The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Working as a Crew Guide for the Boy Scouts of America's National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience

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While working as a crew guide for the Boy Scouts of America’s National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE), I had the unique opportunity to transform a leadership course from its backpacking roots at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico to a sailing program at Florida Sea Base in the Florida Keys. I learned to be a leader who is not only confident and poised, but also fluid and willing to take risks in helping design a new course. 

As I guided twelve teenage participants through the first ever NAYLE Sea Base course, I learned that one of the best ways to practice your leadership is to teach leadership strategies to others. The participants arrived from all across the nation and were broken into two crews of six. Each team of six had to evolve from being strangers on day one to performing an intense Search and Rescue (SAR) exercise on the water by the end of the week. Over the six days they learned how to sail, navigate the channels, use radios to contact other boats and the Coast Guard, and coordinate their SAR strategies with a team of boats. Along the way they also put to practice their previous training in team development, ethical decision making, and problem solving. 

While I may have been the instructor for this course, I think I learned much more than any participant could have. I solidified my style of leadership, improved my teaching ability, gained confidence in my public speaking, and accomplished my vision of helping design a leadership course for the Boy Scouts of America. I am very grateful for the opportunity that the Rockefeller Center provided and hope to continue changing the world with them in the future.

I’ve shared my NAYLE story with so many people since returning from my trip. I’ve presented what I’ve learned to a small group in Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and have provided the resources so that other Dartmouth students can teach with the Boy Scouts of America in the future. Moving forward, I would love to help Rocky establish a program to more formally invite students to work at Philmont Scout Ranch and Florida Sea Base over their breaks. I have plenty of ideas to get this started and would love to talk to a program director.

--Alexander Moushey '16

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