TrailBlazer

An adaptive scouting program

The TrailBlazer program currently serves students in multiple dedicated special needs schools in and around the Pittsburgh area, as well as many Life Skills and Autism Support classes housed within traditional school districts. We also focus on providing outreach and support to families of special needs scouts who choose to enroll in traditional neighborhood scouting programs, making sure the transition is successful for both the scout and the unit welcoming them.

Our goal is to make scouting accessible to as many families in our community as possible, meeting them where we can serve them best. We strive to create an adaptive program that proves scouting is for anyone.

Our Program

TrailBlazer Scouts learn basic Scouting skills like knot tying, flag folding, and basic outdoor skills guided by our experienced program staff. Through being a part of the TrailBlazer program, our Scouts develop a sense of belonging, creating lasting relationships not only with their fellow scouts but also our Program Aides and Staff. Through practice and repetition of the Scout Oath, Scout Law, and Pledge of Allegiance our Scouts learn the importance of being active citizens and members of their communities.

Our goal, as is the goal of all our Scouting programs, is to teach our scouts the importance of making ethical choices in life.  We strive to provide experiences that our scouts may not otherwise be afforded, offering yearly outdoor experiences at Camp Guyasuta, showcasing adaptive cope and climbing experiences, as well as archery, arts and crafts, and guided hiking on our ADA accessible trails.

Parents

Currently the mission of the TrailBlazer program is twofold – our School Outreach Program and our Traditional Unit Support Program.

Our School Outreach Program partners with schools (primarily within their Life Skills and Special Education Departments) to run engaging in school programs utilizing the scouting program as a component of their curriculum. If your child attends a school which you think would benefit from a partnership with the Laurel Highlands Councils, TrailBlazer Program please don’t hesitate to reach out. We would love to broaden our program, making sure we can engage as many young people as possible with the life changing experiences the scouting program offers.

Our Traditional Unit Support Program acts as a liaison between families with a Special Needs Scout and Traditional Units to make sure the integration of these families into our traditional programs is as seamless as possible. We provide resources to help navigate the Registration Beyond the Age of Eligibility process as well as help develop Individual Scouting Advancement plans (ISP) making sure the program can be adapted to be both challenging and fulfilling while considering the special circumstances of each individual Scout.

Supporters

If you’re interested in supporting an adaptive Scouting Program, let’s connect about TrailBlazer Scouting.

Partnering Organizations

The Scouting program focuses on Leadership Development, Life Skills, Civic engagement, and personal and mental fitness. We strive to provide challenging and needs appropriate opportunities to all young people while also maintaining a fun and engaging learning environment. If you are a School District who would like to learn more about our program, please contact us. We can cater our program to work with the individual needs of your students.

We also strive to provide out of school adventures with our Fall Fun Days and Spring Day Camp opportunities. At our Camp Guyasuta facility (in the Sharpsburg area) we offer ADA accessible hiking trails and COPE experiences, as well as adaptive archery and field games twice a year for our Scouts.

Current Partnering Organizations:

  • West Allegheny School District
  • Sunrise School
  • Mon Valley School
  • Pathfinder School
  • Pioneer Education Center
  • Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
  • Deer Lakes School District
  • Pittsburgh Conroy
  • East Allegheny School District
  • McKeesport Area School District
  • Ambridge School District
  • Trinity Area School District
  • Pittsburgh Minadeo
  • The Verland Foundation
  • Step by Step, Inc.
  • Chartiers Center
  • Mental Health Association of Beaver County

TrailBlazer Activities

TrailBlazer school units enjoy coming to Camp Guyasuta for our Spring Day Camp in April and our Fall Fun Days in October and include:

  •  COPE Challenge Course where they are able to zip line their way across the camp
  • Archery (hand over hand if necessary)
  • Field games
  • Craft are on the schedule of events for the day
  • Fall* hayride around the camp

Each Spring our TrailBlazer school units won’t want to miss the Pinewood Derby race that is held in their school. Their own Pinewood Derby car is decorated and prepared for a race. The top three finishers are treated to a personalized trophy to enjoy at home.

Bi-monthly Scout meetings which are held at their school during school hours, our Scouts learn about character development, leadership, and participatory citizenship while they have Fun!

Get Involved, Start a Unit, Learn More

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View Our calendar

Join us for a number of events throughout the year!