“Eagle Claw” What’s that? Eagle Claw is the Winnebago Council’s version of the BSA’s National Youth Leadership Training program (NYLT).
Per Scouting.org https://www.scouting.org/programs/scouts-bsa/resources/nylt/ , “NYLT is an exciting, action-packed program designed for councils to provide youth members with leadership skills and experience they can use in their home troops and in other situations demanding leadership of self and others”.
Here’s what’s unique about the Winnebago Council’s NYLT program, called Eagle Claw. Since 2000, our council has taken our NYLT program on the road, in the form of a “High Adventure Trek”. In 2000, eighteen participants and a staff of eight youth and adults spent a week in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. It was a great success and in 2001 the program switched to backpacking treks in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming. Since then, over twenty-five Eagle Claw Crews have made the trek to the Bighorn Mountains in “The Quest for the Meaning of Leadership”, the largest of which included 47 participants and staff members.
The leadership lessons were taught using skits and small group discussions, both in troop and patrol settings. One advantage of conducting this training in the Bighorn Mountains is the leadership skills learned can immediately be put to use in a real-life, high-adventure setting. Over the last twenty years, some things have changed. In 2003 young women were added to our youth staff and in 2004, we had our first all-girl Venture Crew patrol. In 2007, we had enough demand for this training that we started conducting two Eagle Claw sessions every summer. About the only thing that has not changed since 2000, is the Course Director/Scoutmaster, John Winter, and his Assistant Scoutmaster, Ed DePaepe.
Ed DePaepe is currently serving Section C3A as the Trading Post’s Section Committee Chief Advisor, and will be facilitating a slide show and discussion on Eagle Claw on Wednesday, the 9th of September at 7pm.