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Varsity Leader Training

What is Varsity Scouting?

Varsity Scouting is not the same type of Scouting as is conducted in a Scout Troop.  It is different.  It is designed to meet the needs of Teacher age young men.  It is a boy designed program based on their interests and needs.

The program is run by young men with the help of a Coach and Assistant Coaches and a committee of adults.  Key features are High Adventure, Sports, Service, Personal Development, and Advancement.

Varsity Scouts are a Team.  Varsity Scouting is organized as a Team and functions as a Team.  Every member has a job to do.  There are no spectators.  The Scout unit is called a Varsity Scout Team.

 

Varsity Team Organization

The youth leaders of a Varsity Team are a Team Captain, a Team Co Captain, and Program Managers for High Adventure, Sports, Service, Personal Development, Advancement, and Special Programs and Events.  There can also be a Quartermaster, Scribe, Chaplain Aid, Librarian, Historian, and Instructors.  There should also be a Varsity Team Order of the Arrow Representative (TOAR).  The number of manager jobs should be expanded to give every member of the team a job.  For example, Personal Development can be divided into three areas, Spiritual, Social, and Leadership, providing three jobs instead of just one.  If the Varsity Team has few members, the jobs can be consolidated with a team member having more than one area of responsibility.  The adult leaders in a Varsity Team are a Coach, Assistant Coaches and members of the Team committee.  Remember the rule in Scouting is “Two Deep Leadership” whenever working with youth.

 

Varsity Team Committee

A Varsity Team is supported by a committee.  There should be, as a minimum, a committee of three adults called to these positions.  The best source for committee members are parents of the members of the Varsity Team.  There is a committee Chairperson and such other jobs as are needed by the Team such as Advancement Committee Member and a Program Committee Member.  A full committee will have an adult member for each of the five program areas of emphasis who will work as an adviser to their respective youth Team Program Manager.

 

Varsity Scout Program Areas of Emphasis

The Varsity Scout program is based on five areas of emphasis:

 

Getting Started as a Varsity Leader

REGISTRATION
Make sure you are registered.  If you have not turned in a registration form, click here to for a fillable registration form.  Give the completed form to your Committee Chair or your Chartering Organization Representative.

TAKE YOUTH PROTECTION TRAINING
Go to my.scouting.org  and create an account for yourself with username and password.  In the process, you will be asked to enter you BSA member number.  If you do not yet have one, skip that step; you can add your member number at a later time when you have one.

Once in my.scouting.org, click Dashboard > My Training > YPT to take the Youth Protection Training.  It will take about 20 minutes.  Print the course completion certificate two times, one for your records and one to put with your BSA registration form.  Your registration form cannot be turned in until your Youth Protection Training certificate is attached.

You will need to retake the Youth Protection Training every two years. My.Scouting.org will remind you by email.

GET A UNIFORM AND LEADER MANUAL
Get a Boy Scout leader uniform and Varsity Scout program orange shoulder tabs.  Set the example for your Varsity Scouts by wearing your uniform.  You can get a uniform at the Springfield Scout Shop or the Maryland Scout Shop (click here for information on the Scout Shops) or visit scoutstuff.org  to order online.

The Varsity Scout Guidebook is available at the same places you get your uniform.  This is your bible on how to run the Varsity scouting program.

GET TRAINED
This is Scouting.  If you are new to Scouting, take this online at my.scouting.org

> Home (Scout icon in top left corner) > My Dashboard > My Training > Training Center > Other.  It will take about 30 minutes.  It will give you an overall view of all Scouting programs, organizational levels, and general safety policy.

Varsity Scout Fast Start
Viewing this video is highly recommended.  In 20 minutes you will have a great visual picture of what Varsity Scouting is and how it operates.  You can find it in DVD at the Scout Shop or on scoutstuff.org or online at my.scouting.org > Home (Scout icon in top left corner) > My Dashboard > My Training > Training Center > Venturing and Varsity.

Basic Training
Basic training for Coaches and Assistant Coaches consists of 3 courses (YPT, VCPST, and IOLS).  Basic Training for Committee members consists of two course (YPT and VCC).


GET ORGANIZED
Organize Your Varsity Team.  Click here to view a Varsity Team organization chart. The Varsity Coach and the Team Captain call team members to the various youth Varsity leadership positions listed below.  For Varsity Teams sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Church’s Scouting Handbook, item 5.2, states a calling to a position constitutes an election to that position.

If you do not have enough youth to fill all positions, youth can be assigned more than one position responsibilities.

Youth Leadership
Youth members are elected/appointed to leadership positions in the following areas:

 

Adult Leadership
The Varsity Coach and Assistant Coach(s) are adults age 21 or older who is selected by the chartered organization and have responsibility for the following.  There must always be at least two-deep adult leadership for all activities.

  1. Attending Team meetings
  2. Training youth officers to plan and coordinate the program
  3. Conducting the program capability inventory
  4. Helping youth plan and implement activities

The Varsity Committee is composed of adult members — parents, chartered organization members, and other interested adults—who support the team program.  Their responsibilities are as follows:

The Chair conducts monthly committee meetings and coordinates support for the team.

Committee Members assist youth leaders carry out their responsibilities. There should be an adult ommittee member adviser for each youth program area manager:

 

PLAN YOUR TEAM PROGRAM
The method of developing the Varsity Team program is what makes Varsity Scouts so effective for the Teacher age young men.  It is a program designed by the young men to meet the interests and needs of the young men and carried out by the young men, all with Varsity Coach advice and guidance.  The elements of the programming method are in order:

  1. Conduct Varsity Scout Individual Interest Survey
  2. Create a Team interest profile from the survey results
  3. Brain Storming by the Team for additional program ideas
  4. Conduct Resource Survey among adults and sponsoring organization
  5. Develop Annual Plan including an annual High Adventure
  6. Calendar the Plan accounting for other competing calendars
  7. Submit to the Team Committee for support
  8. Correlate with other Young Men programs and the Ward
  9. Obtain Priesthood leadership approval
  10. Announce to Varsity Team members and parents
  11. Assign Team members responsibility for conducting various activities in the plan
  12. Do it
  13. Evaluate the plan – after action evaluation
  14. Start over again

 

See the Varsity Scout Guidebook for the survey forms and annual plan matrix.  This process can be started at any time and adjusted at any time.  If the Varsity Team program is failing to meet the needs and interests of its members, it is because the planning method is not followed.  Evaluate and start over again or adjust.  A note of caution; although the planning method was used and an annual plan and 12 month calendar is produced, do not be afraid to change it to meet the needs of the young men as older ones leave and newer one come or interests change.  In spite of an annual plan and 12 month calendar, detailed planning generally extends only 3 months into the future.

BE SAFE
Safety Training.  Take the following Safety courses.  Unless otherwise indicated below, these courses can be take online at https://my.scouting.org > Home (Scout Icon in top left corner) > My Dashboard > My Training > Training Center > Other.

  1. Weather Hazards. This is required any outdoor activities.  Good information.
  2. Safe Swim Defense.  This is required for any swimming activity including in a life guarded pool or your backyard pool.
  3. Safety Afloat.  Required for any boating activity.
  4. Climb On Safely.  Required for any climbing or rappelling activity even in an indoor climbing gym.
  5. Basic First Aid Training.  This is not online but can be taken from American Red Cross or similar resource.
  6. CPR.  This is not online but can be taken from the American Red Cross or similar resource.  Someone that is CPR trained is required for all swimming, boating, and climbing activities.  It would be good to have youth trained in CPR as the adults might need it before a youth will.

 

Safety Rules.  Review the Guide to Safe Scouting on topics related to your activities before you do the activities so you know the related BSA safety rules.  The Guide to Safe Scouting can be viewed online at scouting.org > Volunteer > Guide to Safe Scouting (right side bar).  Some basic rules are as follows.  See the Guide to Safe Scouting for complete rules and safety requirements.

  1. Always wear a helmet when biking, doing winter sports, or white water activities.
  2. Shooting sports must be supervised by a certified NRA instructor or range officer.
  3. Climbing and rappelling must be supervised by a certified climbing instructor.
  4. Unauthorized BSA activities include: Paint Ball or Laser Tag where the gun is pointed at another person, riding All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV), go-carts, motorbikes, riding Personal Water Craft, sky diving, parasailing, martial arts, boxing, karate, and playing football.  (See the Guide to Safe Scouting, Unauthorized and Restricted Activities, for a complete list.)
  5. A Tour and Activity Plan must always be submitted prior to any water activities, climbing and rappelling activities, shooting activities, and camp events longer than 72 hours or outside the National Capital Area Council. (See the Guide to Safe Scouting for a complete list of events requiring a Tour and Activity Plan.  Tour and Activity Plans are submitted online from your MyScouting account – myscouting.scouting.org > Tour and Activity Plan (left side.)

 

For additional information, you may contact ppetty1@cox.net or your district commissioner and training staff.