14-Year-Old Visually Impaired Triplets Advance to Second Class Rank

The Cantos triplets receive advancement recognition from the Scoutmaster of Troop 601. At left are Nick, Steven, Ollie, and Leo Cantos.
The Cantos triplets receive advancement recognition from Col. West, Troop 601 Scoutmaster. At left are Nick, Steven, Ollie, and Leo Cantos.

Fourteen-year-old triplets Nick, Steven, and Leo Cantos of the National Capital Area Council in Bethesda, Maryland, have advanced to the rank of Second Class Scout.

The Cantos triplets are members of Boy Scout Troop 601, sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Alexandria, Virginia.

Blind from birth, the Cantos triplets have honed their outdoor skills with the help of their fellow troop members and have earned their Camping, Orienteering, and Swimming merit badges. To achieve the Second Class rank, a Scout must demonstrate how to use a map and compass; participate in overnight camping activities, which include pitching a tent, cooking, and administering first aid; and complete a 25-foot swim.

“I am so grateful for the Scouting program that enables them to learn these skills and be a part of a great community of other boys,” said their dad, Ollie Cantos. “The troop has done so much to integrate them with their peers. Everyone has been blessed because of it.”

Like most teenagers, Nick, Steven, and Leo Cantos enjoy playing video games with their friends and going to Dave & Buster’s, where they love to play video games by sound and feel.

The triplets have set a goal of earning the Eagle Scout rank, something that only a small percentage of Scouts achieve.

The Boy Scouts of America provides alternative requirements for Scouts with a permanent physical or mental disability (or a disability expected to last more than two years or beyond the 18th birthday) who are unable to complete all of the requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, or First Class rank. Parents of disabled Scouts may request alternative advancement requirements through their advancement committees. This ensures that all Scouts have the opportunity to participate in the Scouting program.

For additional information regarding alternative requirements, visit the Advancement and Awards Web page.


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