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Leader Training

Being a Scout leader at any level or in any capacity is a rewarding opportunity to shape the future by shaping today’s youth. It’s also a lot of fun. You’ll camp, hike, fish and tackle outdoor challenges alongside boys and young men and women.

You’ll coach, mentor and lead remarkable young people to significant accomplishments. Montana Team 315 offers many ways to get involved, even if you don’t have a child in Scouts.

Training Calendar

For Life.

Sign up for the Montana Trails newsletter and keep up to date on upcoming training opportunities and other news from around the council.

Basic Training

Every Scout Deserves a Trained Leader

Boy Scouts of America offers easy access to comprehensive training for unit leaders, volunteers, Scouts and every level of participant in the organization as a way to ensure you have the skills and confidence to chart a path of achievement.

Training addresses leader-specific issues, Scouting in general and protecting youth. 


> Trained Leader Positions
> Online Training
> Training Quicklinks

To be considered a fully trained Leader, you must take the training listed in the “Trained Leader Positions” as well as the following training:

Youth Protection
Offered either face-to-face or online and is required before your BSA application is turned in.

Training Programs

Wood Badge

Course Location: K-M scout ranch, Hilger, MT
Dates: August 9-11 and September 7-8, 2024
Cost: $375

Trained volunteer leadership is one of the keys to a successful Scouting experience. As the core leadership skills training course for the Boy Scouts of America, Wood Badge focuses on strengthening each volunteer’s ability to work with and lead groups of youth and adults.

All staff applications will be reviewed by the course director. Staff commitment includes the full course, as well as pre-course training and planning. Wood Badge staff must have previously completed the Wood Badge course.

Since its introduction in 1919, Wood Badge has been an essential component in the success of the Scouts. Volunteers who complete Wood Badge training receive a certificate, neckerchief, a leather slide, and two small wooden beads on a leather thong.

Wood Badge is a national adult training program for the Boy Scouts of America. It is an advanced, national leadership course open only to Scouting volunteers and professionals. Scouters from Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, Venturing, Sea Scouts, and Explorers, and district and council Scouters all are welcome and belong here. The course consists of classroom & hands-on instruction conducted in an indoor/outdoor environment. Modeled on the Scouts BSA troop & patrol methods. There is a focus on your ticket goals, which are designed to benefit yourself, others, and realizing your Scouting vision. Ticket goals are completed within 18 months. Volunteers who complete Wood Badge training and their tickets, receive a certificate, neckerchief, a leather slide, and two small wooden beads on a leather thong.

Wood Badge is important training designed to challenge us, test our limits, offer insight into the emotional roller coaster of our Scouts as they advance through the program, give meaning to time spent in Scouting and make the job as a leader easier.

It might also just be the most fun you’ll have as a Scout leader.

Wood Badge is the advanced training for all Scout leaders (Cub Scout, Boy Scout, and Venturing). It is valuable in many ways! Here are just a few that come to mind:

–         You are taught and led by a staff of experienced, outstanding Scouters who will inspire and support you throughout the training.

–         The sessions give you a better understanding of the aims and methods of Scouting and how you can make the program in your unit better and more productive.

–         You will learn of the many resources available to help you succeed in your Scouting job.

–         It is great management training for your Scouting job, and other areas of your life (many companies give time off or pay the course fee for their employees who take Wood Badge).

–         You will develop a network of other great Scouters from around the state that you can turn to for advice and support.

Wood Badge will make you a better Scout leader and provide a dynamic management training experience that will make you more effective and productive in all areas of your life. Because the course moves from one side of the state to the other in opposite years, it means that if you are in the Western part of the state – now is the time to sign up and attend. Your next opportunity for a nearby course will be in 2 years.

Wood Badge is important training, it always draws an outstanding staff and great participants. Besides all that, Wood Badge is fun and always lifts my spirits. Many Scouters report that Wood Badge is one of the highlights – a mountaintop experience – in their Scouting careers.

Wood Badge is time well spent! Please spread the word to all your unit members. This is the top leadership course in the BSA for both volunteers and professionals. You will have fun!

“Attending Wood Badge was truly a memorable experience. It wasn’t just educational; it was also a lot of fun, creating lifetime camaraderie with Scouters who will be friends, supporters and resources for years to come.

The course was intense, packed with activities, enabling you to recognize your strength and weakness and your type of leadership, teaching you tools not just for Scouting, but for any kind of teamwork activities including within your job, or your family life.

Since I went to Wood Badge, I personally have noticed how I try more to enable my kids, to get them to take on more responsibilities and be in charge.

They have expressed to me how I have been more patient with them. My husband even mentioned how he found me more task orientated and outgoing.

I do feel more confident in the projects I take on and am more open to different ideas. Also, I don’t worry as much about taking the lead for different Scouting events.

Executing my tickets was both challenging and extremely rewarding. I had to put my Wood Badge lessons into practice and learn to guide instead of lead. It showed me how I was able to become an accomplished leader.

I have no doubts that I will continue to reap the benefits of going through the Wood Badge course as I move forward in Scouting – as well as my personal life – for the years to come.

The lessons I learned will help me improve my leadership skills and become a better person for my family.

I highly recommend the Wood Badge course to anyone who seeks to be their best.”

Fabienne Wavrant-De Vrieze

Please provide your name and email to receive information concerning future Wood Badge courses.


Course Location: K-M Scout Ranch (near Lewistown, Montana)
Dates: June 16 – 22, 2024
Cost: $285

Every Scouts BSA and Venturing unit is encouraged to send at least one youth to National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT).

This is an exciting, action-packed training course designed to provide all youth members of the Boy Scouts of America with leadership skills and experience they can use in their home units and in other situations demanding leadership of self and others.

All applicants should register using the NYLT Registration link at right. 

All staff applications will be reviewed by the course director. Staff commitment includes the full course, as well as pre-course training and planning.s

NYLT is an exciting, action-packed program designed to provide all youth members of the Boy Scouts of America with leadership skills and experience they can use in their home units and in other situations demanding leadership of self and others.

Montana Council is offering this National Youth Leadership Training course which emphasizes the operation of an adult-supported, youth-run unit and is closely linked to the Wood Badge course. The presentations are conducted by NYLT-trained youth working under the leadership of Wood Badge-trained adults.

This training is open to Scouts BSA and Venturers.

In order to attend an NYLT course, a youth must have the following qualifications by the start date of the course:

    • Must be a registered member of a Scouting unit.
    • Must have a current BSA Health and Medical Record form parts A, B, and C.
    • Scouts BSA members (male and female) must be at least 13. They must have completed Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops and earned the First Class rank before attending NYLT.
    • Venturers and Sea Scouts (male and female) must be at least 14 or 13 and have completed eighth grade, and fall within the maximum age allowance for their program. They must have completed Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews or Ships. It is recommended that they have had at least one year of camping experience. While NYLT is not an outdoor skills course, it is important that each participant have basic camping and outdoor cooking experience.
    • Have a unit leader recommendation.

Yes! It is expected that the troop Scoutmaster/Advisor or a designated adult scout leader will work with the scouts prior to attending NYLT to provide them with the basics of leadership and outdoor skills. It is required that participants be graduates of the Introduction to Leadership Skills for or the Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews or Ships.

Scouts attending NYLT are expected to arrive in their complete official field (Class A) uniform. A complete uniform consists of a Scout shirt, Scout Pants, Scout belt and Scout socks. NYLT T-shirts will be issued for the participants to wear during the conference.

2024 Nylt course is looking for adult leaders to serve on staff

National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) is a council-delivered advanced training course to help youth further develop their capacity as leaders.  NYLT teaches leadership skills through a combination of formal youth-to-youth presentations and hands-on experiential learning by modeling a month in the life of a Scouts BSA troop.  This is a youth-led course, with the adult staff modeling servant leadership and providing guidance and mentorship to the youth staff along the way.

Our Montana Council NYLT course is looking for registered adult Scout leaders to serve on staff!  The week-long course dates are set for June 16-June 22, 2024, at magnificent K-M Scout Ranch near Lewistown. Adult NYLT staff must be Wood Badge trained.

Would you like to learn more about this fabulous Scouting opportunity to serve with outstanding youth staff members from around the state?  Are you available to help bring the NYLT course to life for an excited group of Scout participants?  

Please contact Markie Nathan, 2024 NYLT Course Director (, to learn more about how to serve.

Hazardous Weather training

Dates & Course:
Hazardous Weather Training is available at any time online as part of the Training section of under Program Safety.

This training expires every two years and must be retaken to remain current and fully trained”

Cost: None

All “direct contact” leaders are required to take BSA’s Hazardous Weather Training to be considered fully trained in their position. Here’s who is a “direct contact” leader:

  • Cub Scouts – Cubmaster, Assistant Cubmaster, Den Leader, Assistant Den Leader, Tiger Den Leader, Webelos Den Leader, Assistant Webelos Den Leader
  • Scouts BSA – Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster
  • Venturing – Advisor, Associate Advisor
  • Sea Scouting – Skipper, Mate
  • Exploring – Advisor, Associate Advisor

Many Scouting programs take place outdoors. This training discusses how to manage risks from the weather to our Scouting family. There are several incident reviews that are appropriate to share with leaders who may question why an appreciation of the risks in our outdoor classroom is important. The most impactful: lightning, heat and hydration and hypothermia.

Imagine as a leader with a group of excited Scouts you arrive at a council camp on a rainy Friday afternoon for a weekend event. Saturday morning is filled with the sounds of Scouts participating in the scheduled activities, only to have the weather turn blustery with sustained winds of about 30 mph and gusts up to 48 mph. The trees of the heavily forested area start swaying madly back and forth.

As a leader, what would you do? Would you continue with the event or evacuate the camp?


Powder Horn

Dates: No Course currently scheduled

Powder Horn is a comprehensive, “hands-on” course that is physically demanding in an outdoor setting. The course is a week long program camping near Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

You will experience activities like rock climbing, black powder shooting, packing, and emergency scenarios. In addition to experiencing all details to the course, you will learn how to find the resources to help you deliver a fun, challenging, and dynamic high adventure program for today’s youth.

The course is designed for Venturing crew advisors, Sea Scout skippers, Troop scoutmasters, Varsity coaches, other unit leaders, district, council, area, regional leaders and committee members interested in the ranger and high adventure programs with goals to move their organizations to the next level and who meet the selection standards.

NOTE: The Powder Horn course is not designed or intended to make leaders experts or self-sufficient in any skill or skill area. The leader will still need to rely on knowledgeable, trained, and appropriately certified individuals to assist them in the delivery of a high adventure program.

Future course dates will be announced as they are determined.