* This is Part Three of a four-part series, Venturing Educational Campaign, exploring the basics of the Venturing program.
Part One – Basics of Venturing: Introduction & Purpose
Part Two – Venturing: Place In Scouting & Terminology
Part Four – Venturing: Personal Experience & How To Join
Like other programs within the Boy Scouts of America, Venturing’s participants can earn and achieve a variety of milestones and advancements. Venturers can earn several awards – not ranks – to advance their sense of adventure and leadership skills to grow as an individual and to give service to others.
There are countless awards within the program, but four, in particular, make up the primary advancement path. The Venturing Award, Discovery Award, Pathfinder Award and Summit Award exist to instill the core teachings and values of the ALPS Model.
The Venturing Award marks the beginning of the Venturer’s journey. They become acquainted with a crew and its members and also participate in at least one activity outside of a regular meeting. Additionally, the Venturer will participate in an interview with the crew President and Advisor to learn more about the crew.
* For more in-depth information, watch the accompanying podcast below.
If the Venturer decides to become a member, they will participate in an induction ceremony – which varies from crew to crew but is akin to a crossover ceremony – where they commit themselves to the Scout Oath, Scout Law and the Venturing Motto: Lead the Adventure.
As they begin working towards the other three core awards, the Venturer begins to work on requirements that are divided into four distinct categories: Adventure, Leadership, Personal Growth, and Service.
In the Discovery and Pathfinder Awards, one will complete a series of training: Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews, Goal-Setting and Time Management, Crew Officers Orientation, and Project Management. Also, they will serve actively in their Crew in a position of responsibility. The purpose of these training courses and leadership positions is to begin developing the Venturer’s leadership skills and to prepare them for the many tasks ahead.
For these two awards, Venturers must also complete a series of structured personal reflections and explore the following areas: Development of Faith, Development of Self, and Development of Others.
Not only that, but they must also participate in service activities totaling 60 hours and several Tier II or Tier III “Adventures.” Adventures are outings and their Tier level indicates the number of days, planning, and/or rigor of the activity.
And finally: The Summit Award is the highest award within the Venturing program and equivalent to the Eagle Scout rank and the Sea Scout Quartermaster Award. Like the previous Venturing Awards, the Venturer will explore all aspects of the ALPS Model. Additionally, they must also plan and conduct a service project similar to that of the Eagle Scout Service Project.
The Awards within Venturing are diverse and develop a variety of different areas and skills. To learn more about each Award, please consult https://www.scouting.org/programs/venturing/venturing-awards/the-core-awards/
Another aspect of the Venturing program that sets is apart is its unique representation at the District, Council, Area, Regional and National levels. Each year, Venturers are selected to serve in a variety of capacities in entities called the Venturing Officers’ Association (VOA).
Venturing Officers’ Associations can – and do – exist at every level of Scouting. A VOA is a team of youth officers and adult advisors who suggest programmatic changes, lead events, host training courses and more for their level. Venturers will serve in either the office of President or Vice President, but other positions may be created as needed.
These officers actively and diligently work with their audience to improve the Venturing program and experiences. There is no limit to the impact a VOA can have in shaping its Venturing community, as these entities are youth-led and youth-inspired, just like the crews they represent.
Stay tuned for Parts Three and Four of the Venturing Educational Campaign articles and podcasts.
Interested in Venturing? To learn more about joining or creating a Crew, contact the Montana Council VOA President, Montanavoa@sudsol.com.
Do not wait. Start leading the adventure.