Information for Unit Leaders
White Stag Leadership Development has a long history of teaching youth leadership. We have taught more than 20,000 youth leadership since our founding in 1958. While we have a long association with Scouting, more than half of our participants are from other community organizations. All are welcome.
We believe the skills of leadership can be acquired through practice. Leadership is not inborn nor intuitive. We put participants through practiced exercises where leadership is required, encouraging and supporting youth in continual improvement. We use the outdoors because it's fun, physically challenging, and rewarding. We use a small-team approach where everyone gets the attention they need and the opportunity to engage and improve. We apply a systemic approach to leadership development, encouraging repeated exposure and practice over months and years. We believe in the infinity principle: that education never stops, and for that reason we continually evaluate, seeking ways to improve both as individuals and as an organization.
Leader's guide to White Stag
The White Stag program is only successful when youth put the leadership skills they gained at camp to work at home, in their youth group, church, or at school. Read our suggested guidelines.
We believe in leadership development by design. Program participants learn how to develop values, ethical reasoning, assess their individual strengths and weaknesses, goal-setting, planning, and self-advocacy. They gain skills in communicating, identifying interests and preferences, setting achievable goals, time management, negotiating and persuading.
We know that good leaders never stop learning. We constantly check to see how we are progressing. We continue to focus on the basics, teaching eleven leadership skills.
Leader's Guide to White Stag
The White Stag program is only successful when your youth put the leadership skills they gained at camp to work at home, in their youth group, church, or at school. Read our suggested guidelines.
White Stag is structured to meet the needs of youth age 10½-18. We offer three phases:
White Stag National Youth Leadership Training
We also provide a traditional National Youth Leadership Training program for Boy Scout Troops. The Monterey Bay Area Council said in 2000, "This course will change your life! There is JLT using the White Stag method, steeped in spirit and tradition, and then there is just JLT. The Monterey Bay Area Council has reviewed this JLT using the White Stag method and concluded that the course offered not only meets National's standards for JLT, but, goes beyond in the fun, experience and leadership development provided."
NYLT actually has its roots in White Stag a couple of generations ago. White Stag teaches a specific set of leadership competencies, is coeducational and hands-on camp, utilizes a core set of spirit and tradition, offers youth a multi-year opportunity for growth, among other key differences. We are formally organized into a six-year, phased structure, meeting the needs of youth as they mature and grow.
What Makes White Stag Distinctive
We recognize that youth learn best when their whole body and mind is engaged. We provide a hands-on, outdoors, physically challenging experiental education focus. We believe leadership is not a one-shot event, but must be a ongoing learning experience.
We create an environment where it's safe for youth to try out new behaviors, to be the best they can be. We teach that the opposite of success is not failure, but to quit.
Mirroring the real world, we offer a coeducational learning opportunity. Youth are fully supervised at all times.
We take a holistic approach to learning, giving participants an experience that affects their hands via outdoor skills, head via leadership skills, and heart via our spirit and traditions.
Health and Safety
Our adult leaders are all fully trained Scout leaders. Every adult must complete youth protection training, and where appropriate, additional training specific to their role. We have a fully qualified medical staff on hand at all events, including a licensed nurse and trained emergency medical technicians (EMT).
We are sensitive to the needs of individuals of varying capacities and skill levels. Our staff is trained to recognize individual differences and to value everyone's ability to contribute.
Our youth staff are fully supervised at all times. When in the field, they are always accompanied by adults and trained medical staff. In the event of an emergency, we maintain contingency plans for transporting or evacuating candidates.