When Food Becomes a Special Need

We’ve all encountered Scouts who are picky eaters because the menu is different from home and food is cooked in unfamiliar ways.  Most food aversions work themselves out because most kids will not willingly starve themselves. That is not always the case, and Scout leaders need to be receptive and address special cases. One special... Continue Reading →

Adaptive Archery at the 2017 Jamboree

Beginning in 2001, every Boy Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill included a one-armed archery activity. At the Fort, it used a special one-handed bow-and-arrow fixture in a quonset hut as part of the disAbilities Awareness Challenge. When the Jamboree moved to the Summit in 2013 there was no enthusiasm for installing the fixture on... Continue Reading →

Sign Language for Scouting Events

Deaf and hard of hearing Scouts, Scouters and family members present new challenges for many units.  Units, districts and councils aren't legally obligated to provide a sign language interpreter for deaf participants, and often can't afford a professional, certified interpreter. Yet we want to include everyone in the Scouting experience. We benefit both deaf and... Continue Reading →

Jamboree With Disabilities

Scott Hellen, a National Jamboree staffer with limited mobility, shares observations on his Jamboree experience. We all have preconceived expectations of what our first time on staff at a National Jamboree will be like. I was looking forward to working hundreds of Scouts from around the country and abroad as they came through the Disabilities... Continue Reading →

Severe and Unpredictable Behavior

Severe behavior takes many forms, from physical violence to seizures to unexpected, uninterruptible slumber. We adapt our activities to reduce the risk and impact, but we can’t always predict such incidents. How can we give young people the Scouting experience when they are subject to severe and unpredictable behavior? For example, a Star Scout with a sleeping... Continue Reading →

Accommodations For Scouts

A typical troop has Scouts across the spectrum of behavior and maturity. About one in eight of these Scouts may have a special need or disability that calls for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) at school. When we accommodate the latter, we help more typical but less mature Scouts as well. Accommodations often fall into five... Continue Reading →

Key Ingredients to Great Summer Camp

Reprinted from the Spring 2017 Abilities Digest Contributed by a camp staff alum Communication and teamwork are the key ingredients to a great summer camp experience for Scouts with special needs. It’s been 30 years since I last worked on summer camp staff, but some of the most vivid memories I have are working with... Continue Reading →

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