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Lone Scout Friend & Counselor Training

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Introduction

This discussion thread is an attempt to better define BSA training for the Lone Cub Scout Friend & Counselor and the Lone Scout BSA Friend & Counselor. (“Lone Scout Friend and Counselor” is abbreviated herein as the “LSFC” or just “counselor”.)

Lone Scouts Factsheet

Internet Browser – Connection Security

Most internet browsers interpret incomplete webpage links as non-secure “http://” links. For better internet connection security preface incomplete link names with “https://”

The Lone Scout Plan

Guidebook

The primary overview document written for both Cub Scouting and Scouts BSA LSFCs is the

Orientation

  • Read the Lone Scouts factsheet, 2 pages
  • Read the “Introduction” and “This is lone scouting” chapters in the LSFC guidebook (2019), pages 3-9.
  • Order the appropriate program youth handbook for each child before they join,

Joining

Basic Leader (position-specific)

This training needs to be better defined for LSFCs. A LSFC performs some functions of a Cubmaster and/or Scoutmaster. A LSFC may also be a merit badge counselor.

  • Read rest of the LSFC guidebook (2019).

Additional Training Needed?

Training Resources

News

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Importance of Training

Lone Scout Friend and Counselor Guidebook, (PDF), 511-420, ©2019 Boy Scouts of America, 2019 Printing, page 9, links updated 2021-07-14.

Adult leader training in Scouting is not only important, it can make the difference between a long-term experience with a Lone Scout and one that is short-lived and lacking in purpose. Every Lone Scout friend and counselor should give the gift of participation in training. Both the Scout and the counselor will benefit when training is a priority.

First, Youth Protection training is required, and must be retaken every two years to maintain registration. This can be done online at My.Scouting.org. A “My.Scouting” login is required, but anyone may create a user account and view the courses. To receive credit for this training, registered members of the BSA simply provide their member number.

Youth Protection training is designed to help keep Scouts safe from abuse and to protect leaders from false accusations. Participants in the training will learn the BSA’s Youth Protection guidelines, the signs of abuse, and how to report suspected abuse.

Once Youth Protection training has been completed, a number of program-oriented training courses can help a friend and counselor deliver the best possible program. Some of the sessions orient new leaders, and others provide training specific to the various volunteer positions. Cub Scouting friend and counselors will find Den Leader Specific training most helpful, while counselors in Scouts BSA will benefit most from Scoutmaster-Specific training. Counselors can learn more about these opportunities by going to https://www.scouting.org/training/adult. There is also a link on that page that will take you to the My.Scouting login.

Though much BSA training is available online, if at all possible, counselors should attend instructor-led training in person. The district executive or someone at the local council service center may be able to help find courses. You may also find sessions listed in the local council calendar, usually available on the council’s website. It has been established that leaders who participate in “live” training are more successful at presenting Scouting than those who do not. However, it is understood that many involved in Lone Scouting must make do with the online experience.

Most districts also hold a monthly “roundtable” meeting that a friend and counselor may find helpful if attendance is possible. Roundtables can be a good place to get program ideas, meet other Scouting leaders, and learn about current events and best practices. Check the council calendar for dates, times, and locations.

Those living in a foreign country should look for training possibilities within the national Scout organization of the host country. Many Scout organizations have training programs that both facilitate and enhance the BSA online training opportunities. More importantly, however, these experiences bring into focus the unique characteristics of Scouting within the host country and provide a useful network with local leaders. Be sure to check with the local Scout organization to confirm that BSA members can participate.

Responsibilities

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Related guidebook sections

Lone Scout Friend and Counselor Guidebook, (PDF), 511-420, ©2019 Boy Scouts of America, 2019 Printing,

  • This is Lone Scouting > The Scout and the Friend and Counselor, page 5
  • This is Lone Scouting > About Responsibilities, page 6
  • This is Lone Scouting > The Keys to the Program: Literature for Leaders, page 7
  • This is Lone Scouting > The Keys to the Program: Literature for Youth, page 7
  • This is Lone Scouting > What the Lone Scout Friend and Counselor Can Do, page 8.

The Scout and the Friend and Counselor (extract)

A Lone Scout friend and counselor plays a critical role in delivering the fun and adventure of Scouting. At the same time, the approach must align with the age and readiness level of the Scout. This is because Scouting helps youth by encouraging them to learn for themselves. Baden-Powell, Scouting’s founder, said, “An adult should never do for a boy what he can do for himself.” This is not easy, but youth learn best by doing as much as possible using their own personal resources with the adults on the sidelines playing roles such as coach or cheerleader. This is something to work toward as a Lone Scout grows in age and maturity. All Scouts need a climate in which to solve problems and learn things for themselves.

About Responsibilities

The relationship between a Lone Scout and counselor is a two-way street. When both learn and accept their responsibilities, the result can be tremendously rewarding. The Scout, of course, must understand the need to take age appropriate initiative, and must be immersed in the Scout handbook for their program and age group.

The counselor helps the Lone Scout get the most out of Scouting in much the same way pack and troop leaders help their Scouts. This support includes setting a positive example. It also means getting to know the Scout well enough to continuously challenge the Scout to reach further and to achieve as much as possible—with just the right level of assistance, guidance, and recognition.

Parents who are counselors to their own children may experience the reward of getting to know their children in a different way, from another perspective

The Keys to the Program: Literature for Leaders

(Cub Scouting literature removed, links updated 2021-07-14)

Just as the Scout must be immersed in the appropriate youth handbook, the friend and counselor must become familiar with the leaders’ literature. It has been clearly established that Scouting volunteers in any capacity who delve into the literature are the ones who present the best programs and have the most active and successful units. The following represents a good reading and reference list. Additional resources can be found at the end of this guidebook.

  • Troop Leader Guidebook, volumes 1 (No. 33009) and 2 (No. 33010). Primary references for adult leaders in Scouts BSA

Note that these and other BSA literature, uniforms, supplies, and even gifts may be ordered at https://www.scoutshop.org.

NEW: Search Scout Shop catalog for “troop leader guidebook”

The Keys to the Program: Literature for Youth

(Extract with emphasis added and formatting corrected)

Lone Scouts from ages 11 through 18 in the Scouts BSA program

  • use the Scouts BSA Handbook for Boys, No. 34622 or
  • the Scouts BSA Handbook for Girls, No. 39006.

Each youth handbook contains a treasure trove of Scouting information that will take a Scout through the ranks all the way to Eagle Scout. A Lone Scout should be presented the appropriate handbook immediately upon joining.

What the Lone Scout Friend and Counselor Can Do

Besides reading the leaders’ literature, there are countless methods the Lone Scout friend and counselor might use to build the right atmosphere and offer assistance to the Scout:

  • Following the Lone Scout plan, establish a calendar and structure for meetings and activities. See “Meetings and Activities” in the next chapter.
  • Assist the Scout in arranging transportation. See “Safety and Youth Protection” in this guidebook.
  • When financial resources are needed, provide them as you can, but also consult the leaders’ literature for information on earning money, budgeting, and other finance issues in Scouting.
  • Administer the BSA advancement program according to the Guide to Advancement, No. 33088. The guide can be downloaded at https://www.scouting.org/advancement.
  • Help the Scout discover and take advantage of resources.

Youth and adult leaders in Scouting can use to their advantage countless resources. Aside from the leaders’ literature and the youth handbooks, the Lone Scout and the counselor can work together and also separately to find those tools that will be most helpful to them.

You should also learn about any local district or council activities you can attend in your vicinity. Internet searches are valuable as well in identifying opportunities, such as local organizations that could benefit from service projects, places to go hiking or swimming, or other resources that may facilitate rank advancement. Lone Scouts living outside the United States and near American embassies or consulates, or an American overseas school, may find excellent resources there for meeting the requirements for the citizenship merit badges, or opportunities to help conduct flag ceremonies, and so forth

Methods of Scouting

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Summary of methods for adult

Scouts BSA Troup Committee Guidebook For Successful Troop Operation, 34505, © 2018 Boy Scouts of America, 2018 printing, Chapter 1, Introduction, pages 3-4, includes short descriptions of:

  1. IDEALS, 2. PATROLS, 3. OUTDOORS. 4. ADVANCEMENT, 5. ADULT ASSOCIATION, 6. PERSONAL GROWTH, 7. LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, 8. UNIFORM

Summary of methods for youth member

Senior Patrol Leader Handbook, 32501, © 2018 Boy Scouts of America, 2018 printing, Chapter 2, Building Troop Spirit > The Methods of Scouting, pages 32-37, includes short descriptions of:

  • Method 1: The ideals
  • Method 2: The patrol method
  • Method 3: The outdoors
  • Method 4: Advancement
  • Method 5: Association with adults
  • Method 6: Personal growth
  • Method 7: Leadership development
  • Method 8: The uniform

What the Lone Scout Friend and Counselor Can Do – with links and notes added

Version 2021-07-24-A.

Lone Scout Friend and Counselor Guidebook , (PDF), 511-420, ©2019 Boy Scouts of America, 2019 Printing, “This is Lone Scouting > What the Lone Scout Friend and Counselor Can Do”, page 8, extract.

Besides reading the leaders’ literature, there are countless methods the Lone Scout friend and counselor might use to build the right atmosphere and offer assistance to the Scout:

  • Following the Lone Scout plan, establish a calendar and structure for meetings and activities. See “Meetings and Activities” in the next chapter.
  • Assist the Scout in arranging transportation. See “Safety and Youth Protection” in this guidebook.
  • When financial resources are needed, provide them as you can, but also consult the leaders’ literature for information on earning money, budgeting, and other finance issues in Scouting.
  • Help the Scout discover and take advantage of resources.

Joining

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Youth Protection

Youth protection training is required to be taken before registering as a LSFC and must be renewed at least every two years. Information in guidebook chapter

Membership Registration - Position Codes

Adult position codes related to lone scouting per REGISTRATION GUIDEBOOK OF THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA (2019) are:

  • 88 - Lone Cub Scout Counselor
  • 96 - Lone Scouts BSA Counselor
  • 42 - Merit Badge Counselor

“96 - Lone Scouts BSA Counselor” may still be “96 - Lone Boy Scout Counselor” in some BSA membership databases.

The Lone Scout Plan

Version 2021-07-22-B

The plan appears to be obsolescent.

Searching for the “Lone Scout Plan” on the internet returns mostly obsolete information dating back to 2001 and perhaps earlier.

Health & Safety

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Scouting Health Information

Information used to develop “Safety and Youth Protection”, guidebook, pages 20-21, is periodically reviewed and subject to change. Check online resources for current Scouting information.

Recommend adding the following:

Guide to Safe Scouting

The Guide to Safe Scouting is reviewed quarterly and the latest version, if revised, may be found at https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/.

Helpful Links, Online Periodicals, and Social Networking Resources

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Table of Contents

BSA Footnote

References and links listed here are official resources of the BSA or the World Organization of the Scout Movement. Many other websites may be helpful in presenting Scouting programs, but please note that some are unofficial and unauthorized by the BSA. Their content may or may not represent correct or appropriate interpretations of BSA policies and procedures, and the sites may or may not be up to date.

Source

  • Lone Scout Friend and Counselor Guidebook , (PDF), 511-420, ©2019 Boy Scouts of America, 2019 Printing, “Helpful Links, Online Periodicals, and Social Networking Resources”, page 23

Find the local council that serves your area.

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Outside the United States? See:

Scouting with the BSA Outside the U.S.

Create a login to take Youth Protection and other training

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The Guide to Safe Scouting

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The Guide to Safe Scouting is reviewed quarterly and the latest version, if revised, may be found at

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