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How to increase Venturing membership and prospects?


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1 minute ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

For Venturing Advisers, I would say go after the 21+ years olds who aged out of the program. Some do remain in the area, and others who are addicted to Scouting in general, and Venturing in particular do volunteer wherever they move.

Hard part now will be finding them. Sadly every single EBOR I have sat in on since 2018 when 18-20 year olds not only do not count for YP purposes, but also must essentially give up freinds and/or classmates who are involved in Scouting who are under 18 because of YP rules that they must follow, but again do not count towards.

And if anyone says, "but 50% of the abuse is youth on youth now," I say show me the RAW data. Mark Twain said it best. "There are lies. there are d@&*ed lies. Then there are statistics."  

Yes, I'd like to see the average age of the youth abuser, and the average age of the youth abused.  Those ages would give us a clearer picture of the problem.

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If I was council president again and based my views on the membership implosion, non-interest shown in this post and few suggestions offered, I would conclude that outdoor adventure “green shirt” Venturing is not going to work anymore as a “stand alone” program.  A national program lacking broad internal interest and support cannot be rebooted by resource-lacking 18-to-21 year-olds or adults (such as parents) who are not already deeply engaged with Scouting.  If it has a future as a "stand alone" program, Venturing might need to become a council-optional program dependent entirely on volunteer management.  I am open to being convinced otherwise.

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Posted (edited)
  • When I was 18 to 20+, my life was continually changing.   Moving.  School.  Friends.  Relationships.  I question how many at that age would survive a multi-year club commitment.  It feels like program that will naturally fall into disorganization.  
  • I craved adventure and doing things.  I wish the local scouting councils would have opened up their summer camps to us to use during non-summer times.   If the opportunity existed for me to go with a group, I would have gone.    For example, our council's camp is 2+ hours away and sits idle most of the year.  I had a well behaved set of friends.  Could we have gone up and used one of their camp sites with some support of borrowed gear?
  • I wish scouting would find a way to plug in young adults on a less committed basis.   ...  Join us on this weekend for a backwoods, life changing experience.

 

Edited by fred8033
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@fred8033,

I hear ya. During that period I first joined a Sea Scout ship, after hearing the adventures one SM had when he was one. Sadly it was a non-traditional ship, and not very good. I lasted long enough to get Ordinary. Then I got reinvolved with the OA and BOOM I went.

The Scouter Reserve was suppose to fill the  wish you have, but it was not widely used until folks became obsessed with training requirements and JTE. But as I said, the 18-20 year olds I have spoken to feel both disrespected by National's pollicy that they no longer count towards YP requirements,  and that National is oblivious to the fact that 18-20 year olds do indeed have friends and classmates under 17, and some YP policies prevent them from being with their friends. They would rather get out of Scouting, only attending the occasional Eagle Court of Honor than losing their friendships.

 

47 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

 A national program lacking broad internal interest and support cannot be rebooted by resource-lacking 18-to-21 year-olds or adults (such as parents) who are not already deeply engaged with Scouting.  

To quote Col. Sherman T. Potter, US Army Medical Corps, "HORSEHOCKEY!" I have seen first hand a Venturing Crew completely and totally set up and run by 16 to 20 year olds, and a few younger ones..  In 1998 when Venturing first split from Exploring, there was a lot, and i mean a LOT of confusion between Venture Crews/Patrols in troops and Venturing. Long story short, when one motivated young man of 16 found out he was ineligible  for the Venturing Awards because it was a completely separate program, he went to work and got it all done.  He was the one who went to the Field Director to get the info about Venturing,  he recruited other Scouts to be part of the new crew, he recruited adults to serve, and  he submitted the paperwork.

As for my non-interest in Venturing, in my neck of the woods Scouting is dying. I have not had a real, unit serving DE dedicated to my district since 2012. We have not been able to get into the schools for so long I cannot remember when the last Round Up was. And the DEs we shared with another district were no help. My old pack went from almost 100 Cubs in about 8 dens back in 2009 to less than 30 Cub Scouts total.  We have lost 4 non LDS packs, and are on the verge of losing more. My Troop was one that lost the feeder pack, and it is all I can do to keep the troop alive. 

It is not that I am apathetic about Venturing, far from it. It is that I need to focus my limited time and resources on what will make the most impact on youth. And until BSA starts acknowledging reality and respecting 18-20 year olds, I do not see Venturing, at least in my area, growing. 

I know the 2018 YP rules are based upon data, that I have serious questions about because I have not seen the situations they say are happening in my 30 years as a Scouter.

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On 5/18/2022 at 2:09 PM, Eagle94-A1 said:

.. I say show me the RAW data. Mark Twain said it best. "There are lies. there are d@&*ed lies. Then there are statistics."  

Those were the titles of my graduate courses, in that order. ;)

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On 5/18/2022 at 4:29 PM, Eagle94-A1 said:

... It is not that I am apathetic about Venturing, far from it. It is that I need to focus my limited time and resources on what will make the most impact on youth. And until BSA starts acknowledging reality and respecting 18-20 year olds, I do not see Venturing, at least in my area, growing. 

I know the 2018 YP rules are based upon data, that I have serious questions about because I have not seen the situations they say are happening in my 30 years as a Scouter.

This :rolleyes:.

A very key point of venturing was our ability to take the senior venturer and say:

  • "Hey, we've given you the skills. Consider starting a troop or a pack." Or,
  • "This troop needs an adult leader for a weekend trek. You've got that Ranger award. Want to be the hike-master's #2?" Or,
  • "Get together with your fellow council officers at a location of your choice, brainstorm, and at next meeting we'll discuss implementing the next big Council/Area/Region/National event." Or,
  • "Write an article for the council newsletter about the last event." (The council wouldn't publish it because the SE wanted to dedicate more space to pitching summer camps.

In other words, we could give an 18-20 y.o. tremendous autonomy to run program across districts and councils. But, regardless of the YP stats, letting that happen in this litigious environment is a huge liability to BSA. I'm afraid that until someone is able to underwrite that liability, youth will seek leadership opportunities in other organizations.

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