Special Needs

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Special Needs

Postby milominderbinder2 » Wed May 28, 2008 1:32 pm

This is the discussion for the Special Needs page on meritbadge.org.

This text is quoted from the BSA Advancement Policies #33088 © 1989, 2007 Printing.

In particular note that:
* Scouts with disabilities must still meet the exact requirements even in summer camp.
* If a Scout cannot complete an Eagle required merit badge due to Special Needs, the Council can assign an alternate merit badge.
* Special Needs policies apply in very specific cases.

Please note needed corrections here.

- Craig
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Postby smtroop168 » Wed May 28, 2008 1:49 pm

Craig...the 2008 BSA requirements book changed #5.

Requirement 5 has been deleted.
Requirements 6 - 11 have been renumbered to 5 - 10. They now read as follows:

1. The Eagle Scout rank may be achieved by a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or qualified* Venturer who has a physical or mental disability by qualifying for alternate merit badges. This does not apply to individual requirements for merit badges. Merit badges are awarded only when all requirements are met as stated.
2. The physical or mental disability must be of a permanent rather than a temporary nature.
3. A clear and concise medical statement concerning the Scout's disabilities must be made by a physician licensed to practice medicine, or an evaluation statement must be certified by an educational administrator.
4. The candidate must earn as many of the required merit badges as his ability permits before applying for an alternate Eagle Scout rank merit badge.
5. The Application for Alternate Eagle Scout Award Merit Badges, No. 58-730 PDF (463 KB) — (2008 Edition), must be completed prior to qualifying for alternate merit badges.
6. The alternate merit badges chosen must be of such a nature that they are as demanding of effort as the required merit badges.
7. When alternates chosen involve physical activity, they must be approved by the physician.
8. The unit leader and the board of review must explain that to attain the Eagle Scout rank a candidate is expected to do his best in developing himself to the limit of his resources.
9. The application must be approved by the council committee responsible for advancement, utilizing the expertise of professional persons involved in Scouting for the disabled.
10. The candidate's application for Eagle must be made on the Eagle Scout Rank Application, with the Application for Alternate Eagle Scout Award Merit Badges attached.
* In order for a Venturer to be an Eagle candidate, he must have achieved the First Class rank as a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout.
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Postby milominderbinder2 » Wed May 28, 2008 7:25 pm

In 2007 you had two committees updating their books. Both made many important changes.

The Advancement Committee chose to maintain the requirements.

The Requirements Book committee chose to reduce the requirements.

Just like for any other corporation, the BSA's policies legally take precedence over it's handbooks and manuals.

- Craig
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Postby wagionvigil » Wed May 28, 2008 7:29 pm

SO Johnny does not have to complete the swimming requirement for 2nd and 1st because Mommy says he is afraid of he water and it is an illness? :lol:
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Postby FrankJ » Wed May 28, 2008 8:45 pm

SO Johnny does not have to complete the swimming requirement for 2nd and 1st because Mommy says he is afraid of he water and it is an illness?


Not if mommy says so. But if a doctor says as part of a larger diagnoses. When this is really the case, it will be painfully obvious because it will be part of pattern of issues.
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Postby wagionvigil » Wed May 28, 2008 8:49 pm

Frank I was being Funny. I actually had a mom try this on me whe I was doing swimming and Lifesaving a few yearsBack. I told her fine get me a Medical from a specialist in mental illness and I will accept it. Her comment was well that will cost me money. I said if it is an illness it must be diagnosed. That ended it.
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Postby FrankJ » Wed May 28, 2008 9:02 pm

I was amused. :wink:

If I had a child with that level of phobia, I would be doing what ever I could to treat it. The money on the doctor would already be spent.

I know this is starting to drift off topic, but all the Boy Scout camps I have been to devote a lot of effort of getting first timers in the water.
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Postby wagionvigil » Wed May 28, 2008 9:03 pm

PS The Scout did Make Eagle with Swimming and Lifesaving
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Postby milominderbinder2 » Wed May 28, 2008 10:37 pm

True hydrophobia is beyond comprehension.

Key questions to ask:

Do you ever play in shallow water?
Do you ever have water fights?
Play in the sprinkler?
Are you OK to get splashed in the face?
Are you able to walk on a path along the water?

For a true hydrophobic, any of these could cause tachycardia.

The hydrophobic youth will already have to have an IEP on file with their school. Just ask for a copy.

- Craig
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Postby PaulSWolf » Wed May 28, 2008 10:41 pm

milominderbinder2 wrote:In 2007 you had two committees updating their books. Both made many important changes.

The Advancement Committee chose to maintain the requirements.

The Requirements Book committee chose to reduce the requirements.

Just like for any other corporation, the BSA's policies legally take precedence over it's handbooks and manuals.

- Craig


Craig, the National Advancement Committee is responsible for both "Boy Scout Requirements" (33215) (BSR) and "Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures" (33088) (ACP&P). There is no separate "Requirements Book Committee".

There may be subcommittees that review various merit badge requirements, rank requirements, and the requirements for other awards, and there may be a subcommittee that reviews changes to the ACP&P, but all of the changes to both books must get final approval from the National Advancement Committee.

If you check with Bill Steele, he will confirm that the former requirement that read "The candidate must complete as many of the requirements of the required merit badges as his ability permits." is NO LONGER in effect. If it still appears in ACP&P, it is an editorial error that one subcommittee overlooked. But the whole committee approved the specific removal of the clause in BSR, with the intent of removing it completely.

Furthermore, the Requirements Book specifically states

"The requirements listed in this book might not match those in the merit badge pamphlets because the pamphlets may not have been recently revised. The requirements in this book are the official requirements of the Boy Scouts of America."

That second sentence would override anything to the contrary in ACP&P.

BTW, That same item was removed from "A Guide to Working with Scouts with Disabilities" (33056) some time ago, so it's been in conflict in various publications for years.

As for "policies taking precedence over handbooks and manuals", that may be true in general. But where there is a conflict, BSA's Policies are overruled by BSA's Rules and Regulations and by its Charter and By-laws.

And in this specific case, policies are also overruled by written requirements, which have the effect of rules.
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Postby PaulSWolf » Wed May 28, 2008 10:46 pm

One further note,

"Boy Scout Requirements" is neither a handbook nor a manual. It is a book documenting the official requirements for Boy Scout Advancements, i.e. it is a book of RULES. And RULES overrule policies.
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Postby smtroop168 » Thu May 29, 2008 7:55 am

Thanks Paul. I was wondered where the lawyers who go over this stuff word by word were on this one.

Their editorial error is akin to my MB Sash issue where the "three across" wording was dropped out of the Insignia Guide somewhere along the line and Bill Steele is having it put back in.
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Postby milominderbinder2 » Thu May 29, 2008 12:37 pm

The form from the BSA website shows the requirements from 33215. And the conflicting ones from 33088. The form shows the 33215 version.

It is each Scout's local council who make these determinations. I would say no matter what, work with them closely right from the beginning. Don't just mail in a form they aren't expecting.

Regardless of what the conflicting documents say, every one of the 305 local councils will make their own interpretations anyway.

- Craig
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Postby smtroop168 » Thu May 29, 2008 1:51 pm

The 2008 version of the form I saw has the requirements as listed in the 2008 BSA Reqmts book.

You're right about the individual councils. The form says it's their decision anyway. Never knew how many councils there were. The interpretation is what MBs they will allow as alternates which of course should depend on the physical or mental ability of the scout.

So what do you post on this site since the two conflict? Add a statement to the 33088 to "see 33215"?
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Postby FrankJ » Thu May 29, 2008 10:42 pm

Craig says
The form from the BSA website shows the requirements from 33215. And the conflicting ones from 33088. The form shows the 33215 version.


Judging from your tag you must have read the book. Which means you know why this is done. It so you can use the piece of paper most useful at the time. :wink:

For those of you that are poorly read google milominderbender, :)
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Postby milominderbinder2 » Fri May 30, 2008 12:18 pm

FrankJ wrote:...For those of you that are poorly read google milominderbender, :)

Specifically google "milominderbinder catch 22"

As to the contradiction between 33088 and 33215, I called yesterday and was told that the Alternate Eagle Requirements changed by the Advancement Committee at the October meeting. That was in time for the latest 33215 but the 33088 had already been printed. They also are working to get all of the statements on scouting.org to be consistent as well.

Still it is the local council who will make this determination. Work with your Council Advancement Committee before you mail in a form so you are on the same page.

As as aside, a new 33088 is about to be published © 2008.

- Craig
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Re: Special Needs

Postby mhjacobson » Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:50 pm

I recommend that any time that there is an issue with special needs scout and advancement that you check into the latest edition of Scouting for Youth with Disabilities (available on the BSA WEB site). The National Committee is keeping this manual current in almost 'real time.' It has the current provisions on how to modify requirements for advancement.

Basically, it all starts in the local unit with approvals from the SM, scout, parents, and then moves to the District advancement committee who approves the plan for modifications. Then the paperwork moves its way up to the council advancement committee (who is to have a Scouting for Youth Disabilities Chair as a member).
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Re: Special Needs

Postby mhjacobson » Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:09 pm

This is a jump from another thread where I was talking about extending the maximum age at which a scout can earn Eagle. In my prior post I stated that there are two types of scouts with disabilities: those who are registered in disability units and are thus known to the council and those who have disabilities and are NOT known to the council.

In my last post I stated that in the case of those scouts who have a disability that might result in having the need for the amximum age in which to attend Eagle, will have to apply for that age amendment. Craig responded that they did not have to apply for the age amendment.

This is my response:

Due the fact that scouts with disability who are registered in units that are not disability-based units are not registered as disabled scouts the council does not know that they may be eligible for an age extension, the National BSA Taskforce on Scouting for Youth with Disabilities states that the scout's family must apply for an extension for the age requirement. In addition, substantiating document must accompany this request in the same manner as it should accompany the request for MB amendment.

By the way, there is an error in a prior posting on the MB requirement amendment -- the procedure is to complete the form on the unit level and suggest the substitute merit badge. THE COUNCIL ADVANCEMENT COMMITTEE SHOULD NOT BE MAKING THE SUBSTITUTIONS AS THEY DO NOT KNOW THE CAPABILITIES OF THE SCOUT. THEIR ROLE IS TO APPROVE THE SUBSTITUTION OR SUGGEST AN ALTERNATE SUBSTITUTION.
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Re: Special Needs

Postby milominderbinder2 » Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:40 pm

Since it is the Scout's local council who will be making the decision about the Special Needs Scout, I would suggest that you start there.

I don't think that any two councils do things exactly the same way.

- Craig
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Re: Special Needs

Postby mhjacobson » Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:58 pm

Craig:

Please read the Scouting for Youth with Disabilities Manual. The advancement procedures in the manual accurately reflect those in the current Advancement Committee and Advancement manuals.
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