Registering Qualified Members Beyond Age of Eligibility
Youth and adults who are developmentally disabled, or
youth with severe physical challenges, may be considered
for registration beyond the age of eligibility for their
program: age 11 or older for a Cub Scout, 18 or older
as a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout, or 21 or older as a
Venturer or Sea Scout. An adult of any age who has
developmental disabilities, for example, may be
considered for youth membership and join Scouting
if a qualified medical professional is able to correlate
cognitive abilities to less than the upper limit of an
eligibility age. Members approved to be so registered
are indicated in the system with a disability code.
A disability, to qualify an individual for registration beyond
the age of eligibility, must be permanent and so severe that
it precludes advancement even at a rate significantly slower
than considered normal. If ranks can be achieved under
accommodations already provided in official literature, or
with modifications as outlined below, then the disability
probably does not rise to the level required.
This is often the case in considering advancement potential
for youth who have only moderate learning disabilities or
such disorders as ADD/ADHD. If ranks can be earned, but
it just takes somewhat longer, registration beyond the age
of eligibility is not warranted.
Note that registration beyond the age of eligibility is
intended as a permanent arrangement to allow ongoing
participation as a youth member in the Scouting
program. This is different from a “time extension,” which
is available to a young man working toward the Eagle
Scout rank should circumstances not due to his choice or
fault arise that preclude achievement before his 18th
birthday. Extensions of time are available only for the
Eagle Scout and Quartermaster ranks, and for the
Venturing Summit Award. Extensions have specific end
dates and they may or may not involve disabilities. See "Time Extensions," 188.8.131.52.
10.1.0.1 Possible Criteria for Registering Beyond Age of Eligibility
In considering registration beyond the age of eligibility,
members with conditions such as those listed below may
meet the severity requirement, but every case must be
considered individually. If members are able to take
advantage of the flexibility already built into Scouting
advancement, and participate in essentially the same
way as typical youth, then they must not be registered
beyond the age of eligibility.
Examples of conditions that, if severe, may be criteria
that qualify a youth for registration beyond the age of
eligibility include these:
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Blind or sight-impaired
- Deaf or hard of hearing
- Cognitive disability
- Developmental delay
- Down syndrome
- Emotional or behavioral disorder
- Physically disabled
- Traumatic brain injury
- Multiple coexisting disabilities
“Multiple coexisting disabilities” refers to a diagnosis
of two or more disabilities, none of which alone may
be significant enough to warrant registration beyond
the age of eligibility but when considered in combination
may qualify. For example, a youth with a moderate
learning disorder or ADHD, alone, may not be approved
to register as a Boy Scout after age 18. If another
disability also exists, however, the cumulative impact
including that from medication can be significant.
10.1.0.2 How to Register a Member Beyond Age of Eligibility
To register a person who will remain as a youth member
beyond the age of eligibility, the following documents
must be assembled and submitted to the local council.
The Request for Registration Beyond the Age of Eligibility,
No. 512-935, found in the appendix and at www.
scouting.org/advancement, should be used in
- A letter from a parent or guardian describing the
disability and its severity and permanence, and
petitioning the council for approval of registration
beyond the age of eligibility.
- A completed youth membership application or proof
of current membership.
- A completed and signed AnnualBSA Health and Medical Record form (parts A and C), online at http://www.scouting.org/HealthandSafety/ahmr.aspx
If well done, and available from the parents, an Individualized Education Plan can give valuable information on how to work with an individual Scout and help him achieve at the best of his abilities.
- A signed statement from a qualified health professional
attesting to the nature of the disability, its severity, and
permanent limitations connected with it. For physical
disabilities, this must be a licensed physician; for
developmental or cognitive issues, a licensed psychologist
or psychiatrist, or as appropriate, a neurologist or other
medical professional in a specialty related to the disability.
- A letter from the unit leader advocating and
supporting the registration.
- Other supporting documentation, such as an
Individualized Education Plan (IEP), treatment
summaries, etc., which are optional, but can
make a difference in the decision.
The council executive board must approve petitions
directly, or delegate action to a council operating
committee or other group of responsible volunteers at the
council level. This may or may not be the council
advancement committee. Individual cases must be
deliberated upon. Consideration of registration beyond the
age of eligibility shall not be delegated to any district or to
any single individual, either professional or volunteer. If
granted, the Scout executive prepares an approval letter
and sends it to the Scout’s parent or guardian and unit
leader or committee chair. A copy of the letter is retained
in the unit’s registration file for as long as the member
remains registered. Upon entering the member, the council
registrar selects the appropriate code based on the nature
of the disability, and follows any other procedures as
outlined in the most current edition of the Registrar
Procedures Manual, No. 524-901. The National Member
Care Contact Center is available to assist as needed.
Once the Scout executive’s letter is prepared and filed,
and the member is entered as registered beyond the age
of eligibility, any supporting private information should
be returned to its source—the parent or guardian, or the
institution that provided it. Should there be questions
about its disposition, then the supporting private
information should be destroyed.
Young people approved for registration beyond the age
of eligibility may continue working on advancement,
including the Eagle Scout rank and Eagle Palms, for
as long as they continue to be so registered. The local
council or the National Council, upon uncovering
evidence that a youth was improperly registered with a
disability code, or for whatever reason no longer meets
the required level of severity, may make the decision to
expire the registration. Registration of an adult as a youth
member with a disability code may also be expired if it is
determined the registrant has progressed sufficiently to
become registered as an adult.