On July 2nd, all the scouts from different Troops around the area that were nominated for the National Youth Leadership Training met at Camp Reeves. NYLT is a week of camp  dedicated to leadership. After everyone put their gear on a truck to be taken to camp, the counselors put us into different groups that would be our patrols for the week. We spent time in our new patrols getting to know each other.  Our first task was to come up with a patrol name. Then we had to discuss who would be the PL and APL for each day of the training.

During the training, everyone had a different role each day. For example, you could be PL one day then a cook the next day. Everyday one patrol raised the flags and lowered them. Also, each day had a third different flag that had its history told the the audience. We all met in the shelter each to take notes from a powerpoint. The notes we took taught us many important lessons. We learned how to speak to a crowd and the techniques to use such as how your posture should be and how to make sure the audience is paying attention. We learned how to reach our goals and the steps to reach our visions. Also, we were taught how to form a team. We used the stages of team development; these are forming, storming, norming, and performing. Lastly, we resolved conflict using E.A.R.; express, address, and resolve. After each session of notes we had a patrol meeting where we discussed the progress of our skit and flag, the schedule, and we would talk about how we were doing as a patrol. For a few days all the patrols did these things along with an activity that gave a lesson.  One exciting activity we did was building a catapult out of bamboo and rope. With this we had to use to to launch a sponge at the SPL in the middle. The helped us learn about how lead a patrol and how to accomplish your goal as a group. After those three days we went on to a nearby campsite by ourselves with our food and any equipment we needed. This tested our independence, responsibility, and leadership. After cooking everyone ran to their tents because it started to storm, hard. After 10 minutes of non-stop raining people were yelling to get out of your tent with nothing but what was on you. We all met at the bathroom and huddled under the sink part to stay dry. Once we were all there the scoutmaster that drove up there told us the run back to the shelter we take notes in. So we all sprinted to the building. While we started to dry and wait for the storm to past we had a dance party. After about two hours the storm passed, but it was still lightly raining. We walked back to camp with dry clothes to inspect the damages. The people whose tents had a lot of water in them tented with other people. On the last day of our training, we hiked back to camp to meet at a shelter to start the ceremony and do our skits. During this all of our families were laughing and taking pictures to keep the great memories. At the end of the ceremony we all said our goodbyes to our new friends and left with new and improved skills that we learned at this training.

In conclusion, NYLT is valuable because it teaches you many important skills that you will use in and out of scouting. These skills include communication, public speaking, organization, time management, team building, decision making, and effective leadership techniques. I would recommend this training to all scouts that have the opportunity to take this course.

-AJ Clark