Homepage Forums Boy Scouts (Scouts BSA) Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills Training Course

This topic contains 4 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Deaf Scouter 4 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #25984 Reply

    Larry Blumberg

    Hi, looking for ideas to further improve our Council’s IOLS course, particularly ideas to make it as “hands on” as we can. For example, we already do a couple of things that I’ll share that have gone over really well with the participants:

    1) We do a two to three hour mid-day hike, taking a trail lunch along with us and discussing topics from the course such as campsite selection, hiking/packing techniques, and map reading.

    2) We supply to each patrol the food for all of the meals, along with the cooking equipment…we plan the meals in such a manner that we end up exposing them to cooking on a backpacking stove, a camp stove, and an open fire.

    3) For the knots and lashings module, we have each patrol choose and build some sort of camp gadget (typically a simple table, tripod, flag pole, etc). This activity gets them out of their chairs and really helps bring the patrol ‘together’ in a hurry !

    Those are the sort of ideas I’m looking for, things to help spruce up our presentations of the other modules such as Woods Tools, Leave No Trace, and Plant / Animal ID.

  • #25998 Reply


    We have patrol competitions after most of the classes. Some must be planned in advance by the patrols during a required patrol meeting. We also make them come up with their own menu and purchase the items just like the scouts are required to.

    -Dutch oven desert competition
    -Camp Gadget competition
    -Gateway competition
    -Campsite Layout competition
    -Patrol Flag competition

    Told during training:
    -Fire Building Race – Burn the strings. Must start with Flint and Steal that we provide, but the patrols must gather the fire materials on the fly as it is a race.
    -Knot tying relay race. (Time penalties for incorrect knots)
    -Compass course accuracy and speed race. (Sometimes we through in first aid items to do during this one.)
    -Plants and animals scavenger hunt. sometimes we have to seed some prints. We have the participants use a digital camera or phone to snap pics so that we Leave No Trace. This also helps us get candid shots of the participants for the end of night slide show during cracker barrel.
    -We use to do a first-aid race that included a stretcher race, but that got too dangerous(Ironically).

    Other competitions we do not tell them about, but give awards for:
    -Best Flag Ceremony
    -Scout Spirit
    -Leave no Trace. (We put items out where we know the patrols will be like on their compass course.) Patrol Guides verify that the patrols pick up the items.
    -Other made up awards that come up naturally during the class to make things fun.


  • #26019 Reply

    Bill Nelson

    Would love to see the schedules for these classes as well

  • #26064 Reply


    I would suggest maximizing the number of youth instructors. You don’t need to skimp on quality to do this. If your district has a number of youth (SPLs or PLs or camp staff) who have excelled as outdoorsmen and are good communicators, they need to be the “face of scouting” to these new Adult leaders.

  • #26223 Reply

    Deaf Scouter

    Even OA (Order of the Arrow) and recruiting Eagle Scout that have ‘Eagled out’. Use this kind of training to ‘Eagle in’ those Eagles that have left their Troops. They will quickly learn through this kind of activity other places where they can help once in a while around their college schedules. (Another bonus, its a chance to bring home laundry and get home cooked meals while being out doing something that they are needed for since many of our volunteers are already overworked wearing so many hats.)

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