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Council/Disitrct VLSC Kodiak, Kodiak X

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It means that any program or activity that wishes to compete for a youth's time and attention has got to be one that strongly appeals to the wants and needs of its target audience, just as any other consumer product.


Young people stay in scouting based on the ability of their scout unit's program to meet the needs and characteristics of people their age.


The Scouting program that you will find in the training and resources of the BSA are specifically designed to do that very thing...IF you follow the program in the unit.


Young people do not leave scouting to make time for things they enjoy LESS.

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First of all Bob I think it is incorrect to call Venturing a scouting program in the true sense, there are no required uniforms, no advancement as all awards are based on the interest of the individual versus the entire crew, since the program is fluid and flexible in nature the methodology of venturing is obscure at best. Your sea scout program by contrast is a very structured, uniformed, quasi militaristic in nature program with drills , saluting et. al.


Since Venturing has this nebulous structure it takes well trained adult advisors and youth officers to make a crew successful. The other reality is that unless your town has a good local college as soon as those teens graduate from high school they are gone. These are some of the reasons that most crews and ships have less members than a troop or pack. As a Venturing advisor for over six years our crew has been pretty successful maintaining a membership of between 35-50 members making us the largest crew in our council. The most successful crews seem to be those that create an operational structure to support their own unique programs or interests. Most crews in our council average 5-10 members and that does not create enough of a dynamic for success, so most die out in their first year.

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Venturing is a BSA program by the very fact that it is a specific program within the BSA. It does have a uniform, in fact it has several. It is simply up to each crew what it will be, and if or when it will be worn.


While it does not have ranks it does have a recognition program with a definite progression to it. It also has many of the same recognitions available in Boy Scouting.



While Sea Scouting has uniforms and salutes, it is not military in nature. First technically, maritime services such as the Navy and Coast Guard are not military. Military refers to soldiers (Army). (see Websters Dictionary), secondly the Sea Scouts do not kill people or break things (in essence that is the goal of the military, and I am glad they do that better than any other military on earth). Structurally the Sea Scout program is as varied as Venturing. Many Sea Scout Ships do not focus on boating per se. There are Ships that focus on SCUBA, Marine Biology, Conservation, Oceanography, Boat building, Boating maintenance and repair, etc.


I never said that a Venturing Crew should be larger than a pack or troop. I said that statistically that Crews are losing scouts faster than either packs or troops. If you look at the the declining membership of Venturing you see that they have lost a larger percentage of members than the other two traditional programs of Scouting. This is caused by a loss in both retention and recruitment.


While I congratulate you for your membership please remember that I did not say that EVERY crew lost members. I said that nationally Venturing is losing a higher percentage of members. In any average they will be units above and below the line.


Out of curiosity when was the crew at 35 and when was it at 50. If it was 35 first then staistically you have a 43% increase. If it was 50 and then 35, then you have about a 30% decrease. So to say 35 to 50 can go either way. Still to have 35 or more active youth members in a crew is awesome.


Does your council offer VLSC, Or Kodiak, or Kodiak X?(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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  • 3 weeks later...

To some replies I just read:


After dealing with the BSA for a few years, and a very short glimpse at GSA, I can see why they are not involved with one another. GSA has not impressed me with their in-fighting & less than trustworthy leadership. I put this here as a base for the rest.


Venturing/or Venture Crew (yes, stop fighting about the spelling) IS very much a scouting program. Just consider what you call a scouting program. Following in true woodbadge spirit, it is a CONTINUATION in scouting. The problem I have seen in starting our crew is that EVERYONE wants to call it separate. Our troop had 3 boys in it when we moved here 9 years ago, and my son joined. It had been a great troop, I gathered from former scouts I have met. Since then, the scoutmaster and our recruited other leaders and I have fought, forced, pushed and shoved to be a crew of 6, troop of 18-20, and a pack (about 12 since the last internal fight). The reason we have a crew? One day, I asked the scoutmaster what training we should do with our older boys once they get to the ages of less required activity. He suggested we start a crew. My daughter was turning 14. Off we went. Not separate, not fighting, not STEALING boys from the troop. Heck, the initial requirement was having your eagle before joining the crew. Now we are becoming stable enough, our meetings can be short enough for our members to spread out & help train the troop. ( I think I read that somewhere ).


Ah, yes, my point. For those that haven't grasped it, venturing is PART of the youth experience. Why are you an SM, ASM, Committee member, why are you OA? Is THAT it? Imagine your youth again. What would you feel like if you knew that at 18, they would DROP you from the troop. Then, magically, at 21 you would be a leader?



Oh, by the way, the original topic? A Kodiak is one of my woodbadge ticket items. Why, because we didn't have one I could put on our schedule during my leader training. I said I would do one. Hmmm,....


^5 guys






(This message has been edited by pbarriage)

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