In early April, BSA announced the completion of online training for unit leaders. This doesn’t mean group training is going away. However, adding this service gives you access at any time to get trained. Scouting U explained it like this:

“Content [is now available] for all programs …around-the-clock on the BSA Learn Center by logging in to Learners who prefer to complete their courses in a face-to-face classroom environment can find course dates by contacting their local district and/or council.

Logging in was a bit tougher than I had expected:

  1. Log onto
  2. Click on “BSA Learn Center” (look to your right under the Youth Protection Shield, then click on the BSA Learn Center in red).
  3. Pick your program under Program Specific Training (Venturing, Boy Scouting or Cub Scouting).
  4. Select a training program for your position (see below).

eLearning-for-Boy-Scout-leaders-2Once you are in, you will build your own training catalog. Modules range from five to 15 minutes in length, and they are designed to be completed at your own pace—all at once or one at a time, but always when you need them.

The modules are grouped into three learning plans:

  • Complete before the first meeting
  • Complete within the first 30 days in your volunteer role
  • Complete to become “position trained”

Each module records what you’ve done and where you are, so you can return to review any section at any time.

For most positions, there are three hours or less of total training. Best of all, you can take what you need when you want to take it in the convenience of your home. If you are not sure what your catalog should include, just click here for Position Trained Requirements for all ScoutingPrograms.Your Learning Plan Catalog

Courses include:

  • All Venturing, Boy Scout and Cub Scout training (except Intro to Outdoor Leader Skills), including Leader-specific Training and orientation courses.
  • For Committees, this new training replaces the old Committee Challenge
  • There is a new module for Merit Badge Counselor training/
  • All of these trainings, when complete, will update the individuals training record automatically if you log in with your member number the first time to set up your account (get your member number from your unit’s internet advancement coordinator).

In their announcement, Scouting U said they were “pleased to bring learning closer to home with the launch of Boy Scout eLearning content.”

Working closely with a team of Boy Scout program experts and experienced volunteers, specific content was developed to provide a high-quality learning experience while creating an additional training option for leaders and volunteers who need to complete their position-specific training requirements for the Boy Scout program.

Nineteen modules, each ranging from 4-12 minutes in length, were designed to be viewed over a period of time, and can be completed on any time of day, from any location. These modules are a valuable resource for leaders to refer to when needed.

For unit and assistant unit leaders, completion of the required eLearning modules for your role — in addition to the completion of the Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills (IOLS) face-to-face course — will trigger you as position-trained in the BSA Learn Center.

These online modules replace the Troop Committee Challenge for position-trained requirements for Committee Chairs and Committee Members. If you are already position trained, it will not affect your trained status.

Last fall, as Scouting U launched the new BSA Learn Center, they said it was designed “to provide new and robust methods of delivering learning to leaders” and it is “self-paced, allowing the volunteer to complete the training as quickly as they would like.”

They also suggested:

“Keep up to date on new content by selecting the “What’s New” tab in the BSA LearnCenter. New content will be added regularly to support our volunteers.”

So what’s next? To be a completely trained Boy Scout, Varsity Scout or Venturing Leader you’ll need BSA’s Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills (IOLS). 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. Along with Scoutmaster Specifics this course is required of all direct contact leaders registered in Boy Scout Troops and Varsity Scout Teams, in order to be considered “trained”.

Darryl Alder
Darryl is a retired career Scouter with more than 30 years of service. These days he is a Scouting Ambassador and serves on the Council Membership and Marketing Committee. However, his pride in Scouting is his volunteer service as an Associate Advisor, Varsity Scout Coach, Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, Chartered Organization Representative, and Commissioner.

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