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Is Venturing, scouting's best kept secret?

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I have noticed especially in my council that Venturing is not as well attended to as is Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts there is more knowledge concerning troops and packs than to crews. 2 years ago there was Powderhorn a Venturing style familiarization session that went for 2 sessions on a weekend consisting of 3 days each. Many scoutmasters, advisors, committee, council and district people attended it. A few new crews have been started. Council VOA is having a Beachfest this summer, these are all encouraging, but when it comes to district and council no one seems to want to consider Venturing and the problems that arise with crews. Venturing is a part of the traditional part of BSA, although Crews can come off as less than traditional sometimes. But that is the nature of Venturing

Venturing has the co-ed emphasis in some crews and that throws traditional scouters for a loop as well. What are they going to do with all those girls? Girls are an asset to the crew and if they get interested will work hard to get things going. Our council has about

27 crews, some are very active and some are just on paper and are not very active at all. How we get the message out? First to the public, and then to council.

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Venturing is still somewhat new. Give it time to develop. I have been asked if I was an Explorer when I am in my Venturing uniform by an adult Scouter. I suppose not everyone is too familiar with Venturing yet.


"Council VOA is having a Beachfest this summer"


Sounds like your council is paying attetion to Venturing if they are organizing events.


"Venturing is a part of the traditional part of BSA"


This confuses me. Venturing is similar to past programs, but it is not a traditional program itself, it is NEW. Please correct me if I am wrong.



"How we get the message out? First to the public, and then to council."


Very true, we should get the message out, but this brings us back to advertising. Does the Boy Scouts get enough advertising...? I don't think they do, and they are 90+ years old. Venturing is young, until Boy Scouts becomes overall popular again, will Venturing?

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I really would like to see Venturing become as big a part of Scouting (BSA) As Boy Scouting and Cub Scouting is.

Having been through a Venturing program as a youth in the UK. I know that it can work.

In my opinion and it's only an opinion.

I will of course follow the guidelines of the organization and play by the rules.

We have several things that are preventing the program from being as good as it should / could be.

First we need to stop allowing Boy Scouts to be in both programs. This is hurting both the troops and the Crews. To my mind, asking a 14 year old Lad to be in a Troop and a Crew is too much for him to manage. At 14, most Lads have just managed to come to grips with what being a Scout is all about. We would serve him better if we really gave him all the skills needed to participate in a real High Adventure program. We could do this if we really used the patrol method in the Troop and put some real meat on the Venture Patrol program. Which I happen to think needs a new name, having a Venture Patrol in the Troop and a Venturing program is confusing.

Let's stop mudding the waters with the Areas of Interest. We could achieve much the same thing by offering choices in the advancement area.

In our district we have seven crews, all are supposed to be High Adventure. Most have adult leaders who were/are ASM's. These ASM's have the best intentions in the world and do care about the kids in the program. However, they have not been trained to deliver the activities that the program implies. I have never attended Powder Horn and have to admit to not knowing very much about it. I do think that we need to take the adults in the Venturing program and give them practical hands on training. Don't tell them where to go to get practical experience, they can get that information from the yellow pages. Take them and teach them a skill and let them come back again to get more proficient in that skill or come back to learn another skill. This training could be offered by the Region.

Once we get leaders who can deliver a real high adventure program and the Crew members receive it, I would hope that in time when these Lads and Lassie's get the basics they can become able to pass on their knowledge and take training to become the instructors.

As for female members, I am all for coed crews.Not so very long ago other then Den Mothers, all females in Scouting were not rated as highly as the male members. Hopefully and thankfully, this is no longer the case.Still once we view Venturing as its own stand alone program, who cares what the old fuddy-duddy members of other programs feel? We do need to bring in female leaders, not just a name on a charter. I'm not sure why, but the females that we have as youth members in the district seem to be more active then the males!! Still if we are unable to provide a real program it makes no never mind if the youth are male or female.

I have heard that there are Scouting programs in some colleges. We need to do all we can to strengthen this while allowing and promoting multiple registration with the "Home Crew".

This year there have been changes made in the qualifications needed to become a Quality District(No more 2% growth.) This will I hope prevent some of the creative manipulation of the Venturing program. While there are Crews that are doing an outstanding job of delivering the program. My big fear is that we have a lot that are doing next to nothing with most of the membership really being or belonging to the Boy Scouts.

Venturing like all the programs in Scouting works best when the program is delivered by quality leaders. I look at the district that I'm in and the packs and troops that have trained quality leaders are the ones that seem to have the membership and the program. The youth in these units also seem to have the most fun. I think the same is true of Venturing.


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Competing for high schoolers time has got to be a challenge for every crew in the country. We've switched from being a Venturing Crew to a Sea Scout Ship. From what I understand, we can take advantage of the best of both programs. To deliver the program, they have to want to be there, so there's got to be an interest in the activities and some social goings on also. If you get a group of friends in the crew, better still, several groups of friends of both sexes, you've won half the battle.


Interesting, challenging Program, involving a bunch of friends at a convenient time and location, there you go. We went to the Sea Scouts because there's an advanced structure to it. Some great program ideas, sailing, powerboating, scuba, advancement, ceremony, uniforms, and the nautical thing. On the Venturing side, we're a Junior Olympic Rifle Team. The youth decided that next season, they want to treat the program like a high school sport. We're going to practice much more and travel at least once a month to a tournament somewhere. "Eat, Sleep, Shoot" (I see a tee-shirt idea). In the summer we're going to sail and patrol the river. The alos now to make Skipper Trail Pounder happy, once a month they will have to iron thier uniforms, shine their shoes, polich their belt buckls, and board my Landship for ceremony and training. I ought to make a mpeg of the Landship and the kids boarding, all uniformed up, and doing the double salute. Then our Crew Leaders took charge of their crews (Port Crew & Starboard Crew) for training. We had a consultant in working on the marlinspike seamanship, powerboat safety, history of Sea Scouts, and Sea Scout Advancement.


We're growing, I've been told by my Port Crew Leader that he's bringing two friends Sunday night, a male and a female. Another young man from another troop in our area is bringing a friend. Knowing I got newbies coming, we'll do what we do best, we'll break out the Air Rifles and have experienced shooters teach them the prone. Let's see, read from a manual or shoot 10 Meter Air for 2 hours, hmmm toughy. They'll sign up. We're going Sailing next Saturday. We're joining another ship for a Weekend of Sailing on the big lake on the 28th.


Having a business meeting to have a business meeting just can't get it done.



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