Training FAQs

Orange County Council BSA Training Policy – 

Updated January 2019

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Is Youth Protection required and mandatory for all adult volunteers?

Yes.  All adult volunteers are required to complete Youth Protection training before they start as a volunteer, and every two years thereafter.  By October 1, 2018, all new and currently registered leaders will be required to complete the updated training.  The enhanced and updated content will allow leaders and councils to comply with all current legal requirements.  While this may be inconvenient for some, it reflects the BSA’s commitment to the safety of all youth

  • Adults accompanying units on activities who are present at the activity for 72 hours or more, must also take Youth Protection Training. Youth Protection training is mandatory for any volunteer who participates in an outing lasting longer than 72 hours.
  • New Leader are required to take Youth Protection Training prior to completing the registration process.
  • Units cannot re-charter unless all unit leaders have completed the new YPT within two years.
  • Adult Youth Protection Training is required for adult program participants 18 years or older. Adult program participant (Venturing, Order of the Arrow, Exploring) must complete adult Youth Protection Training before submitting their adult application.
  1. What are the BSA youth Protection?

The BSA strives to prevent child abuse through comprehensive policies and procedures, which include the following safeguards to serve as barriers to abuse.

  • Ongoing youth protection education for all volunteers, parents and Scouts.
  • A formal selection and screen process for adult leaders and staff that includes criminal background checks.
  • A volunteer Screening Database system to prevent the registration of individuals who do not meet the BSA’s standards due to know or suspected abuse or misconduct inside or outside the organization.

Requiring two or more adult leaders be present with youth at all time.

Youth protection begins with you.  All units, adult leaders, and youth members have responsibility to enforce youth protection program policies.  Our education and training programs are specifically designed to teach Scouts, parents, and adult volunteers to recognize, respond, and report abuse-in and out of Scouting.

  1. Who is required to take Hazardous Weather training?

All direct contact positions are now required to take Hazardous Weather to be consider position training, effective April 30, 2018.  Direct contact positions are Cubmaster (CM), Den Leaders (DL), Webelos Den Leaders (WL); Scoutmasters (SM); Leaders of 11 -year old Scouts – LDS; Crew Advisors (NL); Skipper (SK); Post Advisor (AA).  Course can be taking by going to

  1. I’ve been in Scouting since I was a youth, why do I need to go to training?

Many of our Scouters have years of experience and we value their knowledge.  We invite them to join our training teams.  Unfortunately, about half of the direct contact leaders in the council have not completed their required position training.  Having 100% trained leaders is the best way to achieve the highest quality program and Scouting experience which our youth deserve. Additionally, from a risk management standpoint, given the nature of what we do in Scouting and the outdoor environment in which we take both our youth members and our adult volunteers, documented trained leaders are absolutely necessary in order to protect our volunteers, the Orange County Council and the Boy Scouts of America from exposure to unwarranted legal liability actions.

  1. I took training years ago but it doesn’t show on my record. Do I have to take it again?

Over the years training courses and their names have changed.  If you have a training certificate or other information about the training you had such as year, name of the course, place and instructor, you could be given credit for the course.  Contact your Unit Commissioner or District Training Chair.

  1. How will I know if I need to do training and which courses to take?

Your Unit Commissioner, and District Training Chair will work together to give a training report to your unit committee chair who will let you know what training you need to complete.  Some courses are available online at where you took your Youth Protection Training and others are “live” courses. The “Live” course calendar are posted on our council website under training calendar. You can also download our “What Makes a Trained Leader” syllabus and see what course you need to take based on your Scouting position.

  1. What if I can’t attend the training course I need to be “Trained”? What is my next option?

The council and districts will be providing training courses multiple times throughout the year.  As mentioned above, several of the courses are available online in “My Dashboard” where you took your online Youth Protection Training through In some cases, you can request your District Training Team to bring the necessary training directly to your unit. You will have ample opportunities to complete your training requirements and you can take the training in any district or council.  Summer camps often offer required training as well.  If you take training at a summer camp or out of council, be sure to send a copy of your training certificate to Kim Whitaker, the Council Registrar, to update your records.

  1. Who are Direct Contact Leaders?

Direct Contact Leaders are those who have face-to-face interactions with youth.  They include Cubmasters, Asst. Cubmasters, Den Leaders, Asst. Den Leaders, Scoutmasters, Asst. Scoutmasters, Venture Crew Advisors and Asst. Advisors, and Sea Scout Advisors.

  1. Do Indirect Contact Leaders need training too?

Yes, all registered leaders need to have the required training for their positions. We encourage all Indirect Contact Leaders to complete their training as soon as possible, most of which is available online at, but they are allowed until Dec. 31, 2018 to complete it.

  1. I’m currently trained as a Webelos Den Leader but plan on registering as an Asst. Scoutmaster when my son joins a troop. Do I have to complete all of my new training by the end of the year?       

Not necessarily. Any leader who registers after Oct. 1st has until Dec. 31st of the following year to complete the required training.  We encourage those leaders to do the online “Joining” and “Orientation” training and complete the required training courses as soon as possible.  If you change positions prior to Oct. 1st you need to complete the basic training requirements before December 31st of the same year (preferably before your unit re-charters at the end of that year.  A leader who assumes a position that also requires Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skills (IOLS) has until December 31st of the year immediately following the year he/she assumed the new position to complete IOLS.

  1. What is IOLS Training?

IOLS is Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skill.   IOLS is a two days program that provides Scouter with the confidence to take youth into the outdoors.  Specifically, this hands-on-program gives adult leaders a practical introduction to the patrol method of a boy-led-troop by teaching many of the practical outdoor skills they need to lead Scouts in the out-of-doors.  In addition, the teaching methods, activities, and games model the variety of teaching used in effective and engaging Scouting programs.  The sills sessions presented in IOLS closely follow the Boy Scout Handbook, trainers can be sure new leaders are proficient in many of the basic outdoors skills through First Class rank, and gain exposure to the patrol method and numerous teaching methods and learning games.

  1. What is a BALOO Training?

BALOO is Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation.  This is a two days program designed as introduction to the Cub Scout outdoor program for those leaders who are interested in adding a camping component to their pack activities.  BALOO is an instructor-led course which is conducted at the District and Council level.  BSA’s Cub Scout level camping policies will be taught along with necessary tools to help units carry out successful camping experience.

  1. Whose responsibility is it to keep track of training records and make sure all training is completed and up to date?

Ultimately, it’s up to the Unit Key Leadership team and the individual leader to be responsible for tracking required training and making sure that Youth Protection Training is updated every two years.  Unit Commissioners and District Training Chairs can access online training records to assist in this.  Official training record validation is located in the Training Manager in, and each unit should have a designated member of the unit committee (Training Coordinator), whose responsibility it is to keep the records up to date. As an individual volunteer, you can access your entire training record in “My Dashboard” in where you took your Youth Protection Training. In doing so, make sure you have linked your account to your membership number (located on your membership card) and to the Orange County Council (#039–Santa Ana). If courses are missing from your training record, follow-up as was discussed under question No. 5, above.