Working With Cub Scouts With 

Special Needs and Disabilities

We are all aware that every individual is different and unique in their own way. All children have different ways they learn and different abilities. When we read or hear the term “disability,” we more commonly think of visible forms of disability and not necessarily those that are not visible. It’s obvious that a Scout in a wheelchair may have challenges fulfilling a hiking requirement, but it might not be so obvious when it comes to the Scout with a learning disability.

Since its founding in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America has had fully participating members with physical, cognitive, and emotional disabilities. The basic premise of Scouting for youth with disabilities is that every child wants to participate fully and be treated and respected like every other member of the Cub Scout pack. Young people with cognitive, physical, or emotional disabilities should be encouraged to participate in Scouting to the extent their abilities will allow. Many Scouts with disabilities can accomplish the basic skills of Scouting but may require extra time to learn them. Working with these youth will require patience and understanding.