From the beginning of your career in Scouting, you have heard the word leadership. You have heard Scouts and Scouters called leaders. You, perhaps, in your unit or in the Order of the Arrow, have been called to be a leader. How does one become a leader and develop those skills so essential to leading others? For many Order of the Arrow members, this answer is found at the National Leadership Seminar, NLS for short. NLS is a weekend-long event focused on OA members who are seeking new opportunities for leadership and teaches those members the basic foundation of leadership in the Order of the Arrow. The NLS program can be applied to your Order of the Arrow horizon as well as that of Scouting and in your career aspirations beyond. The place to begin is to attend the National Leadership Seminar.
The NLS logistics vary as the year progresses with the registration, date, and location for NLS dependent on the time you plan on going and what is most convenient for you. The Eastern Region has three Seminars planned for this spring: Talladega, Alabama March 4 to 6; Alpine, New Jersey March 11 to 13; and London, Ohio March 25 to 27. More information can be found at oa-bsa.org/eastern/nls-dylc.
While the leadership lessons Arrowmen take away from NLS are exceptional, the connections and conversations about inter-lodge issues are where Scouts get to know each other and network. NLS is facilitated in such a fashion that Arrowmen are given time to get to interact and talk about the problems and solutions found to work in their home lodges and chapters. Paired with the newly acquired leadership knowledge from the Seminars, Arrowmen will return home with a brand new mindset and a devotion to leading the Order of the Arrow into the next century.
Mark Crooks, a recent NLS attendee and member of Sakima Lodge in South Bend, IN, had this to say about his experience:
“The NLS program was a huge step in my development as a leader within the Order of the Arrow and Scouting as a whole. Having gone through the training at a relatively early stage in my Scouting career, the skills and ideas gained at that table provided me with a strong, underlying confidence in my ability to lead. While I had already completed my NYLT training just a few months prior, learning in-depth the patrol method and leading small groups of Scouts, the NLS program opened my eyes to the idea of leadership at the chapter, lodge, section, and national level. Not only were the individual lessons beneficial to that goal, it was also the opportunity to meet fellow Arrowmen from across the region and learn from their experience that has stayed with me all these years. I would recommend NLS to any Arrowman who wishes to expand their horizons within our organization, whether it is to learn specific leadership skills or simply to expand their Scouting network.” (Mark Crooks, Sakima Lodge, 2022).
Regardless of what position OA members want to hold or are already serving, NLS is a place to further hone leadership skills and grow in the spirit of the Order of the Arrow. Learn more and register today at oa-bsa.org/eastern/nls-dylc.