Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Lisabob

BSA climbing instructor training

Recommended Posts

I'm trying to help out a fellow Scouter who wants to become a certified BSA climbing instructor and I could use a little clarification with regard to what trainings exist (other than Climb on Safely) for this activity.

 

National camping school runs a week-long training session for BSA Climbing Supervisors (section 21). But I think this is more than one needs to just be a climbing instructor, right? Is there a council-level training offered and if so, what does it qualify a participant to do, upon completion? Our council staff has no information on this and referred me to the NCS training. Before I start bugging other nearby councils I want to make sure I'm asking about the right thing. Any info you have on this would be appreciated. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Climb on Safely has nothing to do with the technical aspects of climbing, it only concerns the policies and procedures of a climbing event. From the BSA website, I found the following:

 

2. Qualified Instructors

A qualified rock climbing instructor who is at least 21 years of age must supervise all BSA climbing/rappelling activities. A currently trained BSA climbing director or instructor is highly recommended. Contact your local council or regional service center to locate a qualified individual. The climbing instructor has successfully completed a minimum of 10 hours of instructor training for climbing/rappelling from a nationally or regionally recognized organization, a climbing school, a college-level climbing/rappelling course, or is a qualified BSA climbing instructor.

The BSA offers a section of National Camping School for climbing directors who in turn can train climbing instructors. Every instructor must have prior experiences in teaching climbing/rappelling to youth and must agree to adhere to Climb On Safely and the guidelines set in Topping Out.

Note: Any adult Scouter who successfully completes training in Climb On Safely is entitled to wear the temporary patch, No. 8631. A Climb On Safely Training Outline, No. 20-101, is available from your local council service center.

 

http://www.scouting.org/nav/enter.jsp?s=xx&c=ds&terms=climbing+instructor

 

To become a BSA CLimbing Instrutor you have to take training from a BSA Climbing Director.(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yah, there's the PTC Climbing Director course, the NCS course, or he can go for training to your council climbing director. Alternately, a college or university program.

 

Now, that having been said, what are yeh plannin' on doin', exactly? And what is the gent's real level of prior experience climbing and teachin' kids? IMO, none of the BSA training even comes close to bein' adequate if the person starts out as a relatively inexperienced climber or teacher of youth.

 

Beavah

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info. I think the problem may be that we don't have a council climbing director who is qualified to offer the instructor training course. That would be consistent with the blank looks and "no idea" answer that I got from our (otherwise pretty helpful) council pros.

 

The adult in question is a longtime Scouter, former SM, knows how to work with kids, well-liked by the boys. And he has been involved in climbing on his own. I'm not in a position to evaluate his skill but I'd be surprised if he weren't already quite proficient. I think what he wants is to be able to run troop-level climbing activities.

 

So it looks to me like the next logical step is to see whether some nearby council offers a council level training course. Thanks Beavah and OGE for helping me figure out what the options and rules are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Climb on Safely is a management course, not a technical course.

 

As far as I know, BSA Camp School is held at the regional level. Your council should not only have the information, but should be kicking you out the door to get there.

 

Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the link Ed.

 

I'm aware that Climb on Safely is a management course, much like Safe Swim and Safety Afloat. That's the issue - our council makes Climb on Safely available but no one seems to know anything about Climbing Instructor Training. Luckily, I have found another nearby council that has its own climbing facility (big time) and it appears that they do offer a council-level instructor training course a couple of times a year. So, now that I know what the Scouter in question actually needs in terms of training, it appears I'll also be able to help him get signed up for it.

 

We'll work on NCS climbing director training in the future maybe...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lisabob, where are you at? Here in the greater Kansas City area, we offer a weekend COPE/climbing instructor training course once or twice a year, depending on demand. Unfortunately, this year, it was in May. Jayhawk council, next door in Kansas, sometimes offers one also. The Saint Louis council used to have one, but they go in with us also. Todd Whitely and John Cookingham have been the facilitators, both for the instructor course here and camp school. If you have a camp school trained director, they can train instructors (I THINK-CONSIDER THIS A DISCLAIMER). Spanish Peaks council also used to have a course. Everyone is right about climb on safely only being a safety course, not a training course! I asked around and didn't hear of anyone else doing anything similar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our council has a program called "Climbing Tower Instructor" which is put on in conjuction with Climb On Safely. Together, it's a two-day course. The Climb-On Safely part is just, as mentioned here, a management course. The Tower Instructor course took alot of the technical aspects of the "Topping Out" book and put them into application. We had the class at the tower of our local Scout Camp, and received good hands on training. We were then encouraged to staff the tower with the accredited folks during a local Scout event. It was great experience. After so many hours, I felt very confident in what I'm doing.

 

There were 4 adult leaders from our Troop that took the course, and we constantly feed off of one another to make sure we are doing everything right and constantly refer back to "Topping Out" for clarification on certain situations. We take part in as many council related climbing activities as we can to stay fresh. As a unit, we actaully get our climbing equipment out maybe 3 - 4 times per year.

 

-AD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi AntelopeDud and heartofbrightstar,

 

Thanks for the info. Unfortunately I've been stymied. It turns out the nearby council doesn't offer the training in a convenient way (rather than do it all at once, they stretch it out over several weekends, a couple hours at a time, which doesn't work for our scouter's schedule). And our own council won't offer the training because as a council we don't own climbing equipment - so, given limited resources, they don't want to use them on this. Nor have I had any luck getting info on upcoming NCS programs in my region (Central). We apparently have no functional web site for the region and one of our FD's told me that of all the regions, Central is the worst at disseminating information. (Even if I do find these, I'm not sure it's an option - NCS is expensive and our council wasn't interested in helping pay the cost for this. Since they don't plan to run any council climbing events, they saw no wider benefit to subsidizing this scouter's training.)

 

I'm in Michigan, not far from Ohio border. If anybody is aware of a climbing instructor training coming up in MI or Northwest OH, I'd be very grateful if you'd let me know so I can pass it on to our scouter who wants to do this training.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took this last week at camp

 

From the brochure:

 

Contact your local council or regional service center to locate a qualified individual. The climbing instructor has successfully completed a minimum of 10 hours of instructor training for climbing/rappelling from a nationally or regionally recognized organization, a climbing school, a college-level climbing/rappelling course.

 

 

Examples of sources of qualified climbing and rappelling instructors include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

 

BSA climbing directors or instructors

National Outdoor Leadership School

Wilderness Education Association

American Mountain Guides Association

The Mountaineers

Recreational Equipment Inc.

Eastern Mountain Sports

University or college climbing/rappelling instructors or students

Project Adventure instructors

National Speleological Society chapters

Leaders and instructors should also consult current literature on climbing and rappelling for additional guidance. Topping Out: A BSA Climbing/Rappelling Manual, No. 3207A, is the most authoritative guide currently available from the Boy Scouts of America.

 

I am assuming from the above that one could contact their local EMS store and take a weekend course and be qualified to do this.

 

This fall we are planning to do just that. However , we will get something in writing from the council before we spend money with EMS

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info, I really appreciate it. I think we may have found a local connection for the scouter in our troop to get this training, though not through BSA.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I didn't see this thread sooner!

 

See: http://www.camps.ppbsa.org/climbing/ for Patriots' Path Council's BSA Climbing Instructor (CI) training program (CI 101) for Scouters. Training is held at Mt. Allamuchy Scout Reservation (MASR), Stanhope, NJ.

 

When seeking BSA Climbing Instructor training, know what your goals are and what the training will qualify you to do, within the scope of your training, knowledge, skills and experience (instructor judgment). Some CI training is site- or program-specific, and only qualifies you to assist or become Council staff to run climbing programs/events at the camp where you were trained. It may not qualify you to run unit climbing programs on your own, or at other climbing areas or other BSA camps. This is why the prereqs, length and format of CI training vary. Note that for unit climbing, Climb On Safely (COS) requires that the Qualified Instructor (e.g., BSA CI at least 21 yrs old) "acknowledges personal limitations, and exercises good judgment in a variety of circumstances." A BSA CI cert of training card only verifies that you have taken some kind of Council approved climbing instructor training, not that you are a certified CI by an industry standard examination process such as AMGA certifications. Know your limits, and the limits of your CI training.

 

Our CI 101 program trains Scouters to instruct participants in basic climbing skills, to rig rope and webbing around rocks and trees (natural anchors) to build top-rope and belay anchor systems, and to run safe, fun and exciting climbing activities at unit, District or Council level, on any suitable rocks, on or off BSA camp property. (Only CI 101 grads are allowed to bring their units climbing at MASR and rent Council climbing gear there.)

 

Hope this helps.

 

YIS&C,

Larry B.

 

Larry Borshard

Patriots' Path Council, NE Region, Climbing Director

 

(I don't monitor this forum regularly [obviously!], so please direct any questions to misterLB@optonline.net.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>

 

 

 

Unfortunately, Beavah's sage advice appears to be pretty much ignored in the rush for people to get a punch on their BSA ticket.

 

 

This is probably an example of how a safety program gets in the way of safety by giving implicit approval for people to do something they are still unqualified to do, if they think they are qualified to lead something fairly called a climb.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×