Cub Scout LogoManual Cover Page - Understanding Cubs With Disabilities

(BSA #33057 1971 1996 printing) 

Scouting is for all youth, some accomplish things differently. One Scoutmaster wrote: The big, staggering fact is that it doesn‘t require (skill or patience). The kids are so normal, it s almost funny."

Why is Scouting good for youth with disabilities? Well, they have needs which Scouting can help fulfill, and it provides others with the opportunity to learn from their attitudes. Scouting provides physical benefits and teaches all of us "to recognize a crippling condition as normal and in the nature of things,".

Just what should we know about a youths disability?  There. is a chapter which addresses the roles of the Parents; the Physician; the Youth; and Teachers and Advocates.  Perceived limitations may tell us more about us than the youth.  Another Chapter addresses issues such as what occurs when a youth joins a mainstream Troop; will he hold the rest back; and helping the guy next to you.

While there is a chapter which deals with Leading a Special Unit (Pack, Troop, or Post), many of the the tips on running a program and gaining help from parents and others can be applied to a mainstream unit. Included are recommendations on hiking, camping, service projects, and games and sports (both team and individual).

Chapter 6 describes a variety of disabling conditions and explains them: Cerebral Palsy; Muscular Dystrophy; Muscular Atrophy; Spina Bifida; Heart Defects; Limb Deformities; Epilepsy; Brain Damage; Down s Syndrome; and Diabetes.

Guidelines for Membership and Advancement provide an explanation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and how alternative paths can be developed.  A Checklist of Abilities and Limitations is provided, and can be completed by parents during the pre-joining conference

Article XI, Section 3, Clause 19 of the BSA Rules and regulations reads, in part: ...under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed upon consultation with appropriate medical authorities, registration of boys who are either mentally retarded or severely physically Cub Scouts...over age 18 as Boy Scouts, or Varsity Scouts, and registration of young adults...over age 21 as Explorers, and the participation of each in the respective advancement programs while registered, is authorized.


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This page was last edited 11/15/09