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Training

Thank you for joining the millions of Girl Scout volunteers nationwide who are building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

In order to become a Girl Scout troop co-leader volunteer, Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Council requires completion of the New Leader Checklist and Virginia Skyline New Leader Learning Paths Part 1 and Part 2 as well as regular check-ins with our first year experience community engagement director. See GSVSC New Leader Training below for complete details. 

gsLEARN ISSUES & UPDATES
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Users unable to access gsLearn on their mobile phones.
gsLearn is not currently accessible on mobile phone devices. 

Users not receiving "course completion" for GSUSA Utilizing Troop Support training section.
The new leader course, GSUSA Utilizing Troop Support, in the Virginia Skyline New Leader Learning Path - Part 1 is having an automatic completion issue. This issue has been reported to GSUSA. In the meantime, once you have completed the course and survey, please email customer care at info@gsvsc.org so council staff can manually mark the course complete for you.

gsLearn Basics

Who can use gsLearn?
gsLearn is available to all registered adult volunteers.

How will gsLearn benefit volunteers?
Convenience! gsLearn will make learning what you need to know, when you need to know it, easier than ever.

It houses all GSVSC online training opportunities and tracks all online, virtual, or in-person courses. Learners may easily access their personal training histories. 

Courses may be started, paused, exited, and restarted as needed by learners without losing their progress. It provides access to helpful new Movement-wide online learning opportunities created by GSUSA:

  • Locate assigned training on your gsLearn Dashboard;
  • Search for additional training courses in the Course Library.
gsLearn Access

How do I access gsLearn?
Beginning December 7, 2020, volunteers may access gsLearn by navigating to the GSVSC website and selecting “Sign In” or “MY GS” and then logging into their MY GS account when prompted, and selecting “gsLearn” tab on the left. This will direct you to your gsLearn dashboard.

New Leaders Steps to Activate & Access gsLearn 
Current Volunteers Steps to Activate & Access gsLearn

What happens if I am unable to access gsLearn?
If you encounter difficulties accessing gsLearn, please contact our Customer Care Team during regular business hours at info@gsvsc.org or 540-777-5100.

Will I still be able to access online training courses directly from the GSVSC online training website without logging into MY GS?
No. As of December 7, 2020, online courses that were once available on our GSVSC online training website may now only be accessed in gsLearn. See GSVSC Online Courses for more details.

Can I take a course in gsLearn using someone else’s MY GS account?
No. Adult members who do not have a MY GS account are not able to access gsLearn. Course completions are tracked in gsLearn according to a volunteer’s MY GS username (which is their GS email address). A completed course will only be tracked in gsLearn for the owner of that MY GS username.

Can girls access training on gsLearn?
At this time, girl members are not able to access gsLearn. Girls who wish to take in-person or virtual courses must have a parent, adult guardian or leader register them online.

My spouse and I share an email address, but we are both volunteers that need to complete training in gsLearn. How can we do that if only one member can be connected to an email address in gsLearn?
This problem has been resolved in the council’s new member data system because each member is now required to have a distinct email address. Please contact our Customer Care Team during regular business hours at info@gsvsc.org or 540-777-5100, to ensure that you and your spouse no longer share an email address, and to provide a new email address for one of you. Once both spouses have provided their own distinct GS email address, each volunteer may then log into gsLearn to activate their new individual gsLearn learner (user) accounts.

gsLearn Platform Settings & Navigation

How do I get back to MY GS account from gsLearn?
Select “MY GS” in the green navigation pane to exit gsLearn and return to your MY GS account.

Why can’t I find GSVSC’s live courses when I select “Live Sessions” in the green navigation pane?
The Live Sessions feature in gsLearn is currently not enabled. We hope to utilize this function in the future for in-person or virtual courses that do not require payment. Until then, all live (in-person or virtual) courses may be found on the GSVSC Events Calendar.

Why don’t the live courses I registered for show up in the calendar on my gsLearn dashboard?
This calendar is connected to the Live Sessions feature, which is currently not enabled.

My email address has changed. Should I update that information in gsLearn?
No. Never adjust your email address or username in your gsLearn settings. Please contact our Customer Care Team during regular business hours at info@gsvsc.org or 540-777-5100 to make these changes. Any changes made to your gsLearn profile will not be reflected in your MY GS membership account profile and could create gsLearn access issues.

I just changed my password for MY GS. Should I update that information in gsLearn?
No. Even though passwords are mentioned in the gsLearn profile settings, our council does not use that function. gsLearn itself does not require a password for user access. It uses the single sign-in through MY GS as its only point of access for volunteers.

Why can I not find a course when I search for it in the Content Library search bar?
There are several reasons why you might be unable to find a course you are searching for:

  • You are searching for a course, but have "Learning Paths" selected as the filter. Change the filter to "Courses" and search again. Vice-versa if searching for a learning path but are only seeing courses (or nothing at all).
  • Re-check that you are using the correct course title. You might be searching using a module or learning path title instead of the course title.
  • There is a menu on the left to help you filter the Content Library by topic. You may have accidentally selected a filter in that menu, which limits what you can see in the Content Library. Make sure that no topics are selected in the filter menu before you use the search bar.
Learning Content

What is a module?
A module is one structured section or lesson of a course. The content within a module is designed, and created, to support the learner's intake and retention of the information it contains. Grouping training modules together by topic is used to create step-by-step learning.

What is a course?
A course is a series of modules (lessons) teaching the skills that you need for a particular job or activity.

What is a learning path?

  • A learning path is a collection of related courses on a broad topic or showing a progression of learning (example: Camping Skills or New Troop Leader).
  • If you have previously completed a course that is also included in a Learning Path, you are not required to repeat this course.

How do I know which courses I should take in gsLearn?

  • See GSVSC Online Courses & GSUSA Movement-Wide Courses below for the complete lists of courses available in gsLearn. Check back! We are adding more all the time.
  • See GSVSC In-Person & Virtual Program-Related Learning Opportunities below for the complete list of all in-person and/or virtual trainings. 
  • Some online courses may be assigned to you in gsLearn by virtue of your volunteer role (Serive Unit Team Member, Troop Leader, etc.). These will be found directly on your gsLearn dashboard. 
  • Occasionally a course assigned to you might be mandatory and/or have a time limit for completion (example: GS 102 Finance Training), but most courses are available to you without conditions.
  • You may also browse the Content Library for courses and learning paths you might want to take. In the Content Library, they may be filtered by category or topic, or searched if you know the name of the course. 
  • The Content Library also contains Movement-wide courses and learning paths created by GSUSA that could enhance your learning experience. 
  • To find the specific dates and times of upcoming live virtual or in-person courses, please refer to the GSVSC Event Calendar.

Click here to download the complete GSVSC Learning Opportunities course list with course descriptions.

Course Tracking

Will I be able to see all of my previously completed courses?
Every effort will be made to have an accurate record of each learner’s essential course completions and certifications available to view in gsLearn, based on current data. However, adding those records will take time and we thank you for your patience as we continue to upload records over the coming months.

Not all in-person training data will migrate
You must have logged into gsLearn to “activate” your gsLearn Learner account before your training records can be migrated over to gsLearn. You must log into gsLearn by Jan. 15, 2021, in order for your training records to migrate by Jan 31, 2021.

DO NOT complete courses that you’ve previously completed through the GSVSC online training website. These records will be migrated over for you once you activate your gsLearn account.

I took a CPR/AED class or other training outside of GSVSC. Can that also be tracked in gsLearn?
Yes. You may upload completion certificates for courses not taken through GSVSC to gsLearn through the External Learning tab in Achievements. Your external courses will be viewable in Achievements separately from your regular gsLearn course completions.

Other program training certifications such as USA Level I Archery certifications should also be uploaded through the External Learning tab.

GSVSC New Leader Training

Required Courses for New Leaders available in gsLearn: Searchable in gsLearn Content Library

  • New Leader Checklist – Steps to Success!
  • Virginia Skyline New Leader Learning Path – Part 1
  • Virginia Skyline New Leader Learning Path – Part 2

New Leader Checklist – Steps to Success: Searchable in gsLearn Content Library
This checklist walks new leaders through all of the training requirements and steps to get the troop up and running, and ensure they start the first year off right! After they’ve registered as a TROOP CO-LEADER at gsvsc.org/volunteer, completed their background check, and received their troop number, volunteers will want to be sure to follow these steps and check them off as completed. This checklist helps council staff to monitor new leader’s progress and see if they’ve gotten stuck. Volunteers should check things off as they complete each item! Questions? Contact us at info@gsvsc.org or 540-777-5100.

New Leader Training (Virginia Skyline New Leader Learning Path - Part 1): Searchable in gsLearn Content Library

  • GSUSA Your First Time as a Troop Leader 
  • GSUSA Troop Leader Expectations 
  • GSUSA Troop Leader Support 
  • GSUSA Utilizing Troop Support at All Levels 
  • GSUSA Forming a Troop Committee 
  • GSUSA Troop Meetings 101 
  • GSUSA Generating Troop Funds
  • GSVSC GS 102 Finance Training*

Completion of the Virginia Skyline New Leader Learning Path – Part 1 is required before first troop meeting.
*GS 102 Finance Training IS REQUIRED for all troop co-leaders, troop treasurers, troop bank account co-signers.

New Leader Training (Virginia Skyline New Leader Learning Path - Part 2): Searchable in gsLearn Content Library

  • GSUSA Girl Scout Levels and Your Role as a Troop Leader 
  • GSUSA Preparing Safe and Encouraging Environments 
  • GSUSA Creating Your Inclusive Troop 
  • GSUSA Volunteer Toolkit Tutorials 
  • GSUSA Girl Scouts in the Outdoors

Before starting your second learning path and holding your first troop parent/guardian organization meeting, checking in with the first year experience community engagement director is required.

GSVSC Online Courses

GSVSC Courses NOW available in gsLearn: Searchable in gsLearn Content Library

  • GS 102 Finance Training**
  • GS 104 Orientation for Support Volunteers**
  • GS 105 Orientation for Product Sale Managers**
  • New Leader Checklist – Steps for Success!
  • Virginia Skyline New Leader Learning Path – Part 1
  • Virginia Skyline New Leader Learning Path – Part 2

*GS 102 Finance Training IS REQUIRED for all GS Bank Account co-signers.
**Above GSVSC courses ONLY to be completed in gsLearn if not previously completed in GSVSC online training website. 

GSVSC Courses coming soon to gsLearn: Searchable in gsLearn Content Library as of Jan. 31, 2021

  • GS 201 Trips and Overnights*
  • GS 301a Outdoor Education Online Planning Session*

*Above GSVSC courses ONLY to be completed in gsLearn if not previously completed in GSVSC online training website. 

GSVSC Online Courses that have been retired: No longer available

  • GS 103 GSLE Training
  • New Leader Orientation

GSVSC Courses converted to Virtual (live) or In-person only trainings: Will not be available in gsLearn

  • Bronze Award Workshop - required!
  • Silver Award Workshop - required! 
  • Gold Award Workshop - required! 
  • Virtual Event Planning Training - coming soon! (February 2021)

If you don’t see the online course in gsLearn or the virtual or in-person courses on the GSVSC Event Calendar, complete this online form to submit a request.

GSUSA Movement-Wide Online Courses

Movement-Wide Volunteer training available after account activation: Located on gsLearn Learner Dashboard

  • 2020 National Recruiter Learning Series
  • GSUSA Facilitating Virtual Troop Meetings
  • GSUSA Girl Scouts in the Outdoors
  • GSUSA Managing My Troops From My Account (New)
  • GSUSA Volunteer Toolkit Tutorials
  • GSUSA Zoom for Girl Scouts

New Leader Training (Virginia Skyline New Leader Learning Path - Part 1): Searchable in gsLearn Content Library

  • GSUSA Your First Time as a Troop Leader 
  • GSUSA Troop Leader Expectations 
  • GSUSA Troop Leader Support 
  • GSUSA Utilizing Troop Support at All Levels 
  • GSUSA Forming a Troop Committee 
  • GSUSA Troop Meetings 101 
  • GSUSA Generating Troop Funds
  • GSVSC GS 102 Finance Training (included in this learning path)

New Leader Training (Virginia Skyline New Leader Learning Path - Part 2): Searchable in gsLearn Content Library

  • GSUSA Girl Scout Levels and Your Role as a Troop Leader 
  • GSUSA Preparing Safe and Encouraging Environments 
  • GSUSA Creating Your Inclusive Troop 
  • GSUSA Volunteer Toolkit Tutorials 
  • GSUSA Girl Scouts in the Outdoors

GSUSA Service Unit Team Training available now to SU Teams after account activation: Added to gsLearn Learner Dashboard by assignment only

  • Developing & Growing the SU Team
  • Goal Setting & Planning
  • Effective Meetings
  • Leading Effective Digital Meetings

Additional GSUSA Learning Opportunities: Coming soon!

  • GSUSA STEM Experience - December/January 2020
  • GSUSA (Revising): Volunteer Toolkit Tutorial - January/February 2021
  • GSUSA Mental Health Awareness - January/February 2021
  • GSUSA Working with Daisy Girl Scouts - January/February 2021
  • GSUSA Working with Brownie Girl Scouts - January/February 2021
  • GSUSA Service Unit Training II - February/March 2021

If you don’t see the online course in gsLearn, complete this online form to submit a request to have them assigned to your learner dashboard.

GSVSC In-Person & Virtual Program-Related Learning Opps

To find the specific dates and times of upcoming live virtual or in-person courses, please refer to the GSVSC Event Calendar. If you don’t see the virtual or in-person course on the GSVSC Event Calendar, complete this online form to submit a request.

  • GS 106 Event Planning Training (In-Person / Virtual Coming Feb. 2021)
  • GS 202 Day Hiking (In-Person only)
  • GS 203 International Trip Training (In-Person & Virtual Monthly Series)
  • GS 301a Outdoor Education Planning Session (Online in gsLearn / In-Person)
  • GS 301b Outdoor Education Overnight (One Overnight / In-Person only)
  • GS 301 A&B Outdoor Education All-In-One Weekend (Two Overnights)
  • GS 302a Backpacker Planning (In-Person only)
  • GS 302b Backpacker Overnight (In-Person only)
  • Highest Award Trainings
  • Bronze Award Workshop – Required (In-Person & Virtual)
  • Silver Award Workshop – Required (In-Person & Virtual)
  • Gold Award – Required (In-Person & Virtual)
  • Level 1 Archery Training - USA Archery Certification (In-Person only)
  • Level 1 Axe & Hatchet Throwing (In-Person only)
  • Teen Mentoring Trainings
  • CPA (Cadette Program Aide) (In-Person only)
  • CIT (Counselor–in-Training) (In-Person only)
  • Camp Program Assistant – specific training for each camp (In Person; may be available virtually, but dependent on camp)
  • VIT (Volunteer-in-Training) – Under development

Click here to download the complete GSVSC Learning Opportunities course list with course descriptions.

GSVSC Adult Outdoor Education Training & Expectations

What Girl Scout activities require an Outdoor Ed. Trained Adult?
Outdoor Education training is required before troops or groups can cookout, campout, and adventure out which includes: packing gear, platform/cabinette/tent camping, building campfires, and cooking outdoors over a campfire, portable stove or grill for any daytime or overnight outdoor camping activity. There must always be a trained Outdoor Ed. Adult per campfire circle. There must always be at least one trained Outdoor Ed. Adult for every two portable stoves and/or grills.

Are there any perquisite courses required before completing the Adult Outdoor Education Course?
Yes. GS 201 Trips and Overnight Online Course is a prerequisite training for the GS 301a Planning and GS 301b Overnight Adult Outdoor Education courses. Volunteers and girls should have experience in (field) trips and overnights before progressing to overnight camping activities.

What options do I have for taking the GSVSC Adult Outdoor Education training?
The GSVSC Adult Outdoor Education course is a two-part course that can be completed in several combinations and schedules. Choose the schedule/format that works best for you! You must complete both GS 301a and GS 301b to be considered an Outdoor Ed. Trained adult.

  • Split Course: GS 301a Online Planning and GS 301b In-Person Overnight Session (Campout one overnight). GS 301a Online planning has to be completed by the REGISTRATION CLOSE DATE of the GS 301b In-Person Overnight Session you’ve registered to attend, which will be about one month prior to the overnight
  • Split Course: GS 301a In-Person Planning and GS 301b In-Person Overnight Session (Campout one overnight). Planning and Overnight are scheduled about one month apart
  • All-In-One Course: GS 301 A & B Outdoor Education All-in-One Weekend Course (Campout for two overnights)

These courses are typically provided every fall and spring. Check the GSVSC Event Calendar for all in-person training dates.

What is expected of me after I completed the GS 301a Online Planning Course online or in person?
After completing the GS 301a Online or In-Person Planning Course, each participant should:

  • Quickly respond to trainer emails.
  • Quickly open shared Google Doc and provide contact information in Section 1 of the OE Menu Planning Patrol Worksheet.
  • Quickly communicate with patrol members via email your availability to complete group meal plans via Google Docs.
  • Communicate with patrol to identify one volunteer as the patrol lead & grocery shopper.
  • Communicate with patrol to identify one volunteer as the alternate grocery shopper.
  • Be an active participant in completion of group meal plans by the deadline provided.
  • Approve and initial group meal plans in Section 1 of worksheet after its completion.
  • Understand participants will be sleeping outdoors in a platform tents with their assigned patrol at the overnight or in their own personal tent.
  • Notify trainers if using personal camping equipment (tent).
  • Come prepared to the overnight, having completed all assignments, menu plans, and prep work.
  • Notify lead trainer, patrol members, and council should you not be able to attend training.
  • Understand the overnight weekend session is held rain or shine (trainers will consult council during severe inclement weather).
  • Remember! Trainers are volunteers too.

What course assignments am I required to complete in order to be an Outdoor Education trained adult for my troop or group?
To be an Outdoor Education trained adult, volunteers must complete the entire GSVSC Adult Outdoor Education course, which includes the following assignments:

  • GS 201 Trips and Overnight Online Course prerequisite
  • GS 301a Outdoor Education Planning Session (online or in-person)
  • Group (patrol) meal planning assignment using Google Docs
  • Personal Needs Assessment
  • A resource search homework assignment
  • GS 301b Outdoor Education Overnight Session involving a one or two overnight* campout and cookout training

*The number of overnights is dependent upon which overnight course you register to attend (Split course or All-in-One course).

What do I bring to the overnight in-person session?

  • Personal clothing and equipment (Refer to packing list in Outdoor Education Manual (OEM) or Camping Safety Activity Checkpoints)
  • A pocket knife
  • Charcoal chimney using a #10 large metal can (Pg. 64 in OEM)
  • Pen and paper/notebook
  • Completed homework assignments provided during the GS 301a OE Planning Session
  • One rainy day activity
  • One campfire activity
  • Kaper chart based on your patrol menu (Pg. 43-44 in OEM)

What do PATROLS bring to this overnight in-person session?

  • One goop can per patrol (Pg. 52 in OEM)
  • One handwashing setup per patrol (Pg. 54 in OEM)
  • Groceries for each planned meal for each member per patrol (includes one trainer)
  • Additional items needed for the overnight session will be decided during the group meal planning

Course Resources
Printed copies of the following resources will be provided at the in-person planning session and/or the overnight session. The OE and Program Centers Manuals can also be found and downloaded from the gsLearn GS 301a Online Planning Course under Additional References.

  • Volunteer Essentials (online only)
  • GSVSC Outdoor Education Manual (3410) one per participant
  • GSVSC Program Centers Manual (2164) one per participant

Outdoor resource available for purchase online (not required):
Outdoor Education In Girl Scouting – Updated May 2013

Benefit of Course to You:

  • The GSVSC Adult Outdoor Education course teaches volunteers how to progress Girl Scout activities into the outdoors, develop skills to be used and taught to girls, ensuring positive, fun, and safe outdoor and camping experiences. 
  • The Adult Outdoor Education course provides the opportunity for volunteers to plan and experience camping at a council program center before camping with girls.

What else should I know?

  • When completing a split course, It is very important every participant completes GS 301a Planning Session (online or in person) by the registration close date of the GS 301b Outdoor Education Overnight Session they’ve registered to attend
  • Both GS 301a and GS 301b must be taken in the same training season (fall or spring)
  • Attendance for the entire GS 301b weekend overnight session is required to be certified
  • If the maximum is reached for the overnight session, we will register only two adults per troop for the course

Participant Questions?
Contact your lead trainer listed on the GSVSC Event Calendar.

GSVSC Updates to Outdoor Curricula (released 2/2016)

What are the Buddy-up Camping Guidelines for Troops without a Girl Scout Outdoor Education trained adult?
If a Girl Scout troop does not have a Girl Scout Outdoor Education (OE) trained adult, they may “Buddy-up” with another troop experienced in Girl Scout camping for their initial troop camping experience.

“Buddy-up” means that the OE trained adult with one troop (or an OE trained Community Team Member) may agree to be the OE trained adult for one additional troop. The OE trained adult agrees to work with all girls and adults in the inexperienced troop in addition to their own troop prior to preparing for the camping trip. Both troops will camp together as one troop with the OE trained adult in charge of all camping and outdoor cooking activities. The OE trained adult must be at the camp the entire time while both troops are there. Girl-to-adult ratios must be met for the youngest age camping–this includes tag-a-longs.

The OE trained adult does not have to be a troop leader, but can be any registered adult (male or female) involved with the troop who agrees to:

  1. Completed all of the required OE training (GS 301a Planning & GS 301b Overnight).
  2. Work with girls and adults to cover all required materials for the six troop meetings or sessions prior to the camping trip.
  3. Be present the entire time while both troops camping.
  4. Only two troops can “Buddy-up” per one OE trained adult.

An adult certified in First Aid/CPR must accompany each Troop. The First Aid/CPR certified adult may be the OE trained adult, the troop leader, or another registered adult

Once an inexperienced troop has paired with another experienced troop in this manner, the inexperienced troop must acquire their own OE trained adult in order to participate in future Girl Scout camping events or activities.

When will my Adult Outdoor Education Certification expire?
The six-year recertification is no longer required. Outdoor Education certification remains current as long as the certified adult continuously camps with girls/troop. Volunteers will need to be re-certified in GSVSC Adult Outdoor Education if they have not taken the girls/troop camping within one year of their initial training date or have not continued to camp with their troop/girls every other membership year to practice their OE skills. A lapse of 3 years in camping with girls/troop negates the certification. Once this lapse occurs, the adult will be required to retake both parts (Planning and Overnight) of Adult Outdoor Education.

CPR/First Aid Training & Certification Requirements

Does Council provide First-Aid/CPR training?
No. Council staff are not trained in First Aid/CPR instruction. Please see the list of Girl Scout-approved sponsoring organizations under First-Aid/CPR Certifications.

First-Aid/CPR Certifications
Emergencies require prompt action and quick judgment. For many activities, Girl Scouts recommends that at least one adult volunteer be first-aid/CPR-certified. For that reason, if you have the opportunity to get trained in council-approved first-aid/CPR, do it! You can take advantage of first-aid/CPR training offered by chapters of the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, National Safety Council, EMP America, American Safety & Health Institute, Medic First Aid or SOLO (Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities) or other sponsoring organizations approved by council.

As a partner of Girl Scouts, American Red Cross offers discounts on certification courses. Contact our Customer Care Team during regular business hours at info@gsvsc.org or 540-777-5100 for the Red Cross promotion code in order to receive a 20% discount for the following Red Cross certifications: First Aid, Adult & Pediatric CPR/AED, Adult FA/CPR/AED, and Adult & Pediatric FA/CPR/AED. To use the promotion code, you must sign up for a community class online at redcross.org. The code expires 9/16/2022. The promotion code is only good for Red Cross certifications.

Caution: First-aid/CPR training that is available entirely online does not satisfy Girl Scouts’ requirements. Such courses do not offer enough opportunities to practice and receive feedback on your technique. If you’re taking a course not offered by one of the organizations listed in the previous paragraph, or any course that has online components, get approval from council prior to enrolling in the course.
See COVID-19 Girl Scout Updates web page for temporary First Aid/CPR updates.

First-Aider Certification Requirements
General First Aider
A general first-aider is an adult volunteer who has taken Girl Scout-approved first-aid and CPR training that includes specific instructions for child CPR, as well as AED (Automated External Defibrillator) training. There should be at least one certified general first aider per troop/group.
If, through the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, National Safety Council, EMP America, American Safety & Health Institute, Medic First Aid or SOLO (Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities), you have a chance to be fully trained in first-aid and CPR, doing so may make your activity planning go a little more smoothly.

Advanced First Aider
An advanced first aider is an adult with general first aid certification with additional health, safety or emergency response expertise such as, for example, a physician; physician’s assistant; nurse practitioner; registered nurse; licensed practical nurse; paramedic; military medic; wilderness training, certified lifeguard or emergency medical technician(EMT).

The GSVSC Safety Activity Checkpoints always tell you when a first-aider needs to be present. Since activities can take place in a variety of locations, the presence of a first-aider and the qualifications they need are based on the remoteness and scope of the activity. For example, if you take a two-mile hike in an area that has cell phone reception and service along the entire route and EMS (Emergency Medical Services) is no more than 30 minutes away at all times the first-aider will not need to have knowledge of wilderness first aid. If, on the other hand, you take the same two-mile hike in a more remote area with no cell phone service and where EMS is more than 30 minutes away, the first-aider must have knowledge of wilderness first aid (see the chart below).

Access to EMS Minimum Level of First Aid Required & Level of First Aid Required

  • Less than 30 minutes = General First Aid
  • More than 30 minutes = Wilderness First Aid (WFA) or Wilderness First Responder (WFR)

Although a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) is not required, it is strongly recommended when traveling or hiking with groups in very remote areas that are greater than 30 minutes or more from EMS.

It is important to understand the differences between a first-aid course, and a wilderness rated course. Although standard first-aid training provides basic incident response, wilderness-rated courses include training on remote-assessment skills, as well as emergency first-aid response, including evacuation techniques, to use when EMS is not readily available.

Note: The presence of an advanced first-aider is required at resident camps. For large events—200 people or more—there should be, in addition to the general first aider(s) per troop/group, one advanced first-aider for every 200 participants. The following healthcare providers may also serve as advanced first-aiders for large groups: physician; physician’s assistant; nurse practitioner; registered nurse; licensed practical nurse; paramedic; military medic; and emergency medical technician.