Teenagers in Human Pyramid

Introduction to Youth Leadership Skills (ILSC or ILST)

This past weekend our Venturing Crew did the Introduction to Youth Leadership Skills for Crews (ILSC). This course teaches Crew members basic leadership skills. There is a corresponding course for Boy Scout troops (ILST). ILSC (or ILST) is a prerequisite for National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) and Kodiak Challenge.

Our training went really well. We had seven crew members attend. They seemed to really enjoy the training (especially the games) and were very engaged, asking lots of questions and sharing their own ideas.

The course is youth led. Two of our members went to our council’s University of Scouting training in January and took the course. This familiarized them with the course so they could lead it for our crew. It is a mixture of instruction, games, and reflection, so it is very important that the youth leading the course be familiar and comfortable with the material.

ILSC is grouped into three modules. Our crew chose to do all three modules in one afternoon, but you could easily break it into three shorter sessions instead. The three modules are Unit Organization, Tools of the Trade, and Leadership and Teamwork.

You can download the program from the Scouting.org website:

The Unit Organization module covers topics like vision, crew organization, and having a team based crew. It also introduces the concept of servant leadership, which is a common thread through Venturing and Boy Scout training programs.

The Tools of the Trade module focuses on communication and planning. It helps the participants understand the importance of effective communication and the various steps and considerations involved in planning. It also introduces the EDGE method as a teaching tool. This is called the Teaching EDGE.

The Leadership and Teamwork module pulls together the concepts from the first two modules to learn how to effectively lead a team. The stages of team development are introduced and are connected to the EDGE method through the Trainer’s EDGE.  Here the concept of servant leadership is fully developed.  Youth learn that  “Being a team leader means accepting responsibility for the team, its members, its objectives, its reputation, its morale, and more. Being a leader means serving the team. It is a choice to lead. It is about a choice to give rather than receive.”

If you have not gone through the ILSC or ILST course with your unit, I highly recommend it. It will help your youth develop the skill they need to lead their program.

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