Training

Fox River District Training Chairman: Laura Lane.

Frequent training opportunities are offered. Almost every month leader training is conducted either in our district, or in another district near us. Every boy deserves a TRAINED leader!

You can start this process online by taking Fast Start Training appropriate for your position. Please visit the BSA Online Training Center to begin the process. We suggest you take FAST START and YOUTH PROTECTION training immediately. Don’t worry – they don’t take very long and will help you be the kind of leader your Scouts need you to be.

In addition to Fast Start and Youth Protection, you will also need to take This is Scouting and your Level Specific (Tiger, Cubs, Webelos, Scoutmaster Indoor & Outdoor, Committee, or Commissioner) training in person. These courses are usually offered in a single 4 hour session on a Saturday, or two 2 hour weeknight evenings. After you do this, you will be considered “TRAINED” and will receive a patch to wear on your uniform reflecting that.

After you are TRAINED, consider taking advantage of some of the other opportunities we have to take advanced training.

  • BALOO and OWL are offered each spring, and allow Cub Scout Leaders to camp with their packs and Webelos dens, respectively.
  • The Trainers Edge is the first step to becoming a Pack Trainer, and is also required for Wood Badge.
  • Five Star University, Lord Baden Powell University and various local Pow Wows offer a wide variety of courses, and the opportunity to earn a non-accredited degree from the Boy Scouts of America! You can take these courses from our council, or other councils nearby too!
  • Wood Badge for the 21st Century is offered approximately every other year, and is the pinnacle of training offered in our council. This is a life changing course and will help create leadership skills you can directly apply to your personal life.
  • Religious organizations offer Religious Emblem Counselor Training opportunities.
  • Boy Scout Leaders should plan to attend Scoutmaster Indoor and Outdoor trainings.

You can learn a lot more about training opportunities by visting our council training website: sewistraining.com. You’ll find the link on the left side of every page on this website, and each time we post training opportunities to the front page!


A question recently came up regarding many of the supplemental training courses that the BSA offers, and how long the certification lasts.

Some classes “expire” while others do not. A lot depends on how quickly information changes – for example CPR and First Aid are 2 year certifications because the information within them changes quite frequently. It seems every time we turn around the CPR training changes. And while most First Aid doesn’t really change, sometimes it’s the documentation and reporting portions that change.

Additionally, some of these courses qualify for “taking a refresher” instead of having to take the whole course over again. For example, my Lifeguarding training, which used to be good for 3 years, but is now only good for 2 years, only requires that I have retested each 2 years – not that I completely repeat the course over again. (Although sometimes repeating a class like that is the only way I can take it.)

Here are the other courses I know of that expire:

  • Youth Protection – every two years – available on line
  • Safe Swim Defense – every two years – available on line
  • Visitation training – every two years – local council training
  • Paddle Craft Safety – every three years – local council training
  • Climbing Lead Instructor – every two years – local council training
  • Climbing Instructor – every two years – local council training
  • COPE/Climbing Inspector – every two years – local council training
  • Safety Afloat – every two years – available on line
  • Chainsaw Safety – every two years – local council training
  • Hazardous Weather – every two years – available on line
  • Physical Wellness – every two years – available on line
  • Climb On Safely – every two years – available on line
  • Trek Safely – every two years – available on line
  • Trainers EDGE – every three years – local council training (req for staffing Wood Badge)
  • Paddle Craft Safety – every three years – local council training
  • Aquatics Supervision/Swimming and Water Rescue – every three years – local council training
  • BSA Lifeguard – every TWO years – local council training (changed in 2012 to match Red Cross)
  • Trainer’s EDGE – every three years – local council training
  • National Camping School – good for five camping seasons – regional training on a variety of subject areas
  • NRA RSO / Instructor Training – must be renewed EVERY year on line (with NRA)
  • First Aid – every two years – refreshers available (Red Cross or American Heart)
  • CPR / Heartsaver – every two years – refreshers available (Red Cross or American Heart)

“Position Specific” trainings, like Den Leader, Cubmaster, Committee Member, etc. –  are currently basically “good forever.” I don’t know if the BSA will always look at it that way, but they certainly do for now. And some courses you’re never allowed to take again – at least not in their current form – for example you can only attend Wood Badge for the 21st Century as a participant once.