Youth Leadership Training

Several leadership trainings are available to Boy Scouts and Venturers. These programs enhance individual leadership skills, promote unit cohesion, and prepare scouts for more challenging leadership roles.
Den Chief Training

A Den Chief is a Boy Scout or Venturer assisting a Cub Scout or Webelos Scout den. A trained Den Chief assists the den leader with planning and conducting den meetings, is familiar with resources for age-appropriate activities for Cub Scouts, and has a repertoire of activities that Cub Scouts enjoy! Click here to view our upcoming Den Leader trainings, available both as standalone events and as part of our Council Training Days!

Introduction to Leadership Skills (ILST/ILSC)

The purpose of the course is to teach Scouts with leadership positions about their new roles and how to most effectively reach success in that role. It is intended to help Scouts in leadership positions within their unit understand their responsibilities and to equip them with organizational and leadership skills to fulfill those responsibilities. ILST/ILSC is the first course in the series of leadership training. Completion of the course is a prerequisite for Boy Scouts to participate in the more advanced leadership courses such as National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) and the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE). It is also required to participate in a Kodiak Challenge Trek.  It is the Scoutmaster or Crew Advisor’s privilege and responsibility to organize and lead Introduction to Leadership Skills. You can find the online training guide here.

National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT)

National Youth Leadership Training is an intense six-day outdoor experience for Boy Scout youth leaders. The course is conducted at Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan by a trained staff of youth and adult leaders from around the Northeast Illinois Council. 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. The course is filled on a first-come, first-serve basis with a maximum of 60 participants. For more information on NYLT 2018, click here. To register Scouts for the 2018 course, the Scoutmaster or Crew Advisor must complete the form in that link and return it to the Council Office.   Mail or email completed registration forms to

Kodiak Challenge

The Kodiak Challenge is designed to be an adventure that pushes the boundaries of every participant – one that will encourage you to try new things that may be out of your comfort zone. It is a six-day training experience in which the youth address seven different “commissions,” and each commission is a leadership opportunity or a leadership skill developed in the course. Kodiak deepens the application of the leadership skills learned in the Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops or Crews, NYLT, and/or NAYLE. It is, as is all of Scouting, an adventure with a purpose. The Kodiak Challenge is designed to be planned by the unit and can be conducted as a component of a trip/trek or as a standalone training experience. You can find the leader handbook here.

Please note: In 2017, a Kodiak Challenge was offered at Venturing Quest at Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan, and we hope to offer it again in 2018. Please check back here for updates. 

National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE)

National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience is an exciting program that enhances leadership skills and expands upon the team-building and ethical decision-making skills learned in NYLT.  NAYLE emphasizes leadership, teamwork, and selfless service, and uses the core elements of NYLT to help youth internalize and strengthen these skills. The National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience course is now available at all four national high-adventure bases, each offering the leadership experience of a lifetime. For more information on NAYLE and to register for the course, click here.