Taken from BSA Advancement Manual 2011
22.214.171.124 Time Extensions
If a youth foresees that, due to no fault or choice of his own, he will be unable to complete the Eagle Scout rank requirements before age 18, he may apply for a limited time extension. These are rarely granted and reserved only for work on Eagle. For a request to qualify, the following tests are applied.
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. The Boy Scouts of America will welcome Scouts back after periods of inactivity, and in considering advancement, will not hold time lost against them. All time requirements, however, must still be met. Scouts reactivating too late to complete time-oriented requirements will not be granted extensions, nor will those who remained active but simply did not focus on advancement.
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 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.
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 Boy Scout ranks has a Boy Scout 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.
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 which he has coped with in the past, should not suddenly become an issue shortly before his 18th birthday. 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. 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 with a disability code, but are such that they essentially preclude advancement within the timeframe allowed.
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. 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.
126.96.36.199 Process for Submitting and Evaluating an Extension Request
The council advancement committee’s role is to collect and evaluate evidence, recommend action to the Scout, and if requested, provide the evidence with a position statement to the national Advancement Team. Throughout the process, it must be remembered that time is of the essence.
The local council does not grant or deny time extensions. These are granted only through the national Advancement Team after consideration of local council recommendations.
The Scout, his parent or guardian, his unit leader, or a member of the unit committee may file the request. It is sent to the council service center to the attention of the council’s designated appeals coordinator. It is preferred that requests be submitted before the 18th birthday. The request must indicate the number of months after the 18th birthday that will be necessary to complete the requirements. See “Filing and Processing an Appeal,” 188.8.131.52, for information about the designated appeals coordinator.
The request must document the circumstances. For example, if the cause is health related, then a statement from a health professional must be provided. If the cause relates to adult error or misinformation, then the adult(s) involved, if available, must provide a statement. It is not sufficient simply to provide a summary of occurrences without the support of information from those with personal knowledge of what happened.
The council advancement chair and staff advisor select at least two council advancement committee members who will research the request and prepare a summary report for the council advancement committee. The council-designated appeals coordinator should brief them on the procedures outlined herein. They should obtain statements from those with knowledge of the case, or interview them and then prepare written summaries. The candidate must be included in the process in order to ascertain circumstances were beyond his control, as must any adults available who committed errors or provided misinformation. In some cases, it is a good idea to hold face-to-face interviews—for example, those where the lack of a Boy Scout Handbook or ignorance of requirements is cited.
The council advancement committee must review the evidence and prepare a position statement. This is shared with the Scout, his parent or guardian, and his unit leader.
The Scout then decides whether to pursue the extension with the national Advancement Team. If affirmative, the Request for Extension of Time to Earn Eagle Scout Rank form (see 184.108.40.206) must be completed and then signed by the Scout executive. It must provide a recommendation for acceptance or denial, and indicate the length of the desired extension. A packet with the evidence, the position statement, and the extension request form is then forwarded to the national Advancement Team. A decision can usually be delivered within two to four weeks.