Venturing (Boy Scouts of America)
|Owner||Boy Scouts of America|
|Age range||13 through 21 years|
|Founded||February 9, 1998|
Venturing is part of the program of the Boy Scouts of America for young adults, both men and women. Members must be at least 14 years old, or 13 years old and have completed eighth grade, through age 21.
The purpose of Venturing is to provide positive experiences to help youth mature and to prepare them to become responsible adults. Sea Scouting is the nautical oriented organizational option within Venturing.
- 1 History
- 2 Methods and Ideals
- 3 Organization
- 4 Uniform
- 5 Advancement and recognition
- 6 Program and activities
- 7 Training
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The Venturing program has a long history within the BSA. The program got its start in the 1930s as the "Senior Scout" Division for boys 15 and older. The Senior Scout programs included the Sea Scouts, Air Scouts, Explorer Scouts, Rover Scouts and a few others. Explorer Scouts focused on advanced camping and worked on advancement leading to the Ranger Award. Sea Scouts and Air Scouts were nautical and aviation focused programs, respectively.
In 1949, the Senior Scout Division became the Explorer Division. Sea Scouts became Sea Explorers, Air Scouts became Air Explorers, and Explorer Scouts became just Explorers. The Explorer program became less of an advanced outdoor program, and more a broader program for young men, with the minimum age lowered to 14 years old. Explorers got a new advancement program leading to the Silver Award.
In 1959, Explorer advancement was dropped. In 1964, the Air Explorer program was eliminated, and the Sea Explorer program had changes made. The program was further changed to be more appealing to older youth, with career exploration becoming a bigger part of the program.
In 1969, the BSA allowed young women ages 14–20 to join special-interest Explorer posts, which caused many posts to be become co-ed. The continuing focus on career exploration was expanded to a major emphasis, and as the years progressed, Exploring focused more on career exploration posts, though outdoor and sports-oriented Posts still existed and thrived as well.
In the early 1980s, posts that primarily consisted of seminars at high school with guest speakers were designated as Career Awareness Explorer posts. This particular facet of Exploring was the fastest growing segment of Exploring and the BSA during the 1980s. In 1991, these posts were realigned into the new Learning for Life subsidiary, and the posts were then designated as High School Career Awareness groups and the youth were no longer considered to be Explorers.
In 1998, the Exploring program was completely reorganized and split into two program categories. All the career-oriented posts were moved to Learning for Life under the name Exploring, while the rest (including outdoor-oriented posts) became the new Venturing program.
Methods and Ideals
The Methods of Venturing are:
- Leadership All Venturers are given opportunities to learn and apply proven leadership skills. A Venturing Crew is led by elected crew officers. The Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews is designed for all Venturers and helps teach them in an active way to lead effectively.
- Group Activities Venturing activities are interdependent group experiences in which success is dependent on the cooperation of all. Learning by "doing" in a group setting provides opportunities for developing new skills.
- Adult Association The youth officers lead the crew. The officers and activity chairs work closely with adult Advisors and other adult leaders in a spirit of partnership. The adults serve in a "shadow" leader capacity.
- Recognition Recognition comes through the Venturing awards program and through the acknowledgement of a youth's competence and ability by peers and adults.
- The Ideals Venturers are expected to know and live by the Venturing Oath and Code. They promise to do their duty to God, help strengthen America, to help others, and to seek truth and fairness.
- High Adventure and Sports Venturing's emphasis on high adventure and sports helps provide team-building opportunities, new meaningful experiences, practical leadership application, and lifelong memories to young adults.
- Teaching Others All of the Venturing awards require Venturers to teach what they have learned to others. When they teach others often, Venturers are better able to retain the skill or knowledge taught, they gain confidence in their ability to speak and relate to others, and they acquire skills that can benefit them for the rest of their lives as a hobby or occupation.
The Ideals of Venturing are expressed in the Venturing Oath and Venturing Code:
- The Venturing Oath
- As a Venturer, I promise to do my duty to God and help strengthen America, to help others, and to seek truth, fairness, and adventure in our world.
- The Venturing Code
- As a Venturer, I believe that America's strength lies in our trust in God and in the courage, strength, and traditions of our people.
I will, therefore, be faithful in my religious duties and will maintain a personal sense of honor in my own life.
I will treasure my American heritage and will do all I can to preserve and enrich it.
I will recognize the dignity and worth of all humanity and will use fair play and goodwill in my daily life.
I will acquire the Venturing attitude that seeks truth in all things and adventure on the frontiers of our changing world.
- The Venturing Sign
- A raised right hand with the palm open, upper arm held horizontally and the forearm vertically. The right thumb is held slightly open, creating a "V."
- The Venturing Hand Salute
- A full-hand salute, with the pointer touching the forehead or hat brim.
The Venturing crew is sponsored by a community organization such as a business, service organization, school, labor group or religious institution (church). The chartered organization is responsible for selecting leadership, providing a meeting place and promoting a good program. The chartered organization representative is the liaison between the crew, the chartered organization, and the BSA. The crew may elect to be all-male, all-female or co-ed.
The crew committee is a group of adults, led by the crew committee chair, who guide the crew program and activities and manage record keeping, finance, leadership recruitment and registration. The crew must have a minimum of five adults registered with the crew to become a legitimate crew. The crew is led by youths who are elected to the positions of president, one or more vice-presidents, secretary, treasurer, quartermaster, guide and historian. Other positions in the Venturing crew may exist, such as activity chair. The adult advisor and associate advisors provide guidance while allowing the youth to lead the crew.
National Venturing Youth Cabinet
The National Venturing Youth Cabinet are the youth leaders of the Venturing division. These youth are the National Venturing president, two National Venturing Vice Presidents, National Sea Scout boatswain and the four region Venturing presidents and represent Venturing and Sea Scouting for their regions and the National committees.
"The recommended uniform [for Venturers] is the spruce green Venturing shirt with green epaulette tabs and gray backpacking style shorts or gray casual pants. However, the uniform, if any, is the choice of the crew." Some sources also indicate that while the uniform is their choice, Venturing youth "should not wear the Boy Scout tan shirt with green shoulder loops."
Official Venturing uniform pieces available from the National Supply Division include a spruce green button-up shirt or blouse with a pointed collar, two front button-flap pockets, shoulder epaulets with shoulder loops, short sleeves, and a US flag attached to the right shoulder and a Venturing - BSA strip above the right pocket. The other components are charcoal gray trousers or shorts, gray socks and a gray web belt with brass buckle (currently being phased out in favor of a newer black webbed belt and "rolled claw" black metal buckle similar to the forest green belt introduced in 2008 for the Centennial Scouting Uniform). The gray cap and the gray brimmed hat with Venturing logo are also available for use by Venturing crews. Venturers who wear the official Venturing shirt or blouse should wear the proper insignia as outlined in the Insignia Guide. Either the official Venturing emblem or an approved crew specialty patch may be worn on the right sleeve. Green shoulder loops identify Venturers at the crew level. Adults or youth with a district or council position wear silver loops while those with area, regional or national positions wear gold loops. The shirttail is tucked in.
Advancement and recognition
A Bronze Award may be earned for each category of arts and hobbies, outdoors, religious and community life, Sea Scouting, and sports. After earning at least one Bronze Award and meeting tenure, leadership, personal growth, and other requirements the Venturer may earn the Gold Award. To earn the Silver Award, the Venturer must earn the Gold Award, earn first aid and CPR certifications, show leadership, and participate in ethics training.
Venturers may also earn expert awards that build on one of the focus areas of the Bronze Awards. These are the Ranger Award for outdoors, the TRUST Award for religious and community life, the Quest Award for sports, and the Quartermaster Award for Sea Scouting.
Male members under the age of 18 may also earn the Star, Life, and Eagle Scout ranks from the Boy Scouting program if they have earned at least First Class rank in a Boy Scout troop or Varsity Scout team.
Other youth awards
In addition to these awards, there are others, such as the Venturing Shooting Sports Outstanding Achievement Award and the Venturing World Conservation Award. Venturers may also earn other awards common to the Scouting program such as the William T. Hornaday Awards. Venturers may also be recognized for their "excellent achievements and service to their community, state and nation" with the Young American Award.
Adult leader recognition
Venturing adult leaders who complete training, tenure, and performance requirements are recognized by a system of awards. The Venturing Leader's Training Award is available to any leader, while the Venturing Advisor's Key and Venturing Advisor Award of Merit are only available to the Advisor. Sea Scout Leaders can be awarded the Sea Scout Leader Training Award. The Skipper's Key is only available to the Skipper.
Venturing Leadership Award
Venturing youth are eligible for the Venturing Leadership Award. There are four levels of these awards: council (for those at the crew, district, and/or council levels), area, (for those at the area level), region (for those at the region level) and National. A limited number of these awards are presented on an annual basis to those involved in Venturing who have made exceptional contributions to Venturing at their particular level and who exemplify the Venturing Code.
Prior to December 31, 2011, the Venturing Leadership Award was available for youth and adults. Starting in 2012, Venturing Adults will no longer be eligible to receive any of the Venturing Leadership Awards.
Program and activities
Generally, each crew will select a specialty that determines the program and activities. An outdoor focused crew will do a lot of camping, while a religious life crew will probably be involved in church activities and community service projects. Crews are encouraged to have an annual Super Activity, which is typically a week-long event, usually during the summer. Crews within a district, council or area may jointly perform activities that promote advancement through fun and competition.
The Venturing Safe Rides program provides a free and confidential safe ride home to any young adult who is not in a condition to drive safely, or who wants to avoid being a passenger in such a situation.
New leaders are encouraged to attend training for their position. This training provides the essential information they need to provide a safe and successful quality program.
Youth training in Venturing consists of a Crew Officer Briefing, conducted by the Crew Advisor.
The first step of leadership training in Venturing is the Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews (ILSC) program, which replaced Venturing Leadership Skills course. This course is designed to teach crew leaders about their new roles and how to effectively perform in that role. It is intended to help Venturers in leadership positions understand their responsibilities and to equip them with organizational and leadership skills. This program is the first course in the series of leadership training offered to Venturers. When youth leaders complete this program, they are eligible to attend the National Youth Leadership Training in their local council. and the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience at Philmont.
ILSC is also a prerequisite for Kodiak. Kodiak is a week-long or two weekend long outdoor trek based training course where Venturers are given five leadership commissions. This program is conducted by the local Boy Scout council.
The final step of youth leadership training in Venturing is Kodiak-X. Kodiak X adds two more commissions to those youth learned in Kodiak and allows the youth to put their skills to the test through different challenges. Kodiak is a prerequisite for this course. Kodiak X is a one weekend long course and must be conducted at a Council level.
Venturing Fast Start is the introduction for adult leaders new to the Venturing program. Fast Start is self paced and provided as a video or online. Venturing Youth Protection Training is required for all adult leaders; recertification is required every two years.
Basic Leader Training consists of This is Scouting and Venturing Leader Specific Training. This is Scouting is a common core program for all adult leaders in the BSA. Venturing Leader Specific Training gives the Advisor or Associate Advisor the needed knowledge and skills. Once Basic Leader Training is completed, the leader is awarded a Trained emblem for uniform wear.
Powder Horn is designed to introduce Venturing and Boy Scout leaders to the activities and resources necessary to operate a successful outdoor and high adventure program and is based on the Venturing Ranger program.
Supplemental training modules are designed to provide orientation beyond Basic Leader Training. These training sessions are often provided at the Roundtable (a monthly meeting of leaders), at University of Scouting programs offered by the local council and at National Scouting Conferences held at Philmont Scout Ranch and the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base.
Wood Badge is the advanced training program for leadership skills for all adults in all BSA programs. Wood Badge consists of six days of training, usually presented as two three-day weekends, and an application phase of several months. When training is complete, leaders are recognized with the Wood Badge beads, neckerchief and woggle.
- Boy Scouts of America Youth Application (PDF). Boy Scouts of America. #524-406A. "Venturers and Sea Scouts registered in a crew or ship prior to their 21st birthday may continue as members after their 21st birthday until the crew or ship recharters or until they reach their 22nd birthday, whichever comes first."
- "At a Glance". Boy Scouts of America. 2012.
- Brown, Michael. "A History of Senior Scouting Programs of the BSA".
- "Three New Positions Are Added To Venturing Crew Leadership". National Venturing Youth Cabinet.
- Venturer Handbook. 2005. p. 6. #33494B.
- Venturer Handbook. 2005. p. 93. #33494B.
- Brown., =Michael R. (August 11, 2006). "Venturing Uniforming Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)". U.S. Scouting Service Project. Retrieved December 3, 2006.
- "Venturing Bronze Award". Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved March 15, 2006.
- "Venturing Gold Award". Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved March 15, 2006.
- "Venturing Silver Award". Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved March 15, 2006.
- "Venturing Ranger Award". Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved April 20, 2006.
- "Venturing Trust Award". Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved April 20, 2006.
- "Venturing Quest Award". Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved April 20, 2006.
- "Sea Scouting Quartermaster Award". Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved April 20, 2006.
- "Shooting Sports Outstanding Achievement Award". Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved March 30, 2006.
- "Young American Award". Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved March 30, 2006.
- "Venturing Leader's Training Award". U.S. Scouts Service Project. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
- "Venturing Advisor's Key". U.S. Scouts Service Project. Retrieved March 30, 2006.
- "Venturing Advisor Award of Merit". U.S. Scouts Service Project. Retrieved March 30, 2006.
- "Sea Scouting Leader Training Award". U.S. Scouts Service Project. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
- "Skipper's Key". U.S. Scouts Service Project. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
- "Venturing Leadership Award". Boy scouts of America. Retrieved March 30, 2006.
- "Youth-Only Venturing Leadership Award Qualifications". Scoutwire. Retrieved October 26, 2011.
- "Youth Protection Training". Boy Scouts of America. Boy Scouts of America.
- Boy Scouts of America: Venturing Crews at the Open Directory Project
- MeritBadge.org: Venturing provides Venturing requirements, award information, leader resources, etc.
- Merit badges - Venturers who earn the First Class rank while a registered member of a Boy Scout troop or Varsity team may earn merit badges until their 18th birthday.
- Venturing Advancement at usscouts.org provides a huge list of resources for Venturers and leaders.
- National Venturing site
- Venturing Notebook
- Un-official Venturing Discussion List
- Northeast Region Venturing Site