As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Scouting’s Teaching EDGE (BSA Edge Method)

The BSA EDGE Method is a systematic, four-step technique designed to optimize the teaching and learning process for Scouts and leaders alike. This method, which stands for Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, and Enable, serves as a foundation for teaching a wide array of skills across the BSA’s diverse programs, including Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, and Venturing.

The EDGE Method is straightforward yet powerful. It starts with a clear explanation of a skill, followed by a demonstration, then moves to guided practice, and culminates in enabling the learner to perform the skill independently.

This approach not only facilitates the effective transfer of knowledge but also creates a supportive learning environment that encourages questions, exploration, and mastery. The use of the EDGE Method is required for scouts advancing through certain ranks in Scouts BSA, highlighting its integral role in the scouting experience.

The versatility of the EDGE Method ensures its relevance and applicability beyond scouting activities, preparing young people with skills and confidence that they can carry into their daily lives and future endeavors.

The BSA EDGE Method

The BSA EDGE Method is an innovative, four-step approach designed to enhance the teaching and learning of skills across the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) programs, including Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, and Venturing. EDGE stands for:

  • Explain
  • Demonstrate
  • Guide
  • Enable

This method is not just a teaching tool; it’s a cornerstone of skill development within the BSA, fostering an environment where scouts not only learn but also retain vital skills. The significance of the EDGE method is highlighted in the Scouts BSA program, where achieving Tenderfoot and Life ranks requires scouts to employ this technique to teach others. This requirement underscores the dual benefits of the EDGE method: enhancing the learner’s skill set while developing the teacher’s leadership and communication abilities.

By integrating the EDGE method into scouting activities, leaders can create a more engaging, effective, and interactive learning experience. This method encourages active participation, critical thinking, and hands-on learning, ensuring that scouts not only understand but also apply their knowledge in practical settings. The structured yet flexible approach of the EDGE method makes it a powerful tool in the arsenal of scouting education techniques, promoting a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

Step-by-Step Breakdown of the EDGE Method


The first step, Explain, involves providing a clear and concise description of the skill or concept to be learned.

  • The trainer outlines the steps involved, setting clear expectations for the outcome.
  • Visual aids, such as diagrams, charts, or videos, can be particularly helpful in this phase to cater to different learning styles.
  • The use of questioning techniques is also crucial to assess understanding and encourage interaction. This initial explanation sets the foundation for the learning process, ensuring that learners have a solid understanding of what they will be doing.


Once the concept or skill has been explained, the next step is to Demonstrate it.

  • This involves showing the learners how the skill is performed, using the actual materials or tools required.
  • By walking through each step while explaining, the trainer provides a model for the learners to emulate, reinforcing the information provided during the explanation phase.
  • This visual and practical representation helps to clarify any misunderstandings and provides a clear example for learners to follow.


After demonstrating the skill, the trainer moves on to Guide, a step is crucial for hands-on learning, as it allows learners to practice the skill with the support of the trainer.

  • Learners as attempt the skill themselves.
  • During this phase, the trainer offers guidance, corrective feedback, and encouragement.
  • This interactive process is essential for refining the learners’ skills and building their confidence.
  • It also allows the trainer to assess each learner’s understanding and proficiency, making adjustments as needed to ensure successful learning outcomes.


The final step, Enable, is is critical for solidifying learning and assessing mastery. It allows learners to apply what they have learned in a supportive environment, fostering independence and confidence in their abilities.

  • Learners are given the opportunity to perform the skill independently, without direct intervention from the trainer.
  • The trainer observes and evaluates the learners’ performance, providing feedback and additional support afterwards if necessary.
  • Successful completion of this step signifies that the learner has achieved a level of proficiency and is capable of performing the skill on their own.

Through this structured approach, the EDGE Method ensures that learners not only receive information but also understand, practice, and master new skills. This methodology promotes active participation, critical thinking, and the practical application of knowledge, making it an effective tool for teaching and learning within the Boy Scouts of America and beyond.

Example of an Teaching EDGE Exercise

As an example of each step, consider teaching a group how to make paper airplanes:

Explain: The instructor begins by clearly outlining the steps to create a paper airplane, ensuring the learners understand what will be involved in the process.

Demonstrate: The instructor then takes a sheet of paper and, in front of the learners, demonstrates how to fold it into a paper airplane, explaining each step as they go.

Guide: After the demonstration, the instructor provides each learner with a sheet of paper. As the instructor describes each step again, the learners follow along, creating their own paper airplanes.

Enable: In the final step, the instructor gives each learner another piece of paper and asks them to make a paper airplane independently, using the skills they’ve just learned.

Related Resources for BSA Edge Method

Scouts BSA Advancements Which Require the EDGE Method

The use of the EDGE method is required for the Tenderfoot rank and the Life rank:

Tenderfoot 8. Describe the steps in Scouting’s Teaching EDGE method. Use the Teaching EDGE method to teach another person how to tie the square knot.

Life 6: While a Star Scout, use the Teaching EDGE method to teach another Scout (preferably younger than you) the skills from ONE of the following choices, so that the Scout is prepared to pass those requirements to their Scoutmaster’s satisfaction. Tenderfoot – 4a and 4b (first aid), Second Class – 2b, 2c, and 2d (cooking/camping).

The Impact of EDGE in Scouting

The implementation of the EDGE method across Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, and Venturing has significantly enhanced the learning experience for scouts. By adopting this structured approach, scouts are not only learning new skills but are doing so in a manner that promotes retention and mastery.

For example, in Cub Scouts, the EDGE method has been instrumental in teaching outdoor skills and safety procedures, empowering young scouts with the confidence to engage in scouting activities safely and responsibly.

In Scouts BSA, the requirement to use the EDGE method to teach a skill to another scout fosters leadership qualities and reinforces the skill for both the teacher and the learner. Venturers use the EDGE method to tackle more complex tasks and adventures, ensuring that every member of the team is competent and confident in their abilities.

Leaders and scouts alike have reported that the EDGE method has made learning more interactive, engaging, and effective. The method’s success lies in its ability to adapt to various skills and educational levels, making it a cornerstone of the scouting education system.

Frequently Asked Questions about the BSA EDGE Method

What is the BSA EDGE Method?

The EDGE Method is a teaching technique used within the Boy Scouts of America programs to effectively impart skills and knowledge. It stands for Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, and Enable. This method ensures that learners not only understand a new skill but are also able to perform it independently.

Who can use the EDGE Method?

The EDGE Method is designed for use by leaders and members within all BSA programs, including Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, and Venturing. It is a versatile teaching strategy that can be applied to a wide range of skills and knowledge areas.

Why is the EDGE Method important in scouting?

The EDGE Method is important because it promotes a clear, step-by-step approach to learning that includes both understanding and doing. It helps scouts develop leadership skills by teaching others, reinforces learning through doing, and builds confidence through mastery of new skills.

How does the Explain step work in the EDGE Method?

In the Explain step, the instructor clearly outlines what the skill involves and the steps required to perform it. This stage is crucial for setting expectations and ensuring learners have a basic understanding before moving on to more practical aspects.

What does Demonstrate involve in the EDGE Method?

During the Demonstrate phase, the instructor shows how the skill is performed, often using the actual tools or materials involved. This visual and practical representation helps learners see exactly what needs to be done.

What happens during the Guide phase of the EDGE Method?

In the Guide phase, learners practice the skill themselves with the instructor’s support. This hands-on experience allows them to apply what they’ve learned while receiving feedback and guidance, which is essential for refining their abilities.

How does the Enable step ensure skill mastery?

The Enable phase gives learners the chance to perform the skill independently, solidifying their understanding and demonstrating their competency. This final step is key to building confidence and ensuring that learners can apply the skill in real-world situations.

Can the EDGE Method be used outside of scouting?

Yes, the EDGE Method is a versatile teaching strategy that can be applied in many learning contexts outside of scouting, including education, workplace training, and personal development. Its structured yet flexible approach to skill acquisition makes it effective across various settings.

Sharpening Skills with EDGE

As we wrap up our talk about the BSA EDGE Method, it’s clear this four-step approach is effective, both in and out of Boy Scouts. With steps like Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, and Enable, the EDGE Method does more than just teach skills. It ensures those skills stick.

This method isn’t just about making scouting better by helping scouts master all sorts of skills. It’s also about the big picture – teaching important life lessons like leadership, patience, and problem-solving. Whether it’s used in scouting, at work, or at home, the EDGE Method proves to be an effective way to learn and teach.

In closing, remember the strength of the EDGE Method lies in its simplicity and effectiveness. It turns learning into a shared journey of growth and discovery, where every learner gets the chance to shine, every leader finds new ways to support their team, and every skill becomes more achievable.


41 responses to “Scouting’s Teaching EDGE (BSA Edge Method)”

  1. bigb Avatar

    thanks that helped me with my tenderfoot rank

  2. caleb Avatar

    this will help me with my tenderfoot too!Thanks!

  3. Person Avatar

    Thanks this is helping get my life. that sounds weird.

  4.  Avatar

    Thks u helped me get life rank( new requirement)

  5. Also anonymous Avatar
    Also anonymous

    Thanks, you helped meget Life rank too, because all of the sudden we are supposed to know this, but it isn’t in our issued handbooks, and no one told us about it.

  6.  Avatar

    Thanks, my scoutmaster got semi-pissed at me when I asked him what EDGE was, thanks for the help.

  7. Nathan Avatar

    Thanks, this is helping me get my tenderfoot rank (I’m a noob)

    1. rattlesnake Avatar

      what troop our yo in I’m 446. Plz tell me if not you don’t have 2 just type no or your troop no.

  8. scout Avatar

    thanks for helping me get my life rank for BSA!

  9. Cannan Avatar

    This helps! I’m teaching the leadership courses for my troop and this is one of the things i have to teach and demonstrate how to use. This also is helping me get to my Eagle. I have about 7 more months Before i get it. Thanks again.

    1. Jack Avatar

      Hey, this is helping me get my Eagle as well!

  10. Anonymous Avatar

    helped my tenderfoot rank

  11.  Avatar

    This helped with me with my Eagle board of review, Thanks!

  12. h Avatar

    this helped me earn my “life” scout rank! thanks a bunch

  13. Matt The Scout Avatar
    Matt The Scout

    I may actually become a Tenderfoot now.

  14. Zach Avatar

    I do this as a teaching method anyways…lol. thanks, this is helping me get my life rank 🙂

  15. David Avatar

    I was thankful that you posted this, it helped me all the way to life scout.

  16. Chris Avatar

    Great explanation! It amazes me that this is a requirement that our scoutmasters are aware of but it’s never been taught to the boys so they know what is expected of them. So much for us doing our jobs by using EDGE to teach EDGE! I will be fixing that at the next troop meeting. THANKS!

  17. Luke Avatar

    My scout master almost killed me when I didn’t know this! Thanks!!!!

  18. Tim Avatar

    Thanks it helped me earn my tenderfoot

  19. jose Avatar

    it helped me get a life requirement.

  20. Ethan Avatar

    Thx! That helped me get my tenderfoot rank

  21. guy Avatar

    how would i give a presentation on this?

    1. Scouter Mom Avatar
      Scouter Mom

      I added an example at the bottom of the article which describes how our Crew president used paper airplanes to present the Teaching EDGE at our recent ILSC training.

  22. teri Avatar

    We are changing scout masters and I don’t think our boys who are star and life have any idea how to do this or what it is called. Very helpful, I will pass this along. I like explanation to with air plane!

  23. Weston Reams Avatar
    Weston Reams

    Thanks this helped out with reviewing for my eagle board of review. It’s in a few hours wish me luck!

  24. abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz Avatar

    what are some things i can teach using this

    1. anonymous Avatar

      what are some things i can teach

      1. Scouter Mom Avatar
        Scouter Mom

        If you are using it for one of your Boy Scout requirements, see your handbook for a list of things you can teach. For most recent ILSC, our leader used making a paper airplane to demonstrate the EDGE method. What you teach should fit your audience and any requirement you are trying to fulfill.

  25. Beth Avatar

    The paper plane method is used in official BSA Trainers EDGE training. If possible try to use a different skill to model EDGE method. This way if they ever take the training, they are doing something different.

  26. Scoutermom Avatar

    Now I can teach someone how to teach with EDGE with EDGE

  27. Me Avatar

    Thanks, this will help me get my cyber chip

  28. Caleb Avatar

    This is going to help me earn my life. thank you for reminding of the edge method.

    1. aaron Avatar

      this helped me get my tenderfoot 🙂

  29. Scout Avatar

    This helped me get my tenderfoot rank done to!!!! Thanks a whole lot!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Hello Avatar

    Thank you my scout master will not pass me to tenderfoot without

  31. Boden Avatar

    helped me get my tenderfoot

  32. Jack Avatar

    tenderfoot aquiered

  33. Nick Avatar

    Thank you so much! This was one of the hardest steps in tenderfoot, because it doesn’t say what EDGE is in the handbook! Thanks again.

  34. Max Avatar

    this helped me with my Tenderfoot Rank ?

  35. Frances Atherton Avatar
    Frances Atherton

    The BSA EDGE method is a great way to teach skills to others. It’s simple, easy to follow, and most importantly, it works. This method is perfect for Scouts BSA and Venturers, but it can also be used by den leaders to help their Scouts learn and retain skills.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.