Intro to Outdoor Leader Skills (IOLS)

Hand holding compass by mountains

Required for all direct-contact Scouts BSA leaders

This 2-part hands-on course provides adult leaders the practical outdoor skills needed to lead Scouts outdoors. Upon completion, leaders should feel comfortable teaching Scouts the basic skills required to obtain the First Class rank. Along with Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster Position-Specific Training and Youth Protection Training, this course is required for all direct contact leaders of Scouts BSA troops. Both parts are required.

Spring 2024 training (3 parts):
  • Part 1
    Foster City Service Center
    Tue, Mar 5, 2024 7:00-9:30pm
  • Part 2
    Foster City Service Center
    Tue, Mar 12, 2024 7:00-9:30pm
  • Part 3
    Boulder Creek Scout Reservation
    Fri, Mar 15, 2024 8:00am to
    Sun, Mar 17, 2024 10:00am

Upcoming training dates

Fall 2024 training (3 parts):
  • Part 1
    Foster City Service Center
    Tue, Oct 22, 2024 7:00-9:30pm
  • Part 2
    Foster City Service Center
    Tue, Oct 29, 2024 7:00-9:30pm
  • Part 3
    Boulder Creek Scout Reservation
    Sat, Nov 2, 2024 8:00am to
    Sun, Nov 3, 2024 10:00am
Must attend all three parts:

Tue, Mar 3, 2020  7:00-9:30pm
Foster City Scout Service Center (Google map)

Tue, Mar 10, 2020  7:00-9:30pm
Foster City Scout Service Center (Google map)

Sat-Sun, Mar 21, 2020   8:00am  –  Mar 22, 2020  10:00am
Cutter Scout Reservation (Google map)


Kudos from a participant:

I went through IOLS in March with Nan and Kyle Boden and you taught us orienteering.

I just wanted to say THANK YOU!! I have since gone on several hikes with my kids, T4103 and T103/T4103 and the skills you taught about map reading and orienteering have been SO helpful.

I was able to teach my 15-year-old tenderfoot daughter/SPL, she was able to teach a 15-min basic compass and orienteering class to her troop. She took our globe and showed them true north and current magnetic north and explained declination. She pointed them in different directions and helped them figure out which direction they were facing in the meeting room and then helped them find the direction of specific degrees. Finally she showed them how to orient a map and determine the direction of a specific part of a trail. Cool huh?!!! (We decided to save triangulation for another day since most of the girls are 6th graders. That’ll be part 2!) Today she earned her Second Class rank requirement for orienteering on a 5-mile hike at Mt. Tam. We did get lost once, but figured out we weren’t where we thought we were and backtracked and got back on track.

It is so cool to be able to help the Scouts figure this stuff out, and it makes me feel more confident. I just thought you would enjoy knowing your efforts went to good use!

Take care, thank you again and hope you are enjoying the sunshine with your Scouts!

-Pam M.