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Marcheck

Is it a Post or a Crew?

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We have a great Exploring Exec. who, as you can imagine, is in the business of staring Posts at local Fire Companies where kids can learn about firefighting.

 

Unfortunately, his sevice area only covers a portion of our Council, with the more sparsley populated areas leaving Exploring up to the local tradistional DE to handle.

 

Here is the rub: in those more sparsley populated areas, the DE's are staring Crews at Fire Halls and the kids are doing exactly the same things they would in a Post.

 

Now, some of those fire depts. are wondering why they were only told about the Venturing Program,a not Exploring.

 

The reason is that the FD in the more sparsley poulated are "encouraged" his DE's to get more traditional units, ie crews.

 

This seems somewhat disengenuos to me. If the kids are there to learn firefighting, should all these units be posts, not crews?

 

Thoughts please....

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Explorer posts of today are all organized around career positions such as fire fighting, law enforcement, search and rescue, sports medicine, etc.

 

If most to all of their activities revolve around fire fighting then they are a post not a crew. The key element is are they career oriented.

 

Crews are specialized around activities such as mountain climbing, skiing, sports, backpacking, historical reinactment, etc.

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Right...

 

And these kids in the Crews are learning about firefighting. That's it. No "high adventure" stuff.

 

So shouldn't the Council, in all due fairness to the Exploring Program, see to it that they are converted into Posts?

 

 

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While I do at times get involved with LFL programs, as a Council we are involved with providing people who will go into High Schools and give career talks. Most of the time I am guilty of looking at Traditional Scouting and the LFL Programs as them and us. In my view and it is my own view, not the District's or the Council's I see the ideals of Scouting as being top of my list. I belong to a value based program, where duty to God is very important. Exploring doesn't have this as part of their program. If I could find a way of not having any of the money that I donate be used for Exploring I would take it.

Exploring does not follow the same methods as Venturing and this should be explained to the Organization that is thinking about starting a youth program. Of course if I'm asked to make "The Sale" I will do my utmost to sell Venturing first. The Venturing program is open enough to allow the CO to deliver the program around what ever it is involved in.

I do think that a lot of the BSA material on Venturing seems to be outdoor oriented, when the program doesn't have to be that way. You can have a Crew that wants to follow Youth Ministry or Stamp Collecting as their area of interest.

If you take a look at the Venturing Activity Interest Survey you will see a list of different activities that a crew might want to do as part of its program for the year.

In our area all the Fire Departments are Volunteer Fire Departments, so while a youth might join and want to think about Fire-fighting as a career, the guys in the department all work in other places,these same guys also might have other areas that the youth members might want to try out as an activity. So while a Fire Department might charter a Crew, the Crew could work on First Aid,and firefighting, they could also decide that they want to go as a crew and see a play or go to the opera, both these could be used as part of the Crew Members advancement.

Eamonn.

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The Crew I serve when asked what type of crew they are responds "Ecletic". We Backpack, whitewater raft, canoe, climb indoors, climb outdoors, hike, camp, do public service, role play at pinewood derbies (Speed Racer theme)

have "Etiquette" Diners and just about anyting else older teens would think is fun. (Oh and at the Council Recognition Dinner two of our youth received the COuncil Venture Leadership Award which was presented by another Crew member who had previously had received the COuncil Venture Leadership award so I guess you can add Administration to the list of activities.

 

None of these activities appear to be career oriented. As I said this is a Crew. It is my understanding an Explorer Post would be the better fit for Fire Depts who are in the mind of setting up "Junior Fire Auxilary Corps", Teens who will learn about fire fighting as a profession. An advantage to a Post, as I understand it, or perhaps a disadvantage, is that as part of the Learning for Life program, the religious belief requirement is not present so atheists can be members and 5 years down the line you dont have to worry about the ACLU busting up your Crew because of religion(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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This relates to something I noticed last week, but I didn't mention it at the time. I was looking at the Guide to Safe Scouting in the section relating to pointing firearms at other people (because someone raised the paintball issue again) and I saw a reference in that section to the "Law Enforcement Venturing program." I thought to myself, What Law Enforcement Venturing program? Isn't "law enforcement" an Exploring program? In fact, I remember reading that when "old Exploring" was abolished, all "career" programs were moved into LFL/Exploring except for religious vocations, which became part of Venturing. In fact I just checked the official BSA web site, Venturing section, and it says that the five Venturing program areas are: high adventure, sports, arts and hobbies, religious life and Sea Scouting. Where does "law enforcement" fall into that? Or firefighting, for that matter? Unless they are considered "hobbies," which they aren't, even though some firefighters are volunteers whose actual "career" is something else.

 

There is also a potential connection here to a discussion currently going on in "Issues and Politics." I don't want to bring that debate in here, but Marcheck, are these "fire halls" public entities, or private? I ask because I believe this varies from place to place. New Jersey has both paid fire departments which are government entities, and volunteer fire companies, which are considered "quasi-public." In terms of chartering a BSA unit, I believe they would be subject to the same limitations as public entities.

 

In fact, it was my understanding that the legal limitations on police and fire departments and other public entities in chartering "traditional" BSA units was one of the main reasons for separating "old Exploring" into Venturing and LFL/Exploring in the first place.

 

I admit up front that I am not an expert on Exploring (new or old) or Venturing, having never been directly involved with either. But I do know what I have read. Can anyone provide any facts to the contrary?

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Bob

 

You are incorrect, the CO can not choose, the BSA regulations that define what a post versus a crew are very clear and as I defined in my prior post. I was also a DE and helped organize these types of Explorer posts. They have additional requirements for the charter orgs. of posts such as firefighting, etc., as far as safety and liability coverage for the members. Maybe you need to take Venture Leader Specific Training Bob. Posts and Crews are very different in nature and purpose, thats why Sea Scouts were put in with Venture instead of Explorers.

 

Talk to your SE at council if your DE is confused as you seem to indicate in your post Marcheck.

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T'would seem to me . . .

 

I agree that the difference between an Explorer Post and a Venturing Crew is the difference between learning a career and learning a hobby.

 

If that is the accepted premise:

 

There is no way a volunteer fire department can charter an Explorer Post. They are performing a serious duty, but it is in no way a career. In my mind, that would make it a crew. The people doing the teaching, the advisors, don't really know what it is to be a fire/fighter 24/7 although they do know how to put out fires and are passionate about it.

 

A full time fire department, teaching youth how to be full time fire fighters would be an Explorer Post. They are able to teach all phases, including psychological and other factors, of full time firefighting.

 

I'm not trying to bash volunteer firemen. Far from it. I'm just saying that there is a distinction.

 

To make a Scouting comparision:

 

What if there were a group of Scouters dedicated to teaching people of age 14-20 about being volunteer Scouters? That would be a Crew.

 

A crew of professional Scouters teching young people how to be professional Scouters would be a post.

 

That's just one guy's humble opinion.

 

Unc.

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What's going on is clear...the DE's performance metrics and those for Quality District include new units, new youth and new money. The DE and the district get "credit" for new Venture crews. They don't get credit for starting new Explorer Posts, since LFL is a "subsidiary" of the BSA, but is operated separately. The DE is simply taking advantage of the fact that the LFL Executive can't cover the whole council. It's all about the numbers. But if it results in more youth being served, who cares?

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BadenP

While it may seem at first glance that I am incorrect, further study proves I am not.

 

If you look at the six experience areas of Venturing yoiu will see that one is "Service" and in the Venturing Activity Interest Survey one of the choices is "Fire Safety". A Venture crew can focus its activities on service as a Fire Safety and Prevention Crew(which by the way is 75% of the work of a Fire Department), Law Ennforcement crew (see the Guide to safe scouting regarding hand guns), or as an Emergency Response crew (medical aid etc.) Even being sponsored by a fire unit or auxillary is well within the parameters of Venturing.

 

In addition, LFL's Career Exploring has a long history of having posts that focus on fire prevention and other emergency services.

 

The difference is membership regulations. A Chartering organization that wishes to support the values of the traditional scouting program can elect to charter as a Crew. A Chartering organization choosing to support the membership values of LFL can charter a Post.

 

So in fact, I correctly represented the chartering opportunities for such a unit in both the Venturing and Exploring programs.

 

BW

 

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I had to go out tonight and talk to our local Theater about starting a Crew. It really is a "Gift Horse" As far as starting a new unit goes.They came to us. One of their Board members had been involved with Scouting some years back, he called the Service Center and asked if someone could go and talk to the Board about Exploring. I have had several phone conversations with the guy in charge and explained that we now have Venturing, and I thought that this would be a better fit.

The set up is a little funny, this board manages the theater, however most of the productions are put on by an amateur production company, while they are closely linked they are separate.

One of the first things that I covered in my presentation was that Venturing was a traditional Scouting program. which did mean that all members would have to make the Venturing Oath. They (The board members) didn't have a problem with this.

They will be happy to see young people using the building and it becoming more active in the community.

Could this have been an Explorer Post? I suppose so, but I'm far happier that it isn't. This has nothing to do with money or numbers. The DE is too new to play any sort of games and the District Chairman has no time for such tomfoolery. I am still trying to work out how money comes into play? The Council or the District doesn't make any money from a Post or a Crew. All fees collected go to National.

Eamonn.

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Nice try Bob,

 

Baden P is correct when he stated the difference between a post and crew, your point to support your argument is not valid. While that is a interest it is not the sole focus of a crew as it is in a post. If you have any current literature on Exploring you would understand why. Badens point on Sea Scouts further bears this out, Sea Scouts would be part of Exploring instead of Venturing if your point had any validity, which sadly it does not. Check with the national office and you will see that BadenP is correct.

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I dont know how fire departments are in other states but in our state other than the city fire departments, they are fire protection districts. The mix of volunteers and professionals is dependent on the size of their budget (district with more people/higher property values have more tax revenue). They and the cities are all government entities as such would not be able to charter Venture Crews, as they would not be able to follow BSA leadership policy. They would have to have LFL Exploring Posts, and they do. I would imagine there are not many fire districts in the country that are not government entities. If you pay taxes to them, then even if they are volunteer they would most likely be unable to charter Venture Crews. Now their auxiliaries would be a different story.

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