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A change for good?

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  • A change for good?

    So to go off another thread, the recent changes to the Venturing Program drastically changes the initial purpose and intent of the program.

    It is my understanding (but I may be wrong) that the point of Venturing is freedom. The choice to do what you want, when you want, with whom you want (so long as it falls under the guide to safe scouting, YPT, ect). This model, although never very successful, was still the main factor for joining Venturing (it is why I joined and many others in my Crew).

    With the changes to the program I see that the very essence of the program has been ripped out and now there is very little if any difference (aside from being co-ed and and older age range) than a Boy Scout Troop. So I ask why Venture anymore when we can just do Venture Patrols?

  • #2
    To allow girls in?

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    • #3
      To shoot pistols.

      To get out and do ore challenging activities.

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      • #4
        One thing the program lacked ... and I'd say this was I foreseeable at the time ... was a profound sense of mutual respect. There were venturers who did not respect what a troop was trying to do, and Boy Scouts who did not respect what a crew was trying to do. I met SMs who resented being pressured by their DE to advise a crew and lead a troop, others who wer willing, but were stuck between two opposing committees. (Multiply that by thousands across the nation and we have our membership peak in '05 followed by a steady decline.) What you called freedom, others called insurrection. Now, an essential part of my VLST I take a moment to remind attendees "When adults bicker (or foster bickering) youth leave." I should NOT have to do this, but in every course someone broaches the issue of troop-crew conflict. So out there in scouter land, things are broken and youth are being under served as a result. Who needs to adjust? Well it seems like it would be a good idea to start with the division with the fastest shrinking membership.

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        • #5
          Qwazse, this is the problem when Venturing and Scouting really are not two independent units. They tend to be nothing more than Venture Patrols with girls. The problems of an adult led troop creep over into an adult led crew as well. Until the units become truly independent of each other, the problems will continue.

          I doubt very much if my crew knew I was a troop leader and I knew my troop never knew of my Venturing unit. One has to give 100% to each of the units when they are working with them. A Crew that has to first check the local Troop calendar to know when to plan their activities will never have time to focus solely on their unit.

          I would bet good money that a crew and troop with the same CO and leadership will enjoy the crew for 1 maybe 2 years but the crew will disappear long before year 5.

          One cannot serve two masters at the same time.

          Stosh

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jblake47 View Post
            ... I would bet good money that a crew and troop with the same CO and leadership will enjoy the crew for 1 maybe 2 years but the crew will disappear long before year 5. ...
            Mine is on year 7, but you've already pointed out elsewhere that we're odd ducks. And in fact, things started running a lot smoother when the SM and I stopped fretting over each other's calendars.

            So, should crews not attend:
            - District events?
            - Council/Area camporees?
            - Jamborees?

            Should boys be removed from O/A if they transfer to a crew and drop their troop membership

            Is the price of freedom exclusivity?
            Last edited by qwazse; 08-01-2014, 11:19 AM.

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            • #7
              The BSA’s proposed makeover of the adult bureaucracy behind the Venturing program won’t address why many Crews fail to attract and retain new membership and ultimately fold: Boredom with the individual Crew’s program, or frustration from a lack thereof. The problem is not with the Venturing Program as a whole. The problem lies with individual units, and what I perceive as a widespread misapplication of the program for the convenience of adult leaders.

              Some, if not most Crews are spawned by Boy Scout Troops, and are set up and run simply as an appendage of the Troop. Such an “attached” Venture Crew can serve as a surreptitious way for adult Troop leaders to, in essence, enroll their daughters in a Boy Scout Troop as, well..... Boy Scouts. That was my experience, and I doubt it's unique.

              A Crew like this won’t have separate adult leadership (“advisors”); a separate Committee; or a separate program that would appeal to older, co-ed membership. In my particular case, they didn't even have a separate treasury or fundraising activities. Eventually, the Crew dwindled and appears to be on the verge of folding, not that it concerns me since we already left that Troop.

              Older youth who might have joined–and stayed with– Venturing because it supposedly promised a more “advanced” or "challenging" alternative to Boy Scouts will leave such a Crew when they figure out that they are just Boy Scouts with a different shirt.
              Last edited by Fox 76; 08-28-2014, 10:49 AM.

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              • #8
                From my point of view I see the key Venturing issue as something that hasn't been mentioned here, structure. Freedom to choose program does not equate to freedom of structure and organization; although some crews think so.

                Scouting at it's inception was based on military organization, structure, and methods; to this day they are the bones of the organization.

                Regardless of addressing a new PLC, Crew President, Lodge LEC, or leaders doing Scoutmaster Position Specific Training, I always start with the same message: Shared Vision; Communication; Planning; Team Development; Servant Leadership; when combined are a recipe for success. (these do appear in BSA training, but this isn't from a specific training module). My point in mentioning this is; like anything else BSA teaches from ILSC, to NYLT, to Kodiak, to NAYLE, to Wood Badge, to Power Horn, it assumes existing structure and organization.

                I think, even if they don't know it, national is looking for a way to infuse Venturing with structure and organization. In an ideal world the program participants would recognize the need, or be coached to it, but this isn't an ideal world. Some of the most amazing Advisors I've encountered post here, and likely I'm not telling you anything new. The question is how do we get new Advisors, and those who are struggling, to recognize the need for structure and organization, along with freedom of program, and relay this need to the youth in a way where they'll own, and implement, it?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by qwazse View Post

                  Mine is on year 7, but you've already pointed out elsewhere that we're odd ducks. And in fact, things started running a lot smoother when the SM and I stopped fretting over each other's calendars.

                  So, should crews not attend:
                  - District events?
                  - Council/Area camporees?
                  - Jamborees?

                  Should boys be removed from O/A if they transfer to a crew and drop their troop membership

                  Is the price of freedom exclusivity?
                  Well, as a Boy Scout leader who isn't a big fan of Camporees, I would definitely say crews shouldn't be at Camporees. Why subject them to that torture?

                  I thought you could be in OA and jsut be a Venture Scout, not dual enrolled.

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                  • #10
                    Well, I've been gone for a while, I'm back.

                    Going back to the original post, the original purpose of Venturing was to offer more independence, freedom, and opportunity to older scouts.

                    Senior Scouting, formed in 1935, included Exploring, Sea Scouts, and Air Scouts, (and the little known Rover Scouting program).
                    Air Scouts died off in 1965.
                    Exploring is now completely career oriented and part of Learning for Life (LFL).
                    And Sea Scouts in now under the hood of Venturing.

                    Venturing, officially formed in 1998, was created for the non-"Career oriented Explorer" units. What the new program has done is give Venturing more organization. The awards now line up with each other better, the awards branch into 4 categories which align with Venturing programs (Adventure, Leadership, Service, and Personal Growth), and many trainings have been rebooted.

                    The idea that "freedom is the point of Venturing" is fairly correct. The older youth don't want adults huddling over every second of every activity, which many Troops (including now, my former unit) suffer from.
                    I personally, wanted a wider variety of options. Many Troops can be "restrictive," sticking to the same outing types and places. In my Crew, we constantly change things up.
                    I've heard many of the female members speak of moving to Venturing to move away from the "housewife training" many Girl Scout units have become.

                    "So, should crews not attend:
                    - District events?
                    - Council/Area camporees?
                    - Jamborees?"

                    Here in the Middle Tennessee Council, Venturing has many exclusive Council events. Venturing Leadership Summit, Venturing Rendezvous, an Powder Horn, just to name a few. We have these events rather than attending Camporees.
                    We will be attending our Council Jamboree next month along with many other Crews, as well as Ships and Troops.

                    "They tend to be nothing more than Venture Patrols with girls."

                    Again, it ALL depends on the unit. My Crew does have a Troop associated with it. But other than the number, we are completely independent. We go on our own outings, have our own gear, our own meeting night, etc.

                    "From my point of view I see the key Venturing issue as something that hasn't been mentioned here, structure........"
                    Excellent post Old_OX_Eagle83.
                    Last edited by EagleScout441; Today, 12:47 AM.

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