However, Advancement Administrators and Scout leaders should always refer to the Guide to Advancement when there is a dispute. In this case, topic 10.2.2.3 supersedes what is in the Troop Leader Guidebook Vol. 2.
10.2.2.3 states: “Though individual requirements for merit badges may not be modified or substituted, youth with special needs may request approval for alternative badges they can complete. This is allowable on the basis of one entire badge for another.” The section continues to explain qualifications needed for applying for the use of alternative merit badges for Eagle Scout Rank.
The correct policy is also stated in “The Application for Alternative Eagle Scout Rank Merit Badges”, No. 512-730
The lesson here is pretty simple, use the Guide to Advancement before any other source.
Author: Darryl Alder | Strategic Initiatives Director, Utah National Parks Council, BSA. He serves as Aaronic Priesthood/Scout Committee Chair in his LDS ward where he handles advancement.