Nylt fact Sheet

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NYLT Fact Sheet.

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 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 for 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.

The NYLT course centers around the concepts of:

What a leader must BE:

What he must KNOW:

What he must DO:

These 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, some councils use two weekends. 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.

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

In 2010, the National Council merged training for Venturing and Boy Scout youth leaders. The revised program is open to both boys and girls.


NYLT is run by youth leaders under adult supervision. The Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) runs course meetings and events, chairs meetings, of the team leaders’ meeting, delegates duties to other youth staff, assists the Scoutmaster, models the learning and leadership skills, and recruits participants. Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders assist the SPL, oversee audiovisual support, guide the service team, inspect campsites, and prepare a model campsite. Team Guides coach each day’s team leaders and present selected sessions and activities. Adults perform administrative services and ensure guidelines are met including health and safety.

Participants are organized as a generic scouting unit. They are grouped into teams of no more than eight. A staff member, designated as a Team Guide, is assigned to each team to coach and mentor the team leader.

Courses are organized by councils and use council facilities. Courses can range in size from 20 to 180 Scouts, generally forming one to four courses, with two to six teams in each. The content learned at any NYLT course is outlined in the National Syllabus. It stipulates that, “Each of the core sessions outlined in the syllabus must be presented, with no additional content sessions” and that “The core sessions must be taught in order that is laid out in the syllabus and within the six-day time frame.”

Other commentary has been that NYLT is powering the next generation of leaders. For youth NYLT can be a life-changing week of adventure, self-discovery, cultural exchange, leadership-building, and service. Adult mentors—the critical connection point between the youth taking charge and the resources provided, gain the skills needed to support these youth in creating a year-long plan of action.

This program supports the Scoutmaster’s responsibility for the training of troop youth leaders. The HOAC’s stated purpose of NYLT is to: give participants the confidence and knowledge to run the troop program; to give participants a basic knowledge of the eleven skills of leadership and help them relate these skills to their troop responsibilities; to give participants the opportunity to share ideas and experiences with Scouts from other troops; to create an atmosphere where Scouts will experience Scouting at its best; to enhance the relationship between the participant and the Scoutmaster; and TO HAVE FUN!


NYLT is the most current incarnation of junior leader training program offered by the Boy Scouts of America. Its origins as a program that teaches leadership skills originated on the Presidio of Monterey at the Army Language School in California. Until the early 1960’s, junior leader training focused primarily on Scoutcraft skills and teaching the Patrol Method. Bela H. Banathy, a veteran of World War II and a Hungarian refugee, had been national director for youth leadership development of the Hungarian Boy Scout Association. In 1958, he was Training Chairman of the Monterey Bay Area Council and a Hungarian language instructor at the Army Language School on the Monterey Peninsula. That summer he organized an experimental patrol to teach boys leadership skills at the Monterey Bay Area Council’s Camp Pico Blanco. A group of volunteer Scouters formally christened it as the White Stag program in 1959, and through the early 1960s it gradually evolved into a three-phase, multi-year program. After many years of studying and modeling the White Stag program, the Boy Scouts of America in 1974 published the Troop Leadership Development Staff Guide. It was the first junior leadership program to focus on leadership skills, which continue to be the focus of NYLT.


Each conference participant must be at least a First Class Scout, 13 years old and currently filling a leadership position in the troop or likely to assume one soon. He should be proficient in basic Scouting skills. The Scoutmaster is expected to attend the final day’s leadership commitment conference.

NYLT is a one-time training experience. Youth must meet standards set for the specific course—generally age, rank, and leadership requirements. Some councils have additional requirements.

Simulates troop or crew operation

During the course, participants simulate a week in the life of a troop, team or crew, including troop, team or crew meetings, leadership meetings and other typical events. They use the patrol method during the course and rotate leadership positions between individuals. They are provided structured experiences that allow them to apply what they have learned.


The objectives of the program are: give the youth confidence and knowledge to conduct a youth-run program thus learning life skills, train youth in all aspects of effective leadership, ranging from teaching skills to motivating an organization, guide the youth through the stages of team development, give youth the opportunity to share ideas and experiences with youth from other units, enhancement of the relationship between the youth and adults, create an environment Scouting fellowship and fun guided by the Scout Oath and Law.

Key Course Concepts

Many of the key course concepts are represented as mnemonics, or easy-to-remember phrases. These include: 1) Vision-Goals-Planning: Creating a positive future success, 2) SMART goals: specific, measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely, 3) Planning and Problem-solving Tool: What, How, When, Who, 4) SSC Assessment Tool: Start, Stop, Continue 5) Stages of Team Development: Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing 6) Leading EDGE: Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, Enable 7) Conflict Resolution Tool: EAR-Express, Address, Resolve 8) Making Ethical Decisions: Right vs. Wrong, Right vs. Right and Trivial, 9) Communication MaSeR-Message, Sender, Receiver 10) Valuing People ROPE-Reach out, Organize, Practice and Experience. Program content uses Power Point Slides, Flip charts, discussion points, and activities that encourage team work, planning and problem solving.

Key points are event planning, communication, team building, teaching, leadership styles, setting goals, problem solving, create a vision of success, make plans, and other leadership skills. Team games and activities give participants a chance to apply new skills. Teams compete in events to include lashing competition and geocache games. They are given opportunities to apply the Scout Oath and Law to make hard decisions and remain true to Scouting’s values.

Staff Development

The youth staff must have previously attended NYLT before serving on staff. To keep the program fresh, the Boy Scouts require that half the youth staff should be new to the youth staff. The youth staff are expected to attend three planning and training weekends. The objectives for staff development include setting the tone of the course, prepare the staff to conduct the course, give them an understanding of team and personal development, practice modeling the key concepts and fun.

Resources and References:





For info on upcoming courses, please contact the course director, Tim Helton (816) 694-6688

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