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IOLS Training On-Line During Covid-19?

Hi all,

I just asked my DE if he was aware of any IOLS training on-line because I have several members that are new ASM’s and need the training. Apparently, not in our district, but I didn’t think about that it doesn’t have to be OUR district – it can be anywhere! So, is anyone aware of IOLS being done on-line?

Thank you!

Thinking back to when I did IOLS, I don’t know how one would do it effectively in an online class.

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Yes, I agree! It was one of the most fun trainings I ever did! I am not an SM, but a Committee Member and did the training to be a better committee member and have a greater understanding of what SM’s are faced with. I’ve been a membership chair since I can’t remember when. But since everything is on-line these days, I have to ask! I understand many Troops are on-line during these times. I am huge on making sure we have a 100% trained troop. And I have guys that will get trained a lot faster if I can find an on-line program. So, ya can’t blame a girl for trying!

I am not aware of any all-online IOLS anywhere.

I think that there are parts of it that could be converted for live online instruction. I worked with our troop’s navigation instructor to develop some PDF tools for teaching map reading and compass use. Many of the recipes and “prep” items could in fact be taught online. However, the primary function of IOLS, the hands-on do-it-in-the-outdoors that’s needed to start developing muscle memory for using a compass, orienting a map, lighting stoves, lanterns, building fires, prepping meals, etc is nearly impossible to deliver digitally.

From a practical standpoint, it could be valuable for PLCs to start thinking through ways to help train their ASMs in outdoor skills, at least as much as possible. For example, maybe there’s a local compass course that the scouts and adults could be sent to run through, on their own, with a digital partner looking over their shoulder to help them with getting the compass correctly oriented assuming you’ve got good enough coverage. That doesn’t solve the “tick the IOLS training box” issue, but it does start teaching the ASMs the skills that they will need to help the SM support the scouts. As a bonus, it reminds the scouts that it’s their troop and that by helping train their ASMs, they will get better support in running their program.


If they find it, then it would certainly count. But… I would simply let the training slide until they can get properly trained personally.

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I wish that they would let us do this at the troop level. Any adult who attends a couple of campiuts with myself essentially receives this.

Well, there’s nothing preventing you from downloading the Leader Guide for IOLS and running that for a campout…

Your leaders wouldn’t get official credit for the class, or the opportunity to meet other leaders from other units, but they get the experience.

And, it would probably be a pretty fun troop activity if you used your older Scouts to teach some of the scoutcraft to the new leaders as well as younger Scouts. Could even help them with some advancement or MB requirements too.

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At the National level, a pilot is being explored for parts of IOLS to be virtual. It would include some modules being viewed prior to the virtual session. It would also include a camp out in a patrol setting. As a reminder, the IOLS requirement for ASM’s, under the 100% Trained Leader Initiative has been granted a waiver until December 31, 2020, provided all other required training has been completed. Districts are and have scheduled IOLS training events for this fall.

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tell us more about the 100% Trained Leader Initiative. Mandatory? Not so much?

The 100% Trained Leader Initiative is in effect. There has been a waiver granted for Assistant Scoutmasters who have completed all but the Introduction To Leadership Skills (IOLS) training, which is a live training. The waiver extends the period to complete IOLS until 12/31/2020. Most districts have IOLS scheduled for the fall. We are entering the third year of the Initiative which covers unit committee members.

Here is a link to the 100% Training Initiative:

ah, looks like it’s a council thing where you are. our council does not have this, and thank god, not sure how we’d function. due to covid any many other factors, not much training going on.

There are some things that just can’t be properly taught online and IOLS is certainly one of those. When I was “voluntold” I have to take the course I went sort of kicking and screaming because I felt like going through Baloo training and being an Adult Leader in the Cubs and now Boy Scouts was adequate. To my pleasant surprise it was one of the most enjoyable events I’ve ever attended. It was relaxed, fun and refreshing to see new leaders seeking council from experienced leaders and just the general fellowship without worrying about some Scout getting into a dust up and having to deal with that…Don’t short change yourself of such a good experience. Then there is the OA Ordeal which is another story…LOL

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Yes, this is a Grand Canyon Council program, it is not a National one.

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