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Disabilities Awareness

Serving Scouts With Disabilities.

Many units have at least one Scout with Special Needs, which includes autism, attention deficit disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, asthma, diabetes, hearing or visual impairment and many others. This committee is designed to offer support, training, and resources to help your Scout and unit be more successful.

The following resources provide information about Scouts with disabilities:

Guide To Working With Scouts With Special Needs And Disabilities 

For additional resources, visit the BSA’s disabilities awareness website.

Special Needs Tool Box:

The below documents can be helpful for leaders with special needs Scouts in their unit.

512-730 Application for Alternative Merit Badges
Individual Scout Advancement Plan
Know Your Scout
Request for Registration Beyond the Age of Eligibility
Special Event Care Plan

Training-April 27, 2024 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Sign up for a new Special Needs Awareness Training for all ages. There will be activities for the Cub Scouts, Disabilities Awareness Merit Badge for Scouts BSA and adult classes for leaders and parents.  Attend this training with professionals in the fields of Special Needs and Education for the opportunity to learn how to provide the best services for every Scout.

Check in will start at 9:00am with the first class starting at 9:30am and will be completed at 3:00 pm.  The fee is $20. Receive the early bird price of $15 if paid in full before March 21, 2023.  Walk-ins will be accepted at the $20 fee.

Lunch will not be provided to help lower the cost. Everyone is encouraged to bring a sack lunch.

Learn about upcoming training sessions HERE.

We are in need of youth or adult volunteers to help support the Cub Scout and Scout BSA programs. Please register online as a staff member if interested or email questions to:

Eleanor Phillilps, Special Needs Committee Training Chair., philipseleanor@gmail.com


Nick Schubert, Staff Advisor, nicholas.schubert@scouting.org.

Recognize a Deserving Scout Leader

Special Needs Scouting Service Award

The Special Needs Scouting Service Award recognizes and may be earned by adult volunteers and professionals whose active and outstanding service:

  • Involves working with Scouts who have disabilities or special needs
  • Promotes awareness of disabilities and special needs in Scouting
  • Advocates the recruitment, inclusion, and full participation of members who have disabilities or special needs in the programs of the Boy Scouts of America

Download the nomination for HERE.

Torch of Gold Award

The Torch of Gold is a council-level distinguished award of the Boy Scouts of America to recognize adults for exceptional service and leadership working with Scouts who have disabilities.

  • Each council may recognize one Scouter per year with the Torch of Gold Award.
  • Completed nomination form must be submitted to the council Special Needs or Disabilities Awareness committee, or its designee, according to council procedures and deadline.
  • The nominee shall:
    • Be currently registered with the Boy Scouts of America.
    • Have a least three years of service in any Scouting leadership capacity related to Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturers and/or Sea Scouts with disabilities, including educating other Scouters about disabilities and working with youth who have disabilities.
    • Have completed all activities related to Scouts with disabilities on a strictly volunteer basis.
  • A Scouter may only receive this award once.
  • Presentation should be made at the council annual recognition dinner, district recognition dinner, or appropriate Scouting event.
  • The Scout Executive must approve the recipient.

Download the nomination form HERE.

Join the Special Needs Committee

The Special Needs Committee is looking at growing to support the families and units with special needs Scouts. Please reach out to one of the contacts below to receive more information about the next meeting.

Need more help or resources? Contact one of our special needs committee members:

Special Needs Committee Logo

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