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could some of you more experienced scouters maybe provide a list of the heirarchy of training? I'm an experienced scouter, but have recently changed councils (coming from a council who didn't train much at all) and I would like to get any and all training available. So far I've done the online stuff and the safety afloat and safe swim at scout camp. I've signed up for the SM/ASM Basic Training, and intend to take Wood Badge Training in August.


What else is there? I've seen BALOO, NYLT, Scout University, Philmont training, and a lot of other things I don't recognize. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.



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I can help you with some of this. BALOO is "basic adult leader outdoor orientation" and is a training meant for cub leaders so that they can do outdoor activities with their cub pack.


NYLT is "national youth leader training" and is intended for boys who are 1st cl/higher in your troop. Boys who will be taking on significant leadership positions like Patrol Leader or SPL would especially benefit, but there's a good argument to be made that the more of your senior boys have this training (regardless of their POR), the more likely it is the troop will have a deep pool of good youth leaders to choose from.


Scout University is a supplemental 1 day program put on, usually annually, in many councils. You can pick the classes you are interested in attending. It often includes sessions on specific scout skills, on skits/story telling, on where to go camping in the local area, etc. It probably includes classes for cub leaders, troop leaders, and venturing leaders.


I don't know what philmont training entails.


A couple of others you probably are aware of: Youth Protection Training, Climb On Safely/Trek Safely (and there are some others like these I think). These can all be done online through the BSA's online learning center so you might have already done them.


In my area, a Scoutmaster/Asst Scoutmaster is considered fully trained when they have three things: Youth Protection, SM/ASM Basic, and Intro to Outdoor Leadership Skills (IOLS or OLS) which is typically a weekend course, very hands-on, that is supposed to focus on how to teach scout skills to kids. (It often ends up being a course on the scout skills, themselves, rather than on how to teach them.) Without those three, ASMs/SMs are not eligible for Wood Badge in my area.


Troop committee members are expected to have Youth Protection and Troop Committee Challenge training in order to attend Wood Badge. (Many troops will encourage committee members to also have OLS but it isn't a requirement)


Hope this helps!



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A couple of others to take when the opportunity arises:


Wilderness First Aid - required for some High Adventure programs, a big jump over basic First Aid courses.


Powder Horn - introduction to putting together High Adventure trips, lots of fun.

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As a trainer and training event chairman, I want to encourage you to go to the trainings with an open mind. Do not let your experience close your mind. If I had a dollar for each time I heard "I have been Scouting for xxx years, why do I need to go to training again?" I could go ahead and retire, and devote all my time to Scouting. Even if the class is one you have had before, you are likely to learn new things. At the very least, you will meet new people to network with.

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There is no "heirarchy" of training in BSA. There is training for your position, and supplemental training that will help you with your position.


Unless you are simply a training junkie, there really is no point in taking training just for the sake of taking the training.


For instance, take BALOO - The time to take BALOO would have been when you were active in Cub Scouts. Taking the training then could have benefited your Pack by allowing you to plan and lead Pack overnighters. There is no point to taking it now that you are in Boy Scouts, you will not use it there.


The same goes for a number of other trainings. Unless you are a UC, or a COR, why take their specific training? You can not use it, and it will mean little to you.


An explaination of the trainings that might be of benefit to you as a volunteer in your son's Boy Scout Troop can be found here -




Depending on your registered position, and what you will be doing to help the Troop, not all of the training will be pertainent to you.


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There is a loose heirarchy of training.


Keep in mind that there are 3-4 levels of training:


* Immediate (Fast Start)

* Basic (includes position-specific training)

* Supplemental (all forms of 'additional' training, which range from hour-long sessions to week-long sessions, and be on-line or 'live. This includes the various 'safety' courses, any 'university of scouting' programs, Philmont/Sea Base training courses, etc)

* Advanced (Wood Badge, Powder Horn, Seabadge)


Some training is for youth (TLT, NYLT, NAYLE, Kodiak, Kodiak/X, etc). Adults really only 'take' this training to be able to deliver it to the youth.


You take the training that you need (Basic) and any supplemental training that will help you in your position, whatever it may be, along with the appropriate advanced training when it becomes available.


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You mention safe swim defense and similar courses. There are a variety of training courses related to general safety and to specific activities, not the type of unit you are working with. In particular there are now requirements for aquatics and shooting sports that apply to all levels of scouting. In addition to the on line youth protection available to and required for all, there is now a course on weather hazards (I forget the exact title). At least one of the named adult leaders on a tour permit will be required to have the relevant training. You need to research the Guide to Safe Scouting and look at the current tour permit form to identify these additional requirements.

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