Scouting Forums

Tenderfoot physical requirements

I have a scout who has completed all (other) requirements for Tenderfoot, but was injured over the summer and cannot complete the 1 mile walk/run for a number of months (6a-b-c). I know that BSA makes accommodations for scouts with disabilities, but my impression is that this is for permanent conditions. Is there any other option other than holding advancement until full recovery? (I know requirements need not be serial, and scout can work 2nd class, 1st class, etc while heal. But at some point, tenure in rank will become an issue.)
Would love to hear how other troops have handled this.
Thanks, Marilyn

1 Like

They can work on other 2nd/first class requirements - in theory all the 4 first ranks can be earned on the same day - there is no accommodation in this situation

1 Like

If the Scout’s disability is expected to last more than two years, then the Scout might be eligible for some kind of alternative requirement. See chapter 10 of the BSA Guide to Advancement for more details.

Outside of that: Scouting Ranks and Advancement Age Requirements
In Scouts BSA, advancement requirements must be passed as written. If, for example, a requirement uses words like “show,” “demonstrate,” or “discuss,” then that is what Scouts must do. Filling out a worksheet, for example, would not suffice.

Unfortunately, if the Scout cannot complete the Tenderfoot fitness requirements, then the Scout also cannot start the Second Class fitness requirements (which can only be started after completing Tenderfoot 6c). Similar situation with the First Class fitness requirements (which cannot be started until after the Second Class fitness requirements have been completed).

The Scout can work on most everything else for Second Class, First Class, and merit badges.

I would recommend talking to your council’s Advancement Coordinator for advice.


When this happens to our scouts, I tell them to focus on all of the other requirements that they can do, including taking on an elective MB or two that interest them and they might not have taken the time to do if they were running around. (First Aid and Medicine come to mind :wink: )

BTW, it’s not just fitness requirements that can take longer for an injured scout to complete. A concussion can make some of the mental/visual challenges like land navigation simply too hard! Helping a scout and his patrol stay positive about what he/she can do in these situations is one of life’s great (albeit unwelcome) lessons.


The way I understand it is a reasonable exception should be allowed what is considered reasonable is up to unit leadership and members of the board of review. I actually have 4 scouts with disability. 2 autistic, 1 with a muscle/ skeletal, 1 with a skin disorder. An injury that prevents one from performing a specific task would be an example of a reasonable exception. Especially considering the scout will be repeating these requirements and then some in the physical fitness merit badge. If we discourage scouts or hold them back too long they loose interest and are disheartened. It is our job to build them up, encourage them, and assist them. I would pass an injured scouts board of review especially if the scout was active in the unit.

1 Like

@BrianHutson, from what you have described, I am hoping you have already registered 4 Scouts with the Coucnil as having disabilities. Instead of reasonable exceptions, BSA says reasonable alternatives. If a Scout cannot accomplish a requriement, a comproable alternative, that woul dprovide teh Scouts with the same cahllenge needs to be compelted. Each Council Advancement Committee has a process for handling these types of situations. Before approacing them, I suggest reasong the section of the Guide to Advancement that discusses special needs Scouts. Here is the start fo the relevant section. How to Apply for Alternative Requirements

Before applying for alternative requirements, as many of the existing requirements must be completed as possible. Once the 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.


Keep in mind, that there is accommodation for wheelchairs and the like without any needed approval. The language in Guide to Advancement says that wheel chairs can roll, etc for hiking, walking, running. If your scout can make a mile, then a month later do so in less time he/she has shown improvement. Just look past the crutches, or whatever other device the scout uses.


This topic was automatically closed 7 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.