The Trainer's EDGE

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The Trainer Development Conference has been replaced with The Trainer's EDGE. The Trainer's EDGE uses contemporary training techniques and emphasizes the importance of experiential learning, or "learning by doing." Most of the sessions not only demonstrate good training methods, but also give participants a chance to interact and actually practice what they have learned.



The Trainer's EDGE replaces the Trainer Development Conference (BSA 500) as the required train-the-trainer course for Wood Badge and NYLT staffs. The purpose of the Trainer's EDGE course is to provide and help develop the platform skills of a trainer. It is meant to supplement the practice offered through Wood Badge and NYLT staff development, with a focus on the participant, while raising the level of skill a trainer brings to the staff experience. Only practice can polish these skills, but this course is intended to “train the trainer” on behaviors and resources while offering hands-on experience in methods and media.

This is part of a continuous process of updating trainers with the latest training methods, principles, and technologies. This conference is mainly for Scouters who will be delivering training to adult leaders as well as to the young people in Scouting.

All trainers, including pack trainers, should participate in a trainer development conference. The council usually offers the conference as a one-day event. Your district training chair can provide details on the date and location of the next conference.

Pre-course Preparation

Staff Selection

The Trainer's EDGE course should be delivered by a staff of experienced trainers. Staff size will vary according to the number of participants, but an excessive number of trainers is not required or encouraged. At least one staff member should be assigned to each patrol. Diversity among staff members is strongly recommended. Staff should be correctly uniformed to set the example. Combining youth and adult staff is encouraged and highly desirable.

Patrol Size

Patrols should be limited to no more than six members to ensure that participant practice sessions stay within the time allotted for the course. Participant Presentations. In Module 4, each participant will make a presentation to the patrol on a Scouting topic of their choice. The topic they select should be broad enough to allow the presenter to apply the learning from the morning sessions.

They should have been told to bring any material or equipment they need for their presentation with them to the Trainers EDGE course. At the beginning of the session, have them stow their materials away until they get to use them. Because the intent of the activity is to have participants incorporate the morning’s learning into their presentations, it is highly unlikely that they will be able to use their presentation as they prepared it.

Patrol Presentations

These presentations are simple in nature. Presentations may include PowerPoint, flip charts or hands on activities like rope. Presentations can include topics like:

  • an FOS Presentation,
  • a "How to tie a bowline" demonstration
  • a review of the Scout Oath and Law and their meaning
  • How to whip a rope, or
  • any other Scouting skill that can be presented in a 10 minute presentation.

What does EDGE mean?

Explain how it is done - Tell them
Demonstrate the steps - Show them
Guide learners as they practice - Watch them do it
Enable them to succeed on their own - Use memory aids, practice it, they teach it

See The Trainer's EDGE for details.

See also

Online or classroom Leader Training

Youth Protection training (YPT) is required for all BSA registered volunteers and must be retaken every two years. Some councils and units may require more frequent (e.g., annual) retaking of YPT). Check with your local council and unit to find out what their policies are.

In addition to YPT, registered adults should complete the following courses online at

  • Before the First Meeting
  • First 30 Days
  • Position Trained

Other training opportunities: RoundtableUniversity of ScoutingThe Trainer's EDGEpow wow

Outdoor Leader Training

In addition to fulfilling other requirements, some unit leaders need outdoor-specific training.

Other outdoor-related links

External links

Presentation resources:

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