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9/20/2013 at 11:04:18 PM GMT
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Climbing Instructor Training

Climbing Instructor Training

hosted by the Del-Mar-Va Council, BSA

Oct. 25-26, 2013 (Session 1): Basics, tower operations;

Nov. 1-2, 3023 (Session 2): Natural rock operations;

Nov. 8-9, 2013 (Session 3): Lead Instructor/Advanced

All sessions are Friday, 7 PM - Saturday, 6 PM

Cost is $35 per session

Online registration at

Under the supervision of a Level 2 Climbing Instructor, Level 1 Climbing Instructors can teach Climbing Merit Badge, conduct Climb On Safely training programs for adult leaders, and instruct youth in climbing and rappelling on natural rock, climbing towers, or climbing gyms, under the BSA program. Del-Mar-Va Council Climbing Program Staff, working within the BSA program structure, use Council-owned climbing equipment and facilities and some off-site natural rock sites, and are covered under the BSA insurance program. The training can be renewed annually with ongoing participation in Council climbing activities. Session 1 should be taken first; completion allows participation at Council owned climbing towers. Session 2 expands the participant's skills to include natural rock rigging and operations. It's a great way to learn about climbing and conducting youth group climbing events, improve your rigging and climbing skills, and serve the community by introducing youth to a challenging sport. You must be 18 to be carded as a Level 1 Climbing Instructor.

Completion of all three sessions is required for a Lead Climbing Instructor card (to be called Level 2 Instructor starting in 2014). LCIs/Level 2 Instructors learn additional/advanced techniques and organizational/operational skills. Level 2 Instructors can direct the activities of Level 1 Instructors as event organizers (initially under the oversight of a more experienced Level 2). LCI/Level 2 training is current for 2 or 3 years, and can be renewed as necessary with continued participation. You must be 21 to be carded as a Lead Climbing Instructor/Level 2 Instructor.

Our instruction is all skills based. If you come in with significant climbing background, you may advance through skills assessments quickly. If you are new to climbing, you may need some hands-on time at climbing events to develop, demonstrate, and practice skills. The Sessions should be taken in sequence, but you don't need to take all three in one season. We expect to offer all 3 Sessions each year, so you can sequence at a pace that makes sense for you.

Cost: $35/session to cover material duplication costs, meals, facility and equipment use, and other supplies.

Registration: Visit: . If you are not already a registered member of BSA, you will need to complete a form at the first evening session and pay a $15 fee to join. You will also need to complete a BSA medical form (doctor signature is not required-fill it out and attach a copy of your last physical exam from a physician). Click the link on the online registration page for this form.

Locations: All sessions are held at Camp Rodney near North East, MD, about 45 minutes west of Wilmington, DE, 400 Rodney Scout Road, North East, MD (driving directions are available on Session 2 Friday evening will be at Camp Rodney and at Rocks State Park (45 minutes west of Camp Rodney) on November 2, for an all day session on the rocks.

Creature Comforts: Bunk in the cabin (bring your own pillow and sleeping bag) on Friday night, or bring a tent if you prefer. We provide a "cracker barrel” type snack Friday evening, and a simple breakfast and lunch for Saturday. We keep the food simple so we can spend more time on climbing.

What to bring: All equipment is provided, but you may bring your own helmet, harness, and climbing shoes. Bring a hot beverage cup, 1 or 2 refillable water bottles, a short piece of climbing rope or accessory cord, and a length of 1” tubular webbing if you have it, and a pencil/pen.

What You'll Learn:

  • Equipment and cordage inspection, marking, care, storage and retirement;
  • Climbing, rappelling, bouldering, spotting, belaying, and belay commands;
  • Climbing knots (water knot, figure 8 follow-through, double fisherman's knot, Prusik, alpine butterfly, Munter hitch/mule knot) and how and when to use them;
  • Anchoring systems and belay anchor construction for natural rock and for climbing towers;
  • Good safety practices, including age-appropriate activity levels for youths;
  • Leave No Trace policies for Climbing;
  • Intro to program administration- BSA National Standards, teaching skills, climbing event planning and coordination, development of emergency plans, and climbing program record-keeping (Lead/Level 2);

Working ahead:  You should study ahead by doing the following: 

·        Study the Climb On Safely, BSA Project COPE and Climbing/Rappelling National Standards.  These documents are also available in electronic form on the DelMarVa Council Climbing Team’s website, .·       


Knots:  Go to, and learn the climbing knots indicated above.  Things will go much faster if you prepare in advance of arrival.  


Other Questions?  Contact Terry Bliss, BSA Climbing Program Manager, 678-361-6904 (cell) or email at  A more complete syllabus/agenda is available.

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