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Possible Venturing Program Changes

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Directed by the National Council Strategic Plan, a task force has been chartered to study the Venturing program, membership, marketing, training and program support structure and to make recommendations to increase relevance, stimulate growth, and enhance program support. The task force is targeting final recommendations by the end of the year with potential implementation in late 2013 or early 2014.


To date, the task forces actions have been primarily focused on the assessment and analysis of the current program, brainstorming strengths and weaknesses, and identifying potential enhancements. The task force has made one formal recommendation, which is:


Retiring the Venturing Oath, Code, sign, and salute

Adopting for Venturing the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout sign, and Scout salute

Engaging the task force and National Youth Cabinet to determine whether Venturing should have a differentiating motto/slogan or adopt Be Prepared


The basis for the recommendation is strategic in nature and is intended to reinforce the connection between all of our BSA programs and the mission of the Boy Scouts of America. Since it is the mission of the BSA to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law, it is the task forces judgment that this goal is best achieved if all programs use the Scout Oath and Law as their primary statement of values and ideals.


The part of the recommendation regarding the Scout sign and Scout salute aligns Venturing with the older youth programs of the World Organization of the Scout Movement.


The recommendation above has been reviewed and endorsed by the appropriate national committees and has been reviewed, discussed, and endorsed by the national officers of the BSA, who directed that the recommendation be moved forward in resolution form to the National Executive Board during its October 2012 meeting.





More information here:

http://bit.ly/OzI2x4(This message has been edited by bnelon44)

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bnelon, thanks for posting links to these items of interest.


I think this particular recommendation is already being discussed under the One Oath thread, but the much broader set of initiatives that might come out of this could be quite interesting.

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More than likely coming from National they will probably come up with a program like urban scouting of the 70's and destroy Venturing in the process. The only trouble Venturing has is that the staff at National does not even understand the Venturing program in the first place. They view it as an older version of boy scouts,so they want us to adopt the Scout Oath, what a joke, which it is not. In the field too many Venturing advisors are former SM's and run the crew the exact same way, some even ban girls from joining. The training given to new Venturing adult and youth leaders is totally innaccurate and insufficent to say the least due mainly because many of the trainers have NEVER been a Venturing leader themselves.


IMO National really needs to get some key people in charge with a real vision for and understanding of all aspects of the scouting program, Wayne Brock and Tico Perez don't even come close to having a real vision for the BSA. As a result all of us will have to watch membership continue to drop. At least for our crew we are going stronger and growing bigger every year, our reputation is well known and the demand for our program remains high. Every Venturing leader out there with a successful program knows exactly what I am talking about.

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BP is the beneficiary of one of National's greatest program revision, which isn't even 20 years old, yet he doesn't want to be obliged to any revision for future generations. It's like going through the door and slamming it shut behind!


That said, I look forward to more youth input. BD's daughter is a bit too young to ask if she'd rather not learn a new set of vows in three years. My kids are indifferent, and I think the rest of the crew will feel the same. BP! What say your youth (not that we don't cherish your well thought opinion and compelling rhetoric) as to adopting e scout oath and law?


My one youth who is interested in awards likes the current program -- oodles of awards for every little thing are for her younger sister. She specifically appreciated the multi-part challenge and open-ended nature of the bronze awards.

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With all do respect, I think BP does have a point. Being involved when Venturing came out, it was originally designed to be wide open, allowing COs and the youth of a unit to decide what they wanted and did not want to do. With the exception of the requirements for the various "recognitions," they were not advancement in 1998, nothing was set in stone so to speak, and even then, units didn't have to use the recognition system.


Venturing is successful, membership is growing if memory serves. And it appears that folks at national are trying to mess with success.


And as I mentioned in another thread, a lot of pros do not know much about Venturing, and don't get me started on Sea Scouts, the second oldest program in the BSA. Back when I was looking into becoming a DE, one of my mentors was an Sr. Exploring Exec, and he advised me NOT ( emph.) to specialize in Exploring and become an Exploring Exec because you limit yourself and there is not much room to grow b/c of the specialization.

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I get it. Venturing's cool. But it is not huge (as my council president regularly reminds me). Their numbers are also on decline. (Boy Scouts, on the other hand, had a bump this year. http://www.scouting.org/About/FactSheets/YearinReview.aspx)


Sure our older youth want to be part of something different. I as a scouter wanted to try something novel. This well crafted program was the perfect offering because it met a need of the youth in my community. But, learning the oath and code was not a big draw for me. It hasn't impressed my youth. Fact is, many of the girls who've joined my crew were thrilled to be considered scouts. Learning the same oath, might just help them sense a little more commonality with the other 90% of the organization.


Or maybe not. That's why I'm gonna start asking the youth and maybe get them to submit an opinion to the task force.

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SP --


Not to stir the pot too much ... ;-)


My Venturing daughter received a survey from Harris a year ago ... the whole context of the survey was; should Venturing aged young women be able to earn Eagle, complete merit badges, etc.


My daughter called her Eagle Scout dad and asked, "How should I answer these?" My response was pretty simple, "Answer how YOU feel about the questions, they are asking YOU, not me."


And I have no idea how she answered - although she did let me read all the questions before she submitted the survey.


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UC points out what what I've observed. Most venturers don't have "patch envy". They've never even give it a ought.


There was an instance in a neighboring crew where the boys kept insisting that the girls weren't "real" scouts because they couldn't earn eagle. The advisor/SM who told me about this was clearly frustrated by the situation.


I witnessed one occasion where a boating director told two girls (certified sailors each) that they couldn't take a sunfish out because they didn't have small boat sailing MB. I suggested to her a paradigm shift.


If youth throughout the nation are experiencing "discrimination by rank", then yes, they will want a more uniform advancement program.


However I think that's a minority experience, and like my youth, older kids really don't want to be MB'ed to death. They're ready to do a lot of Star-equivalent work, but they want everyone to hold their applause until they finish their "concert."

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@ BadenP- What I see happening in the BSA (and please correct me if I'm wrong) is that the BSA is trying very hard not to look like Royal Ambassadors on steroids as it becomes Royal Ambassadors on steroids. I mean, if the percentage of units chartered by religious institutions has gone up from 46% in 1972 to 69% in 2011, with the number of units sponsored by civic groups and PTAs dropping and the number of units sponsored by religious institutions holding steady at about 78,000, wouldn't it seem that the churches are doing all they can and that the BSA ought to be approaching civic groups to charter more units? Instead, they are trying to get *more* religious institutions to charter units. It doesn't seem like that approach will yield more units, but it does suggest a very skewed set of priorities driven more by ideology than a desire for growth.

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qwasze and all


In my experience with Venturing for almost 12 years now the problems in getting it off the ground has been a total lack of understanding of what the program is SUPPOSED to be based on their own literature by both National and Council employees. In addition the disjointed and watered down training given on all levels to Venturing advisors and youth officers. IMO how can any revision coming out of National, who doesn't understand the program in the first place, be of any real value to those of us in the field who have been delivering the program.


At least in my council we have already solved the problem and ALL our crews are growing, we have a very active and well organized training programs, an extremely efficent VOA, a solid calendar of intercrew activities that always fill up quickly. Our SE is ecstatic with the results and gives us all the support we need. We continually have adult crew leaders and youth leaders from outside our council contacting us to come to our trainings and some of the activities.


The bottom line qwasze is that we have already discovered the secret for having a VERY sucessful Venturing program in our council with crew specialities from all areas. I will be interested to see the recommendations from National, but they have had almost 14 years to correct things and have failed miserably. So excuse me if I am not overly excited or optimistic about their findings.

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