Gifted And Physically disabled Scouts

** Note: This page links to external websites that are not hosted or under the control of the Occoneechee Council.  Content may or may not continue to be appropriate for this subject matter.


GAPS, Occoneechee Council, aims to improve the quality of scouting experiences for all scouts with disAbilities while utilizing the guiding principles of the Scout Oath and Law.


The vision of GAPS, Occoneechee Council, is to be a committed resource for scouts, scouting families, volunteers and staff to support reaching maximum potential.


The mission of Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. GAPS committee’s purpose is to provide resources, guidance, and training as tools to help adult leaders support inclusion of all scouting families AND to offer support to Occoneechee Staff in identifying needs in order to prevent crisis. GAPS recognizes that trained volunteer leaders are enthusiastic about supporting scouts with disAbilities. They understand the demands put on their patience and time yet remain compassionate in accommodations for rank advancement. GAPS strives towards building self-esteem and feelings of accomplishment to enable successful outcomes for everyone in scouting.


Kenna McIntire
Program Director
(910) 948-2382
(919) 665-9619
Mrs. Britt Flather RN

Professional Advisers

Highlander District Britt Flather, RN
Eric Ruhstorfer, LPN
Renee Seese, Advancement Intervention Services
Dogwood District Rodney Dinkins, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
Melanie Jacobs, Occupational Therapy Services
LaFayette District Sean Brost, Advancement Intervention Services

District Representatives

Awahili District OPEN
Black River District Timothy Gillespie
Crosswinds District Greg McGrew
Dogwood District Allison Fulcher, Melanie Jacobs
Highlander District Mindy Jones-Secary
Impeesa District Jeff Price
LaFayette District Sean Brost

Valeria Ivery – Disability Awareness Merit Badge Counselor

Mawat District OPEN
Neuse River District Jen Hiemenz
Shakori District OPEN


Find Us on Facebook:    facebook

COPE/Climbing L1 Instructor Course @ Camp Durant
Mar 22 @ 5:00 pm – Mar 24 @ 4:00 pm

Registration for this course will close at midnight on March 14.

BSA requirements for the operation of both COPE and Tower operations specify a minimum of a (1) Level 2 instructor (1) Level 1 instructor to open the program area.   Staff to participant ratios are then applied based on the type of program being facilitated for the day.  Ground based activities are 12:1 while activities at height are 6:1

Upon completion of this full weekend course, the participant should be certified as Level 1 for both COPE (CS67) and Artificial Climbing Structure (CS75) and be able to effectively assist in the operations these programs.


  • Age 18 years and older
  • Complete eLearning assignments below
  • Bring your Hold Harmless form
  • Be current on Youth Protection Training
  • Pay the course registration fee
  • Be willing to have a lot of fun and learn a lot of things about COPE and Climbing.


Course Registration Fee of $40.00 includes:

  • Use of camp facilities for training
  • Meals for weekend

Optional materials (selected during registration)

  • Staff T-Shirt
  • Printed Reference Manual (PDF is available online)
  • Staff Cabins for 2 nights  (Campsites will be available at no charge)
Leave No Trace Trainer @ Camp Reeves
Mar 29 – Mar 31 all-day

Registration for this course closes at 5:00PM on March 1.

Trainer Course is an informative, practical, and fun 2-day workshop on the ethics and practice of minimum-impact recreation and travel. Course participants will learn skills and teaching techniques through lectures, skits and discussions in a rustic outdoor setting.

Course Flyer:   LNT-Trainer-LNT-2019-flyer.pdf

Spring Wood Badge
Mar 29 – Mar 31 all-day

Every Scout deserves a well trained leader.

Are you that leader?

Become Wood Badge trained and you will be. In doing so, you will change your life and the lives of all the youth you mentor.

Wood Badge is considered the premier Scout leadership training course. It is available to registered leaders of all levels of the Scouting program – Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, and Venturing. Wood Badge training will make you a better Scout Leader, it will provide the tools to improve your unit.

2019 Course Dates

Course First Weekend Second Weekend Course Director
Spring March 8-10, 2019 March 29-31, 2019 Ralph Embrey:
Fall Septermber 6-8, 2019 September 27-29, 2019 Greg McGrew:
NYLT Course #1 – Staff Development
Apr 5 – Apr 7 all-day

Staff Development will occur on:

April 5, 2019
May 3, 2019
May 31, 2019

Paddlecraft Safety @ Instructor's Home
Apr 5 – Apr 6 all-day

Fri April 5th from 6:00pm – 9:30pm
Sat April 6th @ Lake Crabtree Park

Bring $30 on Friday night

Powder Horn @ Camp Durant
Apr 5 – Apr 7 all-day

The Powder Horn course is designed to help the troop, team, or crew by exposing Venturers, and adult leaders to safely conducted outdoor/ high adventure activities of a fun and challenging nature. The course provides an introduction to the resources needed to successfully lead youth through a program of outdoor adventure and is based upon giving participants an exposure to some outdoor/high-adventure activities. The course presenters are expert consultants from inside and outside of Scouting in each outdoor high adventure activity. It is not a certification event for individual high adventure activities, but rather an overview of various disciplines.

Course Flyer:  Updated-Powderhorn-Flyer.pdf

Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation (BALOO) – Mawat @ Troop 93 Scout Hut
Apr 6 @ 7:30 am – Apr 7 @ 12:00 pm

7:30 am Sat. Registration/Campsite Selection Opens
Training starts 8:15 am Sat.
to 12 noon Sun. (includes camping overnight)

Why? This day-and-a-half course will give you the information, training and experience
to lead a safe and fun camping trip for your cub scouts and Webelos.
One BALOO-Trained adult must attend each pack camping trip.
Topics Covered include: Campfire Activities; Camping Equipment; Planning;
Games; Hobo Meals; Camping Safety
$50.00 — Includes meals, snacks, patch, course materials and an overnight camping experience.

There is an on-line pre-requisite that must be
completed prior to attending (

Course Directors: Karen Hassett —
Randall Goodman —

Please inform the Course Director of any special needs or dietary restrictions
Registration closes April 2 or when course is full.


Course Flyer:  Mawat - BALOO Course Flyer

Mawat and Shakori Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skills (IOLS) Orientation @ Durham Lions Club
Apr 24 all-day

The session on May 3-5, 2019 must also be attended.  That session will be held at Pittsboro Scout Hut, 1020 US 64 Business West, Pittsboro, NC 27312.

Course Flyer

Wilderness First Aid (WFA) @ Camp Campbell
Apr 26 – Apr 28 all-day

Click on the Tickets link to register for the event

Course Flyer:  trng_20190427_wfa.pdf

Course Start: April 26, 2019 at 7:30pm
Course End: April 28, 2019 at Noon

Course Prerequisites: Current Adult CPR/AED through the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or other nationally recognized provider that does not expire until after the end of the course.

Camp Staff Development #2
May 3 – May 5 all-day


2018 End of Year Report

GAPS News bulletin

University of Scouting Flier

Roundtable Flier

How do I get involved?

GAPS is always in need of volunteers!

  1. District Representatives
  2. Disability Awareness Merit Badge Counselors
  3. Professional Advisors


At the District level, a leader, parent or adult mentor may volunteer to serve in a broader role as a coordinator of district-wide special needs activities. District Abilities Awareness Representatives serve a liaison role between the Council GAPS Committee and the units in their local district.

Roles and Responsibilities of the District Abilities Awareness Representative:
Key to supporting a network of Scouters with diverse experiences & common interests to support the Occoneechee GAPS (Gifred And Physically disabled Scouting) events and outdoor activities inside & outside the District & Council.

  • Promote inclusion of Scouts within all units of your district
  • Provides guidance and resources (to volunteers and professionals)
  • Identifies, recruits & supports training of qualified volunteers
  • Supports Unit/District/Council events
  • Promotes attendance of volunteers and staff at training opportunities (with specific special needs/Disabilities awareness training separately or as part of a position-specific training)
  • Provide support for program activities, advancement, camping, training and Roundtables
  • Ensures that the needs of youth with special needs and disabilities are considered in all aspects of Council actions.
GAPS District Representative Application

As a GAPS designated Accessible Unit, we recognize that trained volunteer leaders are enthusiastic about supporting scouts with disAbilities. We understand our Unit may face unique challenges and demands yet promise to remain compassionate in supporting both accommodations for rank advancement, and towards building self-esteem and feelings of accomplishment to enable successful outcomes for everyone involved in our program.

We welcome Scouts with all abilities and their families by:

  • Providing an inclusive and understanding atmosphere together in Scouting.
  • Helping and assisting each Scout family attain (reach) their goals in scouting.
  • Providing an opportunity for the Scout to advance through the program.
  • Raising abilities awareness in all youth, adults, and our community.

Roles and Responsibilities of  Accessible Units:

  1. Committee Chair / Unit Leader (CM, SM, CA) make a commitment to welcome and work with Scouts of all abilities.
  2. Conduct an annual Facilities Checklist and discuss results at the unit leader meeting.
  3. Have a safe area for Scouts with sensory challenges to go to when they feel overwhelmed.
  4. Conduct an annual Abilities Awareness Night for youth in the unit.
  5. Fill out and update the annual special needs survey.
  6. Commitment to at least one abilities awareness presentation for leaders and parents per year.

Unit Listing

Unit Program Features District City Point of Contact Join
Pack 713 All-Accessible Highlander Tri-County area of Spout Springs Eric Ruhstorfer Join
Pack 942 All-Accessible plus Deaf & Hard of Hearing Dogwood Sanford Melanie Jacobs Join

Interactive Map