Alternative advancement requirements bring the challenge within the capability of the Scout, but the Scout must still have the desire and willpower to meet the challenge. No Scout is asked to attempt an advancement challenge beyond his or her capability, if that capability can be objectively determined. A Scout is never set up for failure, but a Scout should expect to be challenged and leaders should prepare Scouts to be challenged and encourage them to overcome.
National Committee member Roger Tate has produced a series of “Perspectives” on advancement that will appear in this and upcoming copies of Abilities Digest.
The mission of the BSA is to prepare young people to make ethical choices throughout their lifetime. Advancement is one of several methods for promoting the mission. There are many wonderful Scouts who never become Eagle Scouts (author included). However, many of us that focus our attention on Scouts with special needs want to see these Scouts advance, by any means necessary. Such a viewpoint does not always mesh with the mission, aims or traditions of the BSA. While we are advocates for our Scouts, the purpose of this column is to help Scouters and parents of Scouts with special needs/disabilities better understand other leaders who are advancement specialists and vice versa. This allows us to focus our advocacy in ways that truly benefit the Scout and fulfill the promise of Scouting for the Scout. Don’t let the method become the mission.
Here is Volume 5, Number 4 of Abilities Digest. Highlights include:
- Adapting Activities: DisAbility adaptations for the COPE Challenge and course experience at the Philmont 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.