Logan Blythe is a 15-year-old boy from Utah who has Down syndrome and autism.
He joined the Boy Scouts of America as a Cub Scout at a mere age of eight years. And, due to his excellent performance, he became an official member of the Boy Scouts program only after 3 years of his joining.
Logan always wanted to reach the rank of an Eagle Scout and accomplish his dream Eagle Project, also referred as community service project. Even his family had thought of a perfect project plan for him.
“Logan’s mom and myself came up with a service project Logan could do — newborn kits for the local hospital and distributing them — so Logan and I submitted this to the local Boy Scout leaders for their approval,” Chad, Logan’s father, said to The Mighty.
Logan and his family were more than happy when they came to know that Boy Scouts of America has approved his plan for Eagle Project.
However, this happiness proved to be short-lived and just the next day of Logan’s Eagle Project approval, Chad received an extremely disturbing email from the District Advancement Committee of the Boy Scouts.
A representative wrote that Logan can’t continue his journey of becoming an Eagle Scout. As if it wasn’t enough, the email even stated that Logan’s earned merit badges would be taken back from him.
The mail read:
I have been asked to suspend Logan’s Eagle Project approval. Please do not do any more work on his project. When National was contacted about possible alternates, we were told that for Star. Life and Eagle ranks, there are no alternates. The young man MUST do the requirements as written, including leadership responsibilities. He also must be able to plan, develop and carry out his Eagle Project.
You can submit alternate requirements for the Scout, Tenderfoot, Second and First Class ranks, as well as some of the required merit badges, but most badges and ranks must be “as written.”
The Guide to Advancement says the young man must do the requirements as written, unless there has been an approved alternate, as we started to discuss last night at the approval meeting.
Even with the suggestions we made last night, for Logan to hold up papers and to pass out fliers himself, etc., I never should have allowed this to be approved for the above reasons.
I sincerely apologize and regret any false hope we have given. I hope that you will consider keeping Logan registered beyond his 18th birthday, in hopes that someday perhaps he can communicate with others through future technology or what have you.
District Advancement Committee”
The situation was unexpected for the family. Logan’s father, in particular, was very angry on this dishonor.
The opportunity of becoming an Eagle Scout was being taken back from Logan, and on top of that, they were also taking away his badges – the reward of his past performances.
Due to his disabilities, Logan earned the merit badges from the local Boy Scouts of America organization in Utah by following an alternative scheme. Logan had 22 of such alternative merit badges but, unfortunately, the Boy Scouts of America denied to recognize those badges.
“The local leaders made modifications to the requirements so he could earn them,” Chad told while referring to the badges.
The situation was also distressful for them because the department did approve his Eagle Project idea the day before.
Logan was even demoted to Cub Scout rank from his existing Boy Scout rank. It was a real disrespect as Cub Scout’s rank is often given to children who are younger than ten years of age while Logan was fifteen.
Logan’s father also received a text from a local representative saying they should never have said Logan was approved.
“We were led to believe everything was fine and Logan could get through, he could earn merit badges, advance in rank for as long as he did what he needed to do,” Chad told. “This is the very definition of discrimination.”
Logan was so devoted to his project that he had even prepared twenty-five kits, before time, containing essentials for newborns. And he wanted to distribute them by himself!
As expected, Logan did not take this sad new very well. “He was saddened by it. Since this has occurred, we now struggle to get him to wear his uniform. That was not the case before. He was let down. Hurt.”
Chad filed a lawsuit against the department, asked for a $1,000,000 reimbursement and requested to reinstate the original rank and badges of his son.
“Logan should be allowed to do what he can to the best of his ability to qualify for a given merit badge due to his mental disabilities,” Chad told USA Today.
Shortly after, the department released a statement mentioning that they would allow Logan to fulfill his dream of becoming an Eagle Scout and that Logan’s badges were not revoked. However, according to the family’s lawyer, Logan deserves an apology as compared to a public statement.
As for us, our all wishes are for brave Logan!