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Baloo's Bugle

December 2006 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 13, Issue 5
January 2007 Theme

Theme: Poles Apart
Webelos: Fitness & Scientist
Tiger Cub


Training Courses for Cub Scout Leaders
Bill Smith, the Roundtable Guy

It’s time to take a good look at all the opportunities for Cub Scout Leaders to learn new skills and gain a better understanding of the Scouting program.

I want to describe each course so that a leader has a good idea of what to expect at each course, what quality of training awaits them and what they might get out it. The focus will be on: How will this benefit my pack, my den and my son.

Also, I’ll try to forecast the cost, both in dollars and in time. Good Cub Scout leaders tend to be the busiest people and their time is precious. The time to take these courses has to come from somewhere: your pack or den duties, your family, your (paid) job or some other part of your life. Child care is also important to consider when considering taking a training course, so always take time away from home into your plans.

Fast Start

An introduction to Cub Scouting for Cubmasters and den leaders. The quality of the latest online version is excellent and even if you are a trained leader, it’s worth reviewing again.

Who should take it? Everyone, including committee and parents. (It would be great if there were versions for committee members and parents as well.)

Cost: Free and takes about 20 minutes on a computer.

Form: Relaxed, at your pace.

Bill’s advice: A must for all leaders. The descriptions of den and pack meetings are valuable additions. However, beware of older versions, especially the VHS varieties.

Basic: New Leader Essentials and Position Specific.

The fundamentals of the Scouting program and job descriptions for each specific leadership position: Tiger DL, Cub Scout DL, Webelos Scout DL, Cubmaster and Committee member. Both courses usually run together.

Who should take it? All leaders and committee members. Take the Job Specific for your current position. You hold only one position – right?

Cost: Usually free. Put on several times a year, local within your district and takes about 4 hours total for both courses.

Form: Generally relaxed but a bit dull.

Bill’s advice: These two courses cover some essentials that you will need to make your Cub Scout program succeed. They are not the most exciting Scout training, yet are better than reading the Cub Scout Leader Book cover to cover, and you will get to meet and talk to other Scouters. The quality doesn’t vary much from district to district but some trainers do add some sparkle and fun. The videos are not up-to-date on Tiger advancement and some den leaders find them patronizing and condescending.

Cub Scout Roundtables

A monthly get together of Cub Scout leaders in your district where you exchange ideas, learn about activities you might use at your next month’s den and pack meetings, and other resources available from your council and district.

Who should go? All leaders and committee members.

Cost: Almost always free. Put on locally within your district one week day evening per month for about two hours max. A very few provide child care.

Form: Varies from party-like to a visit to a visit to your dentist.

Bill’s advice: The quality of Roundtables I have visited varies widely from district to district and from year to year within the same district. Some are excellent, full of hilarious activities that yet are geared to the ideals of Scouting. Others are ugly-dull, full of infantile cute craft work and long, boring announcements. Most fall somewhere in between. Best advice: go to one. If you find that it helps and is worth your time, continue. If not, stay home with your family and get your advice from Program Helps, the How-To-Book and this website. Occasionally check back in to see if things have improved. At the very least you will get to mingle with other Cub Scouters.

Pow Wow or University of Scouting

A yearly workshop seminar, offering a variety of sessions of activities for Cub Scouters. Usually includes things like games, ceremonies, projects, outdoor stuff, pack admin, pack meetings and, often a lot more.

Who should take it? All leaders and committee. Den Chiefs at some councils.

Cost: From $5 to $20 depending on whether it includes lunch, a book or CD and project materials. It takes a full day (typically Saturday) locally within your council. A few provide child care.

Form: Happy and party-like. Relaxed and genial.

Bill’s advice: Go! These provide some of the best Cub Scout training I have seen. They are mostly staffed by the best trainers available in each council. Many offer wide selection of topics so, if you go as a group, try to cover as many as is practicable. There is often a feeling of excitement and fellowship at these events that many leaders find uplifting and rewarding. Take a camera, notebook or recorder. They are almost always fun and worth the money and time.

Den Chief Training Conference

A workshop that teaches Den Chiefs leadership skills and activities they can use with Cub Scouts and Webelos. In many councils it is part of their Pow Wow of University of Scouting.

Who should take it? All den chiefs and den leaders who use them.

Cost: Usually $10-$20 (includes lunch) but can use up a whole Saturday.

Form: Varied – but mostly fun and genial.

Bill’s advice: Transportation for most is a problem so plan to take them but stay there and learn what they learn.


How to plan, organize and run a pack camp out.

Who should take it? At least one member of your pack committee but several would be better. If your pack camps, it’s a must.

Cost: Typically $5 for food.

Form: Often indoors, relaxed and low key.

Bill’s advice: If your pack camps, send as many people as practicable. The less camping experience they have, the better. The idea is to make pack camping easy and comfortable for all families. No pressure.

Webelos Leader Outdoor Training (OWL)

Provides both current and future Webelos Leaders with an understanding of the Webelos Outdoor Program, with current information and basic skills training they can use to plan, organize and conduct an exciting and interesting program for Webelos Scouts that is consistent with the policies and health and safety guidelines of both the National Council

Who should take it? All Webelos Leaders, assistants and leaders of Bear dens who plan continue into the Webelos program.

Cost: Typically $15-$25. Takes a full weekend at a council camp and may require basic camping equipment.

Form: Somewhat regimented and not as relaxed as a lot of training. Genial and cheerful mood throughout.

Bill’s advice: An absolute must for Webelos Leaders. Even the most experienced campers will get something out of it. There will be lots of time to meet and interact with other WLs.

National Camp School

How to Administer and Lead Cub Scout Day and Resident camps.

Who should take it? Camp administrators and program directors. (Required for certification)

Cost: Fees (high) may be paid by the council but it takes an extended weekend and may entail considerable travel.

Form: Very intense but one continuous party.

Bill’s advice: Probably the most fun I have had at any training.

Philmont Training Center (PTC)

A week long training in the New Mexico Rockies. Courses: Putting "Pizzazz" into Cub Scouting, Cub Scout Outdoor Program, Strictly for Cubmasters, Cub Scout Roundtables, New Directions in Membership Growth, Training Cub Scout Leaders, Webelos Scout Program, Connecting Character with Cub Scouting, Leading Pack Camping, Supercharging Den and Pack Programs, Webelos Scout Program.

Who should take it? Anyone who lives Scouting

Cost: Fees for the week are $405, $285 for spouses and children over 20; $230 for ages 6-20; $145 for ages 3-5; and $50 for 2 and under. Mountain Trek or NAYLE is $305. Also travel expenses and time to New Mexico.

Form: Very relaxed and easy. Good family atmosphere with lots of free time to explore and meet other Scouters. The youth and spouse programs are excellent.

Bill’s advice: I’ve gone to PTC four times and thoroughly enjoyed each one. The staff is mad up of top people from across the country. A huge advantage is that your whole family may go with you – think of it as a family Scouting vacation.

Wood Badge

Wood Badge provides high level leadership training that provides the leadership skills to make a difference. It comprises a six day course (mostly two extended weekends) followed by an application phase that lasts several months.

Who should take it? Serious Scouters.

Cost: About $200 plus a significant commitment in time. Local within your council.

Form: Very intense. Serious and goal directed.

Bill’s advice: Most people obtain great personal benefit from the experience. The leadership skills are applicable to much non-Scouting activities as well. I’m not sure how much your pack will gain from having a leader attend.

Be sure to check out Bill’s “Unofficial Roundtable Site”


If you wish to contact him with a question or comment, go to http://wtsmith.com/rt/gnolmm.html

BSA On-Line learning Center

Have you been to National’s On-Line learning Center??  National has taken all the courses they offer online and put them all together in one spot –


OLC = On Line Learning Center

This site 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.

At the OLC you can find the following E-Learning Courses -

>Youth Protection Training

>Cub Scout Leader Fast Start

>Boy Scout Leader Fast Start

>Venturing Advisor Fast Start

>Safety Afloat

>Safe Swim Defense

These courses can help adult leaders deliver quality Scouting experiences to youth. 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.

They, also, have a multimedia course (They say “on-line exercises” for informational purposes.  It is Venturing Crew Orientation. I am sure they plan to add more in the future

And a link to other helpful training information such as

Soccer and Scouting Basic Training

Courses at Philmont Training Center

So, get yourself organized and get your new leaders through Fast Start.  No more looking around to see where that old VCR tape or DVD went!!

Your new leaders can do these alone or your Pack Trainer can organize a group session and all watch the screen together and talk about it.

Check It Out!!

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