University of Scouting Resources
Boy Scout and Venturing Focus

Also see the Boy Scout Resources page 

Advising of Co-Ed Programs PowerPoint Presentation
Backpacking See: 
Backpacking - 10 Essentials (and more) See Ten Essentials and More
Basic Canoe Handling Skills - Get the skills you need to feel secure, and instill confidence in your group! Actual in-the-water instruction - bring swim suit and towel! Program Handout - PDF
Beginning E.D.G.E. - How do you organize a class when teaching a skill? How do you keep on track and avoid confusion? Would you like to help improve the quality of teaching in your Troop, Crew, or Pack? "The Beginning EDGE" offers you clear direction and a concrete method that you can apply to teaching or helping to teach skills. You will learn about the EDGE methodology and see it applied in practice. Basic EDGE - PDF

Basic EDGE notes - PDF

Bike Touring and the Cycling MB See Hiking on Two Wheels
Boots, Socks, Footwear and Footcare - Your feet are your primary method of travel in the backcountry. We'll discuss selecting appropriate footwear for various scouting activities (boots, shoes). We'll talk about socks (wool vs. synthetic vs. cotton; liners or not?). Care of the feet, including how to avoid blisters, how to treat them if you get them, and first aid for feet. If time allows, we'll talk about boot care to extend the life of your gear. REI Articles (web links):
Campfires - Light up your outdoor activities and events with the spark of great campfires! This session gives you everything from songs to s'mores. Campfire Ideas Websites - pdf
Campfire Planner - PDF
Campfire Magic - PDF
Campfire Program - PDF
Campfire Program Extras - PDF
Fire Lays - PDF
Grey Areas - PDF
Walk-Ons - PDF

Internet Links:

See the General page for: Campfire materials and Songbooks

See Bringing Duty to God to Your Unit for Scouts' Own materials

Conducting Your Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops/Crews: The Unit is responsible for training youth leaders and the BSA provides an excellent framework for this training in ILST/C. Learn how your unit can use this course to inspire and facilitate effective youth leadership See National Training Courses
Conducting the Venturing Leadership Seminar - For Advisors and Presidents: See Venturing Leadership Training
Do It Yourself Backpacking Gear: This course will focus on "Do It Yourself (DIY)" gear for backpacking. Learn how to make your own stoves and stuff sacks, and even more complex items like tents, sleeping bags, and backpacks. Techniques and materials will be discussed, and time will also be allotted for brainstorming new projects. Attendees are encouraged to bring in their own DIY backpacking gear to share with the class. 2009 PowerPoint presentation - Repair & Maintenance
2009 PowerPoint presentation - Making Gear

2008 University of Scouting PowerPoint Presentation

Dutch Oven Cooking - Practical hands -on experience in preparing and cooking a variety of Dutch oven meals, desserts, and other fun foods. Dutch Oven Cookbook - PDF

International Dutch Oven Society (web link)
Duty to God See "Bringing Duty to God to Your Unit"
Electronics in the Outdoors - More and more often we find electronic devices accompanying us on the trail. How do you keep them safe, dry, and fed? When are they useful, what are their limits? Introduction to Electrical Principles - PDF
Introduction to Electronics

Excerpt from 1911 BSA Handbook on Wireless Telegraphy - PDF
Crystal Radio project from Aug. 2002 Boys Life - Page 1 Page 2 - PDF

Link to American Radio Relay League - web page for Scouts
Link to K2BSA Website (Ham Radio at the National Jamboree and Jamboree on the Air)

Got games? - Every unit can use some teambuilding ideas! Ice-breakers, gathering activities, games… This course will present different ways of building and encouraging your unit's youth leadership. 2019 Teambuilding while on the Trail handout - PDF

Team Building Games (all PDF)

UK Scout Association on Team Building PDF

Gourmet Cookouts - Encourage your Scouts to try a more elaborate outdoor cooking experience.  Gourmet Cookouts - PDF

Gourmet Cookout Recipes - PDF
Foil Cooking
Foil Cooking - PDF
Philmont Country Cookbook - PDF
Troop 886 Cooking Hints - PDF

GPS and Geocaching - We'll learn about the basics of GPS and then how to use your GPS to join in the fun worldwide Geocaching game as you locate hidden cache sites and log your successes. Geocaching to Promote Scouting - PDF
GPS to UTM to Map - Learn how to move from "I'm somewhere around there" to "This is where I am" by adding the Universal Traverse Mercator Grid to your arsenal of tricks. A Practical Guide to GPS-UTM - Internet Link
Wikipedia Article on UTM - Internet Link
A Quick Guide to Using UTM Coordinates - Internet Link
Group Dynamics for Outdoor Leadership - Effective outdoor leaders understand the dynamic phases of the people they are leading. In this session, you’ll be introduced to the “Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Transforming” group dynamics model and will discuss how leaders should respond to each phase in an outdoor or patrol setting. The concepts covered in this session will be geared towards older scouts with leadership experience and adult leaders. PowerPoint Presentation
Hiking See "Backpacking"
Hiking on Two Wheels -- Bike Touring: Learn how to plan and lead bike tours as a fun and challenging twist on hiking or as requirements for the cycling merit badge. Get some ideas on great places to go riding and bring home a checklist which you can use for inspecting your unit's bicycles prior to a ride. PowerPoint Presentation from 2014
Incorporating Backpacking into your Unit Program: How do you plan a Backpack Outing? What do you need to take? What about Logistics, transport, and routing? Learn how to prepare your Unit to carry-in ad carry-out in the great outdoors! 2018 Presentation notes - DOCX
2017 PowerPoint Presentation
2017 Notes Handout - PDF

Weight Worksheet for Backpacking - XLS

Personal Packing List - MSW

Troop 4 Campout Plan - PDF XLS

Pre- and Post-Trip Itinerary Form - PDF

Internet Links: 

  • Hike Recommendations -- Baden-Powell Council Area - a sampling of the many hiking trail systems found in and near the Baden-Powell Council Area -- primarily the counties of Susquehanna in Pennsylvania, and Broome, Tioga, Chenango, Cortland, and Tompkins in New York. You’ll find all of these trails ideal for hikes by Scouts of all ages -- Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers alike -- and for whatever distances you are looking for !

  • UltraLight Backpacking - Keeping the packing list short

  • Guide for Beginner Backpackers - some useful information from

  • Find a hike! Is your troop looking for a place to go hiking? Take a look at the website!

  • Free Topo Maps and other Maps:

  • Hiking Etiquette 101: The 12 Trail Rules You Should Know

See Backpacking course index

Intervention Connection: Sometimes our youth come to us from difficult or unhealthy situations. Other times a youth (or adult) may use physical or mental bullying to control another youth. Learn how to spot the warning signs of abuse, neglect, and unhealthy situations and how and when to intervene effectively. Learn how to spot and redirect bullying, teasing, and unhealthy behavior in the Unit  
Introduction to GPS and Geocaching See GPS and Geocaching
Introduction to Map & Compass: Boring, irrelevant, outdated? Come and learn how and why a map and compass will still remain our most useful and reliable tools for finding our way even in the internet age! 2012 PowerPoint Presentation
2009 PowerPoint Presentation

Declination Map - PDF

Download Topgraphical Maps from the USCGS
Free printable PDF topo maps from National Geographic
Free online topo maps from

Keeping Scouts interested in a Virtual World: For the foreseeable future, Zoom Meetings and Online Activities will be an integral part of Scouting. While we look forward to returning to the face-to-face environment, we need to appropriately plan for online Scouting. Discuss and share ways to engage Scouts over their internet connection -- many skill instruction topics work well, as do fun contests. Learn how to include short videos / slideshows / Zoom breakout rooms for advancement groups and inter-patrol competitions. Conduct virtual Courts of Honor, campfires, and campouts. Our challenge is to electronically engage Scouts and their families and this course will help prime you with ideas ! 2020 Presentation (PDF)
2020 PowerPoint Presentation by Jery Stedinger (PPTX)
Creating Virtual Content - a guide by John Udall - MSWord PDF

Looking for a fun thing to do at a Zoom meeting? Check out the video "Dumb Ways to Die" - it's a good safety moment, and then after you've shown it, have the Scouts list as many of the Dumb Ways that they can remember (Kim's Game and a video, all in one).

Looking for a virtual guest speaker? Check out the Baden-Powell Council Merit Counselor list

There are a number of on-line video conferencing systems you can use:

  • Zoom - the best-known, and everyone's used to it by now. Get a paid account to avoid the limitations of the free version. 
  • GoToMeeting - a paid service, good alternative to Zoom if you're looking for one. 
Leading a Successful High Adventure Activity - High Adventure is whatever you and your older Scouts define it to be. It can have many venues which will be discussed in this course. We will also cover the basics of what you need to know to lead a successful high adventure program -- planning, training, organizing a cooperative group, discipline, and physical preparation. BSA TAP ("The Adventure Plan") website

"Planning High Adventure Trips" Presentations:
2011 Presentation Notes - PDF
2008 PowerPoint Presentation  
2007 Presentation
2006 PowerPoint Presentation
Handout from 2006 Presentation

Links to High Adventure - PDF

Avoiding Bears - PDF
Backpacking Planner - Excel
Council High Adventure Programs - PDF
Disinfection Techniques - PDF
Equipment Checklist - PDF
Informed Consent form - PDF
Injury Report form - PDF
Insurance Coverage - PDF
Itinerary Plan - PDF
Motor Vehicle checklist - PDF
National High Adventure Bases
Personal First Aid Kit
Personal Journal - PDF
Reminders for Outings - PDF
Resource List - PDF
River Safety Scale - PDF
Rules of the Trail - PDF
Sample Budget - PDF
Wilderness Use Policy - PDF

Leave No Trace - LNT should be part of every Scout activity, but the LNT ethic has to be learned, adapted, adopted, and practiced. This course will help you take the first step to helping your Unit to become a LNT Unit. 2008 Leave No Trace presentation (web page)

Teaching Leave No Trace (BSA website)
Leave No Trace Principles (Montem Website)

Leave No Trace  website
DEC Backcountry Camping Rules in NY - PDF
BSA Leave No Trace Award - PDF
Leave No Trace Flyer
  - PDF
Troop 1876 Handbook

Map & Compass - Introduction   See Introduction to Map and Compass
Map & Compass Games - Scouts love to play games, so make Map & Compass fun by teaching them to use a compass, take bearings and follow directions. Learn how to set up a simple compass game your youth can play outside in a den or patrol meeting or during an outdoor activity. 2012 PowerPoint Presentation
2009 PowerPoint Presentation

Map Symbol Relay - PDF
Map Symbol Practice - PDF

Menu Planning for All Occasions - This course will identify various cooking scenarios, cost objectives, proper planning of food quantities, and packaging to protect from animals. Cooking scenarios will include backpacking, patrol cooking, trail lunches, fast troop meals for the road, camporee cooking, and banquet meals. Finally, learn how these scenarios will affect choice of cooking equipment, menus, and method of food storage
2011 Power Point Presentation
2014 Power Point Presentation - PPTX

Cooking Merit Badge Menu Planning - PPTX

Meal Planning for All Occasions - MSW
Dehydrated Foods - MSW

Calorie Count Chart - XLSX

Additional notes and recipes - PDF 

Nova/Supernova/STEM for Scouts and Venturers - BSA's NOVA Awards program incorporates learning with cool activities and exposure to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) for Boy Scouts and Venturers. Learn all about this program. PowerPoint presentation from 2017

Link to National Website STEM page

Outdoor Clothing - Keeping comfortable in the outdoors often has a lot to do with clothing choices. We'll talk about layering systems (shells, insulating layers, base layers) and the principles of dynamic layering. We'll look at various fabrics and materials - synthetics (nylon, polyester, Gore-Tex, etc.) and natural fibers (wool, cotton). Clothing options will be compared across a range of features (performance, quality and price.) and we'll be talking about what to wear and what NOT to wear Links to REI Expert Advice web pages: 
Plan an Expedition: What is an expedition and how does it differ from a weekend trip ? What might you do and how do you prepare? What logistics and transport requirements will surprise you? Come and experience the essentials of an expedition plan. 2020 Presentation (PDF)

See also "Take your unit on a Touring Trip"

Plan and Lead a Hike: Whether it's a one mile hike for your Cub Pack or a twenty mile hike for Hiking Merit Badge, learn how to properly plan and prepare your scouts to go take a hike. Nearly 200 miles of NY's famed Finger Lakes Trail passes through the Baden-Powell Council, we’ll also discuss how to make use of this great resource for your unit's hiking program. 2020 PowerPoint Presentation - Google Docs link

Also see "Incorporating Backpacking into your Unit Program"

Plan for Success! - Explore your options for building an exciting and challenging year of activities by incorporating local and council resources in your annual plan. 2012 Presentation Outline in PDF Form

Boys' Life Annual Program Planning - PDF
Troop Annual Program Planning - PDF

Troop 162 - Activities and Fundraisers - PDF
Troop 80 List of Activities 1983-2004

Planning and Logistics for First Time Backpackers See "Incorporating Backpacking into your Unit Program"
Preparing for Philmont  2018 Presentation Notes - DOCX
The "Right" Knife  - A discussion of knife designs, sizes, weights, features, uses, performance characteristics, different blade metals and handle materials, ease of care and sharpening, scabbard designs, specialty knives, is there a perfect knife, reasons why people choose their favorite knife, and more…  REI page on "Knives and Tools: How to Choose" (internet link)
Safety Considerations in the Backcountry - We'll tie together the various BSA safety courses as they relate to leading successful trips in the outdoors. From keeping your group together to watching for hazardous weather, this course will cover many of the safety considerations you need to always keep in mind when taking groups outdoors. PowerPoint presentation

First Aid Preparedness and Injury Prevention for the Wilderness and Beyond - web page from a firm of Injury Lawyers with useful information and links. 

Guide to Wilderness Medicine for Outdoor Professionals and First Responders - off-site web page from University of North Dakota

Scout Knots - Learn how to tie and how to use the basic knots for Webelos through Boy Scout requirements 2011 PowerPoint Presentation
2009 PowerPoint Presentation

Knot Wall Chart and Knot Handout (PDF)
 - from 33d Gleniffer Scouts UKSA

Internet Links: 

Animated Knots by Grog - includes a page of Scouting Knots.
Knots on the Web
International Guild of Knot Tyers - British Site
International Guild of Knot Tyers - North American 
Folsom's Knot Page - with animations of Scout knots
Roper's Knot Page  - very good resource, many knots - grouped by fishing, outdoor, boating 
Scouting the Web Knots links page

Stay Away Yogi! -- Camping in Bear Country - Bear Country is a lot closer than you expect! This session will get you thinking about how to critter-proof your food supply whether you are Car Camping or Backpacking. Learn how to hang a bear bag and keep your 'vittles to yourself! Protecting your food and keeping safe - PDF
Stoves  - Compressed or liquid fuel, lightweight or traditional? What's new in stove technology? A detailed look at and discussion of cooking stoves suitable for backpacking 2008 University of Scouting PowerPoint Presentation

REI Guide to Cooking Stoves 

Tabletop Pioneering - This hands-on workshop will show you how to build simple structures using dowels or pencils and string on a tabletop. As time allows, we'll go further and try monkey bridges, water tripods, and more complicated things. Practice on a table, so in the wilds you're able! Scale model pioneering projects for troop meetings - PDF
Talking to Youth about Youth Protection:  Talking about Youth Protection to the youth in your Unit is an important responsibility, but it can be hard to open that conversation. Come and learn about the resources that are available, but also how to enlist your Leadership and Unit Parents in making these discussions non-threatening and helpful. Presenting Youth Protection for Youth - PDF

Youth Protection for Youth - PDF

The Ten Essentials and More! - Whenever you head for the woods or water, there are certain things that make for health, safety, and peace-of-mind. This course will help you develop your own list of Ten Essentials. 2017 Presentation - PDF
Backpacking 101
from 2010 University - PDF
2004 PowerPoint Presentation

EMS Backpacking Checklist 

REI page with articles on Hiking (web link)
Ultralight Backpacking: Keeping the Packing List Short (web link)

Trek Safely - This course is required for at least one adult accompanying any Unit planning an activity off an established Scouting property. 2015 PowerPoint Presentation - PPSX
Understanding the Exploring/Venturing Program - Learn all about the Venturing program from going on activities to advancement, uniforming and running the crew. 2007 PowerPoint Presentation
2006 PowerPoint Presentation

Adult Leadership PowerPoint
Youth Leadership PowerPoint

Crew 951 Constitution - MSWord

Uniforming - Uniforming? Why is it important? Who's in charge? How do I know what I can wear on my uniform and what shouldn't be word on it? How about the Scouts? How do I know what goes where? If you've asked yourself any of these questions and you'd like to get the right information, come join this class and "Understand Uniforming the Scout way". 2010 PowerPoint Presentation
Using the Venturing Advancement Program: National has revamped the Venturing Advancement program. Come and learn what is happening and how you can use the new program to inject new life and variety into your Unit. Internet Links: 
Venture Program Planning - Learn how to set up a crew program for the entire year that will excite the youth members and keep them interested! PowerPoint Presentation - and another 

Planning PowerPoint Presentations - Part1 Part2

Venturing Activity Ideas - PDF
Program Capability Inventory
Activity Interest Survey - PDF
Activity Planner - PDF
Program Planning Form - PDF
Sample Parental Permission Form - PDF

Venturing Recruiting & Getting Crews Up to Speed: Learn how to recruit new crew members and get everyone up to speed as quickly as possible. Recruiting Venturers - PDF
Venturing Marketing Guide - PDF
Venturing Leadership Training Power Point Presentations:
Session 1 - Vision
Session 2 - Communication
Session 3 - Communication / Empathetic Listening
Session 4 - Planning
Session 5 - Organization / Delegation
Session 6 - Synergism
Session 7 - Team Building / Ranking
Session 8 - Tangle Knot
Session 9 - Five Styles of Leadership

Materials and Notes:

Crew Nametags - PDF
Materials needed for the VLS - PDF
Golden Nuggets
Seven steps of good planning
Tower Building Rules

VSALT Organization and Leadership  (from Mark Ritter) 
VSALT  Sea Scouts (from Mark Ritter) 
VLST Leadership PowerPoint Presentation (from Jeremy Kumar)

Water Treatment - Water in the wild must always be suspect. This class will teach you how to make it safe and how to trade off the costs and benefits of the various treatment methods and filtration systems available. Water Treatment and Purification by Bill Miller - PDF

REI Guide to Water Purifiers and Filters 

Water Treatment Methods Handout - PDF

Weather and Risk Management - Despite the forecast, units might experience unexpected hazardous weather situations including thunderstorms, floods, or even a microburst or tornado. Learn how to be prepared and reduce vulnerability, signs that indicate you are in trouble, and what to do when things do not look good. 2013 PowerPoint Presentation
Where to Go Hiking And Backpacking - Starting with the Finger Lakes Trail, there are hundreds of miles of hiking trails here in our own backyard. Come learn about some of these, as well as trails in the Catskills, the Adirondacks and north-central Pennsylvania, which boasts some of the most scenic hiking trails anywhere! 2019 PowerPoint presentation
2016 PowerPoint presentation

Hike Recommendations -- Baden-Powell Council Area - a sampling of the many hiking trail systems found in and near the Baden-Powell Council Area -- primarily the counties of Susquehanna in Pennsylvania, and Broome, Tioga, Chenango, Cortland, and Tompkins in New York. You’ll find all of these trails ideal for hikes by Scouts of all ages -- Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers alike -- and for whatever distances you are looking for !

Tuscarora Trail System Overview - PowerPoint
Tuscarora Trail Guide
Tuscarora Trail Map 2009 - PDF

Hike the Finger Lakes Trail - 2011 PowerPoint
Hike the Finger Lakes Trail
FLTC Large Group Guidelines - PDF
Where to Go Camping - PDF
National Forest Service Finger Lakes Map - PDF

Internet Links: 
Finger Lakes Trail Conference Website
Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK)-Onondaga Chapter 
Cayuga Trails Club 
Finger Lakes National Forest
Triple Cities Hiking Club
Bullthistle Hiking Club

Whittlin' Wood - Don't cut corners! - It's fun to use your pocketknife to make a pointy stick, but it's even more fun to whittle a fun or useful object. It's even more fun if you still have ten fingers when you are finished! Come and learn knife safety and the basic techniques of whittling. Neckerchief Slides - PDF
Wilderness Survival Food - A beginning course in finding edible wild plants that you can use to survive during the Spring, Summer and Fall. The course includes food basics to bring along on a longer outing. You will receive handouts, book references, and some food samples from our area in the Spring period; the handout will tell how to handle wild plants to eat at different times of the year. Internet links:
Winter Mountaineering - Topics covered: snowshoeing & skiing, backpacking with sleds, snow shelters. Beginning Cold Weather Camping - PowerPoint from BSBLT
Youth With Special Needs - Working with Scouts with Special Needs, such as ADHD, physical limitations or mental disabilities, presents special challenges, as well as special rewards. Here's how you can make their Scouting days more successful, and preserve your sanity PowerPoint Presentations: 
Supporting Scouts with ADHD from 2011 BSBLT (also notes in PDF)
2007 PowerPoint presentation
2006 PowerPoint presentation
"Individualizing Recreation and Leisure Activities for Youth with Special Needs" - Power Point presentation

2008 Handouts (PDF):
- Help! I have ADD/Autism in my troop! 
- Individual Scout Achievement Plan 
- Scouting for Special Needs Scouts 

"Accommodating ADD" - reprint from CASP Today
"ADAPT" - Accommodations Help Students
BSA Fact Sheet
on Scouts with Disabilities - PDF
"Dealing with Disruptive Scouts" by Bill Nelson
"Coping with a hyperactive Scout at Summer Camp" PDF
from the Philmont Training Program - PDF

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