Scouts BSA Youth Leadership Training

Youth Leadership Development

This web page focuses on Leadership Development and it MUST support the Mission, Vision, Aims and Methods of the Boy Scouts of America.

  • The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
  • The vision statement of the Boy Scouts of America is The Boy Scouts of America will prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law.
  • The Aims of Boy Scouting are Character, Citizenship, Personal Fitness, and Leadership
  • Lastly, the Methods of Boy Scouting are Ideals, Patrol Method, Outdoor Program, Advancement, Association with Adults, Personal Growth, Leadership Development, and the Uniform.


It takes a community: Scoutmaster, Troop, Committee, Parents, BSA Council, BSA camps, BSA National Training, Schools, Teachers, Coaches, etc.  The continuum is NOT a set of courses to be taken and requirements checked off or a “To-Do” list.

Leaders are NOT born.  You can’t teach someone to be a leader.  Leaders are MADE and most of that work is by the leader himself.  The rest of us provide the tools and materials – and some encouragement along the way.  Scout BSA Leadership Development has many possible paths.  Experiences, practice, application, trial and error all are required amongst all the steps.  It is a cycle – try to do role – get training – try more – get coaching – succeed and move on to the next step.

Youth Leadership Courses

Den Chief Training

This course is designed for Scouts BSA members who are interested in: gaining leadership experience by sharing their Scouting knowledge, experience, skills and enthusiasm directly with Cub Scouts; and assisting Den Leaders by serving as a resource and helping to provide a great program.

Click here for information on Upcoming Den Chief Training Courses

Patrol Leadership Skills (PLS)

Patrol Leadership Skills is a youth leadership training course conducted in a Troop camping setting for a weekend. The troop staff provides training on youth leadership positions, patrol method and troop operations. The skills staff provides training to each patrol and runs the inter-patrol skill rally. The course is designed to reinforce the movement of the young scout from the New Scout patrol to a regular troop patrol and potentially serving as an Assistant Patrol Leader (APL).

PLS is a Monmouth Council-developed course that is offered every fall (usually the same weekend as the NJ teacher’s convention) at Quail Hill Scout Reservation.

Click here for more information on upcoming PLS courses

Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops (ILST)

The purpose of the ILST course is to teach Scouts with leadership positions about their new roles and how to most effectively reach success in that role. It is intended to help Scouts in leadership positions within their troop understand their responsibilities, and to equip them with organizational and leadership skills to fulfill those responsibilities. ILST is the first course in the series of leadership training offered to Scouts BSA and is a replacement for Troop Leadership Training. Completion of ILST is a prerequisite for Scouts to participate in the more advanced leadership courses: National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) and the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE). It is also required to participate in a Kodiak Challenge Trek.

Completion of ILST is required for all participants in NYLT.

ILST is conducted in the troop by the troop. It is best conducted as a camping trip dedicated to the leadership training. Conducted by the experienced youth leaders it pulls the new leaders into the team. One of the main goals is to reform the leadership team of the troop with new members and experienced scouts in new roles. It is an opportunity for the Scoutmaster to set expectation for the team and the expectation for each leader in their role.

The written roles and responsibility of each position can be customized to the troop.
Trainers aren’t born and if the troop youth leaders are going to be delivering ILST it is helpful to provide them some training on being a trainer. A complete Train the Training or The Trainer’s EDGE course is not required.

The following resources will be helpful in training your trainers

  • The Fundamentals of Training
  • The Trainer’s Edge

National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT)

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. NYLT prepares the Scout to be a senior leader in their troop. The syllabus for NYLT is very similar to the syllabus for the adult Wood Badge course, enabling common views and common language between the adult and youth leaders of the troop.

In Monmouth Council, we conduct a week long course, once a year during the last week of June at QHSR. The course can accommodate only 48 participants.

Click here for more information about National Youth Leadership Training

National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE)

National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience is an exciting program that enhances leadership skills and expands upon the team-building and ethical decision-making skills learned in NYLT. NAYLE emphasizes leadership, teamwork, and selfless service, and uses the core elements of NYLT to help youth internalize and strengthen these skills. The National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience course is now available at all national high-adventure bases. The material presented is basically the same at all four venues but is site-specific

NYLT Leadership Academy

The NYLT Leadership Academy trains youth staff to be top-notch presenters, evaluators, and leaders of their councils’ National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) courses. This intensive one-week course will improve course (NYLT) knowledge and problem-solving skills, which will help the staff to run world-class NYLT programs.

More Opportunities

This page is a high-level view of youth leadership development, and only presented the Scouts BSA Program. There are more leadership development opportunities in the OA, on camp staff, and in the Venturing, Sea Scouting, and Exploring programs.

Complete the Mission

There are many paths which a Scout can take in THEIR leadership development. They have many opportunities to choose from. Below is one example of the many which are available.