Alternate Requirements


Tenderfoot, Second Class,
and First Class Ranks
Alternate Requirements

These requirements were revised on January 1, 2012.

A Scout who has a permanent physical or mental disability (or a disability expected to last more than two years or beyond the 18th birthday) and is unable to complete all of the requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, or First Class rank may, with his parents or guardian, submit a request to the council advancement committee to complete alternative requirements. Below are the procedures for applying for alternative requirements.

  1. Do As Many Standard Requirements As Possible. Before applying for alternative requirements, the member must complete as many of the standard requirements as his ability permits. He must do his very best to develop himself to the limit of his abilities and resources.
  2. Prepare a Request for Alternative Requirements. Once they have done their best to the limit of their abilities and resources, the unit leader or a troop committee member submits to the council advancement committee, a written request for alternative requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and 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 member (if possible), as well as a written statement from a qualified health professional related to the nature of the disability. This may be a physician, neurologist, psychiatrist, psychologist, etc., or an educational administrator as appropriate. 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 professional persons involved in Scouts with disabilities. The committee may want to interview the Scout, his parents, and the unit leader to fully understand the request and to make a fair determination. The committee’s decision should be recorded and delivered to the Scout and the unit leader. Tenderfoot , second class, and first Class Ranks Alternative Requirements

No council, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to, or to subtract from, any advancement requirements.

For more detailed information about alternative requirements, see the Guide to Advancement.
(In particular, for the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks, see sections 10.2.2.0-10.2.2.2 on page 62.)

(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
Alternate Requirements

These requirements were revised on January 1, 2013.

To see the requirements with the changes highlighted, Click here.


The Eagle Scout rank may be achieved by a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or qualified* 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 as described. Merit badges are awarded only when all requirements are met as stated. See the Guide to Advancement, topic 10.2.2.3, 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 the 18th birthday). The application must include a written statement from a qualified health-care professional related to the nature of the disability. This person may be a physician, neurologist, psychiatrist, psychologist, etc., or an educational administrator as appropriate.

Before applying, he must earn as many of the Eagle-required merit badges as possible. Any alternatives must present the same challenge and learning level as those they replace. Unless the Scout has been approved for registration beyond the age of eligibility, all merit badges must be completed by the 18th birthday (reference Guide to Advancement, topic 10.1.0.1–10.1.0.2).

  1. Obtain a clear and concise statement related to the nature of the disability from a qualified health-care professional.
  2. The unit leader meets with the candidate and his parent or guardian to determine the alternative merit badges to replace those impeding his progression.
  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, his parent or guardian, or unit leader. If the council advancement committee approves, then the candidate may start work on the 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. This approved application 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 Team. Local council action on alternative merit badges does not require national approval.

* In order for a Venturer or Sea Scout to be an Eagle candidate, he must have achieved the First Class rank as a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout.

No council, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to, or to subtract from, any advancement requirements.

For more detailed information about alternative requirements see the Guide to Advancement.
(In particular, for the Eagle Scout rank, see sections 10.1.0.1, 10.1.0.2, 10.2.2.0, 10.2.2.3, and 10.2.2.4)


Page updated on: July 11, 2013



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