Importance of Training
Every young person in the Scouting program needs and deserves a leader who understands the aims of the program and knows how to deliver it with enthusiasm and fun; in short, a trained leader. Because they understand their role, trained leaders have a positive influence on the live of youth. Research shows that Scouts with trained leaders enjoy the program more and stay in it longer. How well we influence the lives of these youth depends on their leaders' understanding of the program and their responsibilities.
All registered leaders MUST FIRST take Youth Protection Training before assuming a leadership role. It is strongly recommended that parents of all Scouts take this training as well. It cannot hurt to know what to expect from your son's adult leaders. It also protects everyone involved in the unit by helping avoid any ambiguities arising from "not knowing" basic Youth Protection principles. For more information, visit our Youth Protection page.
What Makes a Trained Leader
A Scout leader is considered fully trained and entitled to wear the trained leader emblem when he or she has completed some basic but important training courses. Most of these trainings can be completed online.
Fast Start Training. Fast Start training is the first step for all new leaders and should be taken immediately after registration and before meeting with any youth members. New leaders must choose the Fast Start they need to take: Cub Scout Leader, Boy Scout Leader, Varsity Scout Leader or Venturing Crew Leader. All Fast Start courses can be completed through the Online Learning Center. (If you are new to Scouting, you will be asked to create an account.)
Youth Protection Training. Youth Protection training is required for all leaders who have direct contact with youth. At all times, youth safety is the number one priority. At the same time, adults need to know the rules for keeping themselves safe too. Comprehensive Youth Protection Training teaches all the do’s and don’ts of working with youth. The training is offered through the Online Learning Center or it may be taken as part of an district or council training workshop.
Position Specific Training. Leader position specific training is based on the leader’s position. These courses are taught by informed trainers who know how to engage groups and make learning fun. These courses are offered by the district or council as group training, or may be done as small groups or by personal coaching.
Cub Scout Leader Specific training has been developed for the following positions:
Scoutmaster Specific Training. This training is for all Scoutmasters and their assistants. Boy Scout leaders also must complete Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills training to be considered fully trained.
Troop Committee Challenge is for all members of a troop’s committee.
Varsity Scout Coach Leader Specific is for all varsity coaches and assistants coaches. Varsity coaches and assistant coaches must also complete Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills training to be considered fully trained.
Venturing Leader Specific is for all Venturing crew leaders and assistants. It is a five-session training course that can be completed in one day or in a series of workshops.
For more information about becoming a trained leader in the Boy Scouts of America, visit the Scouting.org trained leader page.