What should you expect at NYLT? The short answer: expect the unexpected! That being said, here are a few things that you should expect during your week at NYLT.
1. Expect to be physically active. There are classroom components at NYLT, but much of your time will be spent on the move: hiking, playing games, backpacking, and more. If you’re not currently in good shape, you’ll want to start exercising well before the course. Being well-hydrated is a must; drink 6-10 glasses of water per day in the 3-5 days preceding your course.
2. Expect to use your Scout skills. NYLT has many hands-on components that will challenge your knowledge of knots, lashings, first aid, fire starting, orienteering, GPS usage, sewing, and more. You’ll want to practice these skills prior to arriving at NYLT. As meal preparation is an extremely important part of team formation, your patrol will be responsible for cooking all your meals. Being a good cook (and knowing how to use a manual can opener) will automatically earn you the respect of your fellow participants.
3. Expect to make lots of friends. You’ll be placed in a patrol with 4-7 other Scouts whom you’ve probably never seen before, and you’ll go through the week with them. Many times, the friendships you’ll make at NYLT will continue beyond the end of the course, and you’ll see your new buddies at council or district camporees, summer camp, etc.
4. Expect to learn a lot. NYLT is an intensive course, largely because so much leadership training and hands-on experience are packed into just one short week. There will be times when the entire course is gathered together for presentations, and times when you’ll get the chance to put the skills you’ve learned into action. You’ll want to bring a notebook to take some notes.
5. Expect to be supported by the staff. NYLT staffers are some of the best of the best youth leaders in the council. Many are Eagle Scouts or Venturing Silver/Summit Award recipients. They are highly trained and have years of leadership experience, both with their troops/crews and often with council-level organizations such as the Order of the Arrow Lodge Executive Committee or the Venturing Officers’ Association. They are dedicated to sharing their experience with you, answering your questions, and helping you become an outstanding youth leader. The youth staffers are supported by a group of experienced adult staffers who are there to take care of safety, policy, and to help the course succeed.
6. Expect to use everything on the packing list. After you apply and are accepted to NYLT, you’ll be mailed a packing list. Make sure that you have everything listed, as you will probably use it all.
7. Expect to have fun! NYLT is intense, but it is so much fun! After you get home, you likely won’t be able to talk about anything else for the next several days.
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