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 2021 NYLT @ Big Horn course is leadership training experience sponsored by the DAC and will be conducted at Camp Dietler on Charles S. McNeil Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch. Training is conducted by highly qualified youth staff under the supervision of adult advisors. 

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

2021 Course Sessions

There will be three sessions in 2021, with the space for 90 scouts per session split across three troops. Registration will open in January.

  • Session 1: June 6-12, 2021
    • Course Director: Curtis Letson; SM Felicia Fernandez & SPL Riley Ventimiglia; SM Pattie Nortman & SPL Jayce Letson; SM Mike Gill & SPL Liam Gill
  • Session 2: June 13-19, 2021
    • Course Director: Jim Auslen; SM Randy Bruns & SPL Brennan Said; SM Ed Tugya & SPL Brian Rooney; SM Mike Duncan & SPL Aidan Plaehn
  • Session 3: June 20-26, 2021
    • Course Director: Steve Yexley; SM Heather Graf & SPL Ethan Montgomery; SM Dean Stephens & SPL Hannah Rudin; SM Gene O’Neill & SPL Andreas Adams

Course Overview

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.

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 – Troop, Crew, or Ship.
  • Scouts BSA Participants must be at least 13 years old at the start date of their selected Course
  • Scouts BSA Participants should have completed Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops (ILST)
  • Venture Scout Participants must be at least 14 (or 13 and have completed eighth grade) at the start date of their selected Course
  • Venture Scout Participants should have completed Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews (ILSC)
  • Sea Scout Participants must be at least 14 (or 13 and have completed eighth grade) at the start date of their selected Course
  • Sea Scout Participants should have completed Introduction to Leadership Skills for Ships (ISLS)
  • Venture Scout Participants and Sea Scout Participants are recommended to 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.
  • All participants must have a unit leader recommendation.
  • All participants must provide a current BSA Health and Medical Record form parts A, B, and C.
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.