NYLT Leadership Academy expands its locations for this summer

Scouting teaches leadership. But Scouts are not just students of the program – they can be teachers, too, and the NYLT Leadership Academy helps them to become effective teachers in their home councils and for their future careers.

The NYLT Leadership Academy will offer four weeks of summertime courses for National Youth Leadership Training graduates. Last year, these were held at NorCal Adventure Area in California and the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia.

This year, the academy will have weeklong courses at NorCal and the Summit, but also at Philmont Scout Ranch and Washington, D.C. This doubles the opportunity for Scouts, Sea Scouts and Venturers to hone their leadership skills.

“The transformation of a youth who has attended Leadership Academy is like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly,” says Brian Stillman, a course director from Chester County Council. “When a youth returns from Leadership Academy, they are ready to embrace a leadership role.”

What is the Academy?

To understand the NYLT Leadership Academy, you must first understand NYLT. NYLT is a council-offered leadership training experience for young people. The six-day course equips older youth with how to be better leaders by teaching them what they should be, know and do.

Those who graduate NYLT can train future NYLT attendees by attending the Leadership Academy. It’s about training the trainers, preparing youth to staff their home council’s NYLT course and preparing them for life.

 “You can always tell the Scouts that have been to Leadership Academy because they are more confident, and their presentations are of the highest quality,” Stillman says. “They come back to us better prepared and with the highest level of enthusiasm.”

Attend the Academy

The academy, established in 2006, trains hundreds of NYLT graduates to teach leadership models and skills to others. Attendees hear from successful leaders and participate in problem-solving panels. These skills will help them train other Scouts and be equipped for leadership opportunities, social situations and future careers.

This isn’t a passive course of sitting and listening. Attendees will develop, give and evaluate presentations in depth and participate in NYLT activities like initiative activities, instructional campfires and instructional interfaith worship services.

Scouts who attend can also work toward earning college credit through the academy’s partnership with West Virginia University.

This year’s courses will be:

Week 1: NorCal Adventure Area, Calif., June 23-29

Week 2: Summit Bechtel Reserve, W.Va., June 30-July 6

Week 3: Washington, D.C., July 7-13

Week 4:  Philmont Scout Ranch, N.M. July 21-27

Find your course

 You can register for this summer’s courses by visiting the NYLT Leadership Academy website. To attend, you must be in Scouts BSA, Sea Scouts or Venturing and meet the following qualifications:

  • Have completed your council’s National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT). If your council does not have an NYLT program, you may still qualify by working with a council representative to become familiar with the NYLT Staff Guide and Syllabus.
  • First Class rank or above; or a Venturer.
  • All participants must be 13 years old and have completed 8th grade by the opening day of course, but not yet 18; or if a Venturer not yet 21.
  • Willingness to take your newly acquired knowledge and skills from the NYLT Leadership Academy back to your council, troop and community.

Scholarships are available to those who qualify. For more training courses and a whole lot more resources to help your Scout, visit this troop resources page.


About Michael Freeman 446 Articles
Michael Freeman, an Eagle Scout, is an associate editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines.