What is NYLT ?

NYLT is an intense, 6 day, outpost adventure outdoor leadership training experience for youth troop leaders.  The course goal is to prepare young men to become superior leaders in their units, their district and other organizations they belong to now and in the future.

Participants learn to use current corporate leadership skills within the framework of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.  BSA National carefully developed the NYLT curriculum with input from current corporate trainers, the United States Air Force Academy and others in the training community.  Graduates of this program become Senior Patrol Leaders in their Troops as well as leaders in their Districts, Schools, Churches, and Communities.  The course is led and taught by some of the best youth leaders in the Council; all of whom are graduates of the NYLT program and many have staffed multiple courses. 


Excerpts from the Course Overview
of the Youth Leadership Training Staff Guide (34490A)
©2005 BSA

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

For many years, junior leader training (JLT) was an important part of the leadership training continuum of BSA local councils throughout America. In 2003 and 2004, a task force of leadership experts and hundreds of Scouts in pilot courses across the nation reviewed and tested every aspect of the new NYLT syllabus, which incorporates the latest leadership ideas and presents fresh, vital, and meaningful training for today’s Scouts.

Several issues spurred the change of the JLT name to correspond with the updated course content. Among them was the desire to make clear that this is a national course. Also, studies have told us that our membership would prefer to be referred to as youth rather that junior, so the name became clear – National Youth Leadership Training.


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.


The skills of visualizing success, setting goals to accomplish that vision, and developing a plan to get there are core to the leader’s role. Other key course elements include leading yourself, communicating, developing a team, applying a leadership style that fits the team’s stage of development, and teaching skills to others. Sessions on problem solving, making ethical decisions, and valuing people are added as elements of a leader’s toolbox.


Built on the legacy of past JLT successes, the new NYLT syllabus integrates the best of modern leadership theory with the traditional strengths of the Scouting experience. Through activities, presentations, challenges, discussions, and audiovisual support, NYLT participants will be engaged in a unified approach to leadership that will give them the skills and confidence to lead well. Through a wide range of activities, events, games, and adventures, NYLT participants will work and play together as they put into action the best that Scouting has to offer.


NYLT participants discover that leading themselves and leading others requires a vision – a picture of future success. Each patrol will develop a team vision for the course, and each individual will prepare his own vision. A constant refrain of NYLT is "if you can see it, you can be it." Through presentation and positive experiences in goal setting, planning, and problem solving, participant learn how to set a clear course toward realizing their team and individual visions, and then how to put themselves in the center of those pictures of future success.


The youth and adult staff member of a NYLT course are charged with providing participants with the best possible opportunity to learn effective leadership skills in a setting where the highest ideals of Scouting shine through. Essential to that effort is the fact that staff members use NYLT leadership skills and philosophies themselves, which provides them with an extremely effective means of sharing skills and leading teams. It also models the skills and leadership ideals that the NYLT Program seeks to convey.

Every NYLT course operates according to the principles of the Scout Oath and Law. Each participant and staff member is welcomed, appreciated, and valued. There is no room for hazing or for any activities that do not add to a positive learning experience for everyone.

Leadership, fun, challenge, adventure – NYLT offers all of those and much more. The NYLT program can be a centerpiece of a council’s youth training opportunities, providing local troops with outstanding youth leaders and giving those Scouts the tools and leadership ideals that will serve them well in whatever they do.