Every Boy Deserves a Trained Leader
The journey from Fast Start to Wood Badge is a seamless progression for adults and an unending benefit for BSA youth. Fast Start Orientation and New Leader Essentials, the first two steps in new-leader training, introduce new leaders to the Boy Scouting program. Leader Specific Training, as the name implies, focuses on specific leader roles and will require several days to complete, depending on an individual’s previous outdoor skills experience. Wood Badge has evolved into the premier leadership course of the BSA, strengthening a leader’s ability to effectively work with groups of youth and adults.
For more information on Training and how to become trained head to the Dan Beard website for more information.
Fast Start Orientation
Welcome to Scouting!
As a new Scout leader, you are joining our Scouting family, and we want you to understand how the program works. The Fast Start Orientation video and guide will help explain it. These materials present a quick introduction to get new leaders ready for your first Boy Scout meeting.
You will learn in Fast Start Orientation that Scouting employs eight fundamental methods to deliver its three aims of character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness. The eight methods are the ideals, the patrol method, the outdoors, advancement, association with adults, personal growth, leadership development, and the uniform. A troop functions best when all eight methods are employed. As a leader progresses through the levels of training, the eight methods are continually emphasized.
Part One – Introduction
The first thing new leaders should know is that many resources are available to help them. The video’s introduction lays out the basics to help new volunteers get started as Scouting leaders.
Part Two – The Troop Meeting
Part Two of the video explains how troop meetings are important in preparing the troop for its monthly outdoor adventure. Each 90-minute meeting should be fun and meaningful for the Scouts. A troop meeting has seven essential parts, each of which is explained in the video.
Part Three – The Outdoor Program
This section of the video explains the importance of the outdoor program to Scouting. Boys are attracted to Scouting by its offer of outdoor fun and adventure. Through exciting outdoor activities like camping and hiking, studying nature, and watching wildlife, Scouts learn to care for the environment and master outdoor skills. At the same time, the outdoor program helps them develop leadership and teamwork.
Part Four – The Troop Committee
This segment of the video illustrates the role of the troop committee, a group of adult volunteers that work behind the scenes to support the Scoutmaster. Troop committee members do a wide variety of tasks, from repairing tents to maintaining troop records. The troop committee’s most important responsibility is to make sure that the very best adult leaders are selected, recruited, and trained to work with their boys.
New Leader Essentials
As the first section of Basic Leader Training, New Leader Essentials is a 90-minute introductory session that highlights the values, aims, history, funding, and methods of Scouting and provides new leaders with a look at the resources available to them. New Leader Essentials often is offered as the first part of Leader Specific Training.
Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster Leader Specific Training
A new troop leader is considered trained upon completion of Fast Start Orientation, New Leader Essentials, and all four parts of Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster Leader Specific Training. Troop committee members and Webelos leaders who plan to move into a leadership position in a troop are encouraged to complete this training as well.
Leader Specific Training is divided into four parts. The first three parts are designed to teach troop operations and can be completed in one full day or three evenings. The fourth part is completing “Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skills,” which are the skills required for the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks. Because emphasis is placed on a leader’s previous knowledge of the skill rather than course attendance, a new leader can complete this course at an accelerated pace.
Varsity Coach Leader Specific Training
Varsity Coaches and assistant Coaches have similar training requirements to Scoutmasters and assistant Scoutmasters. Requirements for trained Varsity leaders are Varsity Fast Start Orientation, New Leader Essentials, Varsity Coach Leader Specific Training, and Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skills.
Troop Committee Training
For troop committee members, Leader Specific Training includes Troop Committee Challenge. Upon completion of the three-hour challenge, a troop committee member is considered trained.
Wood Badge for the 21st Century
This emblem is available to all adult leaders who have completed Fast Start Orientation, New Leader Essentials, and Leader Specific Training for their position. It is worn on the left sleeve, below and touching the emblem of leadership for which it was earned.
Upon completion of Leader Specific Training, an adult is eligible to attend Wood Badge for the 21st Century. As the core leadership skills training course for the BSA, Wood Badge focuses on strengthening every volunteer’s ability to work with groups of youth and adults and is less focused on outdoor skills, which are more effectively addressed in other training courses.
The task force that developed Wood Badge for the 21st Century was charged with developing an adult training course that was on the cutting edge of training for the 21st century. They created a highly user-friendly course that would encourage BSA local councils to offer more courses and, ultimately, train more Scouters. The Wood Badge course has made significant accomplishments in both areas.
Incorporating leadership concepts that are used in corporate America, the course teaches participants the basics of listening, communicating, valuing people, team development, situational leadership, problem solving, and managing conflict. Once the skill is learned, each member is given the opportunity to use the skill as a member of a successful working team. At the conclusion of the course, each participant develops a set of personal goals related to his or her Scouting role. Working toward these goals allows each participant to practice and demonstrate new skills.
Nationwide over the past two years, Wood Badge courses have increased more than 30 percent. The course is for all Boy Scout leaders, Cub Scout leaders, Venturing leaders, and district and council leaders. This has increased communication to allow for a more seamless connection among all BSA programs.
There is always something new to learn and experience in BSA training.
Most BSA local councils offer additional training for Scout leaders, focusing on outdoor skills, Youth Protection, and youth leadership development. At the national level, a number of training courses are conducted each summer at the Philmont Training Center in northern New Mexico. Courses focus on everything from teaching outdoor skills to working with the troop committee.
Another supplemental training opportunity is the monthly district round-table meetings that bring together Scout leaders from a number of troops to share ideas and teach skills. Each meeting is an opportunity for enjoying fellowship and fun with others who are committed to Scouting’s aims and ideals.
Boy Scout Leader Assessment Tool
Whether you have been in Scouting for many years or are just starting out, the Boy Scout Leader Assessment Tool is for you. The online assessment will help Scouters of all experience levels discover opportunities to refresh their understanding of Scouting and determine how to update their skills. Specifically, the Boy Scout Leader Assessment Tool will:
- Identify which BSA training courses would be most beneficial to the individual Scouter.
- Allow local council trainer chairpersons to know and understand which courses should be offered.
- Remind long-term Scouters that there are new and interesting skills for them to learn.
- Allow adult leaders to determine their strengths and weaknesses regarding Boy Scout training.
- Help our adult leaders to have the latest and greatest skills to support and mentor our scouts.
This assessment tool is available at: http://www.scouting.org/Training/Adult.aspx
Youth Protection Training
Please go to the link for the online version of the Boy Scouts of America Youth Protection Training. All adult leaders who do anything with the troop should take this course. It only takes 15-30 minutes. After you complete the course please let the Advancement Chair know so a record of the class can be added to your profile.
Boy Scout Fast Start
This online Fast Start training is a quick orientation to help you get ready for your first Boy Scout meeting. The training is divided into five sections:
- The Troop Meeting
- The Troop Committee
- The Outdoor Program
- Basic Concepts of Scouting
- The Scout Uniform
Patrol Leader Training
To learn more about the patrol method and the role of the Patrol Leader.
Safe Swim and Safety Afloat
These two training sessions are required if you are a leader taking a group of boys on an adventure that includes water sports.