Jump to content

Convert “stand alone” Venturing Crews into Scouts BSA Venturing “Patrols”?


Recommended Posts

Should co-ed Venturing Crews be folded into Scouts BSA as Venturing “Patrols”?  My posting last week sought ideas to upgrade prospects of “stand-alone” Venturing attracted little interest except for some good comments focused on diagnosing the problems.  This is not a surprise, as membership numbers and program support structures have plummeted or entirely disappeared in many councils. For purposes of this posting we will assume that Venturing is no longer sufficiently numerous to continue as the current “stand alone” program.  Assuming non-viability is the case (even if you disagree with the assumption): What do you think should be done with Venturing?  It occurs to me that the principal options include:

1.         Terminate Venturing entirely and focus financial and leadership resources elsewhere.

2.         Convert Venturing to an optional program like STEM Scouts.  Allow the remaining Venturing Crews to continue, but reallocate council resources elsewhere.

3.         Convert Venturing “Crews” into Scouts BSA “Patrols” attached to a Scouts BSA Troop.

4.         Spin-off Venturing into the non-BSA “Learning for Life” entity and allow them to function under the support structure for Exploring.

5.         Continue as-is and see what happens.

My personal leaning is that Venturing can best be positioned as a “Patrol” attached to a Scouts BSA Troop.  There are a number of interesting program and operational issues that would need to be considered, but I think it is doable.  Converting Venturing into a council-optional program or folding it into Exploring might be a formula for a continued slide into oblivion, but perhaps there are advantages to those approaches I am not aware of.

What say you?  I think this is an issue that will be dealt with within a year or so.  I have simultaneously posted a different thread asking what factors keep Sea Scouts and Law Enforcement Exploring functioning well.  If there are lessons to be learned from those programs that can be applied to Venturing, please use that posting to share your thoughts.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 65
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I think if Venturing folds in with a troop, all of our Crew members would quit scouting.  My Ship members too. The youth in our Crew and Ship joined to get away from the Troops.  Troops work well

We start by asking why we want Venturing. Patrol Method scouting survives because the ultimate goal is to build mature person of character. Oh, there are several ways to say that, but the BSA Mission

"and when everyone is special, no one will be."

Posted Images

5 hours ago, Cburkhardt said:

My personal leaning is that Venturing can best be positioned as a “Patrol” attached to a Scouts BSA Troop.

Yeah, your number three option seems the best...

Separate male and female patrols until they reach a certain age and rank  (my gut says 14 and First Class, kind of like the requirement for Scouts to join and continue working on advancement.)  Then combine into Venturing Patrol (name isn't important, but could be kept for legacy...)

  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

For my youth Venturing was a safe space to get away from all of the advancement chatter.

A Venture Patrol does nothing for the relationships between 15-17 year olds and 18-20 year olds. Youth will leave BSA to pursue those associations.

Merging with Exploring, IMHO, offers the greatest potential. All crews become posts. Harmonize award as needed, increase mobility between career exploration and the activities in venturing, have fun.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Given ...

  • Programs that partially work often do more damage than good. 
  • Always looking to simplifying the program. 
  • Existing challenge how to deal with scouts that turn 18.   

Crews would benefit from being attached to a troop.   Continuity.  Program.  Equipment.  Friendship.   It also allows a structure to handle the youth transition into adulthood.  A GSUSA leader taught that scouts often learned best when we think of learning as a progression of responsibility.  I think it's true here too.  Crews fail because of turnover (advisors and members).  Being attached to a troop has lots of benefits including future members.

IMHO, troops should be thought of as a home with a progression of options from the 11 year old on his first camp out to the 18/19 year old looking for the scout fellowship and adventure.  

Edited by fred8033
  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I favor the Venturing "patrol in a troop" format, because that would allow the current Venturing groups to continue their outdoor adventure programming in association with stable "feeder" troops that also focus on outdoor adventure.  If I use my own Scouts BSA Troop for Girls as an example, that would mean the scouts would continue their twice-monthly Saturday morning all-girl meetings and monthly all-girl campouts as they currently are.  A co-ed Venturing "patrol" in association with our troop would meet separately on other days and have its own separate campouts.  I could foresee having a few joint activities, such as courts of honor and large-scale service projects, but nothing that would disrupt the single-sex approach of the all-girl troop.  If the Venturing 'patrol" was all-girl, then I would have  a much tighter coordination with joint events.  Incidentally, if we put the issue up for a vote in our Troop, the overwhelming preference would be to go the all-girl Venturing patrol route.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

A related issue is what to call Venturing in the future.  I believe "Venturing Scouts" or "Venture Scouts" is the way to go.  We are probably going to brand the national organization and the current "Scouts BSA" program as  simply the "Scouts" after the bankruptcy and GSUSA cases are concluded.  It makes no sense to have any of our programs not expressly identified as "Scouts" in some manner.  

  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Drop the dark green shirt and grey pants?

A commenter on last week's post suggested the dark green shirt and green pants be dropped.  It might need to happen anyway, as the post-bankruptcy organization cannot afford to stock separate uniforms for the now-tiny Venturing membership.  Should Venturing Scouts wear the Scouts uniform with a different color shoulder loop and distinctive patches?    

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Cburkhardt said:

I favor the Venturing "patrol in a troop" format, because that would allow the current Venturing groups to continue their outdoor adventure programming …

Flawed assumption: not all crews have an “outdoor adventure program.” Nor should they.

A crew’s program goals may very well clash with the objectives of any of the nearest troop. E.g., the crew might seek to master pistol marksmanship.

1 hour ago, Cburkhardt said:

… in association with stable "feeder" troops that also focus on outdoor adventure.  ….

Also flawed. My crew was the most vibrant when it wasn’t being feed by a troop. It had a tangible purpose when non-scouts were in the mix, especially as leaders.

Regarding an older scouts’ patrol/leadership corps/venture patrol, I challenge anyone to float it by your scouts to see who wants to start one now and see if it sticks. I foresee good things in store for @Cburkhardt’s leadership corps.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Exploring, which later split 3 ways, was created to reduce the loss of older scouts from Scouting. If there was not already a "Venturing Patrol" by name, there were Senior Scout Patrols. It worked with some troops which gave their senior scouts more freedom but mostly not. Dual enrollment did not fly either. Nature took hold, time to leave the nest. BSA recognized this early on when they created Senior Scouting in 1935. Senior Scouting included Sea Scouts, Air Scouts, and Explorers.

As I recall, Air Scouts could not compete for membership with Civil Air Patrol (USAF supported). Similarly, Sea Scouts struggled for membership with Sea Cadets (USN) but survived even before affiliating with USCG Auxiliary (good move).  Meanwhile Explorer's moved to a career focus; posts were supported by local police, fire, or hospitals. These programs were also largely unfettered by Council.

So IMHO don't fix what is not broken, try new pilot Explorer programs, e.g., an outdoor recreation career program affiliated with National Park Service or REI or Appalachian Mountain Club or... 

 My $0.01,

  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, qwazse said:

Flawed assumption: not all crews have an “outdoor adventure program.” Nor should they.

A crew’s program goals may very well clash with the objectives of any of the nearest troop. E.g., the crew might seek to master pistol marksmanship.

Also flawed. My crew was the most vibrant when it wasn’t being feed by a troop. It had a tangible purpose when non-scouts were in the mix, especially as leaders.

Regarding an older scouts’ patrol/leadership corps/venture patrol, I challenge anyone to float it by your scouts to see who wants to start one now and see if it sticks. I foresee good things in store for @Cburkhardt’s leadership corps.

Matching with a troop ...

  • Many times an existing troop could be a good match for a crew.   Not always, but often.  
  • Crew (patrol) purpose / objectives don't have to be a 100% match with the troop.  It should be able to set it's own objectives.  Just like any patrol doesn't have to do all the activities of the troop.  Patrols should be able to execute their own activity schedule.  In fact, that's an ideal that patrols have their own patrol activities / camp outs / etc.  
  • Crews (patrol) not well matched with the nearest troop should be able to be structured under another troop or create their own troop.  Similar issue with patrols and scouts not matched well with an existing troop.  
  • Feels more like a concern where it's hard to get people to play well together.  

The big differences are minor ones.  crew --> troop and venturing patrol.  Advisor --> scoutmaster.   Dark green uniform --> tan scout uniform. 

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It only works with adults who understand the big picture of how the different groups work together in the one program. Most (vast majority) of adults don’t have that big picture vision, which is why Venture Patrols and Troops Venturing Crews don’t have a good success rate. That The majority of new adult leaders don’t have a youth scouting experience adds to the challenge. I would question if the council professionals would have a working understanding of making this idea successful.

Barry

  • Upvote 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

It only works with adults who understand the big picture of how the different groups work together in the one program. Most (vast majority) of adults don’t have that big picture vision, which is why Venture Patrols and Troops Venturing Crews don’t have a good success rate. That The majority of new adult leaders don’t have a youth scouting experience adds to the challenge. I would question if the council professionals would have a working understanding of making this idea successful.

Barry

Well said.  Sounds like my exact words on teaching responsibility and leadership.  It's why I usually emphasize leaders should focus on executing an active program and not on teaching leadership / responsibility.  ...

The flip side is we have a repeatedly failing program now.  Venturing crews rarely survive more than a few years.  A few survive.  The vast majority don't.  That's a call for re-engineering.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

My comments.

1. If memory serves, BSA tried that in the 1950s or 60s, and it didn't work out.

2. BSA tried it again from 1989 to sometime in the 2000s/2010s, again with no success.

3.  Very few current Scouters are familiar enough with Venturing to make it work properly. Heck it is hard enough to get Troops working properly as many adults do not get how Scouting sis suppose to work, even with training. You can see that on all the various comments and questions on social media.

4. The demographic that other countries use to support this range, 21-30 year olds, have usually been out of Scouting for a few years and have moved on. I blame current BSA YP policies forcing 18-20 YOs to abandon their <17 yo friends outside of Scouting. Plus  their is a feeling of disrespect from National since they do not count towards 2 Deep Leadership, and if they have Scouts working on MBs with them, 2 additional registered adults over 21 are needed (or a parent and 1 additional registered adult over 21).  These folks have the knowledge, skills, abilities, and time to do the HA stuff.

5. I believe that despite efforts by the Sea Scouting and OA communities to keep 18- 20 active in the program, the CHURCHILL  PLAN's goal to limit programs up to age 18 is still being considered as they stated that the issue will be revaluated.

 

As much as I am for Venturing, I think it is on life support and will die after the reorg.

 

 

  • Upvote 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

I blame current BSA YP policies forcing 18-20 YOs to abandon their <17 yo friends outside of Scouting. Plus  their is a feeling of disrespect from National since they do not count towards 2 Deep Leadership, and if they have Scouts working on MBs with them, 2 additional registered adults over 21 are needed (or a parent and 1 additional registered adult over 21).  These folks have the knowledge, skills, abilities, and time to do the HA stuff.

It's not BSA.  It's the legal environment in this country.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...