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. 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. 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. 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.

Read one commissioner’s experience with a co-ed NYLT course that changes lives and made leaders of young men and women:

On Monday June 29, 2015 the day dawned to blue skies and bright sunshine. The staff of the 2015 Co-ed NYLT Timberline waited for the registered participants to come up the mountain to join them for a week of fun and learning. This was the fifth year that the Utah National Parks Council had sponsored such a course, and through the years we have enjoyed having young women and men join our staff after being trained during the prior year’s course.  This year we had 5 young women and 6 young men as staff.  We arrived Saturday to begin our preparations for the coming week.

NYLT Church Service
NYLT staff attending church services in preparation for the coming week

We attended church Sunday morning in Mount Pleasant were the young women staff joined the young women of the Mount Pleasant Ward to sing during the meeting.

Sharlene Skidmore was this year’s Course Director with Pat Schow as her Assistant Course Director. We had Doug and Marilee Bassett, Riley Rackliffe as additional adult assistance and Stewart Schow as commissioner.

Most of the 9 boys and 7 girls who attended came from various parts of Utah. At the beginning of the course, they didn’t really know what to make of each other. Like any group of young strangers, they were hesitant, unsure of what the week would bring. The magic of NYLT soon fixed that. As they learned, played, struggled, and grew together, these youth became fast friends. By the end of the week, many talked about how surprised they were by how much fun they had and how much the course meant to them. All gave a hardy yes when asked if they would encourage friends to attend next year.

NYLT PrepThroughout the course, lessons and leadership were taught by youth staff and then the whole group would participate in some activity that would reinforce the leadership skill taught.  We covered communication, vision, goals and planning. Participants practiced problem solving, team development, teaching EDGE, leading EDGE, and conflict resolution to make a group move forward to some united vision.

The goal of every NYLT course is that young people will go home with a personal vision for their future and ideas of how the might use the skills taught during the week to improve their group at home. At the end of the week we asked participants what they enjoyed most, whether the course had been what they expected, and whether they would recommend it to their friends:

NYLT Flag CeremonyNYLT also helps the youth practice citizenship. Every morning, we raised the colors of the United State of America and learned about a historical flag. As a part of our morning assemblies we changed leadership responsibilities and working team assignments.

We also had daily reports on weather, sports, deep thoughts and proverbs for the day’s activities.  This year we had the privilege of ending our week on the 4th of July and used some of our extra time to have each team build a float for a parade the morning of July 4.

By the end of the week our team had grown close together in brotherhood, sisterhood and friendship. We had also come together to learn practical skills. In fact, many learned how to clean uniforms and other garments using our Mountain Maytag so that the picture from the end of the week shows how clean we can be in the camping world.

What a week! We learned and had fun doing it; learning is something everyone on this course will remember.  The activities the skill we were given so that we could Be, Know and Do leadership.

NYLT Adult StaffSpecial thanks to the adult and youth staff who spend 6 months preparing so that this week of NYLT Timberline would be a fun, educational and memorable time of all our lives.  We look forward to next years Co-ed NYLT Timberline to be more fun and exciting as we gain experience and knowledge about leadership and group training.

As Sharlene has expressed her feelings that this year was the best ever.

And those youth that started out so shy and unsure of each other? This is how they ended the week:

If your council isn’t doing NYLT courses yet, consider starting. They are a great way to teach youth skills that will help them navigate adolescence and adulthood. Find an NYLT course near you!

SOURCEUtah National Parks Council
Stewart Schow
Has been a Scouting volunteer for over 40 years. For the past five years, he and his wife, Pat, have worked on council NYLT courses and have loved watching youth learn and grow. Stewart is currently serving as the Utah National Parks Council Varsity Scout Committee Chairman.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 × 4 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.