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4CouncilsScouter

Honor Society for Venturing?

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This last week at the National Scout Jamboree, the National Venturing Committee fielded two events for the Venturers in Foxtrot Base Camp: a Venturing Town Hall Meeting and Region Venturing Break-Out Meetings.

 

The first of the two was in two parts, an advisors-only session and a youth only-session. I was only able to attend the first one, and here were the major points from it:

  • There is talks of creating an honor society exclusively for Venturing. This idea was thrown out by one of the National committee guys, Kenneth King. In short, this program required applicants to take a pledge of service and then give a set amount of service a year. This was received with very mixed reactions.
  • If given the choice to create a Venturing-only honor society or integrate with the Order of the Arrow, the advisors primarily supported integration.

This town hall was not to create any binding decisions but more so to test reactions and gather responses from Venturing leaders in the field. If anyone has any points to add from the meeting (especially the youth meeting), please share.

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I'm with @qwazse on this one as well.  If BSA wants to make up new programs, they can.  I can then choose to be involved with them or not.  I have held positions as a scout, professionally, in Cubs, In Boy Scouts, Exploring and in Venturing.  I found them all to be great programs.  There was no melding mixing going on because each one met a particular need.  To blend two of the organizations simply means one new one and two old ones go by the wayside.  If I don't like the new program, then that simply means I have two fewer choices to choose from, or in total, now three. If they made unilateral changes to one program, such as going co-ed in Cubs, that's one less option as well,  Going co-ed with Boy Scouts is another option gone.  I have no problem with Venturing being co-ed, because it was created from the beginning as a co-ed program.  If OA goes co-ed, even if Boy Scouts stays all-male, that again, is one less choice to choose from.

 

What it boils down to is I am as a volunteer under no obligation to participate in any program I don't want to.  If all that choices I would be interested in disappear, the choice of my participation has been made for me.

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Probably because BSA didn't come up with the idea first.

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@@George

 

The Corps of Discovery was brought up, and, in short, the response was that it's still an unofficial BSA program. That being said too:

 

"In addition for membership, any VOA Advisor, ADC for Venturing, Crew Advisor, Kodiak Course Director, or Venturing Roundtable Commissioner should be able to select members to the Corps of Discovery.  Membership in the Corps should be a compliment to the young person, but not a great big celebration.

It is not intended that the Corps become an Honor Society or a form of recognition as a variety of recognition is already in place in the Venturing program.  The Corps of Discovery is for people who want to take a leadership role in building Venturing or their organization."

 

From the Corps of Discovery website

 

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Wasn't OA originally a local honor society that went national?

 

I'm not sure I'd want OA to be the Venturing honor society. Why? Because, frankly, OA is not what it says it is. It's where the popular boys in troops go when they get elected. Most perform the "sash and dash", so it is not like it was.

 

I'd rather Venturing come up with something unique that actually *IS* for the truly unique campers and adventurers, rather than simply throw more kids into a watered down "honors" program.

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The vibe of the meeting was tense and frustrated overall.  Many wanted the OA to integrate.  I wasn't at the meeting but I did camp in foxtrot and was informed of how it all went.  Some did bring up "The Silver Circle," a possible new honors society exclusive to venturing.  Despite the proposition many venture and boy scouts still supported integration. 

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The vibe of the meeting was tense and frustrated overall.  Many wanted the OA to integrate.  I wasn't at the meeting but I did camp in foxtrot and was informed of how it all went.  Some did bring up "The Silver Circle," a possible new honors society exclusive to venturing.  Despite the proposition many venture and boy scouts still supported integration. 

 

As a female Venturer, which would you prefer? A new Venturing-only program or integration with the OA?

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Posted (edited)

Wasn't OA originally a local honor society that went national?

 

I'm not sure I'd want OA to be the Venturing honor society. Why? Because, frankly, OA is not what it says it is. It's where the popular boys in troops go when they get elected. Most perform the "sash and dash", so it is not like it was.

 

I'd rather Venturing come up with something unique that actually *IS* for the truly unique campers and adventurers, rather than simply throw more kids into a watered down "honors" program.

Colonel Flagg, I concur.

 

The OA isn't what it used to be once it changed from the "brotherhood of honor campers" to "honor society."  

 

From the 1975 OA Handbook, page 18:

 

"Always remember that by electing you to the Order because of your camping ability and Scouting spirit you were honored by them [scouts in the unit who elected you].

"They set you apart as one from whom they expected a great deal.  They expect you to give leadership in camping and cheerful service.

"Therefore, you must resolve not to let them down!  Keep this in mind as you seek to qualify for OA membership through the Ordeal."

 

Usually, scouts who were the best campers and hardest workers were elected.  And once elected, the arrowmen eagerly stepped forward every time the call went out for the truly dirty jobs.  The tougher the job, the better.  Plus volunteering to judge camporee events and such.

 

Today?  I'm not seeing it.  Every now and again, a flash from the past.  Overall, not so much.

 

Indeed, perhaps Venturing could start the old ideals anew.

Edited by desertrat77
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As a female Venturer, which would you prefer? A new Venturing-only program or integration with the OA?

While I see both sides, I would prefer a new Venturing honors program.  It seems as though any boy can get into the OA without any outdoor or leadership skills whatsoever.  Some members that I see in it would've never in a million years qualified thirty years ago.  As an outsider looking in, the Order of the Arrow looks like a hollow shell of a former great organization.  Why?  Because standards dropped and everything was dumbed down.  An exclusive Venturing honors society would be much more high speed and something I would be interested in joining. 

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Posted (edited)

@@Scourge

 

I know after talking to a couple of the commissioners that there was a good many councils who "put greenshirts on Boy Scouts for the week and called them Venturers". So, I don't know how serious the opinions taken during the town hall will be taken?

Edited by 4CouncilsScouter

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@@Scourge

 

I know after talking to a couple of the commissioners that there was a good many councils who "put greenshirts on Boy Scouts for the week and called them Venturers". So, I don't know how serious the opinions taken during the town hall will be taken?

 

Sadly, I find that a great many "Crews" are nothing more than older boy Scouts who have split from a troop(s), or in fact are just the older Scout Patrol of a troop.  I've also found a number that do not do any of the Venturing advancement program, but just do the same track as a troop.  So, take it with a grain of salt when we hear Venturing is all for integration on whos voice is actually being heard.  

 

While I see both sides, I would prefer a new Venturing honors program.  It seems as though any boy can get into the OA without any outdoor or leadership skills whatsoever.  Some members that I see in it would've never in a million years qualified thirty years ago.  As an outsider looking in, the Order of the Arrow looks like a hollow shell of a former great organization.  Why?  Because standards dropped and everything was dumbed down.  An exclusive Venturing honors society would be much more high speed and something I would be interested in joining. 

 

I would have to agree that a great many in the OA today do not belong, and do nothing to contribute to their Lodge let alone to the sections/national.  

 

We also have to remember that Venturing is not so much focused on the overnight outdoor experience in its' advancement program.  I would absolutely like to see the standards raised for the OA, but can't see how Venturing can fit into that picture unless it becomes a requirement of Venturing to have tier II and tier III adventures have minimum # of overnights (or more focus on increasing the # of tier III versus tier II overall).

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Less than 2% of Venture Crews do advancement. That was a figure given at our ALPS training.

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Less than 2% of Venture Crews do advancement. That was a figure given at our ALPS training.

Are you sure they said 2% of CREWs? Wouldn't that be venturers? I offer advancement to every generation of crew, but all but one ever earned an award. That puts us around 1 or 2% over more than a decade.

 

@@Scourge, who would you want to be accepted into this society? Assuming that you'd get there yourself, what type of venturers would you like to be in your company? What would you like them to accomplish?

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