The Foundation of Scouting
Scout Oath: On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
Scout Law: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
Scout Mission: The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
As a Scout, in addition to your troop’s weekly meetings, outings, and long-term adventures, there are various large events for you to experience individually, with your troop, or as part of a special group.
The National Jamboree is the Boy Scouts of America’s flagship event. Held every four years, this ten day gathering for thousands of Scouts showcases everything that is great about Scouting.
Jamboree-on-the-Internet, or JOTI, held annually the third full weekend in October, is an international Scouting event sponsored by the World Organization of the Scout Movement. Scouts from around the world gather online communicating with each other using Internet-enabled devices such as computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.
Jamboree-on-the-Air, or JOTA, is an international Scouting event sponsored by the World Organization of the Scout Movement. Scouts from around the world communicate with each other using amateur or “ham” radio.
The National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC) is a major biannual event for members of Scouting’s national honor society.
The World Scout Jamboree is a gathering of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in a celebration of cultural exchange, mutual understanding, peace, and friendship. Held approximately every four years, in a different country each time, this gathering of thousands of Scouts from all over the world showcases everything that is great about Scouting.
A number of opportunities such as training courses, summer jobs, scholarships, and special programs are available to members of Scouts BSA.
National Youth Leadership Training is an exciting, action-packed program designed for councils to provide youth members with leadership skills and experience they can use in their home troops and in other situations demanding leadership of self and others. It is a prerequisite for National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience.
National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience is an exciting program that enhances leadership skills and expands upon the team-building and ethical decision-making skills learned in NYLT. NAYLE is offered at all four BSA High Adventure Bases.)
National Eagle Scout Association [NESA]
The NESA website provides information about becoming a member, assistance for Life Scouts pursuing the Eagle rank, information about scholarships for Eagle Scouts, and an array of resources for members.
Outdoor Adventures for Older Scouts
There are a variety of outdoor opportunities available for older Scouts (those who are at least 13 years old or have completed the seventh grade)
BSA High Adventure Bases
The BSA operates four national high-adventure bases, each with its own unique program opportunities:
- Philmont Scout Ranch , often referred to as Scouting’s premier high adventure base, is where Scouts can experience a life-changing, backpacking trek through some of nature’s most beautiful mountain scenery, along with a host of activities associated with an array of backcountry, staffed camps.
- Florida Sea Base offers a variety of specialized tropical adventures like coral reef sailing, offshore fishing and underwater exploration.
- Northern Tier is the BSA’s premier winter, wilderness camping program, and offers summer canoeing expeditions in Northern Minnesota and Canada.
- The Summit Bechtel Reserve is the home of the national jamboree. It’s also the site of the Paul R. Christen National High Adventure Base offering BMX, skateboarding, mountain biking, zip lines, canopy tours, challenge courses, climbing, shooting sports and more. Additionally, the Summit is the home of the James C. Justice National Scout Camp providing programs focused on advancement and Scouting traditions.
This section provides a variety of materials, from quick references to complete courses, all designed to help our members improve leadership skills and deliver a quality program. Many of the courses can be taken online. A log-in is required; however, anyone may create a user account and view the courses. Registered members of the BSA may provide their member numbers (as part of the user profile) to receive credit.
General Cub ScoutingScouts BSA VenturingSea Scouts
Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops (ILST)
The purpose of the ILST course is to teach Scouts with leadership positions about their new roles and how to most effectively reach success in that role. It is intended to help Scouts in leadership positions within their troop understand their responsibilities and to equip them with organizational and leadership skills to fulfill those responsibilities. ILST is the first course in the series of leadership training offered to Scouts and is a replacement for Troop Leadership Training. Completion of ILST is a prerequisite for Scouts to participate in the more advanced leadership courses National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) and the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE). It is also required to participate in a Kodiak Challenge Trek.
Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews (ILSC)
The purpose of the Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews course is to teach crew members with leadership positions about their new roles and how to most effectively reach success in that role. It is intended to help Venturers in leadership positions within their crew understand their responsibilities and to equip them with organizational and leadership skills to fulfill those responsibilities. Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews is the first course in the series of leadership training offered to Venturers and is a replacement for the Venturing Leadership Skills Course. Completion of Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews is a prerequisite for Venturers to participate in the more advanced leadership courses National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) and the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE). It is also required for Kodiak.
Introduction to Leadership Skills for Ships (ILSS)
ILSS is intended to help Sea Scouts in leadership positions within their ship understand their responsibilities and to equip them with organizational and leadership skills to fulfill those responsibilities. ILSS replaces the Venturing Leadership Skills Course (VLSC) and is a prerequisite for Sea Scouts to participate in the more advanced leadership courses (i.e., National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE) and the Kodiak Challenge).
Welcome to Den Chief Training!
Scouts wishing to become den chiefs need to take this course. The module identifies den chief responsibilities and tasks, and describes the den chief’s relationship to the adult den leaders and how that relates to the den chief’s activities with the den. After finishing the training, den chief candidates receive their certificate of completion.
Venturing Crew Officers Orientation
This training module is geared primarily to Venturing youth that are elected into positions as officers within their Venturing crew, but it can also be used by adult leaders to learn the duties of the officers in the crew. This course is very useful for youth officers to fully understand their roles and responsibilities as it relates to Crew Officers Briefings and Seminars. This course will help the youth develop an annual plan of activities for the crew, as well as acquiring leadership and team-building skills. Estimated time to complete: 45 minutes.
Youth Leadership Growth Opportunities
The Boy Scouts of America provides opportunities for youth to develop and improve their leadership skills in the unit, in the local council, and at national training centers. Click here to find out more about what leadership courses would be of the most benefit to you or your youth.
Venturing Goal Setting & Time Management Training Module
Below is the instructor’s guide for the Venturing Goal Setting and Time Management Training Module. This course will provides a fun, interactive learning experience in learning Time Management in a in a 3 ½ hour time period. The presentation of this module can be split up to accommodated to meet the needs of the crew. Completing this training module will fulfills the Venturing Discovery Award requirement for the goal setting-time management training course.
Mentoring for Venturing
Below is the instructor’s guide for the Mentoring for Venturing. This course will provides a interactive learning experience on Mentoring in a in a 2 hours. The presentation of this module can be split up to accommodated to meet the needs of the crew. Completing this training module will fulfills the Venturing Summit Award requirement for the Mentoring training course.
The Kodiak Challenge is designed to be an adventure that pushes the boundaries of every participant – one that will encourage you to try new things that may be out of your comfort zone. It is an experience—but one that has its underpinnings in the application of the leadership skills they learned in the Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops or Crews, NYLT, and/or NAYLE. It is, as is all of Scouting, an adventure with a purpose
National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE)
National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience is an exciting program that enhances leadership skills and expands upon the team-building and ethical decision-making skills learned in NYLT. NAYLE emphasizes leadership, teamwork, and selfless service, and uses the core elements of NYLT to help youth internalize and strengthen these skills. The National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience course is available at Philmont and The Summit. The material presented is basically the same at both venues but is site-specific.
Philmont offers participants an unforgettable backcountry experience where they use their NAYLE leadership skills to resolve exciting and challenging issues. Participants are introduced to and have an opportunity to build upon the legacy of Waite Phillips, the benefactors of Philmont Scout Ranch.
To register for Philmont NAYLE, go to
www.myscouting.org , and click on the Events Registration tab.
Bechtel Summit NAYLE
The Bechtel Summit offers participants an experience at the newest High Adventure base of the Boy Scouts of America. Participants will use their NYLT leadership skills to resolve exciting and challenging issues.
National Youth Leadership Training
National Youth Leadership Training is an exciting, action-packed program designed for councils to provide youth members with leadership skills and experience they can use in their home troops.
NYLT Leadership Academy
The NYLT Leadership Academy trains youth staff to be top-notch presenters, evaluators, and leaders of their councils’ National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) courses. This intensive one-week course will improve course (NYLT) knowledge and problem-solving skills, which will help them run world-class NYLT programs.
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2019 NYLT Leadership Academy Participant Registration
2019 NYLT Leadership Academy Staff Registration
Open to both registered adults and youth who are at least 13 and have completed the 8th grade, Powder Horn is a hands-on resource management course designed to give you the contacts and tools necessary to conduct an awesome high-adventure program in your troop, team, crew, or ship. Contact your area training chair for information about upcoming courses in your area.
Hazardous Weather training must be completed by Direct Contact Leaders to be considered position trained. The module presents safety precautions for eight different types of weather, as well as planning, preparation, and traditional weather signs. You will answer questions about the topics after each section. Completion is noted automatically in the BSA training records database and is only available online. Estimated time to complete: 40 minutes.
Venturing Project Management
This training is designed to prepare Venturers to effectively manage projects. It leads them through each essential step, including initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing.
Medical Form (Activity less than 72 hours)
Medical Form (Activity more than 72 hours)
New Unit Application
This FAQ will hopefully answer your questions on how you can join your local Scouting program as a Scout, Parent or Volunteer.
- How old (or young) can a youth be to join Scouting?
- Is there a Scouting unit in my area?
- Must I be a U.S. citizen to join Scouting?
- Are Cub Scouts the same as Scouts BSA members? What about Venturers?
- How often do Cub Scouts meet?
- May parents attend meetings?
- What supplies and equipment are needed to participate in Scouting?
- Where can I purchase BSA literature, uniforms, and other program materials?
- How can I save money on the cost of uniforms and equipment?
- What are the Scout Oath and Scout Law?
- Does the Boy Scouts of America have paid employees?
- If I don’t know much about camping and the outdoors, how could I be a good Scout leader?
- My family is very busy; how would I have time to be an effective leader?
- Can women be Scout leaders?
- Is training available?
- How do I know what activities are age-appropriate for Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, and Venturing?
- How do I know what to do with the Scouts?
- How can I become an adult volunteer?
- Must individuals who are serving as a merit badge counselor register as a merit badge counselor with the Boy Scouts of America?
- What is the minimum age requirement for merit badge counselors?
- Once a volunteer is registered and approved as a merit badge counselor, is that registration for life?
- How many merit badges can a merit badge counselor support?
- Can merit badge counselors coach their own sons, daughters or close relatives (for instance, a niece or nephew)?
- Can a merit badge counselor require a Scout to work beyond the specific requirements of the merit badge in order to challenge the Scout and allow him or her to discover more about the subject?
- What happens when the weather, locale, or some other circumstance makes meeting all of the conditions of the merit badge requirements impractical? Can substitute requirements be created for those stated?
- If the requirements for a merit badge on the required list for the Eagle Scout rank vary among the Scouts BSA Handbook, the merit badge pamphlet, and the Scouts BSA Requirements book (current edition), which resource takes precedence?
- What are the religious emblems programs?
- I have a unit with children of all different faiths. How can I include the religious emblems programs for my unit?
- If the religious emblems program for a faith has more than one level (for the different grade levels), may the Scout earn all of these recognitions?
- Where is the religious emblem worn on the uniform?
- How do we get started on the religious awards programs?
- Who may serve as a counselor for the religious emblem?
- What is the adult religious recognition program?
- Which religious emblem square knot should I wear?
Hours of Operation:
9:00am – 6:00pm Monday – Friday
10:00am – 4:00pm Saturday