Alternate Requirements for Ranks

A Scout who is unable to complete any or all of the requirements for Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, or First Class rank because he is physically or mentally disabled may complete alternative requirements if the following criteria are met:

  1. The physical or mental disability must be of a permanent rather than a temporary nature.

  2. A clear and concise medical statement concerning the Scout's disabilities must be submitted by a physician licensed to practice medicine. In the alternative, an evaluation statement certified by an educational administrator may be submitted. The medical statement must state the doctor's opinion that the Scout cannot complete the requirement(s) because of a permanent disability.

  3. The Scout, his parents, or leaders must submit to the council advancement committee, a written request that the Scout be allowed to complete alternative requirements for Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, or First Class rank. The request must explain the suggested alternate requirements in sufficient detail so as to allow the advancement committee to make a decision. The request must also include the medical statement required in paragraph two above. The written request for alternate requirements must be submitted to and approved by the local council prior to completing alternate requirements.

  4. The Scout must complete as many of the regular requirements as his ability permits before applying for alternate requirements.

  5. The alternate requirements must be of such a nature that they are as demanding of effort as the regular requirements.

  6. When alternate requirements involve physical activity, they must be approved by the physician.

  7. The unit leader and any board of review must explain that to attain Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, or First Class rank a candidate is expected to do his best in developing himself to the limit of his resources.

  8. The written request must be approved by the council advancement committee, utilizing the expertise of professional persons involved in Scouting for disabled youth. The decision of the council advancement committee should be recorded and delivered to the Scout and his leader.

Eagle Alternate Requirements

The Eagle Scout rank may be achieved by a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or qualified* Venturer or Sea Scout who has a physical or mental disability by completing the Application for Alternative Eagle Scout Rank Merit Badges, No. 512-730, and by qualifying for alternative merit badges. This does not apply to individual requirements for merit badges as described. Merit badges are awarded only when all requirements are met as stated. See the Guide to Advancement, topic, for details.

The physical or mental disability must be of a permanent rather than of a temporary nature (or a disability expected to last more than two years or beyond the 18th birthday). The application must include a written statement from a qualified health-care professional related to the nature of the disability. This person may be a physician, neurologist, psychiatrist, psychologist, etc., or an educational administrator as appropriate.

Before applying, he must earn as many of the Eagle-required merit badges as possible. Any alternatives must present the same challenge and learning level as those they replace. Unless the Scout has been approved for registration beyond the age of eligibility, all merit badges must be completed by the 18th birthday.

  1. Obtain a clear and concise statement related to the nature of the disability from a qualified health-care professional.

  2. The unit leader meets with the candidate and his parent or guardian to determine the alternative merit badges to replace those impeding his progression.

  3. The unit leader, parent or guardian, and the Scout (if possible) prepare supporting letters to accompany the application.

  4. The district and council advancement committees, in turn, review the proposed alternative merit badges. They may choose to speak with the Scout, his parent or guardian, or unit leader. If the council advancement committee approves, then the candidate may start work on the merit badges. Note: In approving the application, the district and council advancement committees must utilize the expertise of a health-care professional involved with youth who have disabilities.

  5. Upon completion of the Eagle Scout rank requirements, using the alternative merit badges, the candidate appears before a board of review. This approved application must be attached to the Eagle Scout Rank Application.

  6. Following a successful board of review, the council processes both applications and forwards them to the national Advancement Team. Local council action on alternative merit badges does not require national approval.