7 Essential Resources for Cub Scout Leaders: A Full Training Guide

Whether you’re a new Cub Scout leader or an experienced one, Scouts BSA offers plenty of useful training resources for Cub Scouting and beyond. 😀 These resources aren’t always well-known, but they’ll help you stay aware of what’s going on, connect with other Cub Scout volunteers, and learn by attending workshops or listening to #CubChatLive. 

There are plenty of online Scouts BSA training materials out there too, which even makes it easy for folks with busy schedules to participate! In fact, most of the initial Cub Scout adult leader training is online. While ideally all leaders attend Wood Badge, that isn’t always an option, That’s why, today we’re diving into useful and accessible Cub Scouting resources to help get any leader up to speed!

PS. This article is a guest post collaboration between Cub Scouting volunteer Jaci H and Cole 🙂

What are the best resources for Cub Scout Leaders? The best Cub Scouting resources include the Scouts BSA online training materials, Youth Protection Training, BALOO, University of Scouting, Wood Badge, ScoutSmarts.com and Roundtables. These resources provide invaluable training and information to help leaders more effectively support their Cub Scout packs.

In this article, we’ll cover seven different training resources to help Cub Scout adult volunteers be the best leaders they can be! We’ll start with the “have to” list, meaning you have to take these training courses in order to be a leader. then, we’ll follow with the “should” take list, meaning if you want to Do Your Best, you should definitely take advantage of these resources!

The 7 Most Useful Cub Scouting Adult Leader Resources

Youth Protection Training

Yes, taking Youth Protection Training is obvious, but it’s also so imperative that it must be repeated. Per Scouts BSA, Youth Protection Training (YPT) “must be retaken every two years to maintain registration.” All leaders should have an account at My.Scouting.

To learn how to create an account, you should check out the BSA “how to” guide. From there, simply look for YPT in the Learning Library! For a helpful walkthrough, this 2:32 video also gives clear instructions on how to access YPT:

Scouts BSA is committed to providing a safe environment, and YPT is the best method devised for making this happen. If you’ve been a leader for a few years, you’ll even start to memorize sections of the YPT training! That’s great, as the trainings provide important reminders about suspected child abuse, bullying, and Scout protection policies. 

My local council requires that YPT be completed when our unit recharters. The middle section of our council webpage has a nice, concise list of training and links to make it easy for visitors to get where they need to. We also have a state assembly bill that requires Live Scan background checks for Scouts BSA volunteers, which the page highlights.

Position-Specific Training

You wouldn’t accept a paid job and not get the proper training, right? Scouting has a motto: “Every Scout deserves a trained leader.” I came across that statement over and over again as I was listening to video snippets and researching for this article — and it’s so true! 😀

In addition to printed guides, Cub Scout leaders can access online resources for their job training at My.Scouting, the same place you take your YPT training. Click on “My Training,” and choose “Cub Scouts” for a list of options:

  • Cubmaster training
  • Den Leader training
  • Pack Committee Chair training
  • Pack Committee Member training. 

For a sample on these types of role-specific Cub Scout leader trainings, check out this 2:32 video geared toward new den leaders:

This BSA resource concisely outlines the training requirements for Cubmaster and assistant, den leader and assistant, and pack committee chair and members. It even includes the amount of time each training takes! Definitely use it as a checklist when getting started with any of the outlined positions.

As I took you back to My.Scouting.org a few times, did you notice the other opportunities for learning there? Under the “Expanded Learning,” I saw “Journey to Excellence” (13 minutes) as well as “Succession Planning for Volunteer Leaders” (32 minutes). There will come a time when these topics will be super useful for any pack, showing that there’s always room to grow and learn! 😀

BALOO Training

Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation (BALOO) training is required for Cub Scouts to have an overnight camping trip. At least one adult leader at the overnighter must have finished BALOO training, which consists of an online portion and a hands-on one, which should take about a day and a half to complete.

The purpose of BALOO training is to prepare leaders with necessary information to take Cubs camping… and have fun in the process! Outdoor ethics like Leave No Trace, cooking, basic knots, first aid, meal planning, and fire safety are some of the topics covered. The hands-on portion is also a great chance to connect with other volunteers!

Cub Scout leaders can access the prerequisite online section of BALOO through My.Scouting.org. Click on “My Training,” and choose “Expanded Learning.” There you will see BALOO. If you want a sneak peek at BALOO training, check out this BALOO instructor’s guidebook!

You can also watch Scouter Stan relay his perspective on the basics of camping and BALOO for all Scout leaders (17:28):

District training chair Sean W. from Chelmsford, MA described the training: “BALOO is meant to give leaders with no camping experience the basics of getting a unit outdoors overnight. This includes both skills and safety, as well as activity planning and paperwork necessities. It’s also useful for networking and for parents to get a bit of a recharge.” 🙂

University of Scouting

The goal of University of Scouting (UOS) is to supplement the education of a Scouting leader and to provide another opportunity for networking. It can be offered once or twice a year. If you missed your local one, ask around as you might be able to find another one online!

A vast offering of classes seems typical with UOS, especially if it’s online. Topics I saw while researching included Cub Scout games, crafts, knots, planning effective meetings, Webelos transition, cooking, and Scout skits. In other words, UOS events cover just about every aspect of Cub Scouting!

Why go to UOS? In the video (1:15) below, leader Zack U shared that he learns something new every year he attends. For example, he’s learned new skits and songs, Pinewood Derby tips, and even how to create more interesting meetings!

Wood Badge

Per Scouts BSA: Wood Badge is an advanced, national leadership course open only to Scouting volunteers and professionals. 😀 Course topics include listening, managing conflict, leading change, mentoring, and project planning. The Capital Area Council created a helpful video (10:05) to describe Wood Badge.

Leader Emily W. from Santa Clarita, CA recently completed Wood Badge. Because she has a master’s degree in educational leadership works as a teacher, she didn’t initially think she needed more leadership training to work with Cubs. 

However, after the training, she admitted that there were many great tie-ins to what is done in real life. She added, “I see the value in team building, community involvement, and collaboration with others. Every BSA leader should attend Wood Badge.”

A Scout leader in Michigan shared a succinct message about Wood Badge. He said, “You will get out of Wood Badge what you put into it. Take it, enjoy it, make many friends, and do something useful for your unit.” What a great perspective! 😀


Many might be surprised by the inclusion of Cub Chat in this list. However, I have crossed paths with the Cub Chat videos many times while researching articles. It provides a wealth of information. If you want to watch Cub Chat being livestreamed, hop on their Facebook page or YouTube channel at 2 p.m. Central on Fridays! 

The episodes cover a wide variety of topics — anything from Blue & Gold ceremonies to program updates to making den meetings even more fun. A podcast version is also available and, of course, all episodes are recorded and you can search for any topic!  

I highly recommend this site for regular Scout learning. For example, the linked 30-minute video below covers “How To Become a Trained Cub Scout Leader.” While 30 minutes may seem like a long time to watch something, I always say, you can do a household chore while you listen to it! 😉

Cub Scout Roundtables

Scouts BSA describes Roundtables as a monthly event where “Scouting volunteers in a local community come together to provide information about local Scouting events, activities, and  programs. Roundtables play a significant role in providing continuous supplemental training for unit leaders.”

Roundtables can be in-person, virtual, or a combination of both. That means if you happen to miss your own Roundtable, you might find another online and still reap the benefits. To find a roundtable near you, ask a more senior pack leader or Google, “Cub Scout round table (your location)”! One leader described Roundtable as a place to meet people who can point you to other trainings and resources.

Elizabeth M., a Roundtable commissioner from Coram, NY also thinks they provide great value. “Roundtable is the best place to not only get information from your district, but to also share tips and tricks. Other leaders are a great source of ideas and inspiration to make the BSA program fun for the kids — and possibly easier for the adults.”


Every Scout deserves a trained leader! 😀 Scouts BSA offers many online options for leaders to complete all of the required training for most every pack role. In addition, there are opportunities to connect with like-minded Scouters in person at the second part of BALOO training, at a Roundtable, or during Wood Badge!

It’s clear to me after researching for this article and talking to other individuals about their training experiences that Scouts BSA wants leaders to succeed. If you’ve fallen into a rut or are feeling discouraged, I challenge you to go to one of the resources mentioned in this article and find your new motivation!

Thanks so much for dropping by, and for being an awesome part of the Cub Scouting community! If you enjoyed learning about how to have an even bigger impact supporing your pack’s Cubs, I’d highly recommend also checking out any of the following articles:

I hope you continue to grow as a Cub Scout leader and positively impact the lives of future generations! The next time you’re looking for inspiration or Scouting knowledge, be sure to come back to ScoutSmarts. That’s your secret 8th resource to help you out on this incredible journey! Until we meet again, I’m wishing you some amazing Cub Scouting times ahead. 😀

Jaci H

Jaci H is the proud mom of an Eagle Scout. She enjoyed volunteering with her son's Cub Scout pack and troop, most recently as the fundraising chair. She works as a freelance writer in Southern California.

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