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Home»Programs»Special Needs Program»News and Events

Special Needs News and Events

We are still looking for individuals to become Special Needs Training Representatives for their district, please contact Steve Gruendler at 314-293-0382 if you are interested. 



On September 17, 2011 from 9 am to 3 pm we will have a special day that is designed to further educate the individual Special Needs Representatives of each district in the Greater St. Louis Area.  The training will include:


  • Presenter skills as well as knowledge needed for the creation and implementation of effective teaching.
  • Dedication to helping youth with Special Needs such as Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Asthma.
  • Preparing a lesson plan 
  • How to work with individual units in their respective districts.


If you are interested in becoming a Special Needs Representative for your district, please contact Steve Gruendler, Special Needs Training Chairman, at or 314-293-0382.
Please make changes to the U of S information:


The 2012 Special Needs College offers 7 classes at University of Scouting on January 21 at Fox High School. Scouts and Scouters are invited to gain knowledge of the many disabilities that affect a Scout on his journey to Eagle.  Special Needs College also reveals many resources that leaders could utilize to create a quality Scouting program for all Scouts, not only Scouts with special needs.  Check back for upcoming information to review the special needs schedule and to register for University of Scouting.


A Game with a Purpose
Baden Powell developed an outstanding program to teach youth the value of character, citizenship and outdoor skills.  He also knew that these youth learned best by playing GAMES.  Keeping with Baden Powell’s ideas, we need to provide a fun and exciting way to learn new Scouting skills.


Here are a few ideas to spice up your program and keep youth coming back to this exciting program:

  • divide the information to be learned into 4 parts
  • create 4 games (one for each part of the program)
  • Scouts will rotate from one game / booth to another in timed

Using  8x10 cardstock, print one question on each cardstock (10 total), print a corresponding answer on a different cardstock (10 total).  Lay cards face down on table in rows. Each boy will turn over two cards, attempting to match the answer to the question, the Scout with most matches wins.

Kim’s Baseball Game

On a corkboard, draw a baseball diamond. Use two different color thumbtacks for players. Divide the boys into two teams, ask questions.  If team answers correctly then a player ‘runs’ to first base.  The team with the most homeruns win.

Any Scout idea or skill can be taught in the form of a game. For additional information on new techniques for teaching Scouting Skills, please contact the Special Needs Committee at 314-361-0600.
Remember: Scouting is a Game with a Purpose.

Each Scout deserves a chance at achieving his best in the Scouting program. Most Scouts can advance in rank and position easily while following the program set by his or her leader. But there are those Scouts who march to a different drummer, those with medical diagnoses, those who need a little help along his trail to Eagle or her trail to Silver.
Special Needs Scouting Council Committee of St. Louis has created a unique tool to help leaders provide a quality program to these youth with special needs. It is the Individual Scout Achievement Plan. This 4 page document is a written plan that guides leaders and the Scout through the process of creating an action plan to help a Scout achieve rank advancement.


The first page addresses the Scout’s disability. There are many disabilities that can hinder a Scout’s advancement. Asthma can prevent a Scout from camping or enjoying outdoor activities. Autism can affect a Scout’s ability to interact with other Scouts in a leadership position and can also prevent skill accomplishment with possible fine motor skill involvement. A.D.D. can cause behavioral symptoms that impede proper involvement at meetings and activities. This page looks at the youth’s strengths and challenges in everyday life. The Scout and his parent will be very helpful at documenting these attributes. There should be as many, if not more, strengths listed than challenges. We need to focus on the positives while helping the challenges. There are many medical conditions which can prevent a Scout from doing his best.


Page 2 addresses the action plan to be devised by the leaders, the parent and the Scout. What can be done at the unit level to help the Scout meet expectations? What can the leader do to create a better learning, achieving environment for the Scout. These action plans should be written and kept on file for future leaders to utilize, there is no sense in reinventing the wheel each time leadership changes. The actions set down on paper should be simple and reasonable for leader, parent and Scout. For example: If a Scout’s challenge is sitting still during a first aid presentation and his strength is a love of reading, the action plan is to ask him to read the first aid section of the handbook while the other Scouts are listening to the presentation. Another possible action plan on the part of the leader would be to change the format of learning to a fun filled game with purpose rather than a lecture. There are many ways to help Scouts achieve expected behaviors and rank advancement.

Medical or Education documentation of the disability is needed if there are to be any significant alternatives utilized in the Scout’s rank advancement. The third page addresses this need for verification.


The next pages address any alternatives that may need to be utilized for the Scout’s success. Alternatives to rank advancement must be documented as to the set requirement, the reason for the Scout’s inability to achieve this expectation, the alternative and approval. This step most definitely needs the assistance of the Special Needs Committee. We are here to help.


And finally, if the Scout needs alternatives for Eagle Rank, there is another form to be filled out and submitted to Council. This form should be completed as soon as the boy becomes a Boy Scout with a recognized disability. Again, Special Needs Committee is available to help.


If you have a youth who is not advancing as well as the other youth, or he/ she is on medicine for a medical condition, please consider contacting the Special Needs Council Committee for assistance in completed an Individual Scout Achievement Plan.