When can adult leaders wear the BSA’s Trained patch?

The BSA’s Trained patch sends a clear message to Scouts, fellow Scouters and parents. It says, “I know what I’m doing.”

So which adult leaders are eligible to wear this badge of honor? It depends on which program you’re in, but there’s one place every adult leader must start: with Youth Protection Training.

Adult leaders in units are considered trained and eligible to wear the official Trained emblem when they have completed Youth Protection Training and the training courses outlined below. They’re also eligible to wear it if they have completed Youth Protection Training and a previous basic training course when it was current.

Here’s everything you need to know about the BSA’s Trained patch:

How do I get trained?

Start at scouting.org/training.

Who can wear the Trained strip?

  • Registered adult leaders who have completed Youth Protection Training and the training courses for their program, which are outlined below.
  • Scouts who have completed troop training and Venturers who have completed Crew Officers Orientation and Personal Safety Awareness training. Scouts and Venturers who have completed NYLT may wear this new patch instead of the trained patch if they wish.

What are the program-specific requirements?

These requirements are for adult leaders. The emblem may be worn only in connection with the emblem of office for which training has been completed. In other words, if you’re an assistant Scoutmaster and a Venturing crew Advisor, but you’ve only taken training for the assistant Scoutmaster role, you would only wear the trained patch on your Boy Scout uniform — not on your Venturing uniform.

  • Cub Scouting: Position-Specific training for your position. (Pack Trainers take Pack Committee Challenge and Fundamentals of Training.)
  • Boy Scouting:
    • Scoutmasters and assistant Scoutmasters: Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster Position-Specific and Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills
    • Troop committee members: Troop Committee Challenge
  • Varsity Scouting:
    • Coaches and assistants: Varsity Coach Position-Specific and Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills
    • Varsity committee members: Team Committee Challenge
  • Venturing and Sea Scouts:
    • Advisors and assistants: Venturing Advisor Position-Specific
    • Crew and ship committee members: Crew Committee Challenge
    • All adults in ships: Sea Scout Adult Leader Basic
  • Chartered organization representatives: This Is Scouting and Training the Chartered Organization Representative.

Which patch should I wear?

There are two versions: one with red letters and one with green letters. Either may be worn with any BSA uniform. It’s the wearer’s choice, though he or she may wish to match other leaders in the unit.

Where do I wear the Trained patch?


For shirts with pocket sleeves, the emblem is worn on the left sleeve pocket flap above the badge of office.

For shirts without pocket sleeves, the emblem is worn on the left sleeve immediately below and touching the emblem of office for which it was earned.

Where do I buy the Trained patch?

At your local Scout Shop or online at the links below.


  1. Is there a specific list somewhere that says: “If you are going to be a (fill in the blank), you need to take (a list of the specific training classes/module)s”? The list above is pretty generic, and the training page of BSA’s website is exactly the same setup.

  2. Over the past year or so, I’ve come to the conclusion that the ideal troop training would be for SMs and ASMs to earn First Class under the tutelage of their SPL or JASM.

    • Excellent idea!. provides the SPL/ASPL opportunity to interface with, adults, teach their skills to others, and I’m certain I for one could always use a refresher on my 1st Class skills.

    • Good idea, if the SPL is a “good Scout”.. To be precise, if IOLS is done correctly, with good instructors, the nascent SMs and ASMs should have gone thru what it takes to “earn” First Class. It is, certainly, hard to do in one weekend of camping.

      • I am assuming these are first class scouts (the concept, not the patch) doing the instructing. Clearly there will be times when an adult will have to look outside of his/her own troop for that. Maybe a troop would have to loan out one of it’s best and brightest for year or two. Shouldn’t be a problem. Rumor has it scouts are friendly. 😉

      • I’ve used some Scouts on ITOLS staff. I used one that was close to 18 and would need ITOLS in a few months. I planned on signing him off on it when the time came. HOWEVER my replacement as training chair said “NO,” and made him go through the ITOLs Test Out, or as it’s known locally “Are You Smarter Than a First Class Scout.”

        Training Chair said, “I’m not about to be accused of showing favoritism to my son just because he staffed ITOLS. He can do the test out or take the course again.”

        • Once again demonstrating how easy it is to slip into caring about what’s on the uniform rather than what’s under it. 🙁

          A couple of my YPT updates were from when I co-taught a course. In fact making sure the trainees of yesteryear are the trainers of today is the best way to keep everyone current.

  3. Does the position specific training need to be renewed periodically? Does “Trained” expire? Also, though a bit off topic, does Scout training expire or must they take troop training every year to continue to wear the patch?

    • Youth Protection training must be taken every two years, but the others never expire as long as the leader doesn’t change programs or positions.

    • Bryan, I *THINK* that the exception to that is the Unit Training Chair position. Isn’t there an expiration on the new “Fundamentals of Training” courses (like there was with the older “Edge” course? All of the rest (other than Youth Protection) do not expire.

      • There is no expiration for Fundamentals. Fundamentals is designed to teach the basics of presenting training in the BSA and EDGE was designed as a deeper dive – created especially for advanced training course staff. The expiration for EDGE was created to be sure Wood Badge and NYLT staff training skills were refreshed.

    • “Trained” patches in my view are an ongoing goal in the scout program. I earned my patch fifteen years ago. Every year I go through at least three training sessions and attend roundtable to stay up to date. I think it helps me to be informed and stay in tune with the goals and guidelines of scouting.

    • From the Spring 2013 Training Times:

      “There is no expiration for most BSA training courses, but keeping Scouts safe and keeping Scouting leaders up-to-date with current information and methods means some of the BSA’s training courses need to be retaken every couple of years.

      Below is a list of the most common courses taken by unit leaders and how often they should be retaken to be valid:

      Youth Protection – every two years (one year for jamboree)

      Safe Swim Defense – every two years

      BSA Lifeguard – every three years

      Safety Afloat – every two years

      Trainer’s EDGE – every three years for Wood Badge and NYLT Staff

      Hazardous Weather – every two years

      Climb On Safely – every two years

      Trek Safely – every two years

      This is not all of the BSA courses with expiration dates. There are others, again such as National Camping Schools, but these are the most common.

      We get questions all of the time about Fundamentals of Training and BALOO expiration. There are no expiration terms for these courses.

      By the way, the Volunteer Training Committee encourages you to take the most current training courses for your Scouting position even if you are considered “trained” as a result of taking an older course.

      It is always better for our Scouts when their leaders stay up-to date!”

    • BALOO is not required training for a Cub Scout Leader to be considered trained. It is required training for a Cub Scout Unit to go on a Pack Overnighter. At least one Cub Scout Leader per unit should be BALOO trained (I would recommend more than one person get trained). It your Cub Scout Unit has a campout and the BALOO trained person can’t make it, the event needs to be cancelled or rescheduled.

      Completion of this course is mandatory for at least one adult on a Pack overnighter.

  4. Actually there are THREE different trained strips, not two.

    pre-Centennial Uniform trained tan and red

    Original, aka “Boy Scout” Centennial Trained Strip ( originally only for Boy Scouts and their leaders and is green on tan)

    And the Red Trained Emblem aka “Cub Scout Leader Centennial” Trained Strip ( originally for Cub Scout leaders, Venturers, and Venturing leaders)

    Glad national says anyone one can wear any of them as this has caused problems since day 1. Remember calling a National Scout Shop to get the correct information on what patches I needed, only to find out about 2 weeks later all the patches national sold me were incorrect, and I needed the red numbes and red CS leader centennial strip.

    Still wish they would go with one color unit numbers and trained strips. Except for the Sea Scouts.

  5. I’m glad that Sea Scouts don’t put those on the uniform, particularly the khacki’s. That should stay relatively free of that sort of stuff, in keeping with Naval tradition. Just name plate, rank, flag, Sea Scout strip and WB / SB pins is enough. No knots or other resume` items. I don’t know if SBU pins are supposed to be worn (on the khackis) or not. With the whites yes

  6. Seems as though the latest “Guide to Awards and Insignia dated 2015 adds to the confusion as to which Trained strip you are to wear. For example, on page 55 it says:

    “For shirts with pocket sleeves, the emblem is worn on the sleeve pocket flap above the badge of office; red, No. 18120, Cub Scout and Venturing leaders; forest green, No. 18064, Boy Scout leaders. For shirts without pocket sleeves, the emblem is worn on the left sleeve immediately below and touching the emblem of office for which it was earned; red, No. 280, Cub Scout and Venturing leaders; forest green, No. 18064, Boy Scout leaders.”

    • Paul,

      Yep discrepancies amongst the BSA divisions and literature. National’s training committee came out a while back, either 2013 or 2014, and said it no longer mattered which color you wore.

      Uniform folks didn’t get the memo. And since the Insignia Guide is the “Uniform Bible,”
      national supply stores will go by that.

  7. The trained patch would be worn with the position patch that reflects your Primary position in Scouting. If you are multiple registered in other positions (ex.-Primary as a SA in a Troop but also a MC in a pack) you must be trained in the additional positions regardless if you have a trained strip for your Primary position or not.

    There is even position specific training for Merit Badge Counselors, Nova Counselors and Supernova mentors as well as those registered in District or Council positions.

  8. It would be nice if all of our Venturers that have taken NYLT could have NYLT patches that match the Uniforms. Venturing (and Cubs) are the Red/White not the Khaki/Green so the NYLT patch that 75%+ of our Venturers can wear does not match the other patches.

    • The trained strips don’t match either, being red or green on tan. But there are some private issue patches (very nice ones at that) for the trained or ISLC strip in Venturing colors. I’d imagine a NYLT in Venturing colors will appear soon as well.

  9. Can anyone point me to the requirements to wear the Trained patch for District and Council positions?

    For what it’s worth, I agree that there doesn’t need to be three different versions/colors of the Trained patch. It would simplify things for leaders, especially since so many volunteer with different programs. I think it would be awesome if the position patches and maybe even trained patches came with the option of a Velcro backing, and the shirts had the velcro where the position patch could go. That would make it easier for youth and leaders to swap patches when acting in a different role, or after Troop leadership elections.

  10. For Venturing Adult Leaders, There is no mention of IOLS? There was a requirement for outdoor based crews, then it became mandatory for all, now gone?
    What is the latest and please show a link where it is documented.
    Thank you.

    • From the link I referenced earlier: “… this course [IOLS] is required of all direct contact leaders registered in Boy Scout Troops and Varsity Scout Teams, in order to be considered “trained”.” There’s still a little Venturing logo beside the course description, but I’d take that to reflect that the course might still serve Advisors … not that it is required.

      ‘Round here, the current thinking is to direct Venturing leaders (be they adult or older youth) to Powderhorn. Not required, but one or two such trained leaders will greatly enhance your crew’s brain trust when it comes to developing program.

      • Unless you got an avid outdoorsman ot outdoorswoman as a Venturing leader, I would recommend ITOLS since it provides the basics in outdoor skills. THEN take Powederhorn, which is HA oriented.

        As for the outdoorsman or woman, get them to staff ITOLS. 😉

        • Noble thought, but IOLS (or First Class rank, for that matter) is not available to young venturers … And, from what I’ve observed, those are the folks most likely to take what they learned and immediately apply it to their unit’s (sometimes their district’s) program.

    • Carl,

      At one time IOLS was required by national. First it was required for outdoot oriented crews(circa 1998 – 2003 or therabouts), then all(circa 2004 to 2006 if memory serves). Now it is optional.

      One of the challenges with Venturing is the program A) is varied and specialty focused so what applies to one crew migh not work with another and B) national keeps monkeying around with it. Eagle Scout and Sea Scout Quartermaster have the name recognition becuase those ranks have not changed sine 1910 and 1920s respectively. The top Explorer/Venturing award keeps changing. Over the years it been Explroing Ranger, Exploring Silver, Young American, Venturing Silver, and now Venturing Summit, and I’m sure I missed a few.

  11. Prior to Wood Badge training you need the Scout Adult Leader Training. The WB beads show you are TRAINED so no need for the patch then.

    • The Wood Badge Beads allow one to make the assumption that you trained for your position at the time you registered for your Wood Badge Course.

      Not everyone stays in the same registered position throughout the course of their time in Scouting.

      At the time I registered for Wood Badge, I was in three registered positions (Pack, Troop, & District) When registering for Wood Badge they require you to be trained in your primary registered position. Although I was trained for all three positions, the staff was only concerned with the training requirements for the position that I registered for Wood Badge under. If I had not been trained for one of my other positions, they would not have known.

  12. Interesting conversation.

    Yes, some of the National Office materials on required Leadership training can be confusing to the new, first-time leader. The main training page for leaders (http://www.scouting.org/Training/Adult.aspx) shows each position and which courses, both on-line and in person are required to be OFFICIALLY TRAINED.

    This sheet (http://www.scouting.org/filestore/training/pdf/Trained_Leader_Positions.pdf) is found on the right-hand column and spells out each course REQUIRED for each specific position.

    Bottom line: Most leaders fail to be “TRAINED” for their registered position when one fo the following occurs:

    a. youth protection training expires after 24 months.
    b. leader changes positions during the year without being aware of “new” training courses for the changed position, happens most often within the Cub Scout program.

    e.g. Tiger, Wolf & Bear Den Leaders need YPT and the new DL specific training; if one then becomes a Webelos Leader, many forget, do not realize Webelos Leader Outdoor Training is REQUIRED to be OFFICIALLY trained.

    c. be careful of leaders holding “multiple positions” anywhere, same unit, etc., Where & how is the leader officially registered, e.g. Chartered Rep. who also is registered as a Committee member in a Pack, Troop, Crew or any combination thereof.

    Check out the BSA Training page listed above; maybe your local Council’s Training Committee has a more simplified version for the local council INCLUDING dates, locations, and contact info for the plethora of Leaders Specific courses offered locally.

    Expired YPT and the unaware leader holding “multiple positions” are the causes to make any leader “UNTRAINED” according to ScoutNet where the PAID, Registration is listed.

    Experiences from a District & Council Trainers of several BSA Councils over the years…

    • Thanks for the gory details.
      I can understand how the boots-on-the-ground might give up on training! That cub program is really hard!

      Now that membership hinges on YPT being up to date, at least that one is mandatory. But, I know of competent adults who will refuse training updates on account of how much time it takes away from their units.

      The best strategy, as far as I can tell, is to make more roundtables training events.

    • You say “…Webelos Leader, many forget, do not realize Webelos Leader Outdoor Training is REQUIRED to be OFFICIALLY trained.”

      If you go to: http://www.scouting.org/filestore/training/pdf/Trained_Leader_Positions.pdf you will see that Outdoor Leader Skills for Webelos Leaders (OWL) is NOT required to be officially trained.

      In fact in order to earn the Den Leader Training Award as a Webelos Leader, there is no requirement for the Webelos Leaders to attend Webelos Leader Outdoor Training.

    • Thanks for the chart – good stuff. It says classroom (or) online but my training reports are showing up as “and” which is confusing. But hey, it’s a new program and there are bound to be kinks and error … tough on my new leaders though. Wondering if the OWL requirement depends on the council? Ours recommends OWL but it’s not required. BALOO is required for a Webelos den overnighter.

  13. This doesn’t seem to reflect the changes to Cub Scout leader training that happened this past September 2015 where training was changed to the module based online system. In our Council before Sept, Cub leaders needed YPT, Position-Specific, and This is Scouting. It now appears that Cub leaders need YPT, old position-specific training (C42 for den leaders, C60 committee, C40 cubmasters) and the new module-based “adult training series” at https://bsalearn.learn.taleo.net to be considered “trained”. It’s all pretty new – I haven’t seen any new requirement summaries come out yet for Cub Scouts other than the curriculum listing on the website.

  14. As a Wood Badge-trained Scouter of some 20 years experience, I have been through a lot of training, both as Scoutmaster and Cubmaster. One of the greatest opportunities to refresh and broaden training is to take as many BSA online courses as possible, whether they are directly applicable or not. They are well-made, do-able, informative, and the cumulative effect is to broaden one’s perspective of the larger scope of the BSA program and its principles in practice. I learn something new with every course that I take. These are splendid resources that should not be overlooked.

  15. Just checked the 5 uniforms in my closet: two with no Trained strip, one with, one left-over Commissioner’s arrowhead, one with a Retired strip someone sent me from National several years ago. I consider my two 49-year-old Wood Badge beads to “outrank” the strips and collection of medals and patches from a lifetime of training experiences.

  16. Can you explain why S11 Intro to Outdoor Leadership Skill is Council specific? So if you took this training in Council A you would have to take it again to get credit for it again if you moved to Council B. I thought this training never expired?

    • IOLS is not council specific. There is only one approved IOLS (with some schedule modifications built in) that fulfills the “trained” requirements no matter which council you are registered in.

  17. One important thing all leaders should do is set up a My.Scouting account and link all their member numbers for all their registrations they have in the council or have had in other councils. This will (usually) pull the training that has been entered for those other member numbers and (usually) add it to the current records as well. Missing training can be entered into your record by a member of the district or unit key-3, and training chairs if given access by the key-3, to give you credit for all the courses you have completed. Be sure to have your current registration as the primary default one!

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