Time Extensions

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Scouts BSA Advancement policies cover Merit Badges, Summer Camp,
Scout Spirit, Active, Special Needs, Eagle Projects, Scoutmaster Conferences,
Boards of Review, Appeals, Courts of Honor, Time Extensions, and more.


The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Guide To Advancement, 2019 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #648216)
A Scout who foresees that, due to no fault or choice of their own, it will not be possible to complete the Eagle Scout rank requirements before age 18, may apply for a limited time extension. See “Process for Submitting and Evaluating an Extension Request,” 9.0.4.1, item No. 1. These are rarely granted and reserved only for work on Eagle. When a time extension is requested, the Scout should continue working on the requirements as processing occurs. In most cases, for a request to be considered the following five tests must be met.
  1. The member joined or rejoined—or became active again after a period of inactivity—in time to complete all requirements before turning 18. That is, the time remaining between joining, or rejoining, and when the Scout turns 18 is more than the total of the active-time requirements for the ranks left to achieve.

  2. A circumstance came to exist that now precludes completion before the deadline. Examples might include a health-related incident requiring a hospital stay, a disabling injury, a significant employment conflict, a family relocation, a family emergency, a natural disaster, severe unseasonable weather that could not have been anticipated, or unforeseen actions of others affecting the youth’s ability to complete the requirements. It is extremely unlikely an extension will be granted if resolution of the circumstance—such as recovery from an injury, for example—still allows enough time for an adequate service project, or for completing the position of responsibility, active participation, or merit badge requirements if they have not already been met.

  3. The circumstance is totally beyond the control of the youth member. Injuries, unanticipated family incidents, or various mistakes or omissions by adults, for example, could be legitimate causes. The Boy Scouts of America assumes anyone working on Scouts BSA ranks has a Scouts BSA Handbook and has read the requirements. Despite this, misinformation from unit leadership is often cited as grounds for extensions. These cases will be considered, but they should be very rare and would point to a need for basic training and assistance.

  4. The circumstance is severe and not the norm of the Scout’s life. In most cases, Scouts are expected to overcome life’s ordinary trials. Cause for an extension normally requires an extraordinary circumstance uncommon to the youth. For example, known circumstances such as moderate learning disabilities or ADD/ADHD that the Scout has faced over many years and has coped with in the past, should not suddenly become an issue shortly before the Scout’s 18th birthday.

    It is important for council and district advancement committees to keep unit leadership informed of this so it does not become a surprise. An exception might be considered for Scouts with significant disabilities that do not meet the level of severity or permanence required for registration beyond the age of eligibility, but are such that they essentially preclude advancement within the timeframe allowed.

  5. The circumstance could not have been planned for or anticipated. If it is health-related, it should have been unforeseen and of recent onset, or a complication or intensification of an ongoing issue.
Guide To Advancement § 9.0.4.0 Time Extensions.


Notes

  • The Boy Scouts of America will welcome Scouts back after periods of inactivity. However, all time-oriented requirements must still be met. Scouts reactivating too late to complete time-related requirements will not be granted extensions, and nor will those who remained active but simply did not focus on advancement.
  • The list above is meant to give volunteers an idea of how requests for time extensions are evaluated. They are not precise tests. Each case is considered individually.
  • Scouts with permanent and severe disabilities such as those described in section 10, “Advancement for Members With Special Needs,” have the opportunity to be registered beyond the age of eligibility. (See "Registering Qualified Members Beyond Age of Eligibility," 10.1.0.0.) They do not need to request an extension.

See also

Advancement Policies
Advancement (Report) Scouts BSA (Resources) Service Projects
Rules and Regulations First Class-First Year Eagle Scout Project
 What is Scout Spirit?  Scoutmaster Conferences Lifesaving awards
When is a Scout Active? Time Extensions Summer Camp
When is a Scout in Uniform? Boards of Review - Appeals Merit Badges, Events & FAQ
Scouts with Special Needs Advancement Campout  Cub Scouts  (Resources)
Religious Principle Courts of Honor
Books & References  12 Steps From Life to Eagle  Venturing & Sea Scouts  
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