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Hedgehog

Son and Friends Starting a New Venturing Crew

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I think there will be flames.  At least 7 of the youth are already in Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts so they have an interest in scouting.  Most of the young women who are interested are REALLY interested in the focus on adventure and the guys are "hardcore" Boy Scouts who go on every adventure they can.  Also, the way this developed is that the core group are all friends.  I was laughing because four of them got together to watch the fifth perform in a play a couple of weeks back.

 

 

 

 

We have one female leader who is very experienced in backpacking and one who is comfortable hiking, boating and camping.  The other female leaders are willing to do day adventures - biking and hiking but I"m not sure about camping.  Three of the female leaders are the wives of the SMs or ASMs from the Troops.  I think we should be fine with two co-ed deep on adventures.

 

Keep building your depth chart.  That may mean nudging the "day" moms a little into enduring some challenges. That may also mean getting to know other crews in your area, or recruiting other women you trust. Get to know the advisors of your council/district VOA.

 

Think back on how many times a given SM/ASM was not available for a troop overnight, perhaps one or two of those times were last minute decisions, but at least someone was there to step into the gap.

 

Add to it: two-deep is a minimum standard. Think of scenarios where you may have to split the group (e.g. back-country contingent size limits), in those cases you need four leaders.

 

It is just a really rotten feeling to tell a group of girls that they can't join a contingent because of leadership shortages.

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Keep building your depth chart.  That may mean nudging the "day" moms a little into enduring some challenges. That may also mean getting to know other crews in your area, or recruiting other women you trust. Get to know the advisors of your council/district VOA.

 

Agreed. My other concern is the long term viability of the crew. The backcountry-experienced mom has a daughter in 10th grade.  In three years, the daughter will be off to college and we may lose the mom.  Finding a backountry experienced mom of a younger Venturer this year or next would be great.  But so far, off to a good start.

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Agreed. My other concern is the long term viability of the crew. The backcountry-experienced mom has a daughter in 10th grade. In three years, the daughter will be off to college and we may lose the mom. Finding a backountry experienced mom of a younger Venturer this year or next would be great. But so far, off to a good start.

Ideally you'll press this urgency upon yout CC and COR, and they'll be your recruiters. Advisors wind up pretty much in the moment. It's certainly a one "class" at a time gig. Edited by qwazse

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UPDATE:

 

We had our Crew's organizational meeting on Sunday night in my backyard.  We had 4 young woman and 3 young men at the meeting.  Each of them talked about part of the Venturing program - Adventure, Leadership, Personal Growth and Service. They also covered introductions, recognition, officer positions, the Scout Oath and Law, etc. 

 

We also had 10 adults at the meeting to help in various capacities (including the COR and DE).  It was neat to see the adults sit back as the youths explained the program.  

 

There are two other young women and two other young men that expressed interest in joining the crew but couldn't make the meeting. Additionally, everyone there had ideas of other friends that they though would be interested.  My sense is that we will end up with a crew of around 12.

 

As the youths did their introduction, they stated the main reason they were interested in Venturing - the two reasons cited were having adventures and being with friends.

 

The meeting ended with a fire in the fire pit, marshmallows and two dump cakes.

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..... It was neat to see the adults sit back as the youths explained the program.  .....

 

were there harps playing in the background, and a nice white clouded fog surrounding but not in your yard?

 

I've never seen this vision before.... so I can only imagine it as a dreamlike state....

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were there harps playing in the background, and a nice white clouded fog surrounding but not in your yard?

 

I've never seen this vision before.... so I can only imagine it as a dreamlike state....

I dropped in on the troop meeting, and the troop guides were explaining positions of responsibility to the boys. Adults were quietly in the back of the room. There's a lot that that unit could be doing better, but they are good at giving the boys the podium.

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were there harps playing in the background, and a nice white clouded fog surrounding but not in your yard?

 

 

Our dog was howling and there was smoke from the charcoal from the Dutch ovens... does that work?

 

My mantra has been "start as you intend to continue."  As the Advisor, I'm asking myself at every point is that something a youth could do?  The answer usually is yes.

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We had our second meeting on Sunday. We had six youth (3 male / 3 female) turn in their forms with two more (1 male and 1 female) expected to turn them in next month. Before the meeting had started they had already completely organized a 10 mile bike ride for September. We have an Advisor (me) and 4 Associate Advisors and a 3 member Committee. Paperwork was submitted on Monday.

 

We were supposed to have elections but the youth all wanted different positions. After running the nonexistent election, I turned it over to the Crew President. She ran with my agenda - having the crew decide on the October (backpacking) and November (COPE and rock climbing on a real rock face) outings. After 2 hours, nobody wanted it to end.

 

The best part was going around the table and hearing the level of experience of the youth and adults. The adults are 4 or 5 deep in hiking, backpacking, camping, kayaking, canoeing and other skills. The 14 and 15 year old Venturers all had impressive outdoor skills. Four crew members have done backpacking treks longer than 50 miles. This is a pretty awesome group.

 

It's been a flurry of emails and activity among advisors to get the adult protocols in place (permission slips, medical forms, training, etc. ). We are fortunate because we have access to the gear and equipment from 2 Troops because their Scoutmasters are also serving as Crew Associate advisors.

 

We are also fortunate that all of the advisors are VERY committed to youth-led.

 

This is going to be a lot of fun.

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This weekend was the Crew's first overnight camping trip.  The crew did a 10 mile bike ride in September.  In October, we did a shakedown hike for a planned AT backpacking trip.  Unfortunately, the trip had to be cancelled because several of crew members who panned to go couldn't make it for valid reasons (severe cold, death of relative, injury on a 50 mile bike ride the weekend before, etc.) and the weather looked awful (40s and raining all weekend).

 

So our November trip was going to our council camp and doing the COPE course.  We only had 5 out of the 9 crew members but it was great.  The first morning was a little bit of chaos because they woke up late and weren't working together to get breakfast ready.  They ended being around 20 minutes late for the start.  A good lesson that the adults will not step in to wake up the venturers or to tell them how to do things.  

 

The COPE course got them working together as a team and really taught some good lessons -- listen to everyone / speak up if you have an idea, the adults will not tell you what to do and will let them fail, you suceed when you work together, best to plan, evaluate and then execute.  It was interesting to see when our Crew of 5 got paired with another larger combined Crew / Troop for the last activity that our Crew's leaders just took charge.  One of the things I said at our meetings and on the COPE course seems to have stuck because I heard one of the Ventures saiy it to the group.... "In Venturing, you all are leaders."

 

 As they moved to the High Cope (ropes) course, it was amazing to see their scout spirit.  Our president went first up one of the courses but there was a younger scout going at the same time.  Our President was to the top of the first element in seconds but she came back down to help the other scout up -- almost lifting up some rungs and letting him use her knee to get up others all while encouraging him.  My son did something similar when the person he was climbing with couldn't make the last rung.  The Crew members were the only group that didn't have people standing around -- when they weren't on the course they were belaying.  

 

When they got back to camp, they worked as a team to get firewood, get water, cook dinner, make a fire and wash dishes.  Although there was a little issue with the fire taking too long to start (how many Venturers does it take to start a fire?) while the other two were stuck doing all the dishes, they managed to handle the situation pretty well.  You could tell that by the end of the night, they had bonded as a crew.  They were all asleep by 9:30.

 

Sunday morning was clear and sunny and the Great Master of All Scouts was smiling on the Crew.  They woke up, had hot chocolate and coffee sitting at a picnic table.  Two of them cooked the sausage while the other three packed their gear and then the other tree cooked the french toast while the other two packed the gear.  They ate breakfast sitting together at the table (wait, scouts actually can do that ?)), set a record for doing dishes (12 minutes) and were packed up and read to go.  The whole crew went together to get the campmaster to inspect the camp.

 

In our After Action Review, they talked about what went wrong on Saturday morning and with the dishes on Saturday night and how thing went right on Sunday.  The best comment was, "I wish the rest of the Crew was here, we really learned a lot this weekend."  

 

Looking forward to December's trip.

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Next step: buzz. Word has to get out to their friends about what went on (good, bad, and just plain silly).

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Next step: buzz. Word has to get out to their friends about what went on (good, bad, and just plain silly).

 

 

Yep.  I think that happened without any encouragement from me.  We had two new Venturers show up at yesterday's meeting.  Now at 11 (6 young woman and 5 young men).  

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Six month update...

 

Crew is up to 12, with 3 more likely to join over the next two months as they turn 14 or graduate 8th grade.  That will make 15 (8 young woman 7 young men - 4 of whom are double registerd with a Troop) ranging from 8th grade through 11th grade.  Crew has done bicycling, COPE camping, indoor rock climbing, two service projects, rustic cabin camping and several 5 mile shakedown hikes with packs.  For the next six months, the plans include the West Point Camporee (backpacking in), a canoeing campout with the local Troops, whitewater rafting, sailing, backpacking, camping and hiking and rock climbing on actual rocks.  Hopefully, they will get their Discovery Rank soon, but as you can see, that isn't a priority.

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