Special Needs

Join our Zoom monthly Committee Meeting for Special Needs!

We have virtual, monthly, Special Needs Committee meetings on the second Friday of each month at 6 PM EDT.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 841 6193 3730         Passcode: 865251

To add yourself or others to our reminder list, kindly submit name, Council and email address here: https://247scouting.com/forms/358-specialneedsroundtable.


Youth with physical disabilities and developmental or cognitive challenges can be members of the Boy Scouts of America. Many of these scouts may take more time to satisfy the rank requirements, but can do so with accommodations when given the proper support and encouragement. Others may need specific accommodations, including “alternative requirements” and the opportunity to register beyond the age of eligibility, as outlined in Section 10 of the Guide to Advancement. Section 10 outlines the BSA guidelines and resources to assist with questions regarding advancement for these members.

To learn more about advancement for Scouts with disabilities and the process for establishing alternative requirements or registering beyond the age of eligibility, parents and unit leaders should contact their District Advisor for Special Needs Advancement or Mary Lynne Capen of the Council Advancement Committee:

Important links for Scouts with Disabilities, Special Needs or severe unforeseen circumstances:

Abilities Digest – A quarterly newsletter which addresses topics related to Scouts with special needs, new leader helps and articles that highlight Scouts with special needs in action! Send an e-mail to subscribe to: [email protected].  And link here to archives of previous issues.

Able Scouts – Articles on Scouting with Special Needs and disabilities.https://ablescouts.org/

Application for Alternative Eagle Scout Rank Merit Badges, No. 512-730 If a Scout cannot complete a required Eagle merit badge due to a permanent disability or special need. Please submit completed documents and attachments to your District Advancement Chair to begin the approval process. http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/512-730.pdf

Book share in Scouting Finding publications for Scouts with impaired hearing or vision. Accessible Scout materials all in one place! http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/BKS-Scout.pdf

Disabilities Awareness “landing page”– Includes links to most items on this page, as well as the Abilities Digest archive, the Best Practices compendium and the FAQs – http://scouting.org/disabilitiesawareness.aspx.

Guide to Advancement, No. 33088 – Complete guide for all advancement policies and procedures. – http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf Section 10, pg 76-87, address special needs.

Individual Scout Advancement Plan, No. 512-936 – Form that leaders and parents can use to map out a Scouts advancement plan or formally request a change in requirements due to a disability or special need. – http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/512-936_WB.pdf

Inclusion Toolbox- A printable website that keeps special needs info accessible 24/7/365 for the Scout community. It is designed to allow you to jump to the topic of greatest interest and read other sections later. This is constantly being added to and updated. Check back frequently for new topics. https://ablescouts.org/toolbox/ 

Introduction to Working with Scouts with Special Needs and DisABILITIES, No. 510-071– Helpful information and suggestions when dealing with a Scout with special needs or disabilities. – http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/510-071.pdf

Information Sheet – An overview of Scouting with special needs. http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/SpecialNeedsInformationSheet.pdf

Position Descriptions: Council Special Needs Advancement Adviser, District Special Needs Disabilities Advancement Advisor  We currently have an opening in the Pioneer district. Contact ML Capen if you are [email protected] or 201-230-4897

Request for Extension of Time to Earn Eagle Scout Rank, No. 512-077 – Request is for a short period of time to complete an Eagle project due to a permanent disability, special need or unforeseen serious circumstance. Reference to GTA Section, to differentiate extension from RBAE and GTA Section 10. Note the conditions in https://ppcbsa.org/wp-content/uploads/BSA-Extensions-

Request for Registration Beyond the Age of Eligibility, (RBAE), No. 512-935 – Request is for an infinite amount of time to continue as a registered youth, due to a severe permanent disability or special need. See request for extension of time above. https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/512-935_WB.pdf

Scout Information Form The purpose of this form is to give you, as the parent, an opportunity to tell us about your Scout. You can share as much information as you would like, or as little. Useful for all Scouts, when joining a unit. https://ppcbsa.org/wp-content/uploads/Scout-Information-Form.pdf

Scouting for Youth with Disabilities Manual, No. 34059 – Helpful information and suggestions when working with a Scout with special needs or disabilities. http://www.scouting.org/filestore/commissioner/pdf/34059.pdf

Special Needs Scouting Service Award – Recognition to adult volunteers and professional scouters who serve the community of members with disabilities/special needs of the Scouting movement. Previous PPC Recipients. Application information.

Torch of Gold Award, No. 512-845 – To recognize individuals who have provided outstanding service in the area of Scouts with special needs. Award given once per year at local council level. Previous PPC Recipients.  Application information.

Woods Service Award BSA Nomination Form, No. 512-258 – Application to nominate a Scouter who has devoted countless hours to help Scouts with special needs or disabilities. Award given once per year at national level. – http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/512-258.pdf

Updated 2/23/2023


Please take part in a survey of your unit to better understand the extent, demographics, and population of special needs in the Patriots’ Path Council. This information will help our council better serve Scouts with special needs and provide leaders with resources and training to better serve youth.


Council Special Needs Chair
Lisamarie Virola-Banko
[email protected]

District Advisors for Special Needs Advancement

Ilene Lefkowitz
973 879 5433
[email protected]

Ed Blevins
(Cell) 908-246-0553
[email protected]

Deb Reidmiller
973 903-6939
[email protected]

Kris Hansen
(Home) 973-906-6688
[email protected]

Martha Kamichoff
(Cell) 732-827-2883
[email protected]

Raritan Valley
Linda Cummings
(Cell) 908 963-6310
[email protected]

Council Advancement Committee Member at Large for Special Needs and Disabilities
Mary Lynne Capen
(201) 230-4897
 [email protected]

Council Advancement Committee Chairman
George Kamper
201 704-1000
[email protected]