The wait is over: Now’s the time for advanced leadership training

You’ll notice the difference right away.

A fellow Scouter who has returned from Wood Badge brings back a quiet confidence. He or she is ready for anything Scouting — or life — might bring.

A Scout or Venturer freshly back from National Youth Leadership Training stands a little taller. He or she now has tools to improve the troop or crew, making your job easier.

It’s all within reach for adults and youth who sign up for advanced leadership training. The time is now to begin (or expand on) a culture of training in your unit. The expectation is lofty but attainable: Every adult leader takes Wood Badge. Every youth leader takes National Youth Leadership Training, or NYLT.

The importance of advanced leadership training, that next step after basic training, is the subject of the latest episode of ScoutCast, the monthly podcast for Boy Scout and Venturing leaders. The guest this month: Don Wendell.

If that surname looks suspiciously familiar, you’re onto something. My dad, former chairman of the National Advanced Leadership Task Force, has been a Scouter for 25 years. He has served on staff for Wood Badge and the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience, or NAYLE. He’s an Eagle Scout.

In the ScoutCast, Wendell shares several reasons why advanced leadership training is so crucial:

  • It results in better programs and a better experience for the youth, helping them get the most out of the program.
  • It improves retention. If you give Scouts a better experience, they’ll stay in longer.
  • It gives Scouts and Venturers leadership skills they can use in Scouting and school.
  • It helps adults feel at ease and better prepared to be effective leaders.
  • It makes everyone more effective in dealing with other people.

The list continues from there. Just ask any Wood Badge or NYLT graduate; they’ll tell you.

The beauty of Scouting’s advanced leadership training courses, Wendell says, is in their alignment. Courses for adults and courses for youth, while conducted separately, are designed to fit together once everyone gets back to their troop or crew.

“The courses are aligned so that the Scoutmaster who has been to Wood Badge and his senior patrol leader who’s been to NYLT are speaking at the same language of leadership,” he says.

I challenge you to learn that language of leadership as soon as you can. Take the next step toward improving your pack, troop, team, post, ship or crew. Contact your council to register for Wood Badge or learn more about National Youth Leadership Training.

And get much more insight on this subject in the October 2015 edition of ScoutCast, available to read or listen to here.


Wood Badge photo of Don Wendell by W. Garth Dowling/BSA

About Bryan Wendell 2868 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.