The BSA EDGE method is a good way to teach how to tie a square knot such as this one.

The BSA EDGE method is a four-step technique for teaching a skill or concept to someone else. It stands for Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, and Enable.

The trainer first explains how something is done, then demonstrates it while explaining again. Next, the trainer guides the learner through the steps of the task, giving feedback and assistance as needed. Finally, the trainer enables the learner to do the task on their own, checking for understanding and mastery.

EDGE is very basic, but it really does work. The Scouts BSA requirements for Tenderfoot and Life ranks require the Scout to use the BSA EDGE method to help somebody else learn a skill.

It will help Cub Scouts learn and retain skills also.  So it is not only for Scouts BSA and Venturers, but for den leaders also.

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The BSA EDGE Method

The EDGE method is a four step method for teaching a skill:

  • Explain
  • Demonstrate
  • Guide
  • Enable


First explain what you will be doing. Tell them the steps involved. Visual aids might be helpful for this step. Use questions to gauge their understanding.


Show them how to do the skill. Demonstrate the steps using the actual materials. Describe what you are doing.


Let them practice the skill. Guide and coach them as they try to do it themselves. This step will take the most time.


Enable them by letting them do the skill themselves without any intervention.

Example of an Teaching EDGE Exercise

At an ILSC training, our Crew president did an exercise with paper airplanes to help the participants understand the Teaching EDGE:

  • Explain: He explained how they would make a paper airplane.
  • Demonstrate: He got out a piece of paper and showed them how to make the paper airplane.
  • Guide: He gave each of them a piece of paper and described each step. As he described the step, they did it with their pieces of paper.
  • Enable: He gave them each another piece of paper and told them to make a paper airplane on their own.

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).

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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.

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