B.A.L.O.O. stands for Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation. It’s the introductory training Cub Scout leaders should complete before taking Cub Scouts on an overnight camping trip. Recent updates to this two-part course make the content more impactful, useful, and convenient. The new B.A.L.O.O. combines the previous B.A.L.O.O. and a course called Outdoor Leader Skills for Webelos Leaders, or OWL. As of Feb. 28, 2018, OWL is no more. B.A.L.O.O. consists of two components: online and hands-on. You’ll need to complete both — in order — to qualify as a “Trained” Cub Scout outdoor leader and receive the B.A.L.O.O. recognition patch.
For the first time in volunteer training, the BSA is using a blended approach with the new course. The course begins with eight brief online modules, available at my.scouting.org. Each module lasts 10 minutes or less and covers basics like the benefits of the outdoor program and health and safety considerations. Once you’ve completed those prerequisites, you’re ready for the weekend.
1. Online component: The online portion of B.A.L.O.O. is available 24/7 on the BSA Learn Center. Just log in to my.Scouting.org to begin. The goal of the online portion is to make the best use of time to allow leaders to experience as much as possible during the practical hands-on training.
2. Practical, hands-on component: This 1.5-day course is designed as an introduction to the Cub Scout outdoor program for leaders interested in adding a camping component to their Pack activities. The final session for 2018 is set for October 12-13, 2018 at LE Phillips Scout Reservation.