What Makes A Trained Leader?

The percentage of registered leaders in GEC who have completed their basic training is about 30%, a surprisingly low number given the importance of their role in Scouting. These leaders are entrusted with the responsibility of growing tomorrow’s leaders with exceptional guidance, mentoring, coaching, and instruction. And as the tag line proclaims; “every Scout deserves a trained leader”.

Most leaders readily commit to performing well in their roles, and all would agree they don’t walk into the job with the skills required. Well-intentioned, yet untrained leaders likely are unaware of what makes them officially “trained”.  For Boy Scout leaders, here’s the list, compiled from Scouting.org:

Direct-Contact Leaders (must complete the following three trainings)

  • Fast Start: Boy Scouting – 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:
    1. The Troop Meeting
    2. The Troop Committee
    3. The Outdoor Program
    4. Basic Concepts of Scouting
    5. Frequently Asked Questions
  • SM and ASM Leader-specific Training – Leader Specific Training teaches Scoutmasters and assistant Scoutmasters practical ways to instill the eight methods of Scouting into their troop programs.  It is a more detailed introduction to the BSA and to the responsibilities, opportunities, and resources that will ensure a successful troop leadership experience.
  • Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills – Working as patrols, this hands-on course provides adult leaders the practical outdoor skills they need to lead Scouts in the out-of-doors. Upon completion, leaders should feel comfortable teaching Scouts the basic skills required to obtain the First Class rank.

Support Positions

  • Chartered Organization Representative – The COR is head of the “Scouting department” in the organization, and the success of the unit and leadership is ultimately the COR’s responsibility.  This training provides the COR with the resources they need to fulfill their role.
  • Troop Committee Challenge – The goal of the Troop Committee Challenge training is to help each troop committee work as a team to improve the Scouting experience for adult and youth members. This online course focuses on the core beliefs, aims, and methods of Scouting. Specifically, it helps each committee member learn and identify his or her role and responsibilities in support of the adult leaders in the unit to provide a quality troop experience for the Scouts.
  • Merit Badge Counselor Orientation – This presentation provides new and prospective merit badge counselors with the basic knowledge and skills needed to get started, and can serve as a refresher to veterans. It involves a step-by-step overview of the registration and approval process, speaks to the requirement for Youth Protection training, and discusses helpful methods and resources. Participants will learn about their unique role, the process of counseling, and the related BSA national policies and procedures.


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