National Leadership Seminar / Developing Youth Leadership Conference

The Order of the Arrow is committed to providing quality in-person trainings for Arrowmen. National Leadership Seminar (NLS) and Developing Youth Leadership Conference (DYLT) are run by each region and held several times a year across the country.   

The National Leadership Seminar (NLS) is a weekend conference to train lodge leadership in the skills and attributes of leadership. The program enhances the leadership skills of the Order of the Arrow's key youth and adult members as they seek to improve their services to the Boy Scouts of America and the greater community. The weekend format complements the longer, more detailed Junior Leadership Training program (for youth) and Wood Badge program (for adults). During the seminar, participants make a contract with themselves to apply the skills learned on projects in the lodge, council, and community. NLS prepares Arrowmen to become better leaders both within and outside of the Scouting program. 

Learn More about NLS      NLS in the Southern Region

The Developing Youth Leadership Conference (DYLC) will deepen an adviser’s capacity to develop youth leadership within the lodge and chapter. Conference topics will include fostering a growth mindset, promoting resilience, providing constructive feedback that leads to changes in youth behavior and creating a life-long coaching/mentoring relationship. Conference participants will gain insights necessary to successfully coach youth applying the leadership skills they gained during the National Leadership Seminar. The Developing Youth Leadership Conference will move beyond lodge mechanics and operations to establishing a lodge and chapter culture that grows youth who are capable of establishing goals, building teams, and guiding the lodge’s work to achieve Journey to Excellence. Prior participation in the National Leadership Seminar (NLS) is encouraged, but not required. 

Learn More about DYLC     DYLC in the Southern Region


Registration is a two-step process.  The registration fee covers meals and accommodations. 

Please understand that, by submitting a registration form (step 1), a participant slot in a course where slots are limited has been reserved. As such, participants are expected to pay the fee (step 2). If a registration needs to be canceled, please notify the NLS adviser. Canceling within two weeks of the course, and not having a replacement attendee, will result in the lodge being billed as accommodations, food, etc. have already been secured for the reservation.

Step 1: Register through the OA national/region portal  
Step 2: Payment through the lodge 

Step 1: Register      Step 2: Payment (for Colonneh Lodge members only; contact lodge chief or adviser for details)

What to Bring

  • Field uniform OA sash
  • Copy of the Annual Health and Medical Record (Parts A and B)
  • Notebook and pen
  • Water bottle
  • Personal items (e.g., toothbrush, deodorant, medications)
  • Money for the Southern Region trading post (optional)*
  • Money to donate to the Maury Clancy Indian Campership Fund during the interfaith worship service (optional)
  • Excitement and willingness to learn!

*Participants will have an opportunity to purchase special Southern Region OA items, such as t-shirts, belt buckles, fleece jackets and vests, special NLS golf shirts, and other patches and unique OA items.

About NLS

Purpose of the NLS

The National Leadership Seminar (NLS) is a weekend conference focusing on the skills and characteristics of leadership. It is intended primarily to enhance the leadership skills of the Order of the Arrow’s key youth and adult members, as they seek to improve their service to the Boy Scouts of America and the greater community.

The NLS will provide participants with:

  1. A challenging, inspiring, and enjoyable learning experience
  2. A better understanding of the skills of leadership, and how to apply them
  3. A better understanding of themselves and of other people
  4. A realization that, with practice and work, everyone can improve their leadership skills
  5. An understanding that leadership skills work in tandem with one another
  6. An understanding that different situations require the application of different leadership skills
  7. A model with which to evaluate themselves and others in the use of leadership skills

Each NLS is delivered by a training team selected and approved by the Region Key 3, and includes former and current Section and National Officers of the Order of the Arrow.

Who Should Attend NLS: Every Arrowman will benefit in some way from attending NLS. Youth participants should be at least 15 years of age or a lodge officer. Completion of a Lodge Leadership Development (LLD) course is desirable. The seminar is an intensive experience in learning about the nature of leadership and practicing some of the skills that a leader uses. While fun, the course challenges participants mentally as well. Participants should be developmentally, physically, and mentally prepared to engage actively in an exhausting, invigorating weekend.

Lodge officers, key youth lodge committee chairs, and up-and-coming lodge youth leadership are encouraged to attend. In addition, selected adults with key roles in lodge leadership are encouraged to attend, as they will better understand their role as advisers to youth leadership after studying the leadership skills presented. The course is designed for one-time participation and is limited to 60 participants per NLS. As such, the region recommends limiting adult participation to one adult per three youth participants. 

NLS Weekend Schedule: The NLS is a full weekend course designed to impart an understanding of leadership skills in a building block fashion. As such, participants are expected to be in attendance for the entire weekend – missing the beginning or any other part of the weekend would significantly detract from the overall learning experience.

Each NLS begins with check-in on Friday, between 6 – 8 pm. Participants are expected to arrive during that time interval. There will be a cracker barrel Friday night, but a Friday evening meal will not be served, so eat before arriving. The NLS weekend will conclude at 1:00 pm on Sunday, after the closing banquet / lunch. Please make travel plans accordingly.


Colonneh Lodge Chief

Lodge Program Vice Chief and Adviser