Outdoor Training

Outdoor adventure is the promise made to young people when they join Scouting. Scouts yearn for outdoor programs that stir their imagination and interest. In the Outdoors, we strive to meet the Aims of Scouting.

Character Development

In the outdoors, Scouts have opportunities to acquire skills that make them more self-reliant. They can explore canoe and hiking trails and complete challenges they first thought were beyond their ability. Attributes of good character become part of them as they learn to cooperate to meet outdoor challenges that may include extreme weather, difficult trails and portages, and dealing with nature’s unexpected circumstances.


Good youth leadership, communication, and teamwork enable them to achieve goals they have set for themselves, their patrol, and their troop. This working together through the patrol and troop teaches active citizenship. 

Personal Fitness

Scouts are challenged in the outdoor adventure and high adventure and are pushed physically and mentally to accomplish tasks of the outdoors. 


Scouts plan and carry out activities from start to finish. With thoughtful guidance from their Scoutmaster and other adult leaders scouts make a plan and carry out this plan. Learning by doing is a hallmark of outdoor education. A youth or adult leader may describe and demonstrate a Scouting skill at a weekly meeting, but the way Scouts truly learn outdoor skills is to do it themselves on a troop outing.

To prepare leaders to provide safe, high quality outdoor Scouting programs, important training is required.

Hazardous Weather Training (SCO_800)

All “direct contact” leaders are required to take BSA’s Hazardous Weather Training every two years to be considered fully trained in their position. Here’s who is a “direct contact” leader:

  • Cub Scouts – Cubmaster, Assistant Cubmaster, Den Leader, Assistant Den Leader, Tiger Den Leader, Webelos Den Leader, Assistant Webelos Den Leader
  •  Scouts BSA – Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster
  •  Venturing – Advisor, Associate Advisor
  •  Sea Scouting – Skipper, Mate
  •  Exploring – Advisor, Associate Advisor

Hazardous Weather Training is available at any time online as part of the Training section of My.Scouting.org. If you’ve never visited this site before, you’ll need to click the “create account” button and then follow the instructions; have your BSA membership ID number handy. The course is only offered online through the Training section of My.Scouting.org.

Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation (BALOO)

Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation (BALOO) is the Cub Scout leader training required for any Cub Scout den or pack outdoor event, including pack camping overnighters and Webelos den overnighters. It is designed as an introduction to the Cub Scout outdoor program.  BALOO training is comprised of two components—an online component and a practical, hands-on component. Both components must be completed to qualify as a “TRAINED” Cub Scout leader. The online component in the BSA Learn Center must be completed prior to the practical component. The online training contains introductory and basic information that will be built upon during the practical training.  BSA’s Cub Scout level camping policies will be taught along with the discovery of the necessary tools to help units carry out successful camping experiences. 

Completion of this course is mandatory for a MINIMUM OF ONE adult on a Pack overnighter or Webelos den overnighter. 

Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills (IOLS)

Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills (IOLS) is required for all Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters, builds and expands on the concepts and themes introduced in Scoutmaster Position-Specific Training, and provides Scouters with the confidence to safely take youth into the outdoors. Specifically, this hands-on program gives adult leaders a practical introduction to the patrol method of a Scout-led troop by teaching many of the practical outdoor skills they need to safely 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 skills sessions presented in IOLS closely follow the Scouts BSA Handbook. These skills sessions, in conjunction with the handbook, help new leaders become proficient in teaching many of the basic outdoor skills through First Class rank as they gain exposure to the patrol method, numerous teaching methods, and a variety of learning games. Each skills session references specific chapters in the handbook and highlights advancement requirements.

Hands-on participation is the best learning tool, and this course models the techniques used by effective Scoutmasters, advisors, and other leaders in the Scouting program. Attendees will see and experience different aspects of how Scouting works while playing the role of Scouts in a troop. Participants should leave the training experience with a full understanding of how the patrol method operates, a feeling of comfort in safely working with and instructing their Scouts, and an increased level of confidence taking Scouts outdoors safely.