New Rules to Register Beyond Age 18

2019 Guide to Advancement cover

There have been national changes to the policy for everyone age 18 or older who participate as members of a Scouting or Venturing unit. All participants age 18 or older must fill out the adult application and agree to a criminal background check. They must also take Youth Protection Training unless they receive a special exemption (we discuss this in a separate article).

When an adult leader fills out an application, we enter a specific “position code” to match the leader’s role. There are position codes for youth or other unit participants who register beyond age 18.

For adults with cognitive impairments, the Guide to Advancement spells it out clearly: “An adult of any age who is developmentally disabled or cognitively impaired may be considered for youth program participation and join Scouting if a qualified medical professional is able to correlate cognitive abilities to less than the upper limit of an eligibility age.” This is called registration beyond the age of eligibility, abbreviated RBAE.

When a participant age 18 or older with disabilities has been approved for RBAE, an adult application must be filled out. Enter the position code on the adult application, depending on the participant’s program:

  • UP – Cub Scouts or Scouts BSA
  • VP – Venturing or Sea Scouts

These codes are also used in other cases where a youth member continues as a youth member after aging out. For example, if an Eagle candidate is granted a temporary extension past age 18, an adult application must be filled out using the UP position code.

Participants registered with these codes may take part in youth programs, earn youth awards, merit badges, rank, or just plain have fun Scouting. A participant’s youth status does not change as long as registration continues. The status only changes if he or she re-registers in an adult leadership role.

If you would like to read more about Registration Beyond the Age of Eligibility, you can access the information in the Guide to Advancement, section 10 (https://www.scouting.org/resources/guide-to-advancement/special-needs/). Your Council Champion or your council Disabilities Awareness Committee may also be able to assist, if you have questions.

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