Waterfront and Boating

This is an excerpt from the Special Needs and Disabilities Inclusion Toolbox being developed by the National Special Needs and Disabilities Committee (NSNDC). The Toolbox will replace the 2007 Scouting for Youth with Disabilities Manual. Every willing Scout should have opportunity to get in and onto the water and have fun. Opportunities for recreational time... Continue Reading →

Preparing for Summer Camp

Camping can provide many successes and experiences youth would never get to experience if not for Scouting. Camping with youth who have disabilities can be challenging. Going into the experience with insight can make the experience more successful. Here are a few tips to get parents, the Scout’s leadership, and the Scout prepared for an... Continue Reading →

Parents and Youth Sharing Tents

The national office has recently issued a clarification about youth with special needs sharing a tent with parents if there are health and safety reasons to do so. The statement appears as a “frequently asked question” in the “Youth Protection and Barriers to Abuse FAQs.” (scouting.org/health-and-safety/yp-faqs/) Q. Can I share a tent with my son... Continue Reading →

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 →

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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