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I admit up front, haven't read the whole thread, just jumping in.....


I believe Venturing will evolve to be the BSA's number one program, its bread and butter, and that traditional boy scouting will fade quite a bit.


Why? Youth leadership in the crew isn't hamstrung by timid nor overbearing adult leaders. The crew doesn't have to wear the sack-like scout uniform if they don't want to. They aren't forced by tradition to go tail gate camping at the same place every month. And it's coed.


Collectively, we talk a good game about "boy led/youth led"...and Venturing is where it can really happen.


Venturing's place in the BSA? A place for scouts to go who are tired of the traditional GSA/BSA program, and still get the benefits of scouting. They can also serve the community and experience the outdoors to the maximum level possible, and not have the bar continually lowered by adults.

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I have to agree with Basement here. The idea of getting an existing high school group to start a venturing crew on the basis of an interest survey and cold call in-school recruiting seems unlikely. High school students who aren't already involved in scouting or connected to someone who is, are unlikely to perk up their ears; they're already very busy and probably happy with their school theater group (or whatever).


What does seem to work is to have a core of kids already connected to someone in scouting to start the recruiting process. Sisters, friends, neighbors, boys who used to be in a troop, girls who used to be in girl scouts, etc. They can be ambassadors to the local high school population. But adults going into the high school without those connections are a) highly likely to be ignored and b) that's if they get into the school, to start with (harder than in the elementaries).


Basement, do the existing youth in your crew feel any sense of responsibility for keeping the crew going for their little sisters? They may not have thought about it that way. Or, like most crews, it may be that once the core group of youth move on, the crew dies off, only to reborn again with a new group of youth in a few years.

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I am guessing here.



These sisters of current troop members >14 years in age probably thought that their girl scout friends would join. Again guessing, they sat in their typical boring meeting everyone complaining how boring it was and talked about how cool it would be to go rock climbing, rappelling and backpacking would be.


Then it became available to them and the bravado stopped, the reality is RARE is the girl who likes to muck it up in the woods.


Most young ladies I know and have met do not aspire to be more than something Pretty on a mans arm. sad.

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OGE - BD's generalization is very true to my experience. The girls we know are a rare breed.


I have one senior and one potential associate advisor who felt that this muck-about stuff was not for them until their husbands/boyfriends dragged them into it.


des - Although true in principle, I've found crews that become "helicopter parented" as well. In fact, there are very few troop related problems that don't find their way into venturing.


That said, venturing's place, I think, is to provide that "growing room" where the youth are responsible to pull everything they got from BS/GS/whatever and make and adventurous program.

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Lets face it.


If you have an outdoor program and the gals participate. They chose to backpack for a week and do 50 miles or they canoe for a week and do 100 miles.


That makes them more outdoorsy and adventurous than 95% of the boys they will meet.


The girls I have met want the good looking boy Quarterback type or the tattooed bad boy to ask them to the dance friday night. You don't get asked by being an outdoor tom girl and that is what most of them end up being classified.


Currently my daughter at 9 loves the outdoors, camping, backpacking and camping. That might change as she continues to grow and mature. When the time comes she can chose to join venturing or not.


As far as I am concerned it is dead at our CO. We will find an existing crew shares her interest and she can join that.....notice I said she.

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Awwwwe Come on Basement... Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


Next month I'm marrying a gal who used to work for the US Forestry Service in Alaska. Big into kayaking and camping, too. Looks great in hiking boots, blue jeans and a flannel shirt! And she's cute. On the other hand, I don't really knows what she sees in me except I get to tag along. :)



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Our crew had several advantages when it chartered. One of them was that the youth where a healthy mix of jocks, geniuses, and thugs. Some of them wore two of those hats.


I certainly think our venturing ladies were the finest in the district. The dolled up nicely for dances. But, I always thought they looked their best when they were dropping off a cliff, scrambling out of a hole in the ground, or pulling out of some rapids.

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I sometimes wondered about the need for venturing and as I saw registration numbers in the Denver Area Council, I realized I was not in the minority with those kinds of thoughts. Of the given number registered in BSA in the council, about 2/3rd were cubs, about one third Boy Scouts and a very small number in Venture, Explorer, varsity etc.


There is one good venture crew that is focused on shooting sports and puts on a good week long Summer camp. It is well run and reasonably popular, my troop has several boys register in the venture crew so they can attend the RAMS summer camp but other than the camp they do nothing with RAMS crew otherwise.


A few of my scouts got involved in a fire based explorer crew a year or so back, unfortunately it was not good at communication and the program was disorganized, many times poorly planned and very boring, the scouts dropped out after giving it a try for about 6 months.


Our troop runs a very active program, camping based and the boys love it, no idea why there is any need to get involved with some side track program that offers no more than, and probably less than what our troop provides. We are fortunate to retain many boys until age out and it has improved the boy led direction of the troop positively. At 14, the begining age to get into venture, the good and motivated scouts are just starting to "get it" and have the skills and experience to help effectively lead the troop, if we lose them to a tangent program it kills the ability to get the boy led troop model really functioning.


Once they are 18 they are done with scouts, they have outgrown it, so why stay ? They are off to jobs and college and girl friends and young adult activities, too busy and too old to do scout things.


Just some of my observations and experience...nothing meant to offend anyone.

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HC - Except for one or two really active individuals, my numbers are a lot like yours, and the Troop and Crew are under the same roof.


This term, our troop's SPL has two leadership positions in our crew and our ASPL has one leadership position in the crew. So, yeah, it's a drain on both units when that happens. (But it's a youth decision, so we're stuck with it.) On the flip-side, in their positions with the crew they hone some leadership skills that I've seen them apply in the troop. So our patrol method isn't any more broken than it was before we rolled out the Venturing program. IMHO limited use of the patrol method is more a function of adults unwilling to let it happen than any draw that the crew has.


You may not see it this way, but your boys who are multiples with that other crew and only showing up for one activity are doing them a HUGE service. They are giving some other youth an opportunity to plan a program for them. As advisors, that's kind of what we're looking for.

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