- For the Scout Programme for street children in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, see The Kenya Scouts Association#Extension Scouts.
Extension Scouting is a programme within Scouting which caters for young people with special needs or in difficult social, economic or environmental conditions. Like the University Extension movement, the main idea of Extension Scouting is to take ideas, people and resources from one local place to another, thus 'extending' the reach of the Scout Movement.
Extension Scouting for young people with special needs was originally called Scouts Malgré Tout, which is French for "Scouts Despite Everything". It aims to meet the mandate from the founder of Scouting Robert Baden-Powell that the programme be made "open to all". In this regard, it has been taken on as a crucial platform in global scouting accessibility, reaching as far as Singapore.
Many young people with special needs join in with Scout Groups on a regular basis, but some organisations provide a parallel programme specifically tailored to these members. For example, The Scout Association of the United Kingdom has various Scoutlink groups around the country. The Extension Scouting section in the Netherlands is named "Blauwe Vogels" (Blue Birds) after the play L'Oiseau Bleu by Maurice Maeterlinck. The Extension Scouting section of Scouts en Gidsen Vlaanderen is named "AKABE", Anders KAn BEst (Different is all-right). The Extension Scouting section of Polish Scouts is named "Nieprzetarty Szlak".
Scouts Canada has worked with the Kenyan Scouts Association to improve the conditions of poverty facing youth together running a program called "Street Scouts," which has more than 4,000 youth members. Scouts Canada's International Commissioner, John Neysmith, stated that, "The benefits of Scouts Canada's international development projects extend beyond the outcomes of providing community assistance overseas".