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What does it take to make Venturing go?

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The Lewis and Clark Trail to Discovery? What the heck is that? I have been in Ventures for 3 years, have attended Training, have attended Council Venture Roundtables, have helped our Crew put together a Council Wide Rendezvous last year and have another one on the schedule for this year and have helped our Council set up a Venture Executive Board (VEB) (composed of representatives of all council crews) and have never heard about this. Maybe I have been on Double Secret Probation and this has been kept from me


I think the whole OA thing is a moot point as long as female youth can not be members. To this effect males should not wear lodge flaps, be Chiefs of their Chapters or Lodge, or anything OA if they are only registered as a Venture.. I also think male youth should not wear the Eagle rank on their Venture Uniform nor should male adults wear square knots that relate to Boy or Cub Scouts. The Powederhorn is absolutely fine as its specific to Venturing. We keep on saying Venturing is new, as it is, and should be allowed to mature, as it should, but we need to quit adding things only for the male youth if we want it to be taken seriously. Otherwise a Crew is just a Boy Scout troop with girls serving as eye candy.


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On a lighter note:


The whole meshing of Boy and Girl Scouts has been a real eye-opener. As I commented before our crew organized a Rendezvous (gathering of all the Council crews) last year. We had it at a Boy Scout Camp and had the waterfront open for canoeing and rowboats. The Shooting range was open for skeet and rifle and one Crew sponsored an Axe throw. (Properly supervised with National Jamboree trained adults). Breakfast and lunch was cooked by the Crews. Part of the days activities was that every Crew stopped by the Dining Hall and helped the Dinner Cooking Crew prepare dinner. At 6:00 Pm, we ate, and it was fine. The Crews brought their Picture albums and Poster Board displays and members wandered about to see what other Crews had done. They talked, we had a campfire program and played music and there was a game of risk that lasted well into the night.


This years Rendezvous will be a little different, the Cooking Crew will be doing a pig roast and Saturday nights dinner will have a luau theme. (Actually, I wanted to roast a goat or lamb, but the youth said pig and well, it is their organization) One potential snag was during a planning meeting a male scout had the audacity to suggest the girl members belly/hula dance. Its quite amazing only one innocent bystander was struck by the shower of pens, pencils, notebooks; etc heaved his direction by the female attendees. This years event will be more competitive, with each Crew sponsoring an event.


One of the issues has been a vocabulary deficit. Most of the female youth are/were Girl Scouts. When we said we would have a Campfire, they wondered why we would just sit around a fire all night, we had to explain that saying Campfire implied skits, songs, cheers, etc. When we were discussing having an event in a local Mall to publicize the Venture Program, with booths set up by each Crew a female rich in Girl Scout tradition said it would be a Venture Faire Most of the male youth almost went into an apoplexic rage at being remotely connected to a Faire. However, they did see the benefits of a Venture Exhibit The term Cracker barrel was roundly discussed and has been replaced with fellowship feast. Each month its something new.


(Interesting enough, at first some faction of the Council wanted to charge the Ventuers for using a Boy Scout camp, but after a conversation with the Council Executive, the camp came free. BTW a Council Wide Venture activity is to help the Crew based at that Camp ready the Camp for this years season)(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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There are a couple things you are not considering and since you are a trainer I'm surprised that you you do not already know this.


First a Boy Scout cannot get a Cub Scout recognition unless he earned it as a Cub Scout. In that same vein a Venture Scout cannot get a Boy Scout Recognition unless he earned it as a Boy Scout. Doesn't that make sense? There is no going back.


Secondly this is not a Boy Scout rule. This is an OA rule. The Order of the Arrow is a separate division of scouting and they make their own membership rules. If you are going to frump about this then you need to direct it at the right governing body, the OA not the Boy Scouts.


I trust that as you train you don't say "here is program but I think it would be better if they did this instead". As a trainer you represent the entire program and people will judge us on that representation. Rather than get so irritated by why we don't do things certain ways as a program, perhaps you could focus more on why we do it that way. You would be less frustrated and others would get a more positive image of all of us.


Back to the topic of the thread. All Venturing needs is time and quality leadership. Boy Scouts has had over 9 decades to develop, Cubs has hat over 70 years and Venturing only about 4. Be patient and do your role the best you can. It's a good program and will only get better with time.


Bob White

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Right, Bob. I said I was a new trainer, but not yet a know-it-all. The know-it-alls in my District wouldn't volunteer for this job, so they're stuck with me. Maybe after 20 years in this job, I will know everything, but for right now, I have to dive for my references (or this forum) when I have a question...which is what I just did. And guess what, the references (Venturing Leader Specific Training Manual) tell me you're wrong. Male Venturers may indeed continue to earn Boy Scout recognitions (Star, Life, Eagle, Merit Badges) IF they became first class while registered as a Boy Scout (and the ones I;ve seen wear their ranks proudly). There is no requirement that they be concurrently registered in a Troop, as with OA, and the Venture Crew Committee conducts the Board of Review. So it just does not make sense that the "rules" are inconsistent, and to allow a Venturer to continue earning rank, but denying him the honor of OA is just ludicrous. And I don't believe for a minute that the OA does anything unless National knows about it and agrees with it. So it appears to me that Venturing is having an identity crisis...they want to belong, but they want to be separate. They need to decide which they want and then get off the fence and go for it.


Yes, as a trainer, I spout the party line. What I don't agree with, I work to change if I think it's wrong.


Forgive me, but I was under the impression that this forum was for the free and open exchange of ideas and discussions....NOT to be a cheering section for National policy. I have witnessed many changes in the program since 1962, some I agree with, some I don't. But I suspect none of the changes would have happened unless people like me questioned the status quo.

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Easy scoutldr,

As I said you have to be a Boy Scout to get boy scout recognitions, In order to continue working toward Eagle the scout must have reached First Class as a BOY SCOUT prior to joining Venturing. A Venture Scout who has not had a Boy Scouting cannot recieve boy scout recognitions include OA. The OA has always been a service organization of the Boy Scout program. When Exploring existed as a part of traditional scouting they could not have OA elections either, so this is not a new regulation that they are following.


I never said you could not have an opinion, I said I was surprised by your attitude as a trainer. I had expected more of a "why do they" rather than "this is wrong, here is what they should do". As a new trainer you might find that a more positive approach might serve you better and be a better influence on those you train.


Just a thought,

Bob White

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WOW K9Goldscout, thank you


The really bizarre thing is last spring when our Crew held its first Court of Honor, I wanted to recognize two female members who made every outing and did as much or more as our male members. I came up with the Sacajawea Award, A dollar coin on a leather thong surrounded by wood beads. Given in honor of Sacajawea, who, even though the men wouldnt ask for directions, guided them anyway.


The Lewis and Clark theme works for me




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We are a COED High Adventure Venturing Crew in Wisconsin

Established Aug. 2001

12 youth & 14 adults

How we make this program work is we found a Chartering Organization that works with our program

We are chartered by the Germantown WI. Gander Mountain.

They provide us with knowledgable people for the activities we want to do.

For example: They have hunter's safety courses running so we ALL can go hunting


Gander Mountain is letting us use a table at the Milwaukee Sport Show for Venturing promotion.

promote your crews abilities!!!!! Think outside of the box.


let the youth run your programs, it is alot more challenging for them.

let them have fun,play music on outings,video game time, this isn't Boy Scouts, Think outside of the box. If you let them have fun and they will keep coming back.

One fun meeting night all we did was play HALO on X-Box 7 venturers competing at the same time.

Some chips and soda which were donated anyways. they had a blast.

We had 2 non scouts show up that night and now they are in our crew.

Think outside of the box!!!


put the emphisis of your crew on FUN and not so much on Venturing Advancement


All crews need the 14 year olds for membership renewal and they love being with the older youth that will teach them leadership skills


For outings use the existing B.S.A. camps that put on outings for Venturers


Like Hanna Venture Base in Rhinelander WI.

We are going up there to get basic Scuba certification this summer


"Target" certain youth for your programs not just whoever comes along. Let them know ahead of time what is expected of them.


As far as Female youth they cannot earn Boy Scout Advancement but they can earn Boy Scout Awards.They can earn anything but Star, Life and Eagle. What should Venturing do, not let females join till they are 18. Then they wouldn't make the age requirement. Would that be FAIR.


As far as the Order of the Arrow

Isn't it true that you are a youth till your 21st birthday so why shouldn't Venturing male youth that was elected as Boy Scouts belong to OA

we are all part of the B.S.A.


Just run your own program the way it is intended

and stop whining about how the female youth can't do some of it. It may not be FAIR, but so is not letting homosexuals in Scouting. And we all are against that, right!


if you need more advice or comments

e-mail me direct




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I'm still having a hard time with this program.

Back in the good old days, in the old country (My old country England.) Life and Venture Scouting was easy, when you were 16, you left the troop and joined the Venture Unit. There was a program, with choices that you the Venture Scout, made.

For example,community service, the book stated how many hours you needed to do, but you chose where to do it. The same kind of thing was true for all through the program.

I have read the Venture Leader handbook and attended the training, and maybe I'm just dense, but I can't think out of the box, till I manage to find the box in the first place.

As a council, we are really far behind some of the wise and learned people who, both in this post and the one on How is Venturing Doing, have stated that things are starting to pick up.

The powers that be in my council, tell me that I need to be talking to church youth groups, I have visited a few (only six.) But our 14 year age group,doesn't fit, they start at 12.

They send me to the local Volunteer Fire Companys, they have junior fireman, these guys have a program of their own. Until my council can put something on the table, for these groups, we have nothing to sell. I had more luck with the Superintendent of one of the school districts, he has an Alternative Education class that due to insurance problems, has had to cut back on some activities. They also have a Tie and Fly Club, that are thinking about Venturing.

I know the answer lies in the Seamless Program and the Entire Family of Scouting, but the Scoutmasters in my district are as yet not sold on this "New" program, and to be very honest I don't think they ever will be.

We have one active Crew that claims to be a Theatrical Crew, they are part of Nero (New England Roleplaying Organization) But I think they are only in for the insurance.

I know that it seems that I have a down on Venturing, I don't. I really do want to see this part of Scouting become as big if not bigger then Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.

My hope is that in time, everything will work out. I will go back and read some more and see what I can do to start the odd Crew here and there.

Maybe the problem with Venturers, is that there just isn't enough of them.

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Jim, sounds like you're advising a great crew. I don't agree, however, that we can tell the girls "life is unfair, sorry, get over it." I'll echo OGE's comment that Venturing won't be taken seriously as long as the girls, especially former Girl Scouts, are treated as second-class members.


A greater problem I see is that Venturing has just become a "get out of jail free" card in the numbers game. Way too may Crews are registered in name only, just to boost district new recruitment goals. Most of the large troops in my district have paper crews chartered along with them. Typically, the idea is for the troop's Venture Patrol to operate as a crew, but I don't know that any of them do that. The Venture Patrol continues in its former role with the troop without recruiting additional members or going after the Venture advancements. The other trick is to charter an existing group -- an ROTC unit, a church group or school organization -- which continues operating as normal, the only difference is they have a Venture Crew charter hanging on the wall.


I suspect that if the paper crews were discounted, and we could look at the crews which are really following the program (and we have at least one such crew in our area), the numbers for Venturing would not be what we think they are.

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If the female youth in Venturing Crews feel like they are 2nd class citizens.

It is the individual crews that are doing it to them not the program.


Our female youth don't really care about being an Eagle Scouts. Most of The Girl Scouts that we get are already Gold Awarded in Girl Scouts.


They way to make them feel equal is to treat them equal!

We try to make everything equal in our Crew!!

The male youth and adults in the Crews should treat the females as equal because they are giong to have to do it the rest of their lives.


It wasn't that long ago that females were not allowed to be leaders in Boy Scouts!


we have to teach them the outdoor skills they need because the Girl Scouts don't. The only way we know how to teach them is The Boy Scout Handbook.


The female youth that come into our Crew want the outdoor experiance.


Each of our crews can choose what age we let youth in. our Boyscouts coming in have to be Life Rank and 15 years old. We did that because we didn't want to take all the older youth away from the Troop. What happened was all the 15 year olds came in but then some of them didn't like the Venturing program so now they just do the Troop thing.


We have the same problem here trying to convince Scoutmasters that Venturing is a great program resource

for the troops. If we can keep the youth involved in scouting till 21st birthday wouldn't that be AWESOME


The only way to get them to change thier minds is to start a Crew and be successful.Help out the Troops in your area.For Venturing Awards the youth have to teach others, well have them teach the Boy Scouts. We try by having our youth do uniform inspections for Cub Packs. Don't give up on the program because that is exactly what they are expecting us to do!!!


The key to Venturing Acceptance is promoting the program in a positive way.

the program started in aug. 1998 give it time at least all of us will be the forfathers of Venturing


Leave a Legacy


Your Friend in Venturing




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OldGreyEagle Sorry if I was confussing about the term "numbers". What I meant was, if each troop feeds into one venture crew, the council looks good because they have doubled the total number of chartered units. If each crewmember is dual registered with the troop then, on the books,they have just doubled the number of scouts. This looks great on paper when you are trying to raise money.


In the past year I have seen many units fail. I believe that it is because Troops started their own Venturing Crew and the adult leadership and the scouts are spread to thin to do an effective unit. But if say three Troops feed into one Crew then the unit is larger and more effective.

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I attended the Venture Training at Philmont this summer where one of the discussions was about what patches was allowed on the venture uniforms. The conclusion was that it is the choice of the individual crews. Guys can display their Boy Scout rank and awards and the Girls can display their rank and awards if approved by the crew. Crews were designed to be flexable to adapt to their comunity/environment. Do what ever it takes to keep the youths involved as long as it keeps within the BSA guidelines.

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It is up to your Council's Executive and only him or her if female youth are allowed to wear Girl Scout rank badges or medals, not the individual Crews


Venturing Crew 80 out of Germantown Wi.

will have a Venturing promotion display at the Milwaukee Sport Show

March 14-23 2003

Our Charter is the Gander Mountain store in Germantown WI., they are allowing us to use some of their space


We cannot thank them enough for their support to the Venturing Program



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I disagree emphatically. It is very important that the concept that crews make their own rules be understood and implemented. For proper development, young adults need to make decisions for themselves and live by them. This concept was emphasized over and over at the Philmont Training Camp (PTC). The head executive for the venture program said in a speech to several hundred Scouters that the theme of this year's program is to "Think Outside the Box". The rules that we used for 11 - 13 year old boys dose not apply to 14 - 20 youths. We have to be adaptive and make new rules. If we do not allow young adults to find their own path then we will be at meeting by ourselves.

Our job as advisors is to make sure that the decisions that they make stay within the guidelines of BSA and the sponsoring org.


The fact is that each crew decides just what their uniform will be and what patches will be on it. These decisions should be made as a group and written into their by-laws. The by-laws in the manual are only suggestions.

While at PTC, there was another advisor that wore camouflage fatigues with venture patches. His crew decided that that was their uniform. He wore it proudly in front of everyone. Other Crews has no uniform at all and was perfectly fine.


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