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:
- High Adventure and Sports
- Personal Development
- Special Programs and Events
Getting Started as a Varsity Leader
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.
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 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).
- Youth Protection Training. (See information on that course above).
- Varsity Coach Position Specific Training (VCPST). This course is for both Coaches and Assistant Coaches. This is a classroom course taught by your Scout district or council leader trainers. It is about a 3½ hour course in which you will learn team organization, team member jobs, Varsity program planning, awards, and safety.
- The Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills (IOLS). This is an outdoor course taught by yourScout district leader trainers. It is usually taught on a Friday evening through Saturday evening. Even if you’re an experienced camper and outdoorsman, you should take this course to learn how to teach these skills to youth and related safety practices. IOLS is “NOT” required for Varsity Committee Members
- Varsity Committee Challenge (VCC). This is a 1½ hour classroom course presented by your Scout district or council leader trainers. It is sometimes taught in conjunction with the VCPST. This course is intended to provide Varsity team committee members with the basic information they need to help manage a team.
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 members are elected/appointed to leadership positions in the following areas:
- The Team Captain is the key youth leader and works closely with the Coach and other team leaders to plan team and team officers’ meetings. He conducts Individual Interest Surveys and team annual program planning process under the supervision of the Coach.The Team Captain presides at team meetings and officer meetings. He sets the example and lives by the Scout Oath and Law. The Team Captain may directly supervise some program managers.
- The Team Co-Captain presides in the absence of the Captain. He sets the example and lives by the Scout Oath and Law. Supervises some or all of the program managers.
- The Program Manager for High Adventure plans and coordinates the annual High Adventure and selected quarterly mini-high adventures.
- The Program Manager for Sports plans and runs the team sports programs such as basketball, volleyball, and others selected by the team.
- The Program Manager for Service plans and supervises team service projects such as Scouting for Food, quorum service projects, etc.. Sees that service hours are recorded on the BSA online service site.
- The Program Manager for Advancement tracks team members advancement on the Eagle Trail, keeps merit badge counselor list, arranges for merit badge classes chosen by the team, is a member of team Boards of Review except for Eagle, helps with Courts of Honor, tracks Denali Award progress, tracks Duty to God and On My Honor award progress, and tracks Varsity Letter awards.
- The Program Manager for Personal Development plans and runs activities in social, spiritual, and leadership training.
- The Program Manager for Special Programs and Events plans and coordinates team involvement in programs and events such as camporees, hike-o-rees, youth conferences, Scouting on the Mall, etc..
- The Team Order of the Arrow Representative (TOAR) plans and coordinates annual elections to the OA, team members attendance at Ordeals and Brotherhood Walks, team participation in OA service projects, camping assistance to the Scout Troop, etc..
- The Secretary (or Program Manager for Communications) keeps records, takes meeting minutes, and handles correspondence and communications with the crew members on meeting and activity times and places.
- Quartermaster takes care of team equipment, supplies, and flags. Responsible for meeting room set up, breakdown, and AV equipment as needed.
- The Treasurer maintains the team’s funds and is in charge of fund raising activities.
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.
- Attending Team meetings
- Training youth officers to plan and coordinate the program
- Conducting the program capability inventory
- 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:
- High Adventure and Sports Adviser (can also cover, tour and activity plans, permits, transportation, etc.
- Service Adviser
- Personal Development Adviser
- Advancement Adviser (also tracks awards, plans Boards of Review, Procures awards, plans Courts of Honor)
- Special Programs and Events Adviser
- Some other key committee member’s jobs are as follows which may also be accomplished by the program manager advisers:
- Secretary (calendar, communication with parents, etc.)
- Membership (new members, re-charter, unit member roster)
- Activity Support Coordinator (transportation, tour permits, etc.)
- Quartermaster (team gear and supplies)
- Treasurer (fund raising activities for unit equipment and High Adventure, Friends of Scouting Campaign)
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:
- Conduct Varsity Scout Individual Interest Survey
- Create a Team interest profile from the survey results
- Brain Storming by the Team for additional program ideas
- Conduct Resource Survey among adults and sponsoring organization
- Develop Annual Plan including an annual High Adventure
- Calendar the Plan accounting for other competing calendars
- Submit to the Team Committee for support
- Correlate with other Young Men programs and the Ward
- Obtain Priesthood leadership approval
- Announce to Varsity Team members and parents
- Assign Team members responsibility for conducting various activities in the plan
- Do it
- Evaluate the plan – after action evaluation
- 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.
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.
- Weather Hazards. This is required any outdoor activities. Good information.
- Safe Swim Defense. This is required for any swimming activity including in a life guarded pool or your backyard pool.
- Safety Afloat. Required for any boating activity.
- Climb On Safely. Required for any climbing or rappelling activity even in an indoor climbing gym.
- Basic First Aid Training. This is not online but can be taken from American Red Cross or similar resource.
- 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.
- Always wear a helmet when biking, doing winter sports, or white water activities.
- Shooting sports must be supervised by a certified NRA instructor or range officer.
- Climbing and rappelling must be supervised by a certified climbing instructor.
- 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.)
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or your district commissioner and training staff.