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Should we start a Venture patrol?

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Can anyone give me advice on whether or not to form a Venture patrol within the Troop? We've got 27 registered total, 7 of them Scouts of Venture age, with a couple more on their way in this summer.


As you might expect, the older Scouts accept the mantle of troop leadership and mentoring the younger Scouts, and for the most part do an excellent job at it. They are, however, interested in higher-level activities the younger Scouts can't do...what Venturing was designed for, right?


Well, the literature I can get my hands on here is rather vague on the subject...talks about registering them in a Venture crew (none within easy commute and the community's too small to start one here I think), or there's an organization chart that shows a Venture patrol within a troop, but little discussion about it.


Do Scouts in a Venture patrol remain in their permanent Scout patrol for bookkeeping, leadership, and accountability purposes? Do they elect a Venture "patrol leader"? Are Venture patrol activities vetted through the PLC or are they deliberated and approved separately? Do they participate in troop activities in their permanent patrols or the Venture patrol? Is it more important the Venture ASM be experienced, or closer to their age to relate better to them? To the extent that Venture patrol activities consume troop resources, should those Venture Scouts underwrite those activities themselves, or should troop consumables (including $$) be provided for them?


I'd like to do this if it's the right thing for us, but I want to do it the right way, too. I welcome any advice from those who've already done it...


thanks in advance;



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You can do either or both, depending on the adult leadership and the drive of the scouts. The only thing different about a venture patrol (13-18) is the little patch "venture scout" worn above the pocket and the "V" and pins the can earn on thier sash. The Venturing program requires a seperate unit called a crew with officers (scouts 14-21) who run their own program. Adults are only advisors. Venture Crews work towards Venture Bronze, Gold, Silver, and Ranger in addition to Eagle Scout.

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Based on the size of your current troop and the amount of older boys, I would recommend a Venture Patrol over the Venturing Crew. Since there is a problem of commuting for the older boys, starting a Venture Patrol would allow the boys to meet in one central location at the same time as the troop meetings. Venture Patrols are formed up of Scouts, and thus, meet with the troop and are chartered within the Troop. Venturing Crews (youth being called Venturers), are a completely stand-alone co-ed units with Advisors instead of ASMs (ages 14-21). By allowing the boys to form a Venture Patrol, they are still active in the troop to provide leadership and role modeling and they also can do more High-Adventure based activites. Since it is a patrol however, it is comprised of a PL and a APL. Venturing Crew leadership is formed of a President, Vice-President of Administration, and Vice-President of Programs. Crews have their own uniform and separate programs. Venture Patrols have a Venture strip that goes over the right breast pocket and is elgiable to earn the the Varsity "V." Keep in mind that Venture Patrols are not Venturing Crews and are not co-ed.

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See, when I saw this topic I was about to fly right in and explain the difference between Venture Patrols and Venturing Crews and then read the previous posts and decided they have done a much better job that I would.


So, the question actually is not whether you should start a Venture patrol or a Venturing Crew, the question is which of these two WILL you start. You have idenified the need, now you just need to decide how to fill it. Crew or Patrol

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Korea Scouter,


Sounds like your current program is strong, with solid boy leadership at work. Congratulations! Instead of taking a chance on disrupting a program that's working well, we have occasional special, more challenging activities just for the older boys. They get the benefit of the higher-level activities and have some new knowledge and skills to share with the rest of the patrol later. And the younger guys have something to look forward to in the future.


One of my son's troops (similar in size to yours) is doing it this way very effectively. At about half of the troop meetings, the older boys get together for about 30-45 minutes to work on higher-level skills (technical climbing, wilderness survival, night navigation, etc.) while the others work on other more basic skills. Special outings have included challenging backpacking, white water canoeing, and caving to name a few. Retention and interest of older boys is very good and overall excitement is high. Since they function as a team, not a formal patrol, we don't use the Venture title. Instead, we have a team name adopted from a WWII Special Ops unit.


This is when it REALLY gets fun! Whichever way you go, I guarantee the adults will have as much fun as the kids!! Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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  • 3 weeks later...



If you want to strengthen the pre-existing Troop then make a Venture Patrol. I've been part of both a Crew and patrol.


The formal Venture Patrol route is the easiest to implement, and works well in my Troop (I'm dually-registered as a Venturer and Scout).


I don't think that doing it unofficially is good , while the example that the other chap gave is esentially what a Venture Patrol is all about, we should always try to operate within the parameters of BSA programming. Espirit de corps is a little hard to gain with just a name, no strip or medallion to signify a difference (I'm assuming).


The PLC doesn't have a say in Venture Patrol activities as they would in others, the patrol more or less is outside of those constraints in terms of programming. All other things fall to the PLC. Money and food should be handled by the scouts, I've earned both of my full uniforms (except the belt, gift from Webelos) and all trips have come out of money that I've earned. Makes me a heck of alot more proud.


On the naming systems:

When the system now known as the "Venture Patrol" was introduced in the 10th edition of the handbook it was originally called a Venture Crew, with a Crew Chief (Venture patrol leader) and Crew Advisor (ASM appointed to the Venture Patrol). Certainly this set it apart from the then-current Explorer posts, but I have heard rumors that the BSA might cancel the "Venture Patrol" concept and make it all Varsity teams to clear the waters up abit.


Whichever road you take, be sure they are uniformed correctly. It is in absolute violation of Uniforming policy to wear the green loops on anything but the Green shirt, which is reserved for Venture Crews ONLY. Too often I see troops with Venture patrols that are confused into believing they can wear the loops or shirt...THEY CANNOT! The only authorized change is the little "Venture" strip above the BSA strip and/or any Interpreter's strips that may be earned.

(This message has been edited by Venturer2002)

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We started a Crew and not a Patrol because it allowed co-ed which has been great. Even though the Venturing Crew is a standalone program it does not mean that you cannot hold the meetings at the same time. Our Crew and Troop meet once a week and this synergy is great. Many others, in our council, have tried crews but theyve struggled and/or failed (patrols have been more successful) and I believe holding weekly meetings is a key. We keep the Crew and Troop tightly knit so the troop sees what scouting has to offer.


In my opinion I would do both. Assign the older boys to a Venture Patrol, charter a Venturing Crew and plan activities for your crew and the patrol. You can even plan activities together where the Crew leaves from point B while the troop leaves from point A. The next day they meet and camp and both hike to point C. One of our biggest strengths is limited adults in the crew (see how many adults in another thread for that heated discussion), but young men and women like to be in charge and if they run the program it is great. My crew just hiked Hawaii and in two years were hiking Alaska again. Want to see a motivated 11 year old then say when youre 14 you can join the crew so get those Eagle requirements done.



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