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Scouting Forums

Convincing volunteers

You are spot on. As is KeithSmith4, the experienced poster in this thread.

Things have changed so much from a “what is required to be part of the program” standpoint since I was a cub/boy scout. I’m not a wilting daisy, but even I have balked at what my council has asked of me when approaching new parents.

The ideas posted here so far aren’t solutions; they are coping mechanisms. You hit the nail on the head when you keyed in on “if this organization is going to survive.” YPT is a great idea; so is mandatory two-deep. But there has got to be a middle ground when it comes to required training; especially for those of us who fill multiple roles.

The best professional leaders among us; lawyers, doctors, engineers, etc. just don’t usually need the 30+ hours of online instruction to be den leaders/cub masters, etc. Moreover, taking that time out of our schedule can significantly impact time we have to actually plan/do the role(s).

I would be in strong favor of required YPT with opt-out role training for those of us who are Eagle Scouts or some other metric to avoid blacklash from parents who are confronted with a mountain of work to be part of an organization that competes against sports, etc.

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–deleting my own comment because I misunderstood comments above… sorry, ignore me!

The ONLY training the BSA requires is Youth Protection Training (every 2 years) to be a registered leader. If you want to take Cub Scouts camping, one leader must be BALOO trained. For high adventure bases, there must be some leaders trained in Wilderness First Aid. All leaders should take Hazardous Weather Training (required for direct contact leaders to be trained).

If you have more training requirements, these are coming from your council, not the BSA. You should speak to your council if they have added additional requirements that you feel are onerous.

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You misread my post. Role training would be training for being a cubmaster, den leader, etc.

Ahhh I see now. I’ll scratch it as now I understand!

Just because someone is an Eagle Scout, does not mean they have the knowledge to be a Cubmaster, Den Leader, Scoutmaster, etc. There is more in the position training than skills learned earning Eagle (which for some leaders, may have been 10 years or more ago).


While your statement sounds good, I’ve found that those who can’t find the time to take the training also are those who will show up to the meeting and start flipping through the book to figure out what they are going to do. The training isn’t anything earth shattering, but it’s more of a litmus test of how committed the individual is.


Hi Erik,

I completely feel your pain. I’m the Committee Chair instead of the Cubmaster but I wear the rest of the hats you do and have had a similar experience with asking parents directly to take on a role. Right now, our council is withholding our recharter because one of my new parents/Lion Den Leader hasn’t done ALL of the online training. She’s a busy working mom who also leads a Girl Scout Troop in addition to her son’s Lion Den. I’m so very frustrated. Like you, I see how worthwhile Scouting is and I don’t want to see the Pack fold, but last Fall I got to the point where I was just done. I made it known that I was drowning and ready to jump ship.

My den leaders are what saved the pack. I have one who doesn’t feel she has the skills to be a Webelos Leader next year so we will be switching positions. I’m currently teaching her the different roles. Some of my new Lion Den leaders this year will probably be more comfortable and willing to take the lead on planning activities and they are very good at rallying their den’s parents to help out.

I’ve basically stopped asking people to officially serve on our committee because of the hours it takes to be fully trained. Our committee is made up of the den leaders and we ask others to do one-off jobs.

Dilworth - can you share your sheet? I would love to see a “one pager” that sums that up. I always seem to get too “verbose” when attempting this.

I agree Ed. As an Eagle Scout, and life long learner, I had no issue doing the online training for Cubs, BALOO for cubs, and IOLS. Not only where these required for training, I learned a lot. I may have known most / all that was covered, I learned what others learn from the training, the quality of the the training, and can give those who need to take it a summary of what they will learn.

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I’ll also agree with this. Cub Scouts are different from Scouts BSA, than from Venturing, etc. The perspective, and responsibilities of an adult are also very different from a youth leader. The program changes, times change. All of this means that every leader should seek training opportunities whenever they are presented. Even if you already know the material, it is good to get a refresher, or to learn a new way of doing something. Even participating in the class and contributing your own experience is valuable. Your job learning to be a better scouter doesn’t ever stop.


Hello Erik,

Welcome to the forum and thank you for your hard work. I suggest using the Selecting Cub Scout Leadership.pdf (174.0 KB) guidebook. There are also a bunch of new onboarding guides.

Plus, being a Den Leader has never been easier considering the Scoutbook Den Leader Experience.

-Pete Simpson
District Associate

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Will it help if your pack parents saw your post here? If not, I suggest you take it down and spend some time getting acquainted with things before offering up grirvances. As a parent who spent 6 years as a cub scout leader and another 4 as a troop committee chair - having done virtually all of what you listed for yourself, too - I understand your frustrations, but realize you won’t win over parents by complaining about the system. Let me ask you: Would you be ok with sending your son to a pack that didn’t properly vet their leaders? I wouldn’t, and no parent in their right mind would be willing to take the risk. Although everyone initially complains, the background check is once every 5 years and requires you to write your name, your SSN, and sign it…not exactly what I’d call a difficult hoop to jump through. The training is online and can be completed after dinner any evening or while sipping coffee early in the morning. The app has barely changed in over 10 years, and when parents complain about the cost of their uniform, nod and say, “and you’re gonna look great in it!” Instead of posting complaints here, I can assure you your District Executive would love to guide you through it all and would love to attend a meeting to help get parents into things. Did I mention both of my boys are Eagle Scouts? In fact, one earned the Outstanding Eagle Project in our district last year, and that earned him the role of master of ceremonies at our Eagle Banquet in a couple of weeks. I tell you this because I had the exact same complaints as you did when I started. I was encouraged to volunteer in order to help make things better. Running a pack is no easy feat and it takes constant care and feeding. Some parents don’t think they are cut out for volunteering, but constant encouragement will eventually work. Don’t expect miracles, expect small tokens of assistance in small ways. And always mention how it gets easier when everyone pitches in.

Don’t skirt the rules because by doing so sets a horrible example to your scouts, rather explain to your pack how important it is it follow these important rules so that all our scouts remain safe. This is not just a safe program, it is where young boys learn to become responsible men. They can’t possibly do that if the administrators of their pack are violating the rules.

Happy Scouting!

This is not just a safe program, it is where young boys learn to become responsible men. They can’t possibly do t

To be clear: This is a program where children learn to be adults. My daughters and the Girls in my troop would take offense at the suggestion that BSA is just for boys.


Do your best! Which you are! I was in the same
Situation a Few years ago. I was the committee. My wife thought I was a full time Cubmaster and part time employee. Just do your best. The scouts will benefit from your generosity. I know my sons did. They are now both Eagles. Many Cub Packs and Troops go through the same turmoil. Just do your best. And enjoy the process (I even fired a volunteer, not easy !). I did do everything you did and all I could do is bridge over with my scouts. Good luck. Tom B Long Island NY

YPT training should be simple to resolve - can someone from your Council come and do an in-person training? We scheduled this meeting very early on in the scout year, council rep came in and taught the training to all parents and un-trained leaders. Trained leaders/committee members worked with the youth on the Protect Yourself adventure for each of the levels. Parents and leaders received the training before our first campout and the youth completed the elective all in one night.

Now that doesn’t mean they will volunteer - but at least all parents are on the same page with regards to youth protection and less excuses.

My understanding is that YPT (Y01) course is suppose to be done online Some notable exceptions are:

  • Government requires training to be in person.

Council training committee (or council committee) authorizes face-to-face YPT, for example for:

  • Disabled student is unable to use a computer or mobile device to take online training.
  • Government where located restricts use of Internet.

Some issues:

  • Face to face training is reading of the online slides
  • Instructor may not individually test students because it is extra work to grade individual tests
  • Extra paper records storage and retention requirements
  • Extra data entry requirements (labor required)
  • How is completion recorded for parents handled?


try this as a starting point for an orentation sheet for your cub or scout group

dilworth brintonjr

commissioner since 1974’

WELCOME TO PACK 365.docx (15.3 KB)


Thank you. This will help us get stated without giving families 20 pages!

Is that an official policy? We’ve had someone come to a pack meeting to train our parents the last two years, and I just saw YPT listed on the course list for our upcoming University of Scouting.