Alternative Requirements

Requirements were REVISED effective January  1, 2020.

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Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class,
and First Class Ranks
Alternative Requirements

A Scout with a permanent physical or mental disability or a disability expected to last more than two years or beyond the 18th birthday and who is unable to complete all of the requirements for Scout, Tenderfoot. Second Class, or First Class rank may,. with his or her parent or guardian, submit a request to the council advancement committee to complete alternative requirements. Below are the procedures for applying for alternative requirements. To help facilitate this process, use the Individual Scout Advancement Plan, No. 512-936, which can be found at For more detailed information about alternative requirements, see the Guide to Advancement.

  1. Do As Many Standard Existing Requirements As Possible. Before applying for alternative requirements a Scout must complete as many of the existing requirements must be completed as possible
  2. Prepare a Request for Alternative Requirements. Once the Scout has done his or her best Scout's best has been done to the limit of the Scout's abilities and resources, the unit leader or a troop committee member submits to the council advancement committee a written request for alternative requirements for Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, or First Class ranks. It must show what has been completed and suggest the alternatives for those requirements the Scout cannot do.
  3. Secure a Medical Statement and Provide Supporting Documents. The request must be accompanied by supporting letters from the unit leader, a parent or guardian, and the Scout (if possible), as well as a written statement from a qualified health professional related to the nature of the disability. This may be, for example, a physician, neurologist, psychiatrist, psychologist, etc., or, when appropriate, an educational administrator In special education. Statements must describe the disability; cover the Scout's capabilities, limitations, and prognosis; and outline what requirements cannot be completed. Additional information such as Individualized Education Plans (IEP) provided to parents by schools, and various treatment summaries and reports, may help an advancement committee make an informed decision.
  4. The Advancement Committee Reviews the Request. The council advancement committee reviews the request, utilizing the expertise of professionals involved with youth who have special needs. To make a fair determination, the committee may want to interview the Scout, his or her parent or guardian the Scout's parents(s) or guardian(s), and the unit leader. The committee's decision is then recorded and delivered to the Scout and the unit leader.

(NOTE: The substitution of "trip" for "hike" in the footnote to Second Class requirement 1b does NOT require the procedure listed above. That substitution may be permitted by the unit leaders based on their understanding of the Scout's physical condition. )

Eagle Scout Rank
Alternative Requirements

The Eagle Scout rank may be achieved by a Scout or a qualified 14 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. 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 age 18. The application must include a written statement from a qualified health professional related to the nature of the disability. This person may be a physician, neurologist, psychiatrist, psychologist, etc., or, when appropriate, an educational administrator in special education.

Before applying, the Scout must earn as many of the Eagle-required merit badges as possible. However, where a permanent disability clearly precludes completing specific merit badges, a Scout who has earned at least First Class may apply for an alternative merit badge without waiting until all other Eagle-required merit badges are complete. Any alternatives must present the same challenge and learning level as those they replace, and must be completed prior to the 18th birthday unless the member is registered beyond the age of eligibility (reference Guide to Advancement, topic

  1. Obtain a clear and concise statement related to the nature of the disability from a qualified health professional.
  2. The unit leader meets with the candidate and >the Scout's parent or guardian to determine the alternative merit badges to replace those impeding the Scout's advancement.
  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, the Scout's parent or guardian, or unit leader. If the council advancement committee approves, then the candidate may start work on the approved alternative 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. The approved Application for Alternative Eagle Scout Rank Merit Badges 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 Program Team. Local council action on alternative merit badges does not require national approval.

14 In order to be an Eagle Scout candidate, a Venturer or Sea Scout must have achieved First Class rank as a Scout or as a Lone Scout,


Page updated on: May 08, 2022

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