The Boy Scouts of America has training courses that are required for leaders and parents who work with the boys on a regular basis. Most councils or districts hold face-to-face sessions so that volunteers can get the required training.
However, many people opt to take the courses online. It's convenient and can be done on your schedule.
I wanted to share a couple of “secrets” about the online training. Well, they aren't really secrets, but they're tips that I'll bet a lot leaders and parents don't know.
Cub Scout Leader Training Secret #1 – Add Your Member Number
All Cub Scout volunteers MUST take Youth Protection Training (YPT) every two years. YPT (and most other training courses) is offered online at the My Scouting website. New volunteers are required to take the course immediately because their certificate of completion has to be submitted with their volunteer application.
Since the new volunteer isn't officially a member yet, he or she doesn't have a membership ID number. This isn't a problem until your pack starts the recharter process. The recharter chair will start calling you to ask if you've completed the training and if you can get a copy of your certificate to her.
That's because your training isn't showing up in your pack's data. While I don't know exactly how the BSA systems work, I suspect that the pack data is matched to training data based on member numbers.
How do you get your member number? In our council, the membership cards (with the ID numbers on them) are mailed to our Cubmaster. If you haven't gotten a membership card, check with someone on your pack committee.
You can also email your council staff person who is responsible for registration. You can go to your council's website and look for either “contact us” or “staff”. This person will probably have a different title in each council, so look for registrar or registration manager. Send a quick email asking for your membership number. Don't forget to include your name and pack number.
After you get your membership number, here's what you'll do:
Log back into the My Scouting website and go to your profile page. Scroll down past your basic information until you see the “Membership Info” section. Pick your council from the drop down menu then enter your member ID number in the next field. Click the add button.
If you're like me, you'll go back in, see that the field is blank and get annoyed because you KNOW you put it in last time. Well, just look below the Member ID field. There's your member number with your council information.
This is one of those tasks that we procrastinate about, but it will save you more time in the long run if you'll just pop over to My Scouting and enter your number as soon as you get it!
Cub Scout Leader Training Secret #2 – How to Print Your Certificate
There will be situations where you will need to have a hard copy of the certificate (such as when you volunteer for day camp). I was always going into the “training validation” part of the system (which doesn't always work) to do a print screen so I could show that I had taken the course.
Then one day, my friend, Betsy, told me how to print a copy. It is so easy that I felt silly for not figuring it out for myself!
Here's what you do:
Log into My Scouting and click on the E-Learning section on the left. Scroll down a bit until you see the courses you've taken (they have the green dots beside the course names). Look over to your right. See that “View Certificate” link? Yep, click on that and your certificate opens in a new tab. Use your browser's print function to print the certificate.
So, those are my two “secrets.” They aren't earth-shattering, but hopefully, they'll save you some time!
Yours in Scouting,
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P.P.S. Yes, I have a pink mouse. With all boys, I have to get my pink wherever I can!