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WFA: Required or not?

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Hi. What are the actual BSA rules regarding WFA training?

Is it mandatory or optional?
Is there anything your Troop is restricted from doing if you do not have leaders trained in WFA?  (within obvious reason following basic safety and common sense - and having regular 'Trained' leaders)

Not trying to skirt any rules here, just want to know what the actual BSA rules / requirements are.

Thanks.

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https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/safety-moments/wilderness-first-aid/

 

Only required by BSA when going to a BSA High Adventure base.  Other camps that have trek programs may require it as well, following the same guidelines.  If you don't expect to be taking your group to any BSA HA, I would still say it's a good idea to have gone through the training, but paying to re-certify every two years may not be necessary.

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As @HashTagScouts posted, WRFA is only required at one of the national high adventure bases, where you must have at least one certified person (2 for Philmont treks).  As a WRFA instructor, I can attest to how in depth the training can be.  I recommend that every unit that does any kind of multi-day backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, etc. have someone who has taken the course.

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Correct, if you show up to Sea Base for example without have WFA they will make the entire crew waste a day and take it.  They are not happy about it.

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Does anyone know when they took out the "more than 30 minutes from help" rule? I remember when WFA first came out, that requirement was in place as well. I know a few units complained because that 30 minute rule affected their troop meetings.

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23 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Does anyone know when they took out the "more than 30 minutes from help" rule? I remember when WFA first came out, that requirement was in place as well. I know a few units complained because that 30 minute rule affected their troop meetings.

"They" never had such a rule......Are you confusing this with when the H/W chart on the AHMR applies?    https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/ahmr/medical-formfaqs/  

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Wow!  Seven responses - that's quick.  Sorry for not responding personally to each one individually, but I will start off by saying "Thanks!"

So, WFA is recommended, but not required, for any Troop activity except for BSA HA locations (then you need one or two in your unit to participate at that location).

I understand that more training is better, however, it's not going to hinder our activities (except BSA HA) on a normal basis to meet BSA requirements for trained adults, etc...

Again, thank you all for the quick responses.  Much appreciated.

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According to this webpage, The Summit is included in the list of BSA High Adventure Bases.

https://www.scouting.org/careers/employment-opportunities/high-adventure-bases/

However, when I examine the website and materials available for The Summit,  ( http://www.summitbsa.org/ )I see no mention at all of WFA as a requirement for units who attend their programs.

To be more specific, is WFA a requirement only for Philmont, Northern Tier, and Florida Sea Base?

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Does anyone know how to *find* a BSA-approved WFA course?

Scouting.org refers visitors to three sources - ARC, ESCI, and ACA. (“A participant who successfully completes a 16-hour WFA course based on BSA curriculum will be certified as a WFA provider. This certification is valid for two years through any of the course providers listed below.”)

—> ARC has nothing in my area and the search function won’t let me cast a wider net except searching city by city.

—> ESCI doesn’t appear to offer courses itself but sells materials and certifies instructors. It does not offer an instructor search function that sorts by type of course.

—> ACA only recognizes WFA from ESCI and Sierra Rescue, which operates on the opposite side of the country.

If I take a WFA course through REI, NOLS, WMA, or SOLO, those appear to not count. Anyone else sorted this out?

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4 minutes ago, shortridge said:

Does anyone know how to *find* a BSA-approved WFA course?

Scouting.org refers visitors to three sources - ARC, ESCI, and ACA. (“A participant who successfully completes a 16-hour WFA course based on BSA curriculum will be certified as a WFA provider. This certification is valid for two years through any of the course providers listed below.”)

—> ARC has nothing in my area and the search function won’t let me cast a wider net except searching city by city.

—> ESCI doesn’t appear to offer courses itself but sells materials and certifies instructors. It does not offer an instructor search function that sorts by type of course.

—> ACA only recognizes WFA from ESCI and Sierra Rescue, which operates on the opposite side of the country.

If I take a WFA course through REI, NOLS, WMA, or SOLO, those appear to not count. Anyone else sorted this out?

I know Northern Tier is running a WFA training course this December, and the instructors are NOLS certified.  Seems kinda odd for the BSA to say that you need ARC, ESCI, or ACA WFA training when they're using NOLS to train their own staff. 

If you're targeting a specific HA base, send them a quick email to see if they'd accept other courses.  If it's for a troop level activity, I think any full weekend WFA training would be enough.  As far as tracking down the courses - ask around at Roundtable to see what other units have done in the past.  Your district or council training team may have some leads as well.

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I took my training through SOLO. The course was set up by a neighboring council, though my council also uses them (being they are based in New England I would presume).

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4 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Does anyone know when they took out the "more than 30 minutes from help" rule? I remember when WFA first came out, that requirement was in place as well. I know a few units complained because that 30 minute rule affected their troop meetings. 

 

4 hours ago, RichardB said:

"They" never had such a rule......Are you confusing this with when the H/W chart on the AHMR applies?    https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/ahmr/medical-formfaqs/   

But my Girl Scout council currently has such a rule.   Could you be thinking of a different scouting organization's rule?

Quote

"First Aid. Be prepared. Ensure the presence of a first-aid kit and volunteer with current
certification in first aid, including adult and child CPR or CPR/AED, and one who is prepared to
handle cases of abrasions, sprains, and fractures. When camping or hiking, if any part of the
activity is located 30 minutes or more from emergency medical services, ensure the presence
of a first-aider with wilderness first-aid training. See Volunteer Essentials for information about
first-aid standards and training."

 

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2 hours ago, shortridge said:

Does anyone know how to *find* a BSA-approved WFA course?

Scouting.org refers visitors to three sources - ARC, ESCI, and ACA. (“A participant who successfully completes a 16-hour WFA course based on BSA curriculum will be certified as a WFA provider. This certification is valid for two years through any of the course providers listed below.”)

—> ARC has nothing in my area and the search function won’t let me cast a wider net except searching city by city.

—> ESCI doesn’t appear to offer courses itself but sells materials and certifies instructors. It does not offer an instructor search function that sorts by type of course.

—> ACA only recognizes WFA from ESCI and Sierra Rescue, which operates on the opposite side of the country.

If I take a WFA course through REI, NOLS, WMA, or SOLO, those appear to not count. Anyone else sorted this out?

Excellent point!  I went down the same confusing, scouting.org path early last year, with no success, until my council advertised the training through a local scouter who conducts it once or twice the year.   He is ARC qualified but the ARC search function didn't show him, nor did anything at the council website.  It was only when I was fully at a standstill that I received a council email, out of the blue.

The info at scouting.org was not the least bit helpful.

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