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National Youth 
Leadership Training

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What is NYLT?

National Youth Leadership Training is an exciting, action-packed program designed for councils to provide youth members with leadership skills and experience they can use in their home unit and in other situations demanding leadership of self and others.

The NYLT course centers around the concepts of what a leader must BE, what he must KNOW, and what he must DO. The key elements are then taught with a clear focus on HOW TO. The skills come alive during the week as the patrol goes on a Quest for the Meaning of Leadership.

NYLT is a six-day course. Content is delivered in a troop and patrol outdoor setting with an emphasis on immediate application of learning in a fun environment. Interconnecting concepts and work processes are introduced early, built upon, and aided by the use of memory aids, which allows participants to understand and employ the leadership skills much faster.

This intense six day leadership training course is for youth members of Boy Scouting or Venturing programs.

As the second step in the Scout program for youth leader development, this course provides your Scouts with the leadership skills they need to be truly effective. It is the most advanced youth leader training offered by a local council.

  • The first phase begins in the unit with the Senior Patrol Leader or Venture Crew President and the unit leader who together conduct the training. This training, at the unit level, is designed to help the youth to do a better job of working together. It addresses many very practical situations a youth leader may encounter. This training can only be effectively carried out at the unit level. "Troop Leader Training" (item # 34306) for Troops and Teams and "Venturing Leadership Skills Course" (item # 34340) for Crews may be purchased at a Scout Shop or Trading Post.

The second phase is "National Youth Leadership Training" (NYLT). The interaction among Scouts from all over the Council is a major ingredient in the course. NYLT supports the training done by the home unit leader.

The third phase is "National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience" (NAYLE). This advanced week-long course is provided at a regional and national level available to youth who complete NYLT.

All three types of training are necessary to develop the Scouts' potential fully.

The objectives of the NYLT course are:

  • To give participants the confidence and knowledge to run the Scouting program.
  • To give participants a basic knowledge of leadership, team building & conflict resolution and help them relate these skills to their unit responsibilities.
  • To give participants the opportunity to share ideas and experiences with Scouts from other units.
  • To create an atmosphere of Scouting at its best living by the Scout Oath and Law.
  • To enhance the relationship between the participant and his/her Unit Leader.
  • To have FUN

We've never sent anyone before - why should we now?

Sending Scouts to NYLT helps them develop their leadership potential. This results in a smoother running unit. If your unit is committed to having a true youth run program, your youth leaders need the skills presented in this course.

Isn't the unit or unit leader training enough?

NYLT builds on and enhances the skills and ideas introduced at the other levels of training. NYLT is not designed to replace the training done by the unit leader, it is designed to provide additional leadership skills and enhance the youth leader's ability to lead within the unit.

What will the Scout learn?

The Scout will learn the fundamentals of good leadership. These include the skills of motivating people and getting the job done. They are presented in a form that encourages the Scout to practice these skills as they are learned. The Scout will learn the importance of forming a group into a unit that is working together because they want to. The tools of communications, identifying and using resources, representing the group and dealing with problems will all be presented. Your Scout will have an opportunity to practice these skills while learning the kinds of results they can bring. The skills related to planning, effective teaching, and sharing leadership also will be presented. These tools are the ones that will get the job done. Scouts are challenged through various Patrol activities to provide practical, hands on, experience in the use of these skills. The Scout leaves with a "Leadership Tool Kit" to aid him/her in applying his/her newly acquired skills back in the unit.

Does NYLT teach Scoutcraft skills?

Our focus at NYLT is on the leadership skills and providing an opportunity to use and strengthen those skills. Participants must have achieved the rank of First Class or higher prior to attending NYLT if registered in a Troop or Team. It is presumed they already possess skills in the areas of cooking, fire building, camping, knot tying, safety and first aid.

How many Scouts do we send?

Send the Scouts who are now in leadership positions in your unit, or will soon be. This would include the positions of Assistant Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, Troop Guide, Junior Assistant Scoutmaster and all Crew Officers to name a few. The real answer to the question of who and how many Scouts to send is more a question of who you think is mature enough to take part in a week-long intensive training course and who you believe the future leaders of your unit will be. It is always best to remember the benefits of the buddy system in Scouting and send two or more Scouts to share the information and support each other upon returning to the troop.

Scoutmaster's Minute:

Some may think that a week isn't long enough to teach a youth how to become a leader. Others believe a week is just too long. Both are incorrect and both right! Becoming a leader is an evolutionary process. The more practice they get using their leadership skills the better leaders they become. At the NYLT course, we get the Scout started on the right path by presenting leadership skills, helping identify and strengthen the skills they already possess and giving them an opportunity to try them out and hone them in a controlled, training environment. The Scout really learns leadership by applying the skills he/she learns back in his/her home unit under the guidance of his/her unit leader. The training of youth leaders is the responsibility of the unit leader. NYLT is designed to support, not replace, the unit leader's role in the training process. Each scout who attends will do so as a representative of his/her home unit and will wear the uniform and insignia of his/her home unit.


A mother whose son participated in NYLT sent the following to the council after course. The boys name has been modified to protect his identity.

When does a boy become a man? That is a question that has been asked over decades and even centuries. A delightful and respected friend of mine, came to me at our recent court of honor this summer. We were talking about our boys, all scouts. She mentioned how she had watched my son go from a goofy boy to a young man this summer. Well, I must give credit where credit is due.

It seems that many small things have had an impact on our son's life. But a more significant one is when he saw three of his fellow scouts receive their Silver Bear Awards from NYLT. He wanted a Silver Bear. So he dug up some courage and went to the scout master, who told him, you need to have the rank of 1st class, and currently don't qualify. "T" was sad.

About 6 weeks later he went to summer camp at camp Chawanakee. He had a wonderful time and came home happy. He was also looking for his next adventure. Two days after his return, he asked me if he could finish his first class rank and go to NYLT. Off to the phone I went to see if he could register late. The answer was yes, and "T" wasn't going to let anything get in his way. This is what his next adventure would be. This determination & decision would carry him through the next 2 weeks of learning all he needed to, and present himself for his board of review. He came out of his board of review elated. Off to NYLT!!!

Well I wasn't there for NYLT so I can only relate a few things of what happened there and then the transformation of "T". First, "T" was the Patrol Leader the first day. He said this was very tuff. After another tough day at NYLT, he came up with this saying, "If we can fight together, we can be a team together!" Wow, what a powerful statement from a 13 year old boy who was definitely goofy. His patrol came together and now they keep track of each other over the internet. What a great bonding experience.

So, we as a family headed up to see "T". When we get there, there is a young man. Confidence, a vision, and absolutely fun loving, is what we found in our son. A dream for us had been realized. He caught a vision, a dream, a goal. He knew what he wanted to do in scouting, and in life. He was aiming for the stars, and well, he might just reach them. He hopes that his troop will catch the vision of what NYLT can do!

"T" is using his skills in All of his life. When his littlest sister was having a meltdown (a big fit) two days after NYLT, we went to her and said, I want to do something with you. I want to use a technique I learned to help you. He did, and she calmed down amazingly fast. He redirected her back to her goal, and off went his jubilant 6 year old sis. Wow, he did this in front of me.

In school, he is dedicating himself to learn his hardest subject. He was discussing math with his sister the other night, using the terminology and even explained a mathematical principle to her, (his sister who's a math fanatic).

He laughs at his Dad when he tells him something ridiculous. He used to be gullible and believe the silly things he was told. He still has his wonderful gullible side, but now he can tell when it's ridiculous.

And then he manages his mom. We talk about what he wants to do and lets me know what decisions he's made, so that we can coordinate them into the family plans.

He's managing himself too! He finds a quiet place and does his homework. He cheerfully helps with what he's asked. And he walks the walk. He decided to set a goal to sell enough popcorn this year to earn a scholarship and the other bonus rewards along the way. He has sold more than enough to earn the Military Patch and join the $600 club. He is just over $1800.00 in popcorn sales and is working toward a goal of $2500.00. The leadership skills he has learned at NYLT and the opportunity afforded by Trails End Popcorn have enabled "T" to lead on his own and by example show others in his troop the value of Popcorn sales at the troop level.

So "T" made a choice, NYLT helped him discover who he is, become comfortable with who he is and the result is a young man that focuses, makes good decisions and acts on them. NYLT has taught "T" that leadership is the process of including others in your dreams and goals. I think this is how a boy becomes a man.