub Scout program has been very positive, some den leaders said a number of the new adventures had requirements that were too difficult for dens to complete within the Scouting year. 
  • The number of new Cub Scouts is up in many areas of the country, but rankadvancement rates have not kept pace, meaning the BSA’s team of volunteers and staff advisers wanted to react quickly to eliminate what might have become a roadblock for some dens.
  • A national volunteer task force developed a solution: Make more of the adventure requirements optional, giving dens more flexibility to match their unique needs.
  • The modifications are designed to ensure that adventure requirements are achievable by today’s Cub Scout dens within a program year. This means they are achievable by all Cub Scouts, regardless of background or socioeconomic status.
  • Most of the modifications involve the number of requirements that must be completed, reducing the mandate to a number achievable within the limited time available to many dens. This is done while retaining the rich program options that allow leaders to build strong programs adapted to their needs.
  • The changes increase den-level customization. Units that can handle more content, perhaps because they meet more often or for longer periods, can — and should! — keep the optional requirements part of their program. On the other hand, those that have struggled to finish the requirements will welcome these changes as a way to meet their needs.
  • With the modifications, dens should be able to complete one adventure in approximately two den meetings.
  • The transition should be seamless, with leaders able to use revised requirements as the den begins any new adventure.

Where to find the new requirements

Simply log on to scouting.org/programupdates. I suggest making it one of your bookmarks

Scouting for Food 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Monday, November 28, 2016 1:55:00 PM

January 28, 2017 (hanger drop off)
February 4, 2017 (food pick up)

Scouting for Food is a council-wide service project to care for people in our local communities who are hungry and those in need. In partnership with the Houston Food Bank and "Souper Bowl of Caring," the project begins Saturday, January 28, 2017, as Scouts distribute door hangers in their neighborhoods to announce the upcoming food drive. Scouts return the following Saturday, February 4, 2017, to pick up and deliver donations to their local food banks and pantries.
 
A Cub Scout and a Boy Scout promises "to help other people at all times." There is no better way to show our Scouting Spirit than by participating in the annual Scouting for Food drive! Now is the time to show our community the Scouting values of being loyal, helpful, kind and cheerful.
 
Scouts will help make a difference to fight hunger. Scouting for Food is the leading service program for Boy Scouts of America and is a part of the national BSA program - Good Turn for America.

 

Unit Registration for Scouting for Food

The unit representative should register the unit for Scouting for Food

Unit Registration                  Unit Chair Guidebook

Unit Scouting For Food chair should attend the January district roundtable to pick up your unit's supply of door hangers. If you are unable to attend roundtable, please contact your district professional or district Scouting for Food chair.  All participating Scouts will receive a Scouting for Food patch. The unit Scouting for Food coordinator can pick up the patches at the March district roundtable.

Reporting Service Hours

Units are encouraged to report their Scouting for Food collection projects on the Journey to Excellence website. This helps provide the community an accurate report on the great service and dedication our Scouts are showing throughout the Sam Houston Area Council.

Contacts

For questions, contact your district Scouting for Food chair or district professional.

 

Additional Contacts

Dennis Olheiser
Scouting for Food Council Chair
(281) 831-0787
 dolheiser@reefindustries.com

 

Cesiah Molina
Scouting for Food Unit Registration
 (713) 756-3398
 Cesiah.Molina@scouting.org

Michelle Phillips
Scouting for Food Staff Advisor / Program Director
 (713) 756-3308
 Michelle.Phillips@scouting.org

 

 

Report Service Hours and Advancements 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Friday, November 25, 2016 7:05:00 AM

Service Hours

Report by December 31, 2016

All Scouting groups are encouraged to participate in service projects. A service project is a special Good Turn that puts Scout spirit into action. Some Good Turns are big—saving a life, helping out after floods or other disasters, recycling community trash, working on conservation projects. But Good Turns are often small, thoughtful acts—helping a child cross a busy street, going to the store for an elderly neighbor, cutting back brush that is blocking a sign, doing something special for a brother or sister, or welcoming a new student to your school. Anyone can get involved in a Good Turn.

Did you know that your unit can earn points towards the Journey to Excellence program just for logging your units community service hours online? That’s right your unit can earn up to 200 extra points if you log your service hours online. All types of service projects can be entered into this system including the Good Turn for America projects such as the shelter drive, food drive, and blood drive. Units may also enter their service hours for community projects that they took on as a unit. Please log all service hours. Journey to Excellence is the BSA's council performance recognition program designed to encourage and reward success and measure the performance of our units, districts, and councils. It is meant to encourage excellence in providing a quality program at all levels of the BSA.

All service hours for should be logged no later than December 31st.

What hours should be logged?

  • Any service hours performed by your unit for individuals or organizations in the community
  • Service hours performed by your unit to support your chartered organization
  • Scouting for Food hours
  • Eagle Scout project hours

Resources

Journey to Excellence

"Scouting's Journey to Excellence" is the BSA's council performance recognition program designed to encourage and reward success and measure the performance of our units, districts, and councils. It is meant to encourage excellence in providing a quality program at all levels of the BSA. 

Journey to Excellence Website

2016 Scorecards

Internet Advancements

Submit by December 31, 2016

Internet advancement is a tool for units to report youth advancements, awards, and merit badges. Before beginning internet advancement, collect all member information, including advancement records, award records, and merit badge applications with the appropriate signatures. To complete internet advancement, you must be connected to a printer to print the final report.

Units should make sure all advancements are submitted by December 31st, so proper Journey to Excellence (JTE) advancement statistics will be accurate for your unit and district.

Learn More              Submit Internet Advancements

Recharters Due by December Roundtable 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, November 15, 2016 6:01:00 AM

 

The BSA issues charters to community organizations to enable them to use the Scouting program under their own leadership as a service to their children, youth, and families. Re-chartering is the process of renewing the charter agreement between the BSA and the organization, and renewing the registration of youth and adult members. Every unit must recharter annually.

Rechartering on time is critical. It is required for Journey to Excellence. It is required for units to continue registration without interruption. It is required to ensure Scouts are registered, critical for receiving rank advancement and other awards, and for insurance coverage.

Rechartering is the annual process when each unit has the opportunity to remove members from your official Scouting roster who are no longer active, to update adult leadership positions and provide annual updates on your unit.

Take Action!

Don’t forget, if the charter is not renewed on time, the unit may not meet, members are not covered by insurance, youth cannot participate in events or activities, and youth cannot advance in rank or access Scoutbook so make sure you take these steps to ensure a successful renewal.

Learn More        Rechartering Resources

What is likely to delay the recharter process?

Last year, the recharters submitted with errors had the following issues:

  • 72% - one or more adults needed to take YPT
  • 36% - one or more adults needed to submit an application and/or disclosure/authorization form
  • 25% - the top leader needed to take basic training
  • 17% - missing unit requirements (e.g., Tiger leader, den leader, Webelos leader)
  • 16% - missing signatures
  • 12% - submitted the incorrect amount of money

Now is the time to get started on your unit's recharter.

  1. Inventory the unit's membership and collect fees. Involve the unit leader and committee in determining the status of those who do not respond about renewing. Get complete, new applications, including all required parts and signatures, for any NEW youth or adult members. All adult applications should include proof of having completed Youth Protection Training; attach a copy of the training certificate to the application and the criminal background check authorization when submitting the application. 
  2. Ensure adults are trained. All adults need to have Youth Protection Training which can be taken online at my.Scouting.orgThe top unit leader (Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Coach, Advisor, Skipper) must complete the BSA training courses to be considered "Trained" for their position prior to recharter as well as must have current YPT. Find a list of upcoming training courses.
  3. Update the unit roster. Use the web-based Internet Recharter (IR) system to update your unit’s roster. IR will create a current roster from BSA's registration system when access the system for the first time each year. 
  4. Obtain Signatures. Before you turn-in your paperwork, you must get two signatures on the first page of the recharter roster. The person named as the Executive Officer on the roster must sign the top line for the chartered organization. The person named as the unit leader (Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, etc.) must sign the bottom line as unit leader. The middle line, council representative, can be completed at turn-in and will be signed by a commissioner and/or the professional Scouter responsible for supporting your unit’s District. Don’t forget to check that applications for new members are all signed, too. Youth applications must be signed by the unit leader, the parent, and, for a Venturer, the youth. Adult applications must be signed by the chartered organization head, the unit’s committee chair, and the adult volunteer. Your district executive will sign the form later. 
  5. Check your work...with others. Ask your commissioner or another leader to help review your recharter before submittal. An extra set of eyes can help catch errors so your unit charter doesn't expire.
  6. Be "On-time" with signatures, money and no errors. 
  7. Shoot for Win-Win.  By working together, we can all make sure our boys, young men and young women can continue to enjoy the benefits of Scouting without interruption. The office wins, our kids win, our volunteers win. 

 

Earn the Recruiter Strip 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Monday, November 7, 2016 8:57:00 AM

No one is a better recruiter for Scouting than a Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Venturer who is enjoying the fun and educational activities that Scouting has to offer.

Scouts who recruit a friend into Scouting can earn the recruiter patch.  

The embroidered cloth strip can be purchased from the Scout Shop, and is worn on uniform below right pocket.

Success Stories

Luke was the only 2nd grader to show up at his pack’s join Scouting night, so they weren’t going to have a Wolf den.  He went out and recruited four friends to join Scouting.  He basically recruited an entire Wolf den!

Darrius was the only 4th grader returning to his pack this fall, so he was challenged him to get out and bring in some more Webelos.  He brought 11 more Webelos!

Not only did they earn they earn the recruiter patch, but they get to hang out at Scout meetings with their friends. Great job, Luke and Darrius!

Encourage your Scouts to bring a friend to your next meeting.

 

Why Scouting

Source: scouting.org

For almost 100 years, Scouting programs have instilled in youth the values found in the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Today, these values are just as relevant in helping youth grow to their full potential as they were in 1910. Scouting helps youth develop academic skills, self-confidence, ethics, leadership skills, and citizenship skills that influence their adult lives.

The Boy Scouts of America provides youth with programs and activities that allow them to 

  • Try new things. 
  • Provide service to others. 
  • Build self-confidence. 
  • Reinforce ethical standards.

While various activities and youth groups teach basic skills and promote teamwork, Scouting goes beyond that and encourages youth to achieve a deeper appreciation for service to others in their community. 

Scouting provides youth with a sense that they are important as individuals. It is communicated to them that those in the Scouting family care about what happens to them, regardless of whether a game is won or lost.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Scouting promotes activities that lead to personal responsibility and high self-esteem. As a result, when hard decisions have to be made, peer pressure can be resisted and the right choices can be made.

Benefits of Cub Scouting

Source: scouting.org

As a worldwide brotherhood, Scouting is unique. It is based on the principles of loving and serving God, of human dignity and the rights of individuals, and of recognizing the obligation of members to develop and use their potential. It is a movement dedicated to bringing out the best in people. Cub Scouting doesn't emphasize winning as an end result, but rather the far more demanding task of doing one's best.

When Scouting can help nurture courage and kindness and allow boys to play, to laugh, to develop their imaginations, and to express their feelings, then we will have helped them grow. We want boys to become useful and stable individuals who are aware of their own potential. Helping a boy to learn the value of his own worth is the greatest gift we can give him.

Cub Scouting Is Fun

Boys join Cub Scouting because they want to have fun. For boys, however, fun means a lot more than just having a good time. "Fun" is a boy's code word for the satisfaction he gets from meeting challenges, having friends, feeling good about himself, and feeling he is important to other people. While the boys are having fun and doing things they like to do, they also learn new things, discover and master new skills, gain self-confidence, and develop strong friendships. 

Cub Scouting Has Ideals

Cub Scouting has ideals of spiritual and character growth, citizenship training, and personal fitness. The Scout Oath is a pledge of duty to God and family. The Scout Law is a simple formula for good Cub Scouting and good citizenship. The Cub Scout motto, "Do Your Best," is a code of excellence.  Symbols, such as the Cub Scout sign, Cub Scout salute, and the Living Circle, help boys feel a part of a distinct group and add to the appeal of belonging to a widely respected organization.

Cub Scouting Strengthens Families

The family is an important influence on our nation's youth. There are many different types of family structures in today's world. Scouting is a support to all types of families as well as to organizations to which families belong. We believe in involving families in the training of youth, and we are sensitive to the needs of present-day families. Cub Scouting provides opportunities for family members to work and play together, to have fun together, and to get to know each other a little better.

Cub Scouting Helps Boys Develop Interests and Skills

In Cub Scouting, boys participate in a broad array of activities. Cub Scouts develop ability and dexterity, and they learn to use tools and to follow directions. Recognition and awards encourage them to learn about a variety of subjects, such as conservation, safety, physical fitness, community awareness, academic subjects, sports, and religious activities. These interests might become a hobby or even a career later in life.

Cub Scouting Provides Adventure

Cub Scouting helps fulfill a boy's desire for adventure and allows him to use his vivid imagination while taking part in skits, games, field trips, service projects, outdoor activities, and more. A variety of adventure themes let a boy play the role of an astronaut, clown, explorer, scientist, or other exciting character. Boys find adventure in exploring the outdoors, learning about nature, and gaining a greater appreciation for our beautiful world.

Cub Scouting Has an Advancement Plan

The advancement plan recognizes a boy's efforts and achievements. It provides fun for the boys, teaches them to do their best, and helps strengthen understanding as family members work with boys on advancement requirements. Badges are awarded to recognize advancement, and boys like to receive and wear these badges. The real benefit comes from the worthwhile things the boy learns while he is earning the badges, as his self-confidence and self-esteem grow.

Cub Scouting Creates Fellowship

Boys like to be accepted as part of a group. In Cub Scouting, boys belong to a small group called a den where they take part in interesting and meaningful activities with their friends. The Cub Scout den and pack are positive places where boys can feel emotionally secure and find support. Each boy gains status and recognition and has a sense of belonging to this group.

Cub Scouting Promotes Diversity

In Cub Scouting, boys may learn to interact in a group that may include boys of various ethnicities, income levels, religions, and levels of physical ability. By having fun together and working as a group toward common goals, Cub Scouts learn the importance of not only getting along, but also of working side by side with other boys of different races, classes, religions, cultures, etc.

Cub Scouting Teaches Duty to God and Country

The BSA believes that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God, and encourages both youth and adult leaders to be faithful in their religious duties. The Scouting movement has long been known for service to others. Scouting believes that patriotism plays a significant role in preparing our nation's youth to become useful and participating citizens. A Cub Scout learns his duty to God, country, others, and self.

Cub Scouting Provides a Year-Round Program

Cub Scouting has no specific "season"—it's a year-round program. While spring and summer pack activities are informal and there are many activities that Cub Scouts do outdoors, there's still plenty of fun to be had in the fall and winter: the pinewood derby, blue and gold banquet, skits, stunts, craft projects, and indoor games help to round out an entire year of fun and activities.

Cub Scouting Is a Positive Place

With all the negative influences in today's society, Scouting provides your son with a positive peer group who can encourage him in all the right ways. Carefully selected leaders provide good role models and a group setting where values are taught and help to reinforce positive qualities of character.

Scouting Apps 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Saturday, November 5, 2016 3:26:00 AM

Boys’ Life Magazine and Scouting Magazine Apps 

Source:  Scouting Newsroom Blog

Boys’ Life and Scouting magazines have two official mobile apps. Both apps can now be downloaded directly to your mobile device to make the world of Scouting available at your fingertips. 

Boys’ Life has been delivering fascinating and fun content to readers on ink and paper for decades, but new technology brings a new level of content. Readers will still get all the content they love — Scouts in Action, jokes, cartoons and super Scouting outings — plus access to new multimedia content such as videos, slideshows and easy social media sharing.

Downloading the app is as easy as typing “Boys’ Life magazine” into the search box of any app store, including Apple, Google Play and Amazon Kindle. Readers can also sport the new version of the classic publication on their wrist — Boys’ Life is available for Apple Watch too.

Both apps are free to download and once you open either app, you can elect to purchase an annual subscription for either magazine.

Current subscribers to the print version of Boys’ Life will receive the digital subscription for free. To access the app, all you’ll need to do is input your account number, which can be located on your magazine’s address label. Those who are not subscribed can buy a digital subscription though the app, or they can subscribe at the half-price “Scout rate” using special promo code FBTW0216 on the Boys’ Life website.

Find the Scouting magazine app on any app store simply by searching “Scouting magazine USA” or try “BSA” (the UK Scout Association has already published its Scouting magazine). Subscriptions to the digital Scouting — which includes the entire 103-year Scouting archive — are available via in-app purchase for just $4.99 a year.

Boys’ Life and Scouting magazine apps offer access to more than a century of content. (Photo credit: Scouting magazine)

Decades of Scouting Literature at Your Fingertips

Digital subscribers of Boys’ Life can buy almost any single copy dating to the very first issue, published March 1, 1911. Scoutingmagazine subscribers will have direct access to all of that publication’s content from 1913 to today. This means with the apps, you’ve got every issue of each magazine ever produced, right in your pocket.

Boys’ Life and Scouting magazines publish quality information and entertainment for a wide variety of audiences, and you don’t have to be a registered Scouter to subscribe.

The release of the apps makes anywhere, anytime, any place an opportunity to read your favorite Scouting publications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Leader Training 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, November 1, 2016 9:15:00 PM

December 10, 2016

Top Leader Basic Training Day is an opportunity for top unit leaders to complete training before recharter. All top leaders must be trained before December recharter. Top leaders are Cubmasters, Scoutmasters, Advisors, Skippers, and Coaches .

Register

There is $5 charge for the training if registering online or $10 at the door; however, registration online is highly encouraged so room assignments and handouts can be made based on registration numbers. Lunch can be purchased for $8, or you can bring your own lunch.

Cubmaster and Assistant Cubmaster Position-Specific Training 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Scoutmaster Position-Specific Training* 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Venturing Advisor Position-Specific Training 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Varsity Coach Position-Specific Training 8:00 am - 2:00 pm

*Scoutmasters also need Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills


Cubmaster and Assistant Cubmaster Position-Specific Training

The Cubmaster and Assistant Cubmaster Position-Specific Training course is intended to provide Cubmasters and assistant Cubmasters with the basic information they need to conduct successful pack meetings.  This training can also be taken online.

Scoutmaster Position-Specific Training

Scoutmaster Position-Specific Training is intended to provide troop leadership with the information and tools they need to lead successful Boy Scout troops. Scoutmasters and assistants who complete this training, Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills, and Youth Protection training are considered "trained."

Venturing Advisor Position-Specific Training

Venturing Advisor Training provide an introduction to the responsibilities, opportunities, and resources that will ensure a successful Venturing crew leadership experience.

 

Varsity Coach Position-Specific Training

Varsity Leader Basic Training provides an introduction to the Boy Scouts of America and to the responsibilities, opportunities, and resources that will ensure a successful Varsity team leadership experience.




Contacts

Lily Garrison
Top Leader Basic Training Registration
 (713) 756-3305
 Lily.Garrison@scouting.org

Benno Dunn
Council Training Chair
 (281) 413-9912
 bennodunn@yahoo.com

 

 

Michelle Phillips
Program Chair and Training Chair Staff Advisor
 (713) 756-3308
 Michelle.Phillips@scouting.org

Shop on Amazon Smile and Amazon will donate to the Sam Houston Area Council 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Tuesday, November 1, 2016 1:08:00 PM

Amazon Smile

AmazonSmile is a perfect way to support the Sam Houston of America.

  • Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Sam Houston Area Council, Boy Scouts of America whenever you shop on AmazonSmile.
  • AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service.
  • Support Sam Houston Area Council by starting your shopping at smile.amazon.com.

 

Sam Houston Area Council, Boy Scouts of America

Additional ways to help ensure the success of Scouting in the Sam Houston Area Council with meaningful gifts include: company matching gifts, company volunteer grants or by donating cars, trucks, RVs, trailers, boats, motors, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, securities, uniforms, camping equipment and yes, even services.

Adams Eagle Scout Project of the Year Award 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Sunday, October 30, 2016 2:53:00 PM

January 16, 2017, Nominations due

The Adams National Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award program of the National Council is designed to recognize the valuable service of an exceptional nature by an Eagle Scout to a religious institution, a school, community, or other entity. The award recognizes the Scout for his Eagle Scout leadership service project, which is part of the requirements for earning the Eagle Scout Award.

The council winner and up to five finalists are recognized at the annual New Eagle Scout Reception. Each finalist will receive a certificate and the council award recipient will receive a bronze award device for their uniform. Several Eagle Scouts have been recognized with Distinguished Project Leadership Awards. 

Parents, mentors, or leaders of the Eagle Scout can complete the form on behalf of the Eagle Scout. The deadline to submit a nomination is January 15, 2017.

Learn More        Adams Award Nomination Form


Sam Houston Area Council Winner and Finalists: Up to five finalists and one council winner will be recognized at the annual New Eagle Scout Reception. Every finalist will receive a certificate, and the council award winner will receive a bronze award device for their uniform.

Regional Winner: Council winners will compete within the Southern Region for recognition as finalists for the national award. One Eagle Scout from the Southern Region will receive a certificate, a gold award pin, and a $500 award to further his education or help pay to attend a Scouting activity.

National Winner: The winners from each region will compete with the winning Scout recognized at the national meeting with a certificate, silver award pint and a $2,500 award to further his education or help pay to attend a Scouting activity.


Contact

Brian McGuire
Senior Development Director
(713) 756-3312
 Brian.McGuire@scouting.org

Scouts with Disabilities 

Posted by Darlene Scheffler Wednesday, October 5, 2016 10:22:00 AM
 

Scouting helps by giving Scouts with disabilities "...an opportunity to prove to themselves and to others that they can do things - and difficult things too - for themselves." Lord Baden-Powell (Aids to Scoutmastership)

The council is committed to making Scouting accessible and enjoyable to all Scouts, regardless of their abilities. Since its founding in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America has included fully participating members with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. The BSA's policy is to treat members with disabilities as much like other members as possible. It has been traditional, however, to make some accommodations in advancement if absolutely necessary. By adapting the environment and/or our instruction methods, most Scouts with disabilities can be successful in Scouting.

The basic premise of Scouting for youth with disabilities is full participation. Youth with disabilities can be treated and respected like every other member of their unit. They want to participate like other youth - and Scouting provides that opportunity.

An individual is considered to have a "disability" if she or he:

  • has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities - seeing, hearing, speaking, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, learning, caring for oneself, and working,
  • has a record of such an impairment, or
  • is regarded as having such an impairment.

Ideas for Assisting Scouts with Special Needs             Disabilities Awareness Flyer


Training

The council's disabilities awareness committee offers a variety of training courses for Scouters and parents of Scouts. Contact the council Disabilities Awareness Committee to request a training. Visit the council training scheduled to see a list of upcoming courses.

The national disabilities awareness website has several PowerPoint presentations to offer new and potential leaders of Cub Scouting , Boy Scouting, and Venturing with the basic knowledge and skills needed to include and serve Scouts with disabilities skills. Participants will learn about the process of advancement, and national procedures and policies of the Boy Scouts of America. 

  • Essentials in Serving Scouts With Disabilities
  • Including Scouts With Disabilities (in English and Spanish)

Resources

There are many resources available to parents and leaders of Scouts with disabilities and special needs:

Advancement Flexibility Allowed

Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, Venturers, or Sea Scouts who have disabilities may qualify for limited flexibility in advancement. Allowances possible in each program are outlined below. It does not necessarily matter if a youth is approved to be registered beyond the age of eligibility. Experience tells us those members whose parents are involved, or at least regularly consulted, progress the farthest. The Guide to Advancement outlines advancement for Cub Scouts (10.2.1.0), Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts (10.2.2.0) and Venturers and Sea Scouts (10.2.3.0) with special needs.

Individual Scout Advancement Plan for Boy Scouts

The Individual Scout Advancement Plan (ISAP), No. 512-936 is similar to an Individual Education Plan, which is used in schools to establish a student’s special education eligibility. It can also help plan an approach for the education of a student who has disabilities that preclude his or her full participation in a typical curriculum. An ISAP is specific to each Scout and is usually prepared in a cooperative effort between parents, Scout leaders, and a health care professional. The objective of an ISAP is to chart a course through the advancement program that helps a Scout or Venturer with disabilities achieve as much as any limitations will allow, and to facilitate applications for alternative requirements, merit badges, and registration beyond the age of eligibility, as appropriate.

Application for Alternate Eagle Scout Rank Merit Badges

In order to earn merit badges, Scouts must successfully complete all requirements as stated, no more, no less. Though this rule applies to Scouts with disabilities, some, because of the severity of their medical condition, are permitted to earn alternative badges in lieu of those required for the Eagle Scout rank. Topic 10.2.2.3 “Alternative Merit Badges for Eagle Scout Rank” in the Guide to Advancement outlines the process. Scouts with special needs must first earn as many of the Eagle-required badges they’re capable of earning before applying for any alternatives. With help from his parent or guardian and unit leader, the Scout’s careful review of the requirements prior to starting work on an Eagle-required badge will help him determine if the badge is attainable. If this isn’t possible, he should apply for approval to earn an alternative badge once he has completed all the other required ones. Planning ahead is the key. If the Scout qualifies, his parent or guardian and leader may proceed helping him apply for alternative merit badges early on so the Application for Application for Alternative Eagle Scout Rank Merit Badges, No. 512-730, can be completed and submitted on time. It should also be noted the alternative merit badge chosen must provide a similar challenging experience as the required badge.  

Registration Beyond the Age of Eligibility

Youth members with severe physical disabilities and youth and adults with developmental or cognitive challenges may be able to Request Registration Beyond the Age of Eligibility, No. 512-935  in the BSA. This allows them to work through the advancement program at a pace appropriate to their needs. The steps to do this are relatively easy and you will find them outlined in section 10.2.2.4  of the Guide to Advancement.

A collaboration of parents, Scout leaders, and qualified health professionals can complete the information that must be submitted to the local council for approval. This team should have a good understanding of the Scout’s abilities and disabilities, and how these will affect his ability to complete requirements for advancement. The information submitted will help the council make a proper assessment, so preparers need to be sure to include as much detail as possible.

It is suggested that any Scout who qualifies should be registered this way as soon as possible so he or she has ample time to complete the requirements. The advancement program is challenging, but many members with disabilities have found ways to succeed. Providing them extra time to work on requirements and merit badges, when approved in advance, has proven to be helpful.


How do I register my new Scout as having a disability or special needs?

There is no special registration process for Scouts with a disability or special need or procedure to collect such information. Instead, the parents need to talk to unit leaders about their sons’ or daughters’ particular challenges. A good unit can and does make simple accommodations for individual members whenever possible. If the youth has mobility or health restrictions that will affect camp activities, these are generally collected on the camp physical examination form. Camps don’t necessarily share this information with the entire staff, so adult leaders may find it helpful to talk directly to camp counselors about these restrictions.The disability or special needs status of a Scout or Venturer isn’t otherwise relevant outside the unit unless the youth requires – and qualifies for – advancement accommodations or additional time to fulfill requirements. These accommodations are generally restricted to youth with “permanent and severe” disabilities. A parent or Scout leader can contact the council Disabilities Awareness Committee for suggestions, resources and valuable perspectives if needed.


Abilities Digest

Find the BSA Abilities Digest on Twitter @AbilitiesDigest and on Facebook. Subscribe to the BSA Abilities Digest quarterly newsletter by sending an email to disabilities.awareness@scouting.org.  Put “SUBSCRIBE” in the subject line and put your name, email address, and council in the message.


Contacts

Every unit is different, and every Scout with special needs has a uniqueness all his or her own. If a problem arises, parents and adult leaders can usually handle it themselves; however, knowledgeable Scouters may offer additional solutions and valuable perspectives. The council Disabilities Awareness Committee is available to provide training and to be a resource to help resolve challenges. Contact the council Disabilities Awareness Committee if you need help with:

Contact the Council Disabilities Awareness Committee