National Capital Area Council - BCOLS (Fall 2023)

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BCOLS (Fall 2023)

Event Details

Back Country Outdoor Leader Skills (BCOLS)

Back Country Outdoor Leader Skills (BCOLS) is an optional course offered to adult leaders who have completed the required training in their Scouting program.  This course assists Scouters working with youth in the backcountry by providing the skills necessary to conduct a safe and risk-managed high adventure program in venues outside those supported by BSA infrastructure.  It has been continuously designed to address new and emerging issues, techniques, and gear.


BCOLS has three key goals:

Provide adult leaders with an understanding of safety and risk management issues in the back country environment.
Expose adult leaders to interpersonal, small group dynamics, and leadership models consistent with National syllabi and curricula.
Familiarize adult leaders with the planning processes, skills, and equipment necessary to a successful back country adventure.


BCOLS consists of two parts:

One day-long classroom session

Working Together — covers needs and characteristics of the age group; discusses group dynamics and the interpersonal skills needed to build and maintain a high-performance team.
Trek Planning and Preparation — covers the detailed preparation and planning that is necessary to a successful Trek and includes risk management, Leave No Trace principles, and discussion and displays of the personal and crew equipment used for Trekking, as well as other Trek tools.

Two-day weekend outdoor session provides a mix of skill presentations and hands-on practice.  Activities include Leave No Trace camping skills, problem solving through initiative games, the use of bear bags/canisters, equipment maintenance, stove maintenance, water treatment, menu planning and trail cooking (and clean-up), terrain awareness, health and safety and personal hygiene issues, hands-on land navigation, and trail meditations. 


Requirements for attending BCOLS:

Be registered members of the Boy Scouts of America and age 18 or older.
Have completed the basic position-specific training courses for their Scouting role.

Be capable of functioning safely in an outdoor environment. All participants are required to complete the Annual Health and Medical Record. Parts A, B, and C are required which includes a physical.


Both Session Must be Attended to get credit for the Course.

Class Room Session: Saturday September 23, 2023 at Heritage Presbyterian Church 8503 Fort Hunt Road Alexandria, VA 22308

Weekend Session : Saturday October 21 thru Sunday October 22, 2023 at Camp Big Mac 12647 Moss Hollow Road Markham, VA 22643



For information about specific courses, contact Course Coordinator, Shawn Carroll at .


When & Where
BCOLS (Weekend 1)
Heritage Prebyterian Church
Saturday 09-23-2023
7:30 AM ET to 4:00 PM ET Past
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BCOLS (Weekend 2)
Camp Big Mac
Saturday 10-21-2023 7:30 AM ET to
Sunday 10-22-2023 2:00 PM ET Past
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