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"If Venturing leadership training includes VLSC, Kodiak, and Kodiak-X, why is there a need to rewrite the NYLT syllabus so that they can attend that too? I don't see how removing the patrol method will benefit Boy Scouts. There must be a positive twist to this somewhere. What is it?



The N.Y.L.T. course in our council, which I was privileged to staff, had two female Venturers as "participants." They were members of the El Campeseno Dinosaur Chicken Nuggets Patrol. Having reviewed the syllabus for 2009, I saw no diminution of the centrality of the Patrol Method to the Course in 2010. Nor was the syllabus revised to take into account their presence. The staff elected to mention Venturers when appropriate to the material being presented.


Why your concern?

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Well, for starters, the 2009 syllabus is for troops, and has a very heavy focus on the patrol method. If that's what we want to teach Venturers, fine. The 2011 syllabus (to my understanding) has completely removed even the word "patrol" from the syllabus. As far as I know (and the reason for my concern), adding Venturers to NYLT removes the patrol method from this advanced Boy Scout leadership training. Is that a positive twist?



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HawkUH60 - The problem is that many troops run a very weak patrol method, many times not boy run at all.. It helps alot for these boys to see what a strong patrol method is like and bring it back to their troops..


I don't understand why they would remove the patrol method.. Wood badge has had Pack, troop & Venturing Leaders in it for years and they still run with the patrol method for the majority of the course (they are cubs until day 1 lunch, and I think the last day when things are winding down they are Crew..)..


The whole idea is to quickly get the groups to working as a team.. The majority of crew I know may be youth lead, but it takes alot to get them to work as a team, where as the patrol method get them into teamwork alot sooner..

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As I am not on NYLT Staff this year, I do not have access to the 2011 syllabus at this time of morning.


However, this is the BSA brief description and the longer description for our Council's Course.



The NYLT course centers around the concepts of what a leader must BE, what he must KNOW, and what he must DO. The key elements are then taught with a clear focus on HOW TO. The skills come alive during the week as the patrol goes on a Quest for the Meaning of Leadership.

NYLT is a six-day course. Content is delivered in a troop and patrol outdoor setting with an emphasis on immediate application of learning in a fun environment. Interconnecting concepts and work processes are introduced early, built upon, and aided by the use of memory aids, which allows participants to understand and employ the leadership skills much faster.

Built on the legacy of past JLT successes, the new NYLT integrates the best of modern leadership theory with the traditional strengths of the Scouting experience. Through activities, presentations, challenges, discussions, and audio-visual support, NYLT participants will be engaged in a unified approach to leadership that will give them the skill and confidence to lead well. Through a wide range of activities, games, and adventures, participants will work and play together as they put into action the best Scouting has to offer.



This is the Advanced Youth Training Conference of the BSA. It is a Leadership Development program utilizing both classroom and outdoor activities as teaching methods.


Patrols are challenged early in the week to present to the troop at the end of the week their "Quest for the Meaning of Leadership." While the challenge is designed to have them go through the four stages of team development, it will help patrols and individual Scouts grasp and utilize the leadership skills and concepts being presented to them along the way.

Throughout the conference, the staff will be modeling the concepts and skills that are the core content of the conference. The focus of each session is not only knowledge but giving the youth a "Toolbox of Skills" that equips them with the "How to Lead."


The conference begins with the patrols finding their vision and ends with the individuals refining a personal vision of how to take the skills back to their home troops and communicate what he has learned.

The conference models a month in the life of a troop three meetings (one each day for the first three days) all leading up to the big outdoor experience (an overnight outpost camp). The conference uses the patrol method and presents model Patrol Leader Council meetings.


Course participants will experience:

A simulated month of troop and PLC meetings where the scouts will plan all aspects of an upcoming outing that they will embark upon at the end of the week.

Dozens of team-building games and exercises.

The responsibility of leadership as each participant takes charge in a troop leadership position during the week.

Training sessions conducted by some of the best teachers and volunteers the council has to offer.

Course Objectives

Give participants the confidence and knowledge to operate as a youth-run troop

Provide participants with a clear understanding of team and personal development and how those elements relate to being a leader

Train participants in all aspects of effective leadership, ranging from teaching skills to conflict resolution

Guide the participants through the stages of team development

Create an environment of Scouting fellowship and fun guided by the Scout Oath and Law

Experience Scouting at its finest


Skills Taught

Communicating Well (Effective Communications) - Understand that the skills of communicating well are not just for presentations but can be used whenever one is sharing ideas. Learn to communicate with adults.

Finding Your Vision (Team and Personal Vision) - Vision as what future success looks like (team or personal)

Setting Your Goals - What are Smart Goals and how to use them to achieve your vision

Preparing Your Plans - Use of planning as a step in reaching goals and fulfilling visions

Forming Your Team - Describe the phases that a patrol or team will experience as members move toward achieving goals or learning new skills (Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing)

Problem Solving - Discuss the similarities between Planning and Problem Solving

Leading EDGE - Describe the four leadership approaches included in the leading Edge (Explaining, Demonstrating, Guiding, Enabling) and apply them to team development

Teaching EDGE - Describe the four steps of the Teaching Edge (Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, Enable) and how to use effective communications skills as a tool for teaching

Resolving Conflicts - Describe ways that a good leader minimizes conflict. Learn how to use EAR as a tool for resolving conflict (Express, Address, Resolve). When is adult involvement needed.

Making Ethical Decisions - Give a definition for ethics and discuss the importance of ethical decision-making (use the Scout Oath and Law)

Leading Yourself - Discuss the importance of having a personal vision and the phases of personal development (Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing)

Valuing People Use the Scout Oath and Law as a guide in valuing other people. How to act in an ethical manner in our dealings with people whose core values differ from ours. Use ROPE (Reach, Organize, Practice, Experience) to strengthen the patrols/troops programs


My comments from what I personally know and after talking to the Scoutmaster of the Course and the SPL:


All troop formations and staff meetings during the course will be youth led, primarily by the Senior Patrol Leader and ASPL-Program.


All but one session and all activities will be entirely delivered by youth staff.


That is how it has been here at least since 2007. My information goes back no farther.


(This message has been edited by TAHAWK)

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Part of the why NYLT uses the Team rather than Patrol is due to the inclusion of Venturing program members (Co-Ed) and the fact that it parallels Wood Badge for the 21st Century. Yes, WB21C has Dens and Patrols while NYLT is centered on the BE, KNOW and DO aspects of Leadership and the Quest for the meaning of Leadership.

It is amazing to get feedback about the conversations and interactions that happen when a youth member has completed NYLT and an adult family member or respected leader has completed WB21C and they realize they are on the same page, using the same concepts and terms. The idea of linked/related training using the same basis isn't novel or new to the BSA but it works and has a positive result.

Having a time limit for Trainers Edge again helps to keep the youth staff and adults on the same path again using the same techniques. The Trainers Edge syllabus has had a few changes since it first came out.

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I see this in the linked thread: "There's also some terminology updates - eg, we can't say "patrol" anymore, we have to say "team." Even the terms "troop," "SPL," "SM," etc are taboo, based on how this new program has been explained to me."


Yet BSA and my council continue to use "troop," and "patrol," and my council continues to use "Patrol Leader," "Senior Patrol Leader," etc. We do not have a "Course Director." We have a Scoutmaster. And this is known at BSA.


And I am curious about exactly what is is in the 2011 syllabus would be harmful in terms of development of a Scout as a leader in his Patrol and Troop? I see a lot of generalized worry, but nothing specific.


Is it the co-ed issue? We had no problems in 2010. The female participants were carefully selected. The patrol they were put in was carefully selected. The issue was directly confronted with staff. Arrangements were standard BSA on the subject. An extra issue? Sure, but dealt with. Oh, and we had express permission of BSA to go with co-ed a year early. (Just as we had the OK for the youth staff to prepare their own slides.)


Our course filled for 2010 nine months before the course. We added three extra patrols, and they all filled four months in advance. This year, we filled two courses -- 16 patrols -- six months in advance. Think we're doing anything good?

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TAHAWK - This discussion might be better continued in that other thread, but...


I've been involved with my council's NYLT course for several years. In my council anyway, we did not get the 2011 syllabus until after our staff development program started, so we're in a "transition" year where we will be adopting some of the new practices, with the target at this point to be fully transitioned by next year's course. So we too are still using the Boy Scouting-centric terminology, but will theoretically be transitioning off of that as well. Whether or not our council or the BSA will make a fuss about it is unclear, though there has already been some "fussing" within our council, if that's any indication.


And I am curious about exactly what is is in the 2011 syllabus would be harmful in terms of development of a Scout as a leader in his Patrol and Troop?


This was brought up in the other thread, but my position is that "not harmful" and "most beneficial" are not equivalent. I don't think there's anything in this new syllabus that will be harmful for leadership development, but I think it is certainly not the most beneficial or effective way to teach advanced leadership to Boy Scouts or Venturers. I think that advanced training courses need to be a little more specifically targetted, and I feel like both Boy Scouting and Venturing deserve to have their own program-specific training courses. NYLT used to be a very strong Boy Scout-specific training course that immersed the participants in a model of how the Patrol System should work - it killed two birds with one stone, by teaching some fairly "generic" leadership skills, but doing so in the context of a quality troop program.


I'm actually in agreement with you on the co-ed issue. I think there will be some logistical challenges, but nothing insurmountable. I have no problem inviting young ladies to attend the course. My concern is just more on deliverying quality program-specific training - something that NYLT used to do, but no longer does, in my opinion.

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Probably right. This should be a separate thread.


Let me make explicit what is implicit in the language quoted above, our 2011 courses are unchanged from 2010 -- except that we have female youth staffers. 2012? Don't know.


I did a Google. It seems a good many Councils join Scouting.org and my council in thinking NYLT is still about patrols in a troop setting. Here is the course description from out nearest neighbor:


"The National Youth Leadership Training is a seven day outdoor experience for current and future leaders in support of the Scoutmasters responsibility for the training of his Youth Leaders. The conference utilizes the standard troop structure using the patrol method. Patrol leadership changes daily to give all Scouts a chance to be a Patrol Leader or Assistant. The participants will write their own Vision Statement in which they will plan how to use their newly acquired skills in their home troops. The Conference has been developed by the National Council B.S.A. and the Greater Western Reserve Council is the Host Council. The conference is the highest leadership training offered to Youth Leaders at the council level."


The lady who was in charge of NYLT at BSA in 2010 was very accommodating. When we asked if we could go co-ed in 2010, she said "Let me know how it turns out." She gave the same answer when we proposed to throw the official PP slides overboard.


We felt that the most important lesson was youth leadership. That was modeled very strongly. The participants experienced NYLT in a youth-led troop composed of youth-led patrols. The Scouters on staff had very, very little to say in front of the participants. Indeed, we were usually not in sight. This was not just "for show." The Scout leaders ran the staff meetings as well. The Scouters' role was to coach and be resources. The focus was on the leaders.


After the course, I heard a couple of complaints from Scoutmasters who are used to being SPL of their unit. "What are you teaching these kids?" "Scouting."


The unhappy adult SPL's are not slowing things down. The course -- at least here -- sells itself to the youth, and our biggest problem is finding room for all those who want to take it.


Our Scout Executive says he NYLT as the most important program in our council. He is a strong advocate for the course and attends the orientation meeting and the first and last days of each course. His message is, "Go back to your units and apply what you have learned. Lead!"

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Yes, found that site via Google. But it seems to require that I download all my personal information from FaceBook in order to get in. I'm not inclined to do that for a site I know nothing about. Did it once for Walmart and got SPAM'd to death for a couple of years. Are you familiar with the site?

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I'm still not seeing the light here. What I'm reading from TAHAWK in particular is that now there are young ladies on the staff. The terminology and structure you say you're using is that of a troop. OK. I'm listening. What position do these girls hold on the staff? What uniform do they wear? For your model troop meetings, etc, do they say the Scout Oath and Law? Is the patrol and troop structure what they're to take back to their units and lead (as stated by your SE)?

What am I missing?


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I'm still not seeing the light here. What I'm reading from TAHAWK in particular is that now there are young ladies on the staff. The terminology and structure you say you're using is that of a troop. OK. I'm listening. What position do these girls hold on the staff? What uniform do they wear? For your model troop meetings, etc, do they say the Scout Oath and Law? Is the patrol and troop structure what they're to take back to their units and lead (as stated by your SE)?

What am I missing?



It seems some councils are calling it "course" rather than a "troop" and calling the groups "teams" instead of "patrols."


BSA is labeling it both ways, as one sees by comparing BSA's website description, quoted verbatim above, with the 2011 syllabus.


I don't think there is any magic in the labels. What counts is the substance. Are youth leading? Are they in groups of the size that Scouting, and others, have found effective?


The young ladies on our council's NYLT staff will be Troop Guides. They will wear the official Venturing uniform because that is the branch of Scouting to which they belong. There were women in that uniform on our 2008, 2009, and 2010 Wood Badge staffs.


As 99% of the participants are Scouts, they will say the Scout Oath and Law. The young ladies, as participants last year, had no problem with that. We had no "official" guidance.


I suppose Venturing participants might, instead, recite the Venturing Oath and Code. Not sure how that is being handled. Perhaps that is covered in the 2011 syllabus.


Venturers will not take Troop structure back to their units. Hopefully, they will not be seeing youth leadership modeled for the first time. Hopefully, they will go back with a strengthened belief in youth leadership and with a version of the leadership concepts and tools of Wood Badge.


What I am missing is what you really think -- what troubles you. I don't want to speculate.

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What troubles me?

I don't happen to like the whole notion of altering the syllabus to include Venturers, but I'm not interested in arguing about that.

What bothers me is exactly what I'm seeing happen in your case. Venturers (whose adults in my council criticize Boy Scouting as being inferior to Venturing ... at least that's the way I see it) becoming patrol members within a troop. One of the things that makes NYLT doable is an agreement to live by the Oath and Law. Venturers don't happen to promise to live by them, but it sounds like they recite them because they're now acting as patrol members. Are they "playing Boy Scout?" I have to presume they become patrol leaders and participate in PLCs. These things are modeled in NYLT for a reason. What purpose do they serve for Venturers? Now your young ladies are acting as troop guides. Will one soon become the SPL?

If Venturers learning the patrol method and how a troop functions were part of the purpose, I think I could deal with that better than altering the syllabus so it no longer looks like a troop. When that happens, I think it becomes less useful to Boy Scouts. I have a problem with that.

Not having seen the syllabus, I can't address it specifically, so I'm dealing only with what I hear and with my own opinion. What I hear and what I imagine, I don't happen to like. The jury is still out for me. I'm still waiting for that positive twist.




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