By Matthew Bobzien

Anthony Peluso is from Virginia Beach, VA and a member of Blue Heron Lodge in Section SR-7A. He currently serves as Section Chief and has previously served as Lodge Chief. In April 2015, he attended the National Leadership Seminar (NLS) and has since staffed 4 times in addition to serving on the National NLS Refresh Committee.

His favorite part about NLS was being able to bond with the people at his table. He was glad to be able to find out what other lodges’  best practices are and share some of his own. He also loved hearing about other people’s experiences in the OA.

For him the most valuable sessions were the ones about working with other people. He loved learning how to really understand the people you are leading and how to try to get them to want to do what is needed instead of them just doing it because you said to. This also helped him see what he wants to see in a leader.

He also thought the staff was excellent. Each of the Arrowman had different backgrounds which really added to the diversity and relevance of the program. They also had lots of experiences to draw from and use as examples. Overall, he thought they were amazing.

He has been able to apply what he has learned not just to scouting but also his everyday life. Whenever he is working in a team he tries to get everyone to work together. In school projects he does not take over and dominate everything but instead he works to see what everyone in the group’s strengths are and tries to see how they can use that to add to the project. These are all skills that he learned at NLS.

Anthony has said that if he could go back through NLS he would. In fact, he basically has by staffing. When you are on staff, you are seeing the program again but from a different perspective. Every time he goes back he learns something new he didn’t  the last time. NLS offers so many things to learn from that even he has not gotten bored of it, no matter how many times he has staffed it.

Anthony has also said that NLS is a lot better than his Lodge LLD and more defined. At LLD you typically are able to pick your track on what you want to learn but at NLS it is standardized across the nation. This makes it even better because that means the program is of high enough quality to have served Arrowmen all over the nation for years.

Anthony has some thought to Arrowmen on the fence. “Sometimes people [will] say they already know that stuff, [but] maybe you could share [your] experience with others… this is a national training and a fantastic opportunity and you should seize it, especially if it is near you.”