Rubric for Scouting Accomidations

While being inclusive, we may have times that we need to decide how to accommodate the needs of one of our guides. One way to do this, is to determine how much help a scout needs. Once you determine their needs, you can discuss with parents and caregivers how to provide for those needs. This may mean asking a parent or caregiver to either stay close or be present for camping trips or meetings so they can help their guide to participate at their best.

Establishing why a scout needs help and talking with parents is essential to creating a positive and safe scouting experience. Approaching this conversation can be tricky, so having a rubric that you use with all participants can help make this conversation less emotional. Your OSG leaders can check off what challenges they have with a scout and be specific with caregivers about the needs of the group and the individual guide.

This rubric was developed by the 971st Great Blue Heron Outdoor Service Guides group. They present it to their parents, to help determine how to assist their scouts best.

Firstly, it is important to iterate that we are an inclusive scouting organization for all and we are proud of our neurodiverse family! The different perspectives and personalities that each child brings to the group are incredibly valuable. The strength of the pack is the wolf and the strength of the wolf is the pack!

We want each scout to be able to be successful, so it is important that our section leadership be able to continue to function when individual scouts consistently need additional support. For this reason, we have created the following rubric to use in order to request additional parental assistance with scouts who need more individualized attention.

High needs:

  • The Scout has demonstrated a pattern of unsafe behavior such as:
    • Elopement or running off to places outside of the sight or control of leadership
      • Note: This does NOT include an emotional child leaving the group to calm down, provided they stay close enough to hear and follow instructions, and remain capable of doing so.
    • Not following safety protocols such as:
      • Keeping out of moving water, off of ledges, out of the street, etc.
      • Safety protocols exist to keep children safe. For the purposes of this policy, there is no difference between a child who is unable to follow the protocols for any reason, and a child who is choosing to defiantly ignore them.
    • Physically violent outbursts.
    • Bullying, which is defined by:
      • Aggression
      • An imbalance of power: the bully must have power over the other child, whether physical, social or otherwise.
      • Repetition: there must be consistent targeting over time.
  • A pattern of unsafe behavior would be established by observing this behavior at 3 meetings in a 4 month period.
  • The scout’s parent will be asked to remain with their child’s den, six or patrol throughout a meeting.
    • This must be a parent, or the child’s regular licensed care-giver, because if the child needs to be removed from the group, two-deep leadership for this child may become impossible.

Moderate needs:

  • A scout who was previously identified as high needs, but their unsafe behavior has been alleviated for at least 6 consecutive meetings/camps.
  • A scout has demonstrated a pattern of behavior that is not unsafe, but is disruptive to the group, such as:
    • Stopping and remaining in place during a hike or while transitioning to another activity.
  • Unkind, but not unsafe, words or actions toward other scouts.
  • Defiance or refusal to participate.
  • Intentionally distracting others from their activities to the point that they must be removed from the situation so that other scouts can get the most out of the meeting.
  • Some of this behavior is normal for this age group. If it is consistent enough to be disruptive, help is needed.
  • A pattern of disruptive behavior would be established by observing this behavior at 3 meetings in a 4 month period.
  • The scout’s parent will be asked to remain on site so they can be reached if needed, ideally within ½ mile of where the den, six, or patrol will have their activities, throughout the meeting. Parents can be contacted whenever needed including, but not limited to:
    • Any and all unsafe behavior, as defined in the High Needs section
    • If a child will not continue on a hike or through a transition and cannot be coaxed by group leaders.
    • If a child needs to sit out from an activity due to disruption
    • Any time leadership feels that this scout needs individualized attention.

Low Needs:

  • A scout who was previously identified as moderate needs, but their disruptive behavior has been alleviated for at least 6 consecutive meetings
  • A scout who has occasional outbursts or situations where they may need parental involvement, such as:
    • Repeated incidents of incontinence
    • Frequent tantrums
    • Others as deemed necessary by section leadership
  • The scout’s parent will be asked to be reachable by phone and within a 10 minute commute of the den, six or patrol throughout the meeting. Parents may be contacted whenever needed, including but not limited to:
    • Help with any of the items listed above.
    • Escalation of behavior to unsafe or very disruptive levels.

Important notes:

  • Camping and other special activities can be very stimulating. It is important to note that some scouts will have different protocols for camping and for meetings, at the discretion of the leaders. This may include:
    • All new Timberwolf and Pathfinder parents are asked to accompany their child on their first scout campout.
    • If a scout has higher needs at camp than at meetings, these protocols can be instituted for camps only, but not at meetings.

You can also download this rubric to use with your group as a PDF that you can print here OSG- Scouting Needs Ruberic.

Do You Need More Help for Special Needs Scouts?

We have more resources and ideas on our Resource page for Accessible and Neurodiverse  Scouting. This includes a leader guide, Individualized Scouting Plan, and other resources for leading scouts with dyslexia and other challenges.

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