Scout Becomes First From CPC Awarded a Place in the National Youth Leadership Society

A story by Adam McDonald

The Boy Scouts have always been about training the leaders of tomorrow; every boy that works his way to Eagle has developed skills he will use for life. Alex Selchow of Troop 728 out of Beaverton has taken the leadership training of the Boy Scout program to heart, and has accomplished something that nobody in the Cascade Pacific Council has before: Alex Selchow has been awarded a place in the National Youth Leadership Society (NYLS).

The NYLS is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a Scout, to qualify one must be nominated by the local council itself—rather than a member of his troop—and then the nomination must be approved by the National Youth Leadership Society. To even be considered the youth must be an active, noteworthy individual. Selchow had no trouble making himself standout, as he was the Scout selected to be chairman of the Leadership Development Council (LDC). This is an event in which any Scout can come and learn valuable leadership skills. He put together a committee and spent nine months planning the event, which ended up being a massive success with 353 participants. “This event, to me, was probably the climax of my Scout leadership career,” Selchow said. “I was able to use everything I had learned to motivate my staff to be ready, to have materials squared away, and to communicate with my advisors and seniors about what I needed and didn’t need. It was an event where I got to use what I learned, but in return, learn even more.”

Of course much lead up to Selchow’s success with the LDC; he is an Eagle Scout with three palms. This means that Alex achieved the highest rank within the Boy Scouts, and went even further by earning more merit badges past the minimum required. He has the experience of being the Senior Patrol Leader to a troop of 152 registered Boy Scouts. That and the fact that he was the main youth leader of his troop makes him an outstanding Scout. 

Alex is a member of the Civil Air Patrol. Selchow plans on applying to the United States Air Force Academy and enlisting in the United States Air Force. “I want to enlist because I just feel not quite ready for college, and I thought that I could spend my time serving the nation.”

Alex Selchow was nominated for the National Youth Leadership Society on Sept. 1st of 2015, and approved at the national level on Nov. 12th. “[I joined Scouting because] I really just wanted to have some cool experiences in nature, mainly… I figured that to be successful in my future, I would need to learn how to be comfortable in positions that require leadership. I hoped that some training and a little bit of experience would help.” Selchow stated that he felt honored to be the first Scout in the council to be inducted into the NYLS, but that it was the experiences he picked up along the way that he will never forget. “I would tell other Scouts who want to be nominated to complete the requirements out of the love for learning to lead, not because you are forcing yourself to achieve the award.”