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Venturing and Sea Scouting.

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While as I have posted in the past, I'm not a great lover of the Venturing Program as it now stands.

And yes I know that Sea Scouting is supposed to be part of Venturing.

Still it kinda seems to me that many if not most Sea Scouters are a crusty old bunch (Exceedingly nice, but set in their ways!)who want little or nothing to do with Venturing.

I'm not sure and don't seem able to get a real count of how many Sea Scouts we have here in the US? Someone informed me that there is about 500 Sea Scout Ship's which are home to about 7,000 Sea Scouts, about 4% of the Venturing total? This sounds like it might be about right.

Here in the NE-Region, especially in the Chesapeake Flotilla the Sea Scouting program offered to our Sea Scouts seems to me to be a very good program. The Flotilla has a lot of things going on, the adults seem to know each other and work well together. Our Scouts after a few events get to know each other even though they come from different states.

The Ship's tend to not be very big, which works well as the boats used can't accommodate large numbers.

If the rumors I hear are true? There seems to be a move to bring Sea Scouting and Venturing closer together. I heard that once the Sea Scout Manual is revised it will become part of the Venturing Handbook.

While both programs cater to the same age group and both can be coed. I feel other than that we have little in common.

A friend of mine in another Council has been involved in what seems to be a fairly good Crew has just started a Ship/Crew.

I'm really unsure how this is going to work?

He thinks it will add another level of activity for the Venturers?

I think I can see how a Sea Scout or a Venturer can be in both programs? I'm not sure how they will find the time? I'm not sure how a unit could present both programs?

We (The Ship) thought we would work on some of the requirements needed for the Ranger Award over the winter. But with the best will in the world there just wasn't time. Or maybe I just wasn't able to find the time?


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Remember: Advancement isn't a method in Venturing. Recognition is, and recognition can come from in-unit as well as external factors.


Right now my son is far more excited about:

- Putting together a couple of skits for the staff to use at Scout Camp this summer...

- Getting his HS letter in band

- Going with his stepdad to barbershop regional competition

... than he could ever be about the Venturing Bronze level.


Take a moment, and see what the youth like to do. You may find instead of Ranger, there's a greater need for the Quest award or the athletics Bronze...



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Like Sea Scouting, our crew has little or nothing to do with other BSA crews. They have a by-law and SOP papers drawn up, but they do not follow the BSA outlined program, nor do they work on advancement. What they do they do way beyond the expectations of the area of interest they are involved with, they are totally dedicated to the program and basically ignore the offerings of the BSA. The recognition they have garnered is the accolades of adults they work with and rub elbows with. There are not many organizations where a 12-14 year old can be viewed as an equal with an adult, and in some cases, stand superior. There's no patch or pin that can do that for my crew members.


Sea Scouts should be Sea Scouts. Venturers should be Venturers. End of discussion.





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Never said we had 12 year olds registered as Venturers.


I stated: "There are not many organizations where a 12-14 year old can be viewed as an equal with an adult, and in some cases, stand superior." The generality "many organizations" was selected rather than "Venturing" for a reason. I can assure you that most venturing crews are NOT viewed as an equal with an adult.


For those who are unaware of the reenacting world, it is a family oriented hobby. People of all ages are involved, including infants.


We as a Venturing Crew do a military impression of the Civil War period. Our venture crew boys/girls interact with people of all ages in the hobby. The 12 year old boy who is "associated" with our crew is a fully-registered Boy Scout and also a member of a sister organization of our CO. Yes, boys younger than venturers are and can be members of the CO before they join the crew this has happened numerous times in our crew alone. We have this 12 year-old boy fall in with us and is treated as if he is any other member of the hobby. By the way, his father is one of our registered adult scouters, but remains a member of the sister organization. His son, being a fully functional bugler, his skills are in great demand at reenactments and given full respect due a functional musician. Our venturers are infantry and carry weapons, the 12 year old Boy Scout does not. When we have venturing drills, people older and younger than crew age fall in for the training. When I function as an adjutant at events, I have both BSA registered and CO registered youth falling in and participating on equal status with adults.


My apologies for the oversite of explanation, but when I was referring to "organization" it was not meant as specifically BSA Venturing, but an "organization" in general where youth are not viewed as peers by adults as they are in the reenacting hobby.


As a cutting-edge venturing crew, we are fully aware of every dot and iota of BSA rules and regulations. We are a crew that could fold overnight with just one small slip of safety awareness. With many years of expertise, we take boys of "all ages" into a world that many of them only read about in books or watch on TV.


Capt. Stosh :^)



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Yah, Cap'n Stosh, another case where generic nation-wide rules are inadequate to the local conditions and needs. ;)


I'm in agreement with the rest. Sea Scouts is Sea Scouts. If the BSA wants to handle it administratively through the Venturing Division, that's fine as an office organizational matter. But it makes no sense to merge them program-wise. Like tryin' to merge the Army and the Navy.



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We did that...


They're called the Combatant Commanders... ;)


You do not know how many doctrinal manuals for the Services have pub numbers for all 4 on the cover anymore.


I've served in AF HQ that had more Marine, Navy, and Army folk than actual zoomies.


The military mantra these days is operate in a COMBINED (internationally) JOINT (inter-DOD) INTERAGENCY (inter-USG) INTERGOVERNMENTAL (across national and provincial/state lines)





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While Sea Scout Ship's don't have to follow the Sea Scouting advancement plan. We do, it seems that most of the Ship's I know do.

Being as we are where we are, during the winter we are left looking for things to do.

A lot of the Venturing program is up to the individual. We opted to use the Ranger Award because the core requirements are in line with the things that we need.

While of course a Crew can do all the activities that a Ship can. If they decide to go into the depth that the Sea Scout advancement program requires? They might as well be a Ship.

Talking with other Skipper's they feel that these Ship/Crew units are going to handing out Sea Scout Awards like candy. I'm not sure about that.

Some of the requirements in Sea Scouting are very involved and are hard. I know I'm new to it and maybe don't do as good a job as more experienced Skippers do. Hopefully in time I'll get better.

The program is painfully expensive and is not for every kid.

While I know I have a bias, I do think Sea Scouts in whites are not sore on the eyes and talking for the Scouts in the Ship I serve they like to wear it. -Maybe because we don't wear it very often? The friend from the other Council thinks that having this Crew/ Ship all lined up in whites is going to look great! This is true but the program is more than just the uniform.

I have been told and again I'm not sure if it's true or not that Sea Scouting is the fastest growing program in the BSA. (I have no idea how anyone came up with that?) If it's true? I can't help feeling that this might prove that maybe? Just maybe? Someone has got it wrong.

Maybe the youth do want an advancement program?

Maybe they do want a uniform?


I have a theory and it's just yet another Eamonn theory that most Sea Scout units are not one year wonders because the adults are committed to the program, far more than a good many of the adults who get involved in Venturing. We don't seem to see as many "One Year Wonders".

We also benefit from the fact that most Ship's are real units.

I was checking out the new improved BSA web site. Just for fun I did a search on the Find a Crew or Ship. I put in my zip code. The results were 12 units. We were listed. But looking at the list I seen:

Crew 304 Adelphoi Village Colony Home (A detention center.)

Crew 1518 Outside in School of Experiential Ed (I'm not sure what this is but I have to wonder what sort of program they offer?)

Crew 975 Westmoreland County Juvenile Services Center (Kinda makes me wonder about putting the "Outing in Scouting")

Crew 191 Adelphoi Village Alliance (Another detention Center.)

Four of the twelve are not what I'd call real units.

I might not really understand much about what some Crews do. I have seen HS Ski clubs sign up as Crews in order to get the BSA insurance, same thing with HS marching bands.

Of course there are some Crews out there that follow off the wall activities that my little pea brain might not grasp. But nearly all the Sea Scout Ship's I know of are doing stuff I can understand. I hope we never see the "Out Of The Box" thinking that Venturing has seen.



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I have heard of no efforts to bring Sea Scouting 'closer' to Venturing (ie, more than already exists). There is no effort, to my knowledge, to merge the Sea Scout Manual into the Venturing Handbook.


Sea Scouting remains what it is, a unique program within Venturing. There should be no 'animosity' between the two. In my area, Ships are seen as part of the overall Venturing program. If Ships want to participate with other Venturing Crews or the larger Venturing program, that's fine, but no one gets upset when Ships do their thing. We mainly look at the relationship as a partnership between the two.


Most Ships that I know of follow the Sea Scout program. (uniform, advancement, etc). A few that don't, IMO, don't last too long. Most are groups that became Ships for the wrong reasons (get insurance, and that's about it).



Also, keep in mind that the 'Venturing Program' has really been around for several decades as the Exploring program, and been quite successful.

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Eamonn, emb21 is correct there is no plan by National to merge Sea Scouts with Venturing or their manuals either, which are way over priced compared to the sea scout manual. A friend of mine at National told me that a lot of ideas get discussed at National but there are no such plans on the near horizon.


By the way Eamonn I kinda resent your comment that "crew advisors hand out advancement like candy",my crew works pretty damn hard on their advancement. Maybe if most of your council's crews were not at detention centers you would see how real venturing is done with well trained leaders, instead of prison guards. By the way there are also some pretty bad sea scout units out there, and many of them do go under because of the huge cost of running a large ship, insurance, fuel etc. No program is perfect by any stretch. I live in an area close to the water and the sea scout ships get fewer and fewer each year. As emb said we are not in competition with each other, not all teens want to do all the work to maintain the ship, they rather cruise than work, same is true in Venturing.(This message has been edited by RangerT)

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I had no intention of offending anyone.

If I did so? I'm sorry.

So far I have not had any dealings with these Ship /Crews.(I never said "crew advisor's hand out advancement like candy" What I did say was:

"Talking with other Skipper's they feel that these Ship/Crew units are going to be handing out Sea Scout Awards like candy. I'm not sure about that.")

The comments were made after a Venturer in New England claimed to have met the requirements for the Quartermaster Award and all the paperwork needed was filed.


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