Boy Scouts of America

Scouting’s Teaching EDGE (BSA Edge Method)

The latest Boy Scout requirements for Tenderfoot and Life ranks require the Scout to use the BSA EDGE method to help somebody else learn a skill. This is a four step method for teaching a skill. It is sometimes called Scoutings Teaching EDGE.

EDGE is very basic, but it really does work. It will help Cub Scouts learn and retain skills also.  So it is not only for Boy Scouts and Venturers, but for den leaders also.

The 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 our recent 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.

39 Responses to Scouting’s Teaching EDGE (BSA Edge Method)

  1. bigb May 16, 2011 at 5:13 PM #

    thanks that helped me with my tenderfoot rank

  2. caleb August 14, 2011 at 12:14 PM #

    this will help me with my tenderfoot too!Thanks!

  3. Person September 7, 2011 at 9:50 PM #

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

  4. Anonymous October 2, 2011 at 3:27 PM #

    Thks u helped me get life rank( new requirement)

  5. Also anonymous November 27, 2011 at 6:53 PM #

    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. Anonymous February 15, 2012 at 5:41 PM #

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

  7. Nathan August 7, 2012 at 2:18 PM #

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

    • rattlesnake December 22, 2012 at 6:42 PM #

      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 September 5, 2012 at 9:09 AM #

    thanks for helping me get my life rank for BSA!

  9. Cannan November 29, 2012 at 6:05 PM #

    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.

    • Jack August 14, 2013 at 1:06 AM #

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

  10. Anonymous December 22, 2012 at 6:28 PM #

    helped my tenderfoot rank

  11. Anonymous February 5, 2013 at 4:01 PM #

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

  12. h March 10, 2013 at 5:12 PM #

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

  13. Matt The Scout June 5, 2013 at 9:30 AM #

    I may actually become a Tenderfoot now.

  14. Zach June 24, 2013 at 11:18 AM #

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

  15. David June 25, 2013 at 1:53 PM #

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

  16. Chris July 30, 2013 at 6:56 AM #

    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 September 22, 2013 at 6:11 PM #

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

  18. Tim February 12, 2014 at 7:23 PM #

    Thanks it helped me earn my tenderfoot

  19. jose February 16, 2014 at 4:15 PM #

    it helped me get a life requirement.

  20. Ethan April 29, 2014 at 11:22 AM #

    Thx! That helped me get my tenderfoot rank

  21. guy May 5, 2014 at 5:02 PM #

    how would i give a presentation on this?

    • Scouter Mom May 5, 2014 at 5:31 PM #

      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 January 3, 2015 at 8:02 PM #

    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 January 27, 2015 at 4:28 PM #

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

  24. abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz February 2, 2015 at 6:58 PM #

    what are some things i can teach using this

    • anonymous February 2, 2015 at 7:00 PM #

      what are some things i can teach

      • Scouter Mom February 3, 2015 at 11:14 AM #

        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 February 26, 2016 at 1:52 PM #

    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 March 6, 2016 at 11:48 AM #

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

  27. Me March 26, 2016 at 11:24 PM #

    Thanks, this will help me get my cyber chip

  28. Caleb April 27, 2016 at 9:15 PM #

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

    • aaron May 29, 2016 at 11:56 AM #

      this helped me get my tenderfoot 🙂

  29. Scout November 8, 2016 at 6:38 PM #

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

  30. Hello February 2, 2017 at 7:05 PM #

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

  31. Boden April 19, 2017 at 6:11 PM #

    helped me get my tenderfoot

  32. Jack August 27, 2017 at 9:22 PM #

    tenderfoot aquiered

  33. Nick May 15, 2018 at 9:01 AM #

    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.

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