2014-20 Archive: Abilities Digest

This is a better-indexed version of the original Abilities Digest archive. The older links in this archive were transferred from Scouting.org when they embarked on a major web site reorganization.

Volume 7 – 2020

1. Late Winter 2020

  • Adapting Activities: Tranquility Base: a safe space; Philmont’s Zia Experience for youth with special needs this summer.
  • Enhancing Awareness: Training conference at Philmont this summer.
  • Adapting Advancement: Changes to youth registration beyond the age of eligibility; Youth Protection Training exemptions for mental disabilities.
  • Recognizing Abilities: Presenting the Torch of Gold Award.

2. Spring 2020

  • Enhancing Awareness: Q&A on COVID-19 and special needs Scouting; mental health first aid.
  • Awareness Events: Adaptive Special Needs conference still open for registration this summer; Zia Experience delayed until summer 2021.
  • Adapting Activities: New Scout Orientations and beyond.
  • Recognizing Abilities: Rich Gambrill honored with 2020 Woods Services Award.
  • Adapting Advancement: Being prepared for physical disabilities; advancement with physical disabilities.

3. Summer 2020

  • Adapting Advancement: Joining conferences for new Scouts; saying good-bye to board of review anxiety.
  • Enhancing Awareness: The experience of blindness.
  • Adapting Activities: Choosing a unit for a Scout with special needs; Responses when a unit leader rejects a proposed accommodation.
  • Awareness Events: Staffing opportunities for Disabilities Awareness Challenges at the upcoming National Scout Jamboree.
  • Recognizing Abilities: The Special Needs Scouting Service Award.
  • 2021 Philmont summer events.

Volume 6 – 2019

1. Spring 2019

  • Adapting Activities: The Chief Scout Executive speaks on Scouting with disabilities and special needs; summer activities for Scouts with special needs.
  • Enhancing Awareness: Revised Special Needs and Disabilities Introduction now available; Philmont training program on special needs Scouting.
  • Recognizing Abilities: Scouters recognized this year for service to Scouting with special needs and disabilities.
  • Adapting Advancement: Perspectives on comparable challenges and expectations in advancement.
  • Helpful Links: Accessing Disabilities Awareness materials.

2. Winter 2019

  • Welcome our new National Committee Chair, Warren Wenner.
  • Awareness Events: Training opportunities at Seabase this winter and Philmont this spring; Philmont offers a new experience for Scouts with special needs.
  • Recognizing Abilities: Dori Hammer receives the Woods Services Award.
  • Advancement help may be right down the street.
  • Adapting Activities: Special Needs at the World Scout Jamboree last summer; “Wizard Academy” hosted by Three Fires Council, Troops for the deaf and blind in Palmetto Council.

Volume 5 – 2018

1. Winter 2018

  • Adapting Activities: Food sensitivities as a special need; Summer camp prep for Scouts with special needs.Enhancing Awareness: Updating the Guide to Disabilities Awareness.
  • Recognizing Abilities: Include the Torch of Gold in your spring council recognitions; a new medal and knot device are available for the Special Needs Scouting Service Award.
  • Awareness Events: Bilingual Wood Badge train-ing in American Sign Language and English; Disabilities Awareness at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree.

2. Spring 2018

  • Adapting Activities: Food allergies as a special need; Jamboree Joe: the power of the Can-Do attitude.
  • Awareness Events: Philmont training: DIVERSEability and DisABILITY – How to apply proper methods in Scouting with Special Needs.
  • Adapting Advancement: Registering qualified
  • members beyond the age of eligibility; Merit badges and Scouts with disabilities.
  • Recognizing Abilities: How Scouts with Down syndrome earn Eagle; Stephen Marriott, advocate for Scouting with disabilities.

3. Summer 2018

  • Recognizing Abilities: Eagle Project of the Year is a fully accessible musical playground. Mary Lynne Capen receives the 2018 Woods Services Award. Nominations for the 2019 Woods Services Award are due December 31, 2018.
  • Adapting Advancement: Council advancement committees need special needs representation.
  • Enhancing Awareness: A survey tool to count the number of Scouts with special needs in your council. Considering parents with bipolar disorder as potential unit leaders. Resource lists from the committee’s Resources Task Force.

4. Fall 2018

  • Adapting Activities: DisAbility adaptations for the COPE Challenge and course experience at the Phil-mont Training Center.
  • Adapting Advancement: : Perspectives on advancement as a method, not a mission, and on achievable challenges.
  • Recognizing Abilities: : Every council may present a Torch of Gold Award annually; Nominations for the 2019 Woods Services Award are due December 31; Earning the Special Needs Scouting Service Award.

Volume 4 – 2017

1. Spring 2017

  • Adapting Activities: Ensuring a great summer camp experience for Scouts with special needs.
  • Awareness Events: The disAbilities Awareness Challenge at the 2017 National Jamboree, and the Philmont 2017 conference on growing your Scouts with disabilities membership and resources.
  • Enhancing Awareness: Hints on establishing a council disabilities awareness committee, an inspiring reading to use in adult leader training.
  • Adapting Advancement: Guidelines for adapt-ing the new Cub Scout requirements, standards and procedures for extending work on Eagle Scout requirements past age 18.
  • Recognizing Abilities: The Special Needs Scouting Service Award square knot is now available.
  • Helpful Links: Accessing Disabilities Awareness Materials

2. Fall 2017

  • Recognizing Abilities: The 2017 Woods Services Award was presented to Ralph N. Rehbock of the Northeast Illinois Council. Be sure to submit nominations for the annual Torch of Gold and Woods Services Awards.
  • Adapting Activities: First steps in accommodating Scouts with special needs; sign language for Scouting events.
  • Enhancing Awareness: Importance of using proper words when leading Scouts with special needs; behavior contracts and individualized advancement plans; video portrays autism to young people.
  • Adapting Advancement: Meeting advancement requirements “with no exceptions,” a handy table summarizing advancement adaptations, and special needs on the trail to Eagle.
  • Awareness Events: Special needs and disabilities at the 2017 National Jamboree: one Scouter’s experience and a glimpse at the disAbilities Awareness Challenge.
  • Helpful Links: Accessing Disabilities Awareness materials.

Volume 3 – 2016

Fall 2016

  • Enhancing Awareness: Sign up for the 2017 National Scout Jamboree and visit the disabilities Awareness Challenge; report from the summer training session at Philmont; interpreting services using augmentative communications devices.
  • Upcoming Event: Training conference at Florida Sea Base.
  • Recognizing Abilities: It’s almost the end of the year: Be sure to nominate council volunteers for the Torch of Gold and/or the Woods Services awards.

Summer 2016

  • Membership and Inclusion: STEM Scouts offer new opportunities for youth with special needs.
  • Upcoming Events: Save the date for the conference at Seabase next January, seeking staff for disabilities Awareness Challenge at the 2017 National Scout Jamboree.
  • Leadership Abilities: Arranging a “joining conference” with parents of new Scouts.
  • Enhancing Awareness: Visit our Facebook page and “like” its new look, augmentative communications devices and telecommunications relay services, simulating sensory loss in a disabilities Awareness Challenge.
  • Recognizing Abilities: Announcing the Special Needs Scouting Service Award and the requirements for earning it.
  • Adapting Advancement: Tips for Scout parents and adult leaders when youth have ADHD.
  • A Peek Ahead: Topics Planned for Future Issues

Spring 2016

  • Enhancing Awareness: Scouting provides structure and focus for ADHD youth; points to remember as summer camp time approaches; augmentative communications devices for persons with hearing or speech disabilities
  • Recognizing Abilities: Jim Africano receives the 2016 Woods Services Award
  • Adapting Advancement: Changes to the Disabilities Awareness Merit Badge; Mentoring Eagle Candidates Who Have Special Needs
  • Professional Corner: Make the Commitment to Attend Philmont This Summer!
  • A Peek Ahead: Topics Planned for Future Issues
  • Helpful Links: Accessing disabilities awareness materials

Winter 2016

  • Upcoming Events: Disabilities Awareness Staff Opportunities at the 2017 National Scout Jamboree; Philmont Training This Summer: Serving More Scouts With Disabilities
  • Abilities Training: Three new disabilities awareness training presentations are now available on www.scouting.org; Inclusion: The Key to Disabilities Awareness; Camping Considerations for Scouts With Disabilities; Program & Planning Strategies for Working With Scouts With Disabilities
  • Enhancing Awareness: Disability etiquette and other thoughts on person-first language; national survey on disabilities in adults
  • A Peek Ahead: Topics Planned for Future Issues
  • Helpful Links: Accessing disabilities awareness materials

Volume 2 – 2015

Fall 2015

  • The New Chief Scout Executive: Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh’s Vision for Scouts with Disabilities
  • Recognizing Abilities: Remember the Torch of Gold Award; Woods Services Award Nominations Deadline Fast Approaching
  • Enhancing Awareness: Remembering Yogi Berra’s Dedication to Scouts with Disabilities
  • Adapting Advancement: Registering a Scout As Disabled or Having Special Needs
  • Abilities Training: The Disabilities Aware-ness Conference at Philmont
  • A Peek Ahead: Topics Planned for Future Issues
  • Helpful Links: Accessing Disabilities Awareness Materials

Summer 2015

  • From the Chief Scout Executive: Meet the Buddy Troop
  • Enhancing Awareness: New Cub Scout Program Includes Disabilities-Focused Adventures
  • In the News: Karen Jones Honored with the 2015 Woods Services Award; How Many Scouts and Scouters Served Have a Disability?
  • A Peek Ahead: Topics Planned For Next Issue
  • Recognizing Abilities: Archer Hadley Addresses National Employees
  • Helpful Links: Accessing Disabilities Awareness Materials

Spring 2015

  • Enabling Units: A Scout with Autism—Where to Start; Essential Resources for Autism and Scouting; Preparing for Summer Camp
  • Enhancing Awareness: Handouts Supporting the New “Essentials” Presentation; Teaching Autism Acceptance
  • Council Abilities: Commissioner Training for Disabilities Awareness; Council Produces Video on Scouts with Neurobiological Diagnoses
  • Professional’s Corner: Organizing New Scouts with Disabilities Units—Initial Visit
  • A Peek Ahead: Topics Planned For Next Issue
  • Helpful Links: Accessing Disabilities Awareness Materials

Winter 2015

  • Abilities Training Opportunities: Special Invitation from the National Disabilities Awareness Committee; New Advancement Educational Presentation Gains Traction; New Disabilities Awareness Educational Presentation on the Horizon
  • Enhancing Awareness: Local Councils Promote Inclusion and Awareness on Youtube®; Disabilities Awareness Now on Facebook and Twitter
  • Adapting Advancement: Using the New Request for Registration Beyond the Age of Eligibility; Individual Scout Advancement Plan—More Than Just a Form; Creativity—The Key to Alternative Requirements
  • Your Feedback is Important: Random Sample Survey Coming Soon
  • A Peak Ahead: Topics Planned For Next Issue
  • Helpful Links: Accessing Disabilities Awareness Materials

Volume 1 – 2014

Fall 2014

In This Issue

  • Abilities Training Opportunities: Florida Sea Base: Conference on Education for Advancement Administrators; Philmont Training Center: Disabilities Awareness–Building Council and District Resources; Northern Tier Welcomes Scouts with Disabilities; New Educational Presentation for Serving Scouts with Special Needs
  • Council Abilities: Addressing Your Questions and Concerns
  • Enhancing Awareness: Communicating in Person-First Language Matters; Supporting Scouts with Disabilities through Social Media
  • Recognizing Abilities: Torch of Gold Award; Woods Services Award
  • A Peek Ahead: Topics Planned For Next Issue
  • Adapting Advancement: Merit Badges and Scouts with Disabilities; Advancement Planning Resources Now Online
  • Helpful Links: Accessing Disabilities Awareness Materials and Websites

Summer 2014

  • From the Committee: Welcome to the First Issue of Abilities Digest!
  • Council Abilities: What Can Councils Do to Help Scouting for Those with Disabilities?; Measuring a Council’s Special Needs Program
  • Creating Awareness: Simulating Sightlessness; The Cane Maze
  • Adapting Advancement: Registration Beyond the Age of Eligibility; A Resource for Advancement Planning
  • In The News: Sonya Whitehead Honored with the Woods Services Award
  • Helpful Links: Accessing Disabilities Awareness Materials