Back in March, I read A Parent’s Guide to Raising Successful Missionaries, the latest book by Brad and Sandy Harris. In addition to everything I already mentioned about this book, I also appreciated the personal accounts that were included from actual returned missionaries. More specifically, Chapter 9 covers the youth programs offered to help prepare these future missionaries. One scout shared this feedback about attending National Youth Leadership Training:
At first when my parents told me they were sending me to NYLT, I wasn’t happy. I wanted to stay home and continue my summer. I tried to talk them out of it, but they wouldn’t budge because they felt strongly that I needed to go. So when the day came, I drove up to the camp, still with a sour attitude but not as bad as before. The first day was hard. I still wished I was comfortable at home, I missed my family, and I wondered if my parents were right about sending me to this camp. I thought the camp would be like any other Scout camp, but it turned out I was wrong.
At NYLT I learned many leadership skills and had good lessons that taught good things, but I liked how there was still fun and games in between. I really got to work better with my group as we went along. Even though we were stuck “storming” at times, we were a good group, and we all tried to do our parts. By the end of the week, we were all “performing”. I ended up being glad I went, and I had a better time thanks to my attitude change.
NYLT has helped me prepare for my mission by having to stay away from home for a long time, getting to know new people, getting out of my comfort zone, and most of all learning that I can do hard things, because a mission won’t be easy. It also helped me know that Jesus Christ wants us to become good missionaries so we can bring more people to the gospel. It has helped me be a better leader and example in my family as well. The outpost camp capped off the week by showing me the meaning of why camps like NYLT are put together. All in all, it was a great experience that I benefited from, and I was happy I went.
I think NYLT is one of the best opportunities a scout has to learn more about youth leadership and to grow in his experience with those skills. Remember what I wrote last year about youth leaders need training too? With summer coming right around the corner, do what you can to send your scouts to NYLT… especially your PLC!