Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
J-dawg168

The "Venture Patrol"

Recommended Posts

jblake, your post was hard to understand. From what i understand it sounds like your saying its wrong to have a Venture CREW and a troop run by the same people and have the same boys. Yes it is Co-Ed also. There are about 5 girls in the crew. We don't limit membership either. As long as your over 14, and finished the 8th grade, you can join. BUT!!!!! if you were originally in the troop, and then join the crew also(dual membership, which is fine) your first priority is the troop functions. If we didn't do this, all of the older boys would drop the troop, leaving 13y/o's on down as the troop, with no older boys as senior leadership.

 

There isn't a problem with 13y/o SPLs. I was one at 12 in a previous troop, it is just much more stressful.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Justin,

Do you think if you had a talk with your scoutmaster it might move things closer to your goal? You'd at least understand where you each were on the issue.

 

What do you think?

BW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

J-dawg168 - here is my experience (an adults perspective). I had one of my SAs (assistant scoutmasters) proclaim that he wanted to start of Venture Crew. I said go ahead but declined being a leader for that crew. I asked him why not a Venture Patrol in the troop? The major differences as I see it is 1) co-ed, 2) adult age (21 vs. 18) 3) certain activities. Well, we really didn't have any 18 - 21 year olds who wanted to start a crew. If so, I told my SA that I could kind of stretch the rules and appoint a 18-21 year old SA to the Venture Patrol if desired by all parties.

 

As a Scoutmaster, I'd love the boys to form a Venture patrol (they could set a minimum age if desired 13 or 14). There seems to be a natural high school/middle school delineation. I already encourage patrol outings but the boys don't seem to want to plan any on their own or seek assistance in planning one out.

 

I agree with BW, talk to your SM (preferably not on a meeting night) and I bet he (or she) would support you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I didn't make myself very clear in my other post.

 

First of all if the same leaders are covering both units one scout one venturing, then boys dual registered will always have to choose the troop first. This is not BSA policy, it's a rule this hybrid group was making on their own. They are co-ed, but if the troop decides to do something, the crew takes it in the shorts and the gals get second best. This automatically builds a dividing separation in the members of the crew. If a boy also wishes to just be a crew member he by hybrid rules, forced to quit this crew and join one where there isn't a troop shadowing it. I would think it far more honest to everyone just to have a venture patrol within the troop. Then all these dual registration and hassles aren't interfering with the program and a troop is allowed to run as a troop and a crew to run as a crew. Two different programs for a reason.

 

I have been involved with Venturing, venture patrols and troops for quite some time and I mentally shift gears when passing from one to another. I think BSA created them for different reasons and one of those reasons was not to blend them back together. :^)

 

As for creating a venturing patrol? Just make it happen. Get the guys together to make up the patrol, elect a PL, APL, and start brainstorming ideas of what you would like to have happen.

 

Now, if you have an adult-led troop it will be a little more difficult. I suggested once that the troop leadership form up as a "venture patrol". The SPL stayed on as the PL and,.. yep, you guessed it, the ASPL was the APL. Everyone else in the VP held a POR. This tied them to the troop and the SM couldn't complain about the fact that they were going to be ignoring the troop by doing venture activities, they WERE the troop leaders. They began to plan EXTRA activites and eventually began to set the standards for the other patrols to step up to. But being the troop leadership, i.e. SPL, ASPL, QM, 2 Den Chiefs, Scribe, etc. they were a venturing patrol in name only (virtual patrol concept mentioned above). But that little detail didn't seem to slow them up much. Being the older mature boys, they were by BSA policy allowed to followup on their patrol activities independent of adult supervision/2-deep adult leadership. It worked for those boys. And what's the SM going to complain about? These boys are doing their job in the troop, and planning and having great self-planned activities along with it on the side.

 

Stosh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being the older mature boys ...

 

What? Since when did age bring on more maturity? I am not talking about fruit, but boys. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Allow me to clear up a couple of things. J-dawg is my little Beaver....except he isn't so little anymore. We are a troop that runs around 60 on our roster. We do a better than average job of retaining older boys and Eagles. We had a boy who joined a couple of years ago with a single mom. She wanted to get her daughter involved in a Crew and talked to the SM about starting a Venturing Crew since they were few and far between in our parts. The SM approached the Charter Org about starting the crew and got their approval. The young lady's mom is a troop committee member. She and a male committee member became the Advisors for the new crew. Our SM is on the Crew committee as are a couple of other people from the troop in part because they have kids who joined the Crew. The troop meets weekly at our charter. The crew meets a couple of times a month at the Advisor's home. The crew occasionally attends some of the same outings or events that the troop does like our annual family outing, but by and large have their own calendar of events. Both units are unique and individual with their own leadership and there is no overlap that makes a person have to choose one over the other. What J-dawg is referring to is that when the crew was getting started, the SM didn't want to see the troop suffer as a result. He had no problem with guys from the troop wanting to join the crew. What he didn't want to see happen was all the older guys drop their troop membership in favor of the crew and leave us with boys 13 and under and hurting for older boy leadership. It was an agreement between the troop, crew and charter that a boy had to be absent from the troop as a member for 18 months before coming back strictly as a crew member and not a Boy Scout. This was done to discourage jumping ship. Now, all that being said, it was a non-issue because we didn't have any boys who wanted to drop the troop for the crew. The boys who have joined wanted to be in both and have been members in "good standing" in both. Because we have some of the same adults involved in both units and we are chartered by the same church, we do coordinate our calendars so the kids don't have to choose and can do both if so desired.

 

At this point, J-dawg has no desire to join a second unit as he is heavily involved in leadership at the troop level and in the OA chapter. He simply does not have time for another unit. Therefore, he would like to see a Venture Patrol for the older scouts in the troop. The SM has had a bad experience with a do nothing, elitist Venture Patrol that existed when he became SM years ago and has his reasons why he is not too excited about having another.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does a SM have a "right" to define what a Venture Patrol is to consist of?

 

I came from an adult-led troop that was able to define what the VP was to be. The boys became members by invite only, they had to hold and function with a POR and they had to make a commitment to stay until they turned 18. If they failed to fulfill any of those expectations, they would be asked to leave the patrol and a second invitation would never be forthcoming.

 

On the other hand, I can visualize a VP of older boys naturally evolving out of a common need to have one. If only 1 or 2 boys want a patrol and can't come up with the numbers, then there's a problem, but if you have 7-8 boys that would like to do something different than what the program offers present, start a dialogue with the SM. Express your desires, your goals, your self-set expectations and how they fit into what you need for your scouting career. The SM then expresses his fears, loss of leadership and what possibly go wrong to harm the troop/other patrols, etc. Through the common dialogue I think a good VP could be set up within the troop far easier than trying to setup a Venturing Crew. A little give and take and it could happen. Pick your favorite ASM and request him for your advisor. He can be your liason between the patrol and the SM.

 

I have always thought the Troop corps of officers would make a fantastic VP. Why do they always have to be the one supporting and helping with the patrols. Why can't they plan some great things on the side just for themselves? I can see it happening. It's a little like the patrol the adults want to set up where they go off on a great trip without any boys. :^)

 

Stosh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Does a Scoutmastera "right" to define what a Venture Patrol is to consist of?

 

I think a Scoutmaster should have input to define what the purpose of a Venture Patrol inside of the troop he serves. Like any patrol, the Scoutmaster should not define the patrol members. In short, What? Yes. Who? No.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there are a number of ways that a Venture patrol could be formed. Certainly the Scoutmaster does have the authority to determine patrol membership, but he does not have to use it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm, just for discussion sake, what would happen in the dual troop-crew setup if the boys of the troop elected one set of youth leadership and the crew another. Would that mean that the SPL of the troop wouldn't necessarily have a POR in the crew and the Crew president might not have anything to do with the troop, especially if she's a she. :^) Sounds like a possibility of a real can of worms to me. If the elected SPL of the troop automatically became the president of the crew, that would mean the crew could never elect it's president and if the crew elected a gal, it would mean then the president couldn't also serve as SPL of the troop.

 

Looks like a lot of adult-led dynamics needed to coordinate these two units.

 

Stosh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob White said, "The Venture Patrol and a Venturing Crew are two separate units..."

 

Yes, BW is exactly correct on his description of the Venture Patrol. However, the small Venturing Crew sponsored by our CO consists pretty much of all the older boys in our Venture Patrol via dual registration, and their girlfriends and sisters. The boys that still need Eagle are working on their advancement in the Troop and help with Troop activities but for the most part all their HA activities are planned by the crew.

 

It works pretty well for the Troop from a planning standpoint. The work gets spread around but it can also be a nuisance at Troop meetings when the older boys are working on their HA planning instead of participating in the Troop Meeting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear J-dawg168,

 

Instead of making this a formal unit, you could try asking for some more challenging activities that would be limited to the 14 year olds and older. If you older Scouts can show that having these activities does not severely impact your participation in other camping trips, that you can still provide leadership to the troop for troop meetings, service projects, etc., then you can start to win your Scoutmaster over.

 

In our troop, the Venture Patrol Scouts keep membership in a Scout Patrol and are not separated out at troop meetings (unless there is planning going on) or the Camporee or other entire-troop activities.

 

If that doesn't work, then consider moving on to Venturing and find a Venturing Crew.

 

jack messick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me add to this discussion. I think that the traditional Venture Patrol method has been WRONGLY deemphasized in favor of the politically correct Venture Crew concept.

 

I am a Troop CC, and I am now at serious odds with some of the other Leaders regarding our two year old attached Venture Crew. You read that correctly: Attached. I accepted the chair position shortly after the Crew was chartered.

 

While I am certainly not an advocate of the coed Venturing Program as a whole, I am not condemning it, either. I'm really not sure what constitutes a well-run crew and a healthy Troop/Crew relationship because I have never seen one. That sentence is self-explanatory, I do know what an unhealthy relationship is. I have some very big issues with the way this Crew relates to our Troop.

 

The mostly female Crew relies on the Troop for virtually all of its outdoor "High Adventure" activities, and the very few indoor events that they have on their own explicitly exclude Scouts. They "hang out" at our Troop meetings, although they also have their own meeting on a different evening. I don't believe this is the way a Venturing Crew is supposed to operate. My belief was that a Crew is supposed to be a separate entity.

 

It appears to me that the Troop is furnishing the Crew with fun, and receiving nothing positive in return. In fact, I am finding that their presence is counter-productive. I have since learned that, prior to my sons joining the Troop, the original Scoutmaster resigned when a couple of the adults went ahead and chartered the Crew despite his opposition.

 

Another thing that I am having a big problem with is that some of our older boys, including the SPL (my son) are naturally attracted to "hanging out" with the Venture Crew. The Crew is comprised of four teenaged girls and one occasional part-time older Scout, rather than doing what they are supposed to be doing within the Troop as Scouts.

 

The senior Crew Advisors remain active Troop leaders although their son aged out long ago, and one of our new ASM's also has his 14 year old daughter in the crew. My opinion about this entire arrangement is definitely in the minority. The Scoutmaster, quite unlike me, seems to think that this arrangement somehow benefits our Troop program. It's very much a family-affair.

 

I have tried to push a more aggressive SCOUTING program (overnight hikes? Challenging day hikes?) similar to the Venture Patrol concept, but I sense resistance from most of the key leadership. The final straw is that my younger son (12) was "accidentally" punched in a sensitive area by the older male Scout/crew member that I mentioned earlier, during a recent joint cabin-camping trip (Troop and attached Crew) which I did not attend. I will add that I do not favor having four girls, aged 14-16, in a cabin with twenty boys, aged 12-14 and one surly 16 year old, regardless of how many adults are present. Testosterone was in the air, and my little son was the recipient of the result. The adult leaders that were present did nothing, although he complained to the Crew advisor. In retrospect, I should not have allowed either of my sons to attend this event, but I let them since my older boy is the SPL. I will not repeat this mistake.

 

I feel that Im cornered and outnumbered here. I value and appreciate the commitment of these other adult leaders to the Scouting program, however much I may disagree with their methods, and I value their friendship. I'm on the fence here for a few reasons. I can commit at least six more years to this Troop in any capacity, including Scoutmaster. I am fully trained (SAS/IOLST and Wood Badge); our current Scoutmaster's oldest son turns 18 this year and the man has a life; and altruism aside, the senior Crew Advisors really have no ties to the Troop, other than to recruit for the Crew. However, I am on the verge of resigning as CC, disassociating myself with this Troop, and encouraging my two sons to look elsewhere for a more traditional Scouting program. When I reach that point, I will not take them out of their current Troop if they don't want to leave, barring another assault at which point I will press charges.

 

If you choose to reply to me, please don't recite the virtues of the Venturing Program. If you do, you are entirely missing the point of my post. I do not believe that this particular arrangement is healthy, and I doubt that this Troop will survive if it continues. If I stay on and force my issue, it will get ugly and I might find myself as the only leader left. I have no doubt it will cause hard feelings.

 

Am I missing something here??

 

Share this post


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
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...