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4802 South 19th Street
Tacoma, WA, 98405


Scouting with disAblilities

Scouting with disAbilities

scouting for all logo.jpg

The Pacific Harbors Council, Scouts with Disabilities Committee is committed to making Scouting accessible and enjoyable to all boys and Venture age girls regardless of their abilities.

Since its founding in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America has included fully participating members with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. The BSA’s policy is to treat members with disabilities as much like other members as possible. It has been traditional however, to make some accommodations in advancement if absolutely necessary. By adapting the environment and/or our instruction methods, most Scouts with disabilities can be successful in Scouting.

The basic premise of Scouting for youth with disabilities is full participation. Youth with disabilities can be treated and respected like every other member of their unit. They want to participate like other youth- and Scouting provides that opportunity.

An individual is considered to have a “disability” if she or he:

  • has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities- seeing, hearing, speaking, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, learning, caring for oneself, and working,

  • has a record of such an impairment, or

  • is regarded as having such an impairment.

Here are some online resources to get you started:

Guide to Working with Scouts with DisAbilities:

National Council resource page:

To receive the quarterly newsletter “Abilities Digest” send a message to This newsletter focuses on helping Scouting leaders to include and provide service for Scouts who have special needs. If you would like to learn more about this area of service and the resources available.

Abilities Digest Facebook page:

Autism and Scouting Facebook page:

Contact Kathleen Bastien, Scouting with DisAbilities Committee Chair with questions here.


The following resources provide additional information about Scouts with disAbilities.

Links are provided to materials that are available online.

General Resources

Guide to Working With Scouts With Special Needs and DisABILITIES, No. 510-071

Scouting With Special Needs and Disabilities information sheet

Scouting for Youth With Disabilities Manual, No. 34059


Individual Scout Advancement Plan, No. 512-936

Request for Registration Beyond the Age of Eligibility, No. 512-935

Application for Alternative Eagle Scout Rank Merit Badges, No. 512-730

Inclusion – The Key to Disabilities Awareness

This presentation provides leaders and parents with an introduction to inclusion, an important process needed to work with ALL youth, those who have special needs among them. We hope it will inspire participants to learn more about inclusion and its ability to impact ALL Scouts in a positive way. The session is intended to be instructor-led and lasts approximately 60 to 90 minutes depending on the experience level of those attending.

Camping Considerations for Scouts With Disabilities

This presentation provides leaders, parents, and Scouts with key planning and logistical considerations prior to and during camping trips. The goal is to create a positive outdoor adventure for all Scouts, including those with different abilities. The session lasts between 60 and 90 minutes.

Program and Planning Strategies for Working With Scouts With Disabilities

This presentation provides leaders, parents, and Scouts with planning and program strategies needed to create a positive experience for all Scouts, including those with disabilities. The session takes 60 to 90 minutes, depending on experience level.

Essentials in Serving Scouts With Disabilities

Abilities Digest E-newsletter Archive