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special needs scouting

Special Needs Scouting

Our Special Needs Team supports the special needs of all districts and programs of the Greater Colorado Council. Our mission is to:

  • Make Aware aspects of special needs that impact youth, as well as leadership through specialized training seminars held by experts in related fields, and interactive web sites.
  • Develop Relationships with youth, parents, leaders, units, and other personnel to be available to answer questions, seek advice and provide resources that provide the best relationship possible.
  • Help Resolve special needs issues by having the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to effectively mediate solutions with a leader, parent and/or youth.
  • Provide Opportunities to special needs youth in the Denver area to participate in Scouting programs while exposing Scouts in the Denver area to Learning for Life program and activity.

All our programs pursue a common approach called “Prepared. For Life.”™ which includes expectations for character development and ethical behavior. Among other things, our values include kindness, helpfulness and service to the community. Adult leaders are also trained to protect youth from any form of abuse, including harassment and teasing. We, and our youth, welcome those with special needs. 

Scouting has long reached out to those with special needs. For example, we printed the first Braille Boy Scout Handbook in the 1920s, shortly after our founding. We in the Denver area have offered services through our Special Needs Team for many years and maintain two ADA compliant summer camps. 

We offer programs for all youth, male and female, ranging from Kindergarten through twenty-one years in age and in some cases older. Besides traditional programs such as the Boy and Cub Scouts, we offer the Learning for Life (LFL) program that supplements the K12 curriculum and offers career guidance. LFL includes the Champions program, which is tailored for the intellectually challenged. To learn more about our various programs visit the Programs menu toward the top left of this page. 

All our programs are run by volunteers. While we do not require parental involvement, we strongly encourage it. It can be overdone but parental involvement is an important success factor, especially for those youth with special needs. 

We mostly prefer to “mainstream” youth with disabilities rather than provide special programs that isolate and separate them. They participate in units alongside ordinary kids, engaging in the same activities and following the same rules. We design Scouting programs so special skills are not required to succeed — just perseverance and the right attitude. Accommodations can be made for the disabled who cannot meet requirements in conventional ways. We expect an equivalent level of effort and achievement in such cases. 

We do however provide some units that specifically cater for special needs. For example, such units may be affiliated with special needs programs at schools or provide a supportive environment from which youth can transition to conventional units. 

For more information check out our Frequently Asked Questions fliers for Parents and Adult Leaders, and also, visit the links to the left of this page. 

Contact Us

District Level Support
Check our roster for the Special Needs Committee and district contacts. 

Email us with general questions or requests for assistance. 

Call 303.455.5522 and ask for the Staff Advisor for Special Needs. 

Email our Webmaster with questions or suggestions about website content. 

Email Updates
Receive periodic updates about special needs within the Greater Colorado Council. Visit this link to establish a profile on the council website or log onto your existing account, then opt into the Special Needs mailing list. 

Visit our Facebook fan page–and Like it to receive special needs updates in your Facebook feed.