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2nd Class Requirement 7C

With our schools being closed and Scout meetings on hold, how can a Scout finish 7c? Can we substitute an online program? If so, any recommendations?

The requirement says "Participate in a school, community, or troop program on the dangers of using drugs, alcohol, and tobacco and other practices that could be harmful to your health. " It says participation, not physical presence in a room. If the online program is made available to the troop as program wouldn’t that be acceptable?

They could then, Discuss your participation in the program with your family, and explain the dangers of substance addictions. Report to your Scoutmaster or other adult leader in your troop about which parts of the Scout Oath and Scout Law relate to what you learned.

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The guide to advancement does not permit changes to requirements.

You can hold an online troop meeting to fulfill the “Participate in a school, community or troop program…” portion then the Scout can hold the discussion online or via the phone.


There is a pretty good chance that the Scouts already participated in a school program since joining a troop . If they have, then they just need to report to the Scoutmaster or other adult leader to finish the requirement.

As @edavignon said, the troop can also put together a troop program and have it online where the Scouts participate.


Substitute was probably the wrong word to use. How do homeschoolers fill this requirement or lone Scouts? Would an online community or government based program work?

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Advancement — Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts

Q: May merit badge requirements or rank requirements be modified?

No. All requirements must be completed as written. If meetings or activities are canceled or limited, youth should continue to work on requirements as far as possible. By employing common sense and creative solutions, many requirements–even Scoutmaster conferences–can be fulfilled through videoconferencing or telephone calls.


Homeschoolers could fulfil the requirement by participating in a school program. There are 3 ways in which Scouts can fulfil the requirement.

Participate in a:

  1. school
  2. community or
  3. troop program

Any one of these 3 can be acceptable.

I would recommend having the Scout talk to the Scoutmaster or adult leader who is authorized to approve this requirement if a particular program would be acceptable prior to sitting through an hour long program (as an example).


For all requirements I start by looking at the verbs. Was so much fun for my math students. Anyway, the verbs here are Participate, Discuss, and Report. For participate, that needs to be in a ‘program’. What constitutes a ‘program’ is the question.

Up until 2009 DARE was pretty well shown to have no effect (Univerisity research). They changed their program and it’s somewhat better. But it uses role play now and therefore would need a group. Hard to do with one kid. It’s also cumulative, a couple of hours long.

I don’t know enough about the programs available to direct a home schooler to one. For the next month or so it looks like pretty much everybody is a home schooler.


That would be me. Our schools are closed until mid April, community programs are on hold. Our troop does not have the capability yet to hold meetings in a virtual setting. I was hoping to forward a link to the scouts that needed to finish the requirement.

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Thank you! You have no idea how helpful your post has been. This forum is great but the responses that just state policy aren’t a help at all. I realize now I have to be very specific in my wording or the Advancement police are all over you. All I was looking for were some online programs that would meet the criteria.

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You might be able to use this site. It’s a searchable database of programs.


I went through Scouts in the 60’s and 70’s in a Troop that went backpacking almost every month, went every year to our Council summer camp where we cooked all our own meals, had a SM who would hand us a rope at the SM conference and ask for a knot, and wouldn’t change a bit of that. I look at some of the stuff now and roll my eyes.
Within the current rules, make sure your scouts are really getting something out of the program. I still use the knots I learned back then. I could say more, but will get in trouble. :wink:


I don’t know of an online program that meets all of the requirements, which is why I was suggesting an online / virtual troop program (video or teleconference). If I were the Scoutmaster, I would want something that has the Scouts actually participate in some way - not just watch a video (for example).

Our troop recently tried out Zoom (there are other free options available like Webex). Scouts were on different devices (tablet, smartphone, laptop / desktop, etc), and it seemed to work pretty well.

We usually try to get a police officer to come to a troop meeting and give a presentation, and the Scouts ask questions. Other occupations (physicians, nurses, dentists, EMTs / firefighters, someone from local Salvation Army, etc.) would be good, too. Basically anyone who could talk about their experiences dealing with the effects and dangers of drugs, alcohol, tobacco and other practices that could be harmful to health. If you could get one of them to join an online troop meeting and cover the required topics and allow the Scouts to ask questions, then I would think that this would meet most of the troop program requirements.

Another option would be to have the Scouts put together their own troop program. There is a section on the dangers and effects of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs in the Scout Handbook (Fitness: Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drugs) that could help get them started. The SPL / PLC could decide how the troop program gets done (perhaps delegate to patrols or individual Scouts). This could also be done together with having a guest speaker.

There are many different ways to get this requirement completed. Whatever it is, I would recommend getting pre-approval from the Scoutmaster. Like @DavidSchilpp said, I would want to make sure that the Scouts actually get something out of the program.


Have you tried to do a virtual meeting? The software is free. As long as Scouts, and 2 leaders, have access to high speed internet a visual meeting is pretty easy. WebEx also supports the use of just phones to join if a particular scout or scouts don’t have a computer or high speed internet.

As for the “advancement police”, I don’t think anyone is looking to add or make things harder. Most who weigh in are trying to help provide an option or way to get the requirement done as written. That is why they quote the requirement. Unlike some other things in life, the rules are clear that you must meet the requirement as written. So, that can be seen as strict, or it can also be a window into a different way of looking at it.

For example, if a requirement says to “observe a city council meeting” and take notes. Someone could come here and say “our Scouts can do this, can we just excuse the requirement”. Others could come and quote the requirement and say “notice it says observe and not attend, you could do this online”.

So, since the requirement you are asking about says “participate” I would say watching a video isn’t good since watching a video isn’t “participating”. You would want it to be interactive to be considered participating. People quote to make sure they aren’t putting it in their own words, and are showing it isn’t a matter of opinion, but how the requirement is worded.

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So, do you know any nurses, police offers, counselors, who could put it on? This would be a great service to all Scouts who need to do 2nd Class 7C. You could post it online and invite up to X number of Scouts (20?) across the country. It would be a great help to many.

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I know my first post wasn’t very clear. I was looking for an online option for school, community based or troop meeting program. The requirement says "Participate in a school, community, or troop program on the dangers of using drugs, alcohol, and tobacco and other practices that could be harmful to your health. " It says participation, not physical presence in a room. If the online program is made available to the troop as program wouldn’t that be acceptable? Regarding my Advancement police remark , to be honest the first post was just that, as were a few after that. I know that they have to have a discussion with their family and report back to the Scoutmaster.

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I agree that a program that a troop runs that scouts participate in would be a great way to fulfill this (need not be in person).

I fixed my original post, I hope it clears things up. :slightly_smiling_face:

I have edited my original post, I hope it clarifies things.

What a great resource, thanks

Great question! I am a solutions kind of person. Does the home school program have this in its lesson plans, does it have on-line video conferences, what about your church do they offer a program, why can’t council or nationals host a web program for this and other requirements. Zoom works great, it’s free and you could get the SM and another register leader or troop advancement person to lead an online discussion. As a retired LEO or when I was active I would have been happy to do an online discussion- have you contacted your local PD or Sheriff’s office, some have Explorer programs. A Venture Crew could lead a discussion on line completing some of their requirements and adding the troop. This requirement is set up to have the scout participate in the discussion to help internalize the reasons not to get involved with harmful things. Another thing is your scout could set something up online with the troop showing leadership and innovation. I have had Tenderfoot scouts come up with some great and new ideas that we used showing they were a needed part of the troop. As an Eagle Scout with two brothers who were Eagles and a father and two sons who are Eagle have a great journey with your scout. Don’t be to hard on the advancement folks who insist on exactness they just want the program to have uniformity and meet the requirements. There are those who are just trying to advance their scouts and short cut the experience. I know from your question you are looking for innovative ways to complete this requirement under difficult circumstances and want your scout to know they really completed the requirement. Another reason for having the scout involved is that peer support and peer pressure are the main thing a young person listens to, so when there is good peer support not to do harmful things then it is a great thing. It is more meaningful if a scout’s friends are all in not to do something harmful.

Just a quick google search came up with. https://www.drugfreeworld.org/course/

Might be a good place to start. If the SPL/PLC identify an online program that would fulfill the requirement and the SM and CC approve, it can then be considered a “troop” event thus meeting the definition.