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About Indy_Owl

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  1. Our Crew was form 2 yrs ago - the first year was a real learning curve! Now that we are in the 2nd year the Crew Members have asked that the Advisors take a back-seat. Basically, speak only when spoken too! We have let them do it their way - but.... During the last three months: 1) communication - lacking 2) no long range goal / planning 3) events are planned but usually last minute or cancel due to poor planning 4) crew basically is lead by one person - who is trying - but doesn't seem to have the support of other crew members 5) Advisors / Committee struggling to understand our roles (Boy Scouts -v- Venturing structure) The feeling of some of the Advisors is that they will learn from their mistakes - true, but in the meantime the Crew is struggling. I know that Venturing is "Youth-Lead" but I thought that the role of the Advisor is to be their Advisor; the youth officers lead the crew. They work closely with adult Advisors and other adult leaders in a spirit of partnership. The adults serve in a "shadow" leader capacity. The adults maybe a "Shadow" leader but not SILENT! From what I have read on other forums this is a struggle to find "the middle of the road". Any thoughts?!
  2. Indy_Owl

    Building Interest

    Doing away with the Venture Patrol may actually be a good thing. You are one of the few that I have heard used the program correctly! Most troops use the Older boys as "babysitters" to the younger scouts (as my son says). He got tired of going to Troop meetings where as soon as he walked in the door he was being assigned a task that an ASM or even the Scoutmaster should be doing or told to grap a new scout and teach them knots! After awhile - he and others stopped going! This was the main reason we started a Venturing Crew (he and a friend asked to start a Crew - where they could do what they wanted to do!) in an attempt to keep the older Scouts IN SCOUTING! Though, at first, we did have some resistance from the Troop (older argument - you're taking all the older scouts away!). One of the worst things National did to the Venturing program was name it Venturing. It is forever confused with a Venturing Patrol. I to heard that Venturer Patrols were going to be dropped to elimate some of the confusion and to help promote the Venturing Program. Lets face the facts a Boy Scout Troop is basically Middle School Age youth. Venturing is the next step. BSA needs to take the approach that there are three levels in Scouting - CS = elem age / BS = middle / Venturing = high school. We may actually keep more older scouts in Scouting if they were with their peer group and not having 5th / 6th gr mixed with 11th / 12th gr.
  3. Indy_Owl

    Building Interest

    Sometimes you just have to take the "Bull by the Horn!". I to knew nothing about the program BUT decided to learn all I could by doing research on the internet, finding training (which was in another council) and purchasing the all Venturing Manuals. Venturing is a GREAT program - problem, most Scouters (DE's, district, Council, etc.) know very little about the program. Since it's a youth ran program, that is flexible, it gets a little blurred at times! How are we building the excitment!? 1) Started a Venturing Crew. 2) The Crew become First Aid trained to assist at District Camporees as the First Aide Crew. 3) Ran the Canteen at the Camporees 4) Started a Venturing Roundtable that is ran each month (September - May) with the Roundtable open to ALL Venturing Crew members and Advisors, etc with hands on activities for the months of Sept, Nov, Jan, Mar, & May (Leave No Trace, Mapping - GPS, Caving, Backpacking, Cooking) and opposite month open to Advisors and Crew Officers - topics are administrated related (ie: recharter, fund raising, summer camp enrollment, new achievements available). I didn't wait for someone to bring in the excitment - we made the excitment in our district and now the Council (the roundtable for this year has become the Council Roundtalbe).
  4. Indy_Owl

    Building Interest

    addl info: When it was decided to form a Venturing Crew - I also approached our distr DE who didn't have a clue what to do. It probably took several months of researching and driving 2 hrs + to another town where I located Venturing Leader training, to finally feel comfortable enough to start the Crew. It then took several addl months for the kids to feel comfortable with the program. What started with 5 is now almost 15 (several come - but haven't offically registr). Those fifteen are from 3 different schools in our district. Our first five members were frustrated BS and two girls who's mother had been in explorers and wanted her girls to have the fun she had. Slowly - we grew - mainly by word of mouth and because we're active. I also approached our DE and Commissioner - and started our District first Venturing Roundtable - January 2005. At first the only ones attending was our Crew Advisors - but by May we averaged 10 - 15 advisors / crew members and this coming year it was decide to have them each month (original plan every other month) with one month being a hands-on activity for all Crew Members, Leaders & Advisors and the opposite month an informational meeting for Crew Leaders and Advisors. Our September Roundtable will be "Leave No Trace" - everyone invited. They will learn how to make Coke Can Stoves and Poop Soup! We have also lined up speakers for Backpacking, Caving, Outdoor Cooking and Mapping. Our Informational meetings will be on the New Trust Award, Recharter, Recruitment, etc. Our District Roundtable appears on the Council Calendar as the official Venturing Roundtable. I have found, as the Volunteer Spokesperson for Venturing in the Council, there is a need for the program but few dedicated Advisors. Most advisors play duel roles with the Troop and Crew and usually the Troop will win over the Crew. You will also have the Scoutmasters that will bad mouth the program saying "Girls don't belong in Scouting - this only leds to Pregancy." Don't give up! Stick with it. I have found that by doing my homework, researching the internet, talking to others - we can make a difference and the program will work. In Scouting, like anything, it is easier to work / devote time to something that works (CS and BS) rather than a program that National, Council, District doesn't understand. Do your own homework and make it work. If you wait on District / Council - you may still be waiting. The kids do want the program - they just don't realize it exist! This year we are going to do our first official "Open House" in October. This is being advertised as a Family Night / Venturing Cook-out. You have to be creative and get away from the "School Night" recruitment approach - it doesn't work with High Schoolers. Another Venturing Crew in our area did a Scavenger Hunt as their Open House.
  5. Indy_Owl

    Building Interest

    Our Crew was formed in June 2004. It start with two eagle scouts approaching my husband & I stating they were tried of being "Baby Sitters" for the troop and would like to be able to do the "High Adventure" stuff the troop had talked about but never did. Over the past year we went from 5 (three eagles scouts & 2 girls) to a active group of 12 to 15. We recently did a backpacking trip with 8 crew members and 6 advisors. The secret - be open minded to "Crew" activities and have an active calendar of events. We are chartered as a High Adventure / Outdoor Crew but not all our activities are "Outdoor" events. This was hard for some of the Advisors that felt that all activities needed to be "Outdoor" if we were chartered that way. Remember - we are there to advise not run the Crew. Some of the activities we have done: State Fair, Labor Day Fire Works, Rib-Fest, Pizza/Movie Night, assist as first aide at camporees, staff at camporees, Wilderness First Aide Survival training, etc. Upcoming events: Rib Fest (this was a hit last year), several day hikes, sledding, etc. We do have a meetings twice a month with one activity - which can be nothing more than pizza / movies at one the crew members home or Backpacking hikes to prepare for Philmont in 2006. This summer our Crew was the first to offically go to the local BSA Camp as a Venturing Crew. What great publicity for the Crew and the Venturing Program. When we lined up for meals - received a lot of questions - being a co-ed group, we stood out in line. I have also been working with council to redesign the Venturing material - and this past year we created a Recruitment Guide for Crew Members and Advisors along with re-designing the Venturing posters to show area kids doing events that kids in our area would be doing. Both were a hit at kick-off. The program has a lot of obsticles to overcome. A major one is Troops in general putting down the program with the "Your taking our older Scouts". This is not true - they are leaving on their own. Our Crew has asked that if a boy is a member of the troop to "multiple" troop and crew. We also made the decision not to work boys that would like to earn their Eagle in the Crew. We don't want to take that away from the Troop. You also need to find some Advisors that are working only with the Venturing program. Our Crew has a good mix. Generally that ASM that is also a Crew Advisor will generally choose the Troop over the Crew when it comes to events. Good Luck! It's a slow process - but remember Venturing is only 8 + yrs old where as Boy Scouts is 95 + yrs old. The program is still a "Baby".
  6. The course that starts in a few weeks is taking a new approach to the "WB Ticket". A ticket example will be given. I believe this will be a first. As a TG for the current course, when I heard the SM presentation it was like a Light Bulb being turned on. I finally understood. Fortuately I'm an individual that doesn't give up, even when it become at times, very hard not to throw in the towel. I did pick-up my beads - "No" ceremony. My WB patrol (those of us who have been frustrated by the "ticket" process) have decided that when we complete our "Ticket", we would go and celebrate. We understand what it took to get there! As I stated previously, I would recommend the course to any Scouter - and have done so! Each time a course is done, I'm sure it is presented slightly different. We just need to be careful that we don't let the "Old" WB creep into the "Current" WB. Good Luck to all current and future WB! Don't give up - finish your Ticket. Remember its your ticket - you decide when it's completed.
  7. SR540Beaver, My not wanting a ceremony due to WB is only part of the reason - though a major part. It is very hard to put into words. I to have been shocked at how easy some of the tickets have been in other groups. One Scoutmaster I know did a self evaluation - on himself - as Scoutmaster for his troop. Another did a survey of the moms and explained Boy Scouts to them - this was his diversity project. I'm not saying a newsletter could have been the ticket - but that I (and others in the Owl patrol) didn't have to make all the items major projects. We were told to make them attainable and not dependent on something or someone else. Such as your example of recruiting 10 boys but only had 5. Bottomline - I believe that the TG didn't understand his role completely and made the whole process more difficult than it needed to be. My husband was also part of this course (and was even in the same Owl patrol); though he hasn't completed his requirements, he to is finding it difficult to communicate with the TG. Believe it or not, other than knowing his ticket is related to his role as Asst Scoutmaster - he hasn't told me what his ticket is due to the fact he felt (from his conversations with the same TG) this was between he and the TG and the overall ticket and process was not to be discussed with others. Anyways, his position in Scouting also changed within the troop but after what I went through trying to change my one of my ticket items - he decided it wasn't worth the effort. I have been in scouting for over 10 yrs (short time frame compared to others) and currently hold positions on a district and council levels. This past year, I ruffled some feathers when I made the decision to take WB and accepted a major council committee position. WB is very important to me and I am having a very difficult time wanting to share this moment with individuals that have made what I do within Scouting very difficult. A close friend of mine, who would be presenting my beads, stated he would come to my home and present them with just my husband and son. He has also offered to come to summer camp and present them there with just our Crew present. I appreciate all the feedback that has been offered. I love scouting and all it stands for and I will be around a long time. I'm just having a very difficult time sharing my personal achievements with those who do not make achieving my WB easy.
  8. Where do I start... Your right you do have 18 month to complete. I was able to complete all of mine in 9 month. In part because as a Unit Commissioner, parts of the ticket (I know now there is only one)were center around the recharter time frame (Sept - May). Though my ticket was related to my role as a Unit Commissioner - each one could stand alone. The only thing in common was Unit Comissioner. When I went through WB somehow I interpret the Ticket as 5 tickets with five steps to complete each ticket. I now know now there is only one ticket with five steps to complete the ticket. I am not the only one that misunderstood. Several of my tickets were very time consuming - monthly newsletter, webelos to boys scout crossover booklet (this involved interviewing troops in our district to help Webelos decide which Troop they would join), teaching at Pow Wow (which I still do not understand how that related to Unit Commissioner, but was suggested by the TG to complete the requirements), etc. I know now that I could have choosen the Newsletter as the ticket and how the newsletter was produce, etc as the five steps. Hours were spent fulfilling my requirments. The joke between the "owls" during the course was we made a dangle for our troop flag out of the "yellow" post-its with comments in red pen and rejected tickets! After WB my role as Unit Commissioner changed slightly and when I asked if I could change one of my tickets - I was told no. This didn't settle well with me since I knew this could be done. There are several other things - but basically, I walked away from WB very frustrated and when I found out that I didn't have to do all that I did - angry. I have been asked to serve on the current WB staff. The CD knows the problems I had (and others) and has made it his mission to make sure the past doesn't repeat its self. Not sure where the communication breakdown happen; but the role of Troop Guide is very important. You are the point person for the Patrol during and after the course as you work your ticket. And if you misunderstand the requirements, its kinda like the snowball - it just keeps growing larger. I will wear my beads proudly. I will promote Wood Badge to all I see (and have done so!). No one in the current course will know what I went through. And I will be the first to step forward to help with future courses. I just hope that the patrol I am assigned, I am able to make this "Ticket" process something you will want to do and not something you dread.
  9. I would like to thank those who have responded! Last night I had my talk with my TG. The TG was surprised that my overall WB experience wasn't good (would rate it a 5). It was decided that if they could get the paperwork done by the time our Crew went to summer camp they would do the presentation at camp with just the Crew members present (my husband and son will also be there). I would "highly" recommend Wood Badge and I'm actually on staff for the upcoming course. I signed up two friends, etc but I would never want to participate again as a participant. The course is very good, I have made great friends, etc but the whole "Ticket" process was a nightmare. Example: I recently learned that there is only one ticket and not five. For those who maybe staff on a current course or one in the future - make sure that the "Ticket" doesn't become a nightmare to the participant! In our area there is a large percentage that never complete their requirements and I understand why! The "ticket". So much pressure is put on an individual to create the ticket that sometimes I think we forget why we are actually doing the "ticket". To help us use and apply the skills, etc learned during Wood Badge and eventually take the skills back to to our units.
  10. Indy_Owl

    venture uniform

    The Venturing Uniform is up to the Crew. BSA has an uniform - green dress shirt with BSA Gray pants. Our Crew designed a t-shirt to wear with "hiking" type shorts. They decided that the official dress uniform would be the BSA green shirt w/Dickie pants. This was after a very long discussion. There is a Crew in our area that their official uniform is a Hawaiian shirt with hiking shorts and sandals - socks optional in winter. They are chartered by a scuba shop. The problem is as an adult that is on district and council committees - they require the "official" BSA Venturing uniform. That is the only reason I had to purchase the actual uniform. Also two of our Crew members are staff at the BSA Summer Camp and they are required to have a BSA Venturing uniform. So even though the Venturing books states that a Crew can choose their uniform - it is only their official uniform within their Crew - but if they are representing National (such as the Jamboree) or Council (councilor at camp) that doesn't apply! Like so many things within Venturing - its not Black & White - there is alot of gray areas.
  11. Indy_Owl

    venture uniform

    The Venturing Uniform is up to the Crew. BSA has an uniform - green dress shirt with BSA Gray pants. Our Crew designed a t-shirt to wear with "hiking" type shorts. They decided that the official dress uniform would be the BSA green shirt w/Dickie pants. This was after a very long discussion. There is a Crew in our area that their official uniform is a Hawaiian shirt with hiking shorts and sandals - socks optional in winter. They are chartered by a scuba shop. The problem is as an adult that is on district and council committees - they require the "official" BSA Venturing uniform. That is the only reason I had to purchase the actual uniform. Also two of our Crew members are staff at the BSA Summer Camp and they are required to have a BSA Venturing uniform. So even though the Venturing books states that a Crew can choose their uniform - it is only their official uniform within their Crew - but if they are representing National (such as the Jamboree) or Council (councilor at camp) that doesn't apply! Like so many things within Venturing - its not Black & White - there is alot of gray areas.
  12. Indy_Owl

    Eventual Co-Ed Scouting

    I found this discuss very interesting. BSA is co-ed it is called Venturing! I am involved in Venturing on a district and council level and haven't heard of any major problems with co-ed groups. Two our female crew members are Girl Scouts but joined our Crew because GS typically do not camp or do High Adventure outings! My problem, as a female leader on Cub, Troop and Venturing is not whether a group is co-ed but Woman being accepted as equals by their male counterpart! Just because your male doesn't mean you can camp, etc. I have found that our female crew members do better on campouts than our Eagle Scouts. I have been on campout where I overheard a leader of the troop state "It is time the boys cut their apron strings from their mothers!" I have also seen the troop cancel a campout because they couldn't get enough volunteers to go - when sitting their was two females that were more than willing to go but didn't say anything because of the troops feeling about females. As a previous message stated "Look Around - the world is co-ed!"
  13. Indy_Owl

    Crew & Troop together

    Our Co-ed Crew has participated in several Camporees as staff - ran the First Aid, Canteen, and helped with events. We did not want to be seen as a threat to the Troops (especially the Scoutmasters) who do not understand the Venturing program. Though, at the last Camporee there was a Crew that participated in the events. When we camp, we follow the "Guide to Safe Scouting" - which everyone should be doing - by having one male and one female advisor on all outings! The only verbage in the Guide on overnights is male and female leaders must have separate sleeping facilities. Married couples may share the same quarters if appropriate facilities are available. Male and female youth participants will not share the same sleeping facility. If separate shower and latrine facilities are not available, separate times for male and female use should be scheduled and posted for showers. We also set up our tents with the boys on one side with an advisor tent in the middle and then the girls tents. We have had no problems. In the by-laws the Crew wrote we have a no dating / no touching policy which they enforce! This summer we are attending the BSA Camp in Indiana as a Venturing Crew and will be camping with other BSA Troops. We will also be going to Philmont in 2006 as a Venturing Crew. I have found as an advisor and unit commissioner - there is a lot of misunderstanding and incorrect information out there about Venturing. I know our Council this year is focusing on Venturing and trying to bridge the relations between Troops and Crews.
  14. Indy_Owl

    venture uniform

    The Indianapolis Scout Store stopped carrying the long pants because of poor quality. I recently purchased a pair of shorts. Normally I wear a 33 (green scout shorts) but had to purchase a 36. So they do run smaller but one good thing is that they are slightly longer than the BSA green scout shorts. Overall, beside the cost, I do like them. As for the long pants, our crew voted on using the Dickie gray dbl knee work pants as the official gray pant. Very similar to the Venturing pant but on sale you can find for $15 - 20. Big difference. I purchased the shorts for official Council activities I would have to attend.
  15. Recently I completed my WB requirements and just waiting for my Troop Guide to do his thing (thats another issue). For personal reasons, I have asked for no WB beading ceremony. I don't feel the need to share this very important moment with others. This is a goal I had set for myself and accomplished. My husband understands, but I am getting a lot of pressure from others to have the ceremony. My question is why? I will wear my beads proudly regardless of how they were presented. And know that I did my best!