National Junior Leader Instructor Camp (NJLIC)

The Role of the National Junior Leader Instructor Camp

Junior leader training has been a feature of Boy Scouting from its earliest years.

The first courses were held at Gilwell Park in England in the 1920’s and were run by Baden-Powell himself. National Junior Leader Training Courses were held at the former national training center at Schiff Scout Reservation in Mendham, New Jersey, and have been held at the Philmont Training Center, Cimarron, New Mexico for many years.

Since the first experimental leadership development courses held at Schiff and Philmont in the late 1960’s, the National Junior Leader Instructor Camp has set the standards for Junior Leader Training in Councils across the country.

As Scouting has grown and developed, the methods and contents of local council junior leader training have been revised and rewritten to match the direction of the Boy Scouting program. The National Junior Leader Instructor Camp has always led the way by providing the most up-to-date training for those junior leaders selected to lead their local council courses.

The Mission of NJLIC

It is the mission of the National Junior Leader Instructor Camp to develop the knowledge, skills, motivation and confidence of selected junior leaders to enable them to give superior leadership and guidance to their local council Junior Leader Training Conference.

NJLIC Organization

Each week-long session of NJLIC is organized into two troops, each operating as a training troop. The troop and the patrol method are used because for over 80 years this has been the most successful model for leadership training in the Scouting program.

Scouts are assigned to two troops of 36 boys each. Six boys in each patrol led by a patrol leader of their selection.

Each troop is staffed by a Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Senior Patrol Leader, and Patrol Counselors for each patrol. The troop functions and the course operates under the leadership of the Senior Patrol Leader. The Patrol Counselors provide support and guidance to the patrols and participants. The program is truly youth led.

The NJLIC Program

The example of the staff is a key element of the learning process. The program focuses heavily on effective teaching, the evaluation of learning, and preparation and presentation skills. It seeks to develop the participants knowledge and understanding of specific skills relating to the JLTC program, the skills of leadership, the safe haven and the reflection process. It includes a variety of Scoutcraft skills designed to create interest and spark imagination that participants can carry home to their local councils.

The Tasks of a Staff Member

The first experimental leadership development course for junior leaders was held by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America at Philmont Scout Ranch in 1968. During the course, the staff of young men who were pioneering the methods now used in the Junior Leader Training Conference and the NJLIC program got into a deep discussion that lasted into the night. From them came a statement on the tasks of the staff member that has not really been topped:

  • To help participants learn how to think for themselves.

  • To help participants solve individual and patrol problems.

  • To guide participants into learning their own potential as leaders through the use of the leadership skills.

  • To help individuals and the entire patrol to develop self-confidence.

  • To create a situation or atmosphere in which a participant will feel secure and will realize his real self.

  • To help individuals realize the value of these experiences as they will apply in their own troops and in their daily lives.

  • To help individuals see, by example, how counseling can bring out answers to problems from within the individual concerned.

Adapted from: Brian Phelps, In Pursuit of the White Stag (1983)

Note: The materials in this page were written by the author as part of revisions to the NJLIC Staff Guide.  The National program was discontinued with the introduction of the NYLT which is offered only at the local Council level.  The Northeast Region offers a regional course based on the NJLIC syllabus, but supporting the NYLT program.  This program, the Youth Staff Development Conference (YSDC), is supplemented by NYLT Adult Leader Training and the annual Alpine Conference also offered by the Northeast Region.

Links Related to Leadership Development and Training

  The historical background of leadership development is traced through links to White Stag, Troop Leader Development, Brownsea Double-Two and the Junior Leader Training Conference in: The Historical Background of Leadership Development in Scouting
  The White Stag: A Special Heritage. Exploring the links between a Hungarian Legend and Leadership Development in the Boy Scouts of America. The historical background of leadership development is presented through links to pages examining junior leader training programs since the 1950’s.
  Resources for JLTC: Evaluation. Adapted from the Staff Handbook for Pine Tree Camp, the Junior Leader Training Conference of the Viking Council in Minneapolis, Minnesota. These resources may prove useful in any Junior Leader Training Conference based on the JLTC Staff Guide.

Return to the Pine Tree Web Home Page: A Collection of the Author’s Links

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Lewis P. Orans

Copyright © Lewis P. Orans, 2007
Last Modified: 8:00 AM on 07-01-2007