National Youth Leadership Training

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National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) is a Boy Scouts of America (BSA) leadership development training program designed to teach scouts how to become better leaders. The program was designed with the hope that scouts trained at NYLT will learn leadership skills that can be used within their home unit, and also in everyday life to improve their leadership potential.

National Youth Leadership Training logo

Most NYLT programs are conducted for one week during the summer months or winter breaks, however, some areas conduct NYLT courses over two 3-day weekends and during spring. Most NYLT courses are conducted at council-level camps, primarily because these camps are established, have proper facilities for a week long course, and are already affiliated with the Boy Scouts.

Courses range in size from 40 to 180 attending scouts, generally forming one to four troops, with six to nine patrols in each.

The content learned at any NYLT course is outlined in a national-level syllabus, however each council's NYLT may have small variations in the material taught, and may add in other events or special activities not required in the NYLT outline.

NYLT History

NYLT is a change from the program known as Junior Leader Training Conference (JLTC) and under a variety of local names such as "Brownsea JLT", "Silver Acorn", "Eagle Claw" and others.

While many councils used the standard JLTC syllabus supplied by the National Council of the BSA, many used elements from prior programs (Brownsea-22, Troop Leader Development, etc), and there was inconsistency in the program nation-wide.

In 2003, after much research from National, the first NYLT pilot course was run in the Sam Houston Area Council. After successful regional pilot courses in 2004, NYLT was mandated to be used in place of all JLT's in the nation, effectively creating a standard of training that would be consistent around the country. NYLT's consistency comes from its standards of presentations, which employ the use of PowerPoint slides, videos, projectors, and computers. However, the use of these at camps creates significant problems, as using computers, projectors and screens, and battery hook-ups are difficult to use at camps which have little electric power and don't provide shelter for electronic equipment.

The course was renamed from "Junior Leaders" to "Youth Leaders", according to the NYLT syllabus, based on feedback from the youth themselves, saying that they preferred the term "youth."

NYLT Staff

Youth Staff

Most NYLT's are youth run, which means a group of scouts (anywhere from 10-50) are designated as NYLT Staff, and work directly with scout participants of the NYLT course.

Adult Staff

Adults play an extremely important, yet more administrative role, as staff members, and serve positions as Scoutmasters, Course Directors, Quartermasters, and other support staff. Their main objectives as staff is to ensure the youth staff is operating within the guidelines of NYLT, staying on schedule, and behaving in an appropriate and safe manner. They are encouraged to let the youth staff do most of the training, which gives an emphasis on the idea of youth leadership.


New in 2007 is the region-based youth leadership-and-teaching training course for NYLT called Youth Staff Development Course (“YSDC”). YSDC replaced the previous National Junior Leader Instructor Camp (NJLIC).


A new part of the NYLT training continuum is the National Advanced Youth Leader Experience (NAYLE). Unlike under the old JLTC, there is no longer a National Junior Leader Instructor Camp (NJLIC) at Philmont Scout Ranch. NAYLE is the brand new training experiences for youth leaders, conducted for older Scouts. The new course is held at Philmont Scout Ranch. Scouts must be First Class rank or higher, 14 years of age by opening day of course, but not yet 18, have completed Council JLTC or NYLT course, and willing to become a youth trainer for the local council, and proficient in Scouting skills.

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