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Is BSA trying to kill Venturing?

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Color me dumb, because I guess I don't get what you are driving at. The BSA partners with many groups. Many folks here have lamented the agreement with AHG as a bad and unprecedented thing. It isn't. While the BSA website is constantly changing and harder than heck to search, here is a listing I found on a Regional Venturing site that was originally pulled from the BSA website. The link no longer takes you there, but the individual links still get you to the documents stored on the BSA filestore.



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The problem, as I see it, is that Venturing is this "other program". When venturers aren't part of the picture on National's web page, it shows a lack of vision. One prominent scouter told me "but ven

Like BP has been saying, the reason membership has been falling is because of "a total lack of commitment and support by National ." But also because Venturing is not well known even among Boy Scouts.

The problem with venturing is that it's used as troop older scout program. The failing of troops to provide a good older scout program motivates the adults to start venturing crews as a way to keep th

Ah, so I'm not the only to notice the vanishing Venturing uniforms.


I have a grand total of two girls in the crew--which is relatively new to the organization--and they're both ones that trickled in after working at summer camp. A little tougher. I like to think camp culled out the week.

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I've always thought that venturing will not last another 10 years, (2022). It has no real structure to it that the youth can lash onto like boy scouts. Granted some crews like mine to a really good job and have good membership numbers and do many superactivites, but my experience is that the vast majority of crews, over 90%, struggle to stay afloat each year. One problem is that the older venturers are off in college and have jobs that make meetings and events difficult.

As far as the oath and code go, I always thought they were dumb and had no actual meaning to them. It seams to me that someone wrote them at 2:00am in 10 mins. In my crew there are a quite a few boy scouts who all can recite and explain the points of the scout oath and law and most have their eagle, which they cherish.

So the uniforms aren't in shops anymore, who cares, they were god aweful and poorly designed.

As far as advancement goes, it's too easy. Most boy scouts who join my crew get their outdoor bronze within 2-3 months, the girls maybe 4-6 months. The gold award most of our venturers get it just after their gold. Silver at most 6 months from their gold. Allthogether time 1 1/2 to 2 years.

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TG: The next decade of venturing will depend on the young adults age 25 - 40 who were part of the program while we were just figuring out how to run it!


Yesterday, I was pessimistic. But, this morning I noticed that 1/2 dozen former crew (now age 21) just joined our FB group. I know it's a big leap from clicking a "like" link to filling out that adult application and putting in a few hours, but it's nice to know they still care on some level.


Hopefully a couple will see their way to replace me!


Oaths, uni's, and bling (recognitions, not advancement) are trivial -- so much so that all but one youth in my crew has earned a bronze.

Opportunities to sit with your buddies out under the stars ... and similar memories ... those are priceless.

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As I have said before National does not even understand what Venturing is supposed to be all about, and has done a lousy job deseminating the program to those in the field with poorly written manuals and horrific training syllabi. Our crew is now up to 80 very active youth and is showing no sign of slowing down or fading away. Our current Advisor and many of the Asst Advisors were members of our original crew of 1999. Our council has been graced with a good assortment of venturing crews all with solid programs, and we all work together to support and train each others adult and youth leaders with solid, useful, and practical training as well as planning several joint crew activities each year. The SE and DE's pretty much leave us alone and are constantly praising all of us on the great job we are all doing.


National, IMHO, has been on a crash course to totally destroying all scouting programs as we know them and replace them with superficial, tedious classroom programs that are not only boring to the youth but in essence are truly not real scouting. It will be solely up to the leaders in the field and their successors if Venturing and Scouting itself are going to survive another decade or two. National is just going to continue to dig itself deeper and deeper to a point of no return.

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A crew of 80! Wow! The must be the largest crew I have ever heard of. Although I am glad my own unit is relatively small at 23 youth, I am impressed with a unit that is so happy that it has 80 members.


I agree that National is clueless about Venturing, but I would hazard the opinion that it is not just the Venturing program they are floundering on. What I see is an attempt to reinvent the program in order to fix things that are not broken. It seems to me that National is repeating a previous horrendous mistake (from the 70's or early 80's, I believe) that nearly destroyed the program. Change for the sake of change without any real idea of what is being accomplished or why it is being done. No vision.


I know folks mean well in the end. But for Pete's sake, leave it alone! I certainly don't pretend to have all the answers, but I know that the current program is working just fine. Some minor tweaks are fine (ditching the Code, for example), but the other stuff...

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"Change for the sake of change without any real idea of what is being accomplished or why it is being done. No vision. "




I've stated my opinion on this on the Venturinglist on Yahoo Groups. National put together this super-secret group to look at the Venturing program that, AFAIK, wasn't a very good representation of the program. No youth apart from the National Cabinet, no adult female leaders, and certainly no loud-mouth supporters of the program etc.


Is there a problem with the Venturing program? Numbers indicate there is. But what IS the problem? Did they spent any time figuring it out? For me, the possibilities are:


* The program

* promotion/support of the program

* a combination of the above two


Thing is, you can have the greatest program in the world, but if the world doesn't know about it, it won't succeed.


The problem I see is that National and councils do NOT promote & support the program (certainly not to the level we see Boy Scouts & Cub Scouts get). All the support and promotion happening is due to the work of those at the grassroots (within my current council, I'm the only cheerleader for Venturing). Successful crews, like BP has, is due to the work of their leadership, NOT anything done by National/Councils. Obviously we want to duplicate the success of such crews, but this is very hard without the help from N/C, which isn't there.


BUT, instead of addressing this issue, National has got it in their heads that the problem is with the program, so they instead will diddle with the program. This is where we got nonsense like the "One Oath" effort and rumors of radical revamp of the Venturing awards (because somehow the current awards are 'confusing' or something).





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BSA sees scouting as church in the outdoors. There goal is to moralize to youth by any means necessary.


I see scouting as outdoor, survival, first aid training and experience with a code of honor for the organization.


I think those two diverging views are the key to BSA's apparent self-destructive behavior on all counts. It's why they are under political attack, it is why the program has a chess merit badge, and etc.


If you read the old handbooks from the 40's and earlier, you read about an organization with a code of honor which teaches a man to be rugged, self-reliant, and outdoors capable. BSA has moved farther and farther away from being a paramilitary organization, and that's what the problem is.


They need to move back in the other direction.

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I think we all just need to quit and coach little league or something. Scouting as a whole is obviously doomed as evidenced here day in and day out by the multitude of voices who deem it so. Cub scouting is a boring, macaroni-gluing mess, Boy Scouts is nothing like it was 100 years ago, and who knows what the heck all this venturing stuff is. Not to mention nobody can trust their sons with leaders, we hate gays, and have this whole God hang up.

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It is not scouting that is doomed it the the heads at National without any vision or sense of direction that are undermining it by taking it further and further away from its original concept and purpose. It is time for Wayne Brock and his entire National staff, and the National executive Board to be sent packing for good. Scouting works the best when it is administered on a local/regional level, instead of a bunch of disinterested, business failures who only care about their obscenely large salaries and pensions.

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Case in point: there is a banner add on the top of this page today with a picture of a scout, then a road driving through some woods with the text "Donate Today" and the outline of the fleur-de-lis behind the eagle logo. This clicks through to aplacetogive.scouting.org which rolls through three tabs:

Support scouting: Picture of a group of boys and their SM's at Jambo.Clicking on this takes you to a page titled "Invest in the Leaders of Tomorrow" with a picture of a boy scout and two cubs, and tents at the base of a glacier.Send a Scout to Camp: A young boy on a BMX course with the eagle/fleur-de-lis watermark. Doesn't seem to click you to anywhere.Build the Summit: A map of the summit. Clicking gets you to pictures of bricks and mortar and a patch you can get.

No venturing logo. No venturers. No indication that supporting National will help our young women become the leaders of the future.


I'm nowhere near the conspiracy theorist that BP is, but his rhetoric matches what I see (or rather, don't see) in about a dozen clicks.


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No conspiracy on my part friend but an evaluation of the GROSS INCOMPETENCE that has permeated the halls of National for at least the last two or more decades. If scouting is dying it is because of National dumbing down ALL scouting programs and the new leaders in the field that buy into that vision from severely watered down training from Basic through the new WB21C, and your value to the BSA is now measured solely on your financial support instead of mastering skills you can pass down to your youth.


If the BSA was a regular corporation, instead of relying on extorting funds from its volunteers, scout families, and corporations by making promises to all of them that they have no intention of delivering on, demanding buying their shoddily made uniforms and equipment, the FTC and other agencies would have closed them down years ago. That is the plain and simple truth not conspiracy theory.


The truth is the Venturing crews in my council are now totally self sufficent. independent of needing council and National because we have made them that way, and just in case National pulls the rug out on Venturing we are able to stand alone and continue to deliver a much more enjoyable outdoor oriented program to our youth. All this one oath/one unit nonsense being proposed by National just proves how deeply the incompetence level at National truly is.

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Brew, all is not lost. The problem is BSA National is borrowing a play from Coca Cola...you've got a winning recipe and yet its shelved and "New Coke" is sold to consumers. Who hate it.


BSA's winning recipe is outdoor adventure. Scouts have always thrived in the outdoors. Yet it is downplayed considerably.


I agree with the previous posts, seems like National is bent to make a go of the failed "Improved Scouting Program" of 72 - 79. The young DEs of the '70s are now the senior BSA staffers of today. This will be their last chance to overcome the sting of failure that came from the ISP.


But ISP didn't work in the '70s, and it won't work today, even repackaged and reheated as leftovers. No outdoors? No scouting. Without adventure, you've got a bunch of people sitting around on benches, talking and doing homework. And yes, cubs gluing macaroni to tin cans. Not inspiring.


It was a dedicated cadre of old school scouters that got us thru the debacle of the '70s ISP. They kept the troops hiking and camping, even if camping MB wasn't required for Eagle, these leaders didn't let that happen on their watch.

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