Requesting Extensions for Advancement
Preliminary Note: the National Council of the BSA released new guidelines for Rank Advancement for all Scouting programs during COVID-19 related social distancing. There has been an update to the Rank Advancement COVID-19 FAQ on 1/5/2021 – please click the link to see those updates (marked with a diamond) –
Requesting an Extension – Guide to Advancement (GTA) Section 22.214.171.124
Step 1 – Is the Scout eligible for an Extension?
- These extensions are available only to youth members who qualify under the three tests listed in the below explanation from the 2021 edition of the Guide to Advancement (GTA)
- “Time Extensions” 126.96.36.199 – posted below
Note from Mayflower Council:
Council Advancement Committees have been told that after Dec. 31, 2020, there is no plan to authorize COVID-19 extensions as has been allowed during 2020. It is possible, however, that as of Jan. 1, 2021, COVID-19 could become a circumstance that warrants an extension if it qualifies under the three tests listed in 188.8.131.52, below.
184.108.40.206 Time Extensions
If a Scout foresees that due to no fault or choice of his or her own, it will be impossible to complete the Eagle Scout rank requirements before age 18 may apply to the local council for a limited time extension. These should be granted only when necessary and are reserved only for work on Eagle. When a time extension is requested, the Scout should continue working on the requirements until a final decision is delivered. In most cases, unless the National Council has issued other direction, a request must meet the three tests listed below to be approved.
Sea Scouts or Venturers who foresee that due to no fault or choice of their own, it will be impossible to complete the Quartermaster or Summit requirements before age 21, must use the same tests, process, and form described in topics 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168, and 22.214.171.124 to request a limited time extension.
The Three tests to see if a Scout is eligible for an extension:
1. The member joined or rejoined (or became active again after a period of inactivity, or became refocused on advancement after a period of inattention) in time to complete all requirements before turning 18.
2. Through no fault or choice of the Scout, an unforeseen circumstance or life changing event with severe consequences has come to exist that now precludes completion of the requirements before the deadline.
Examples might include, but are not limited to, a hospital stay, disabling injury, significant personal or family incident or issue, natural disaster, severe unseasonable weather, or the actions of others (see below the line, “Misinformation from adults in positions of authority”). If the circumstance is health related, it should have been unforeseen and of recent onset, or a complication or intensification of an ongoing issue.
3. The circumstance is beyond the control of the Scout, could not have been anticipated or planned for, and was not or cannot be resolved in time to complete the requirements.
Misinformation from adults in positions of authority
Since we teach obedience as one of the Scout Laws, it follows that guidance and direction from an adult leader carries significant weight. Adults who are misinformed about advancement requirements and timing have, at times, created circumstances that necessitated extensions. Councils must consider the circumstances of each case. If it can be established that a Scout followed incorrect guidance and direction in good faith, then Test #2—as it relates to the actions of others—may be considered fulfilled, even though the Scout has a handbook and should have read it.
Applying the three tests
Whether a request for extension meets the three tests above requires the exercise of carefully considered and debated judgement. If the council advancement committee is unsure about whether an extension should be granted, the National Council encourages local councils to find in favor of the Scout.
Step 2 – Process for Requesting and Reviewing a Time Extension – GTA Section 126.96.36.199
See “Process for Requesting and Reviewing a Time Extension,” 188.8.131.52, written below:
To begin this process, please use this form: 184.108.40.206 Request for Extension of Time to Earn the Eagle Scout Rank
Please email AdvancementExtension@mayflowerbsa.org to let them know to expect this, and to get their guidance and suggestions on how to proceed
Who is able to get an extension? – These are available only to youth who qualify according to the three tests listed in “Time Extensions,” 220.127.116.11 (please read section above).
Who can request an extension for a Scout? – A Scout, his or her parent or guardian, unit leader, or members of the unit committee may file such requests.
Who reviews these requests for extension? – The Council Advancement Committee must research and evaluate requests and recommend decisions to the Scout Executive. A subcommittee in the Council Advancement Committee will be in touch with all individuals involved in the reason for the extension. A letter from the Committee and the Scout Executive will be sent out if/when the extension is granted. This is explained in items #2 and #3 below.
How long may these extensions be? – Councils have the authority to grant Scouts only enough time to complete the requirements, but not more than a total of six months after the 18th birthday. Under most circumstances, however, three to four months has proven sufficient. This is explained in item #4 below. If a council denies a request or the Scout needs more than six months, an appeal process is discussed in “Appealing a Time Extension Denial,” 18.104.22.168, this is explained in item #5 below.
Note from the BSA: Definition of a month
Note as stated on page 2 of the Guide to Advancement a month is a month regardless how many days it has. It is not defined as 30 days or four weeks. For example, the maximum extension of six months means the time period beginning on the Scout’s 18th birthday up to the corresponding day six months later, for example, February 2 up to August 2 or August 30 up to February 28 (or 29th if leap year). In essence, the extension expiration date acts like a pseudo 18th birthday, prior to which all requirements must be fulfilled. Six months does not mean 180 days.
How to Request an Extension:
1. Requesting an extension
Requests for time extensions must be submitted to the Mayflower Council Advancement Committee via email to AdvancementExtension@mayflowerbsa.org or by mail to the attention of the staff advisor for advancement or other council designated advancement administrator.
The form, “Request for Extension of Time to Earn the Eagle Scout Rank” (GTA Appendix, 22.214.171.124) may be used for this purpose.
Since council-granted extensions expire no more than six months after the Scout’s 18th birthday, it is wise to submit requests well before a Scout turns 18 years old. For the same reason, Scouts should be encouraged to continue work on advancement throughout the extension request process.
(a) Explain why or how the circumstances necessitate an extension
(b) indicate the number of months believed to be necessary to complete the requirements
(c) explain how that period of time was determined and,
(d) include documentation of the circumstances. (See “Time Extensions,” 126.96.36.199 above on this webpage)
- If a cause is health related, a statement from a health professional must be provided. All documentation and supporting evidence submitted must be dated and include the name of the author.
2. The council’s role in evaluating extension requests
The Mayflower Council Advancement Committee understands that time is of the essence. This committee meets monthly through most of the year, however, ad hoc meetings are called to discuss and vote on special case extension situations.
A request for extension will be investigated by a subcommittee of the Council Advancement Committee composed of registered adults who are familiar with Scouts BSA advancement. They will conduct interviews with as many people with knowledge of the case as possible and obtain detailed written statements from them or prepare written summaries of what is said. A thorough review will likely include the Scout themselves, Scoutmasters, parents, adults registered in the Troop, Eagle coaches, or more in the process, as necessary. This effort must also include any adults who committed errors or provided misinformation and who are reasonably available.
The results of the investigation are then reported to the council advancement committee to deliberate and vote on a recommendation to the Scout Executive, who has final authority on the extension decision (see item #3 below).
All documentation, statements, notes, and any other information collected are retained. They are retained for any situation including the successful rank advancement through a board of review, where this material must be included, OR in the event of a denial and subsequent appeal. (See item #5 below, “In the event of denial.”, for information and form)
3. The Scout executive’s role
If after receiving the recommendation of the council advancement committee, the Scout Executive approves an extension, a letter is sent to the Scout, his or her parent or guardian, the unit leader, and the petitioner who initially submitted the request. A copy of the letter is placed
in the council’s unit file. The letter will include the following: (a) the date the extension expires—no later than six months after the 18th birthday (see above, “Definition of a month”), (b) a statement that the Scout must complete the requirements prior to that expiration date, and (c) a requirement that a copy of this letter must be attached to the Eagle Scout application when it is submitted to the council. The board of review and submission of the Eagle application and other paperwork may take place after the expiration date. The Eagle application is entered into the BSA system.
In the event the Scout Executive disagrees with the council advancement committee’s recommendation—whether about approval, the length of an extension, or denial—the Scout executive is consults with the advancement committee chair in order to clarify any misunderstanding of advancement policies and procedures or any recommendation requires more supporting evidence. If agreement is not reached, the Scout Executive’s decision stands. See item #5 “In the event of denial” for more steps that can be taken after that.
4. Extensions of more than six months
A six-month extension allows for completion of time-oriented requirements such as position of responsibility, active participation, and those found in some required merit badges. Council’s are given guidance from the BSA that in the unlikely event a Scout requires more than six months, the Council must deny the request.
5. In the event of denial
If a Scout is denied an extension, a letter is prepared and sent to the Scout, his or her parent or guardian, the unit leader, and the petitioner who initially submitted the request. The letter will explain the reason for the decision and how to appeal it to the National Council. A copy of the letter is placed in the council’s unit file. Only the Scout or his or her parent or guardian may initiate an appeal of an extension denial.
Scouts with disabilities — choosing between extension or registration beyond the age of eligibility
Note from Mayflower Council: Requesting an extension for Rank advancement is typically because of an unforeseen, sudden circumstance that hinders a Scout that would have otherwise been able to finish their rank advancement. Registration beyond the age of eligibility is for Scouts that have permanent and severe disabilities that gives them special consideration to continue as a participant in the Scouting program (advancement, activities, training, etc.) beyond the age of 18. The age of eligibility is defined as (18-y-o for Scouts BSA, 21-y-o for Venturing and Sea Scouts)
Please read the descriptions below from the GTA to understand if your Scout should request an extension or registration beyond the age of eligibility:
In most cases, Scouts are expected to overcome life’s ordinary trials. Cause for an extension requires an extraordinary circumstance uncommon to the Scout. 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. Council advancement committees, however, might consider exceptions and grant extensions to 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.
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 link: “Registering Qualified Members Beyond Age of Eligibility,” 10.1.0.0.) They do not need to request an extension, but please read the documentation required for the Council to review and deliberate in order to grant this registration.
Examples from Section 10.1.0.0 of the GTA of conditions that, if severe, may be criteria that qualify a youth for registration beyond the age of eligibility:
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Blind or sight-impaired
- Deaf or hard of hearing
- Cognitive disability
- Developmental delay
- Down syndrome
- Emotional or behavioral disorder
- Physically disabled
- Traumatic brain injury
- Multiple coexisting disabilities
- This is the form necessary to Request for Registration Beyond the Age of Eligibility, No. 512-935
- When starting this form, please email AdvancementExtension@mayflowerbsa.org to let them know to expect this, and to get their guidance and suggestions on how to proceed.
Advance copies of these topics and forms are also published at www.scouting.org/advancement.