Boy Scouts of America, Denver Area Council


National Youth Leadership Training at Big Horn

Be Prepared to Lead the Way

National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT @ Big Horn) is an exciting, action-packed program designed to provide youth members with the opportunity to learn leadership skills and gain experience they can use in their home units and in other situations that would benefit from a leadership role.

The NYLT @ Big Horn course is leadership training experience sponsored by the DAC and held annually at Tahosa High Adventure Base near Ward, Colorado. Training is conducted by highly qualified youth staff under the supervision of adult advisors. 

The course models a month in the life of a unit. The training consists of six days of Scouting activities culminating in an overnight outpost camp. 

Course Overview

Courses are held annually at Tahosa High Adventure Base near Ward, Colorado. The training is conducted by highly qualified youth staff under the supervision of adult advisors.

A constant refrain of NYLT is, “If you can see it, you can be it.” The course centers around the concepts of what a leader must BE, what a leader must KNOW and what a leader must DO. The key elements are then taught with a clear focus on HOW TO. The skills come alive during the week as the team goes on a Quest for the Meaning of Leadership.

NYLT @ Big Horn is a six-day course, patterned after a month in the life of a unit. The course 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 skills and confidence to lead well. During an NYLT course, team members find themselves going through the stages of team development. Their challenges heighten the team development process, enabling them to use their awareness of the stages to build a highly effective team that can reach its full potential.

Denver Area Council will run five sessions of NYLT @ Big Horn at Camp Tahosa in 2020 – four in June and one in July. Each session will feature two NYLT Troops with five patrols each, for 60 participants maximum. 

Week 1: Sunday, June 7 – Saturday, June 13, 2020
Course Director: Curtis Letson
1a Scoutmaster: Felicia Fernandez; SPL: Riley Ventimiglia
1b Scoutmaster: Pattie Nortman; SPL: Gabe Benton
Melaine Heesacker
Week 2: Sunday, June 14 – Saturday, June 20, 2020
Course Director: Jim Auslen
2a Scoutmaster: Randy Bruns; SPL: Brennan Said
2b Scoutmaster: Mike Duncan; SPL: Aidan Plaehn
Week 3: Sunday, June 21 – Saturday, June 27, 2020
Course Director: Russ Larson
3a Scoutmaster: Mike Hartig; SPL: David Burnham
3b Scoutmaster: Ed Tugya; SPL: Carissa Sigler
Week 4: Sunday, June 28 – Saturday, July 4, 2020
Course Director: Mark Field
4a Scoutmaster: Sarah Ford; SPL: Channing Han
4b Scoutmaster: Duncan Shields; SPL: Brian Rooney
Week 5: Sunday, July 5 – Saturday, July 11, 2020
Course Director: Steve Yexley
5a Scoutmaster: Heather Graf; SPL: Ethan Montgomery
5b Scoutmaster: Dean Stephens; SPL: Hannah Rudin

Who Should Attend

Scouts BSA and Venturers who currently hold a key leadership role in their home unit or the unit leader feels has the potential to hold a key leadership position in the future. In order to attend an NYLT @ Big Horn course, a youth must have the following qualifications by the beginning of the course, per National Council guidelines:

  • Must be a registered member of a Scouting unit.
  • Must have a current BSA Health and Medical Record form parts A, B, and C.
  • The new policy as of March 1, 2019, (new age policy went into effect) Scouts BSA members (male and female) must be at least 13 years old on start date of their course. They must have completed Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops.
  • Venturers and Sea Scouts (male and female) must be at least 14, or 13 and have completed eighth grade, and fall within the maximum age allowance for their program. They must have completed Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews or Ships. It is recommended that they have had at least one year of camping experience. While NYLT is not an outdoor skills course, it is important that each participant have basic camping and outdoor cooking experience.
  • Have a unit leader recommendation.
  • Scouts BSA participants must have completed Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops
  • Venturer or Sea Scout must have completed Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews or Introduction to Leadership Skills for Ships

All Participants

  • He or she must agree to spend the entire scheduled week participating in the National Youth Leadership Training Course.
  • He or she should have held a leadership position in his or her unit, if possible, or be considering a position in the near future.
  • The Scout or Venturer should be an experienced camper with good camping, hiking, and outdoor cooking skills.

What is the Involvement of the Unit Leader?
NYLT is intended to strengthen the relationship between the youth leader and unit leader. The unit leader is highly encouraged to have a pre-course and post-course conference with the participant to discuss their vision and goals for future success of their home unit.

Code of Ethics
Every course operates according to the principles of the Scout Oath and Law. Each participant and staff member is welcomed, appreciated and valued. There is no room for hazing or for any activities that do not add to a positive learning experience for everyone.

“In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible State or local Agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information is also available in languages other than English.

To file a complaint alleging discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provided in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.”