Look through your troop’s patrol boxes, and you’ll probably find a few food items that long ago passed their expiration dates. But that’s not the only thing in Scouting that expires. A number of training certifications (mostly safety-related) have expiration dates as well.
Youth Protection is the most familiar. Every registered BSA leader must complete Youth Protection Training every two years. Here’s a list of common BSA courses that have expiration dates (courtesy of the BSA’s Training Times from a couple of years back (http://www.scouting.org/filestore/training/pdf/TrainingTimesSpring2013.pdf):
- Youth Protection – every two years (one year for jamboree leaders and staff)
- Safe Swim Defense – every two years
- BSA Lifeguard – every three years
- Safety Afloat – every two years
- Trainer’s EDGE – every three years for Wood Badge and NYLT staff
- Hazardous Weather – every two years
- Climb On Safely – every two years
- Trek Safely – every two years
Most other courses don’t expire, but that doesn’t mean you and your other leaders shouldn’t retake them on occasion (or serve on staff). BSA programs and policies change frequently, and a great way to keep up with the changes is to retake basic training courses.
Retaking courses is also a great way to get your new leaders to training, by the way. Rather than say, “You need to go to training,” try saying, “Let’s go to training, and I’ll give you a ride.” That’s an offer that can be hard to refuse–or at least easier to take than that four-year-old squeeze cheese you found in the Beaver Patrol’s patrol box.