How Do I Develop Youth Leadership?
Youth leadership is the key to a successful troop, crew, or ship
The Boy Scouts of America is the premier leadership development
organization for youth in the United States. We offer the tools for youth to become outstanding leaders.
University of Scouting "Youth Leadership College"
The University of Scouting Youth
Leadership College (YLC) offers a variety of classes to improve
youth leadership skills. The YLC is open to all Scouts BSA members, Sea Scouts, and Venturers. Scouts choose up to six sessions
in areas they're interested in from a list of over 20 offerings. We also offer a half-day
academy for new patrol leaders and senior patrol leaders. The
University of Scouting Youth Leadership College is offered on a Saturday in April and October.
Den Chief Training
Den Chief Training is an introductory level leadership course that
teaches Scouts BSA members basic skills of working with younger kids, preparing them to assist the den leader in a Cub Scout Pack. Scouts who want
to become den chiefs will take this online course as part of their
training. They'll learn den chief
responsibilities and tasks, and better understand the den chief's relationship and responsibilities to the den. After finishing the training, den chief
candidates will work in a local den.
The Youth Leadership Continuum
The youth leadership training continuum represents the scope and
sequence of leadership training courses available to youth members. Courses are available to youth for ages 11 through 20 and delivered in a range of engaging methods using
case studies, games, discussions, and experiential education models.
Youth Leadership Continuum Courses
Introduction to Leadership Skills (ILS)
ILS gives an introduction to leadership skills for youth in
Boy Scout troops (ILST), Sea Scout ships
(ILSS), and Venturing crews (ILSC). The course is delivered by older and more
experienced youth as soon as a young person has been selected by his or
her peers for a leadership position. The syllabus is available from the BSA through the youth
training link on the BSA Training page.
"Grey Wolf" National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT)
The National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) conference is a
leadership training course delivered by the local council to help youth
develop their capacity as leaders. The leadership skills
introduced in ILS are developed in greater detail during the week-long
training course. Modeling a month in the life of
a Scouting unit is one skill example delivered by NYLT. Troop or crew youth leaders will benefit greatly from the experiences in this course.
The Kodiak Challenge
The Kodiak Challenge is an adventure that pushes the boundaries of
every participant and encourages a young person to
try new things beyond their comfort zone. The experience is grounded in growing leadership skills learned in
ILS, NYLT, and/or NAYLE. It's adventure with a purpose.
Participants design an adventure of their choosing and,
through the assistance of a Kodiak guide, explore the leadership skills
in that adventure. Participants must be at
least 14 years of age or 13 (and have completed the 8th grade) to participate. In either case,
participants must be approved by their unit leader to join
Kodiak. Youth must complete ILS before attending Kodiak.
Open to adults and Venturers ages 18 through 20, Wood Badge is an internationally recognized leadership development course.
Wood Badge serves as the advanced leadership training program for all
branches of Scouting, including Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, Sea Scouting, and Venturing. Wood Badge allows an
in-depth exploration and supervised
implementation of leadership skills through a multi-part delivery plan called a "ticket." The Wood Badge leadership
development program is offered through a local council or on a
National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience
The National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE) started as an exclusive program of the Philmont Training Center in Cimarron, New
Mexico. Young men and women enhance their leadership skills in the
Philmont backcountry by expanding the team-building and
decision-making skills learned in National Youth Leadership
Training (NYLT). NAYLE uses elements of the Philmont ranger training as
well as advanced search-and-rescue skills to teach leadership,
teamwork, and the lessons of selfless service. Participants
must be at least 14 years old or be 13 (and have completed the 8th grade) to participate. In
either case, participants must be approved by their unit leader and complete NYLT to
attend NAYLE. NAYLE is also offered at Nothern Tier, Sea Base, and Bechtel
Summit themed around those specific high adventure bases.