What Is Venturing?
Venturing is a youth development program of the Boy Scouts of America for young
men and women who are 14 (and have completed the eighth grade) through 20 years
Venturing's purpose is to provide positive experiences to help young people
mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults.
Venturing is based on a unique and dynamic relationship between youth, adult
leaders, and organizations in their communities. Local community organizations
establish a Venturing crew by matching their people and program resources to the
interests of young people in the community. The result is a program of exciting
and meaningful activities that helps youth pursue their special interests, grow,
develop leadership skills, and become good citizens.
Young adults involved in Venturing will
- Learn to make ethical choices over their lifetimes by instilling
the values in the Venturing Oath and Code
- Experience a program that is fun and full of challenge and
- Become a skilled, training and program resource for Cub Scouts
and Boy Scouts and other groups
- Acquire skills in the areas of high adventure, sports, arts
and hobbies, youth ministries, or Sea Scouting
- Experience positive leadership from adult and youth leaders
and be given opportunities to take on leadership roles
- Have a chance to learn and grow in a supportive, caring, and
The methods of Venturing have been carefully chosen to meet the needs
of young adults.
Leadership. All Venturers are given opportunities to learn and
apply proven leadership skills. A Venturing crew is led by elected crew
officers. The Venturing Leadership Skills Course is designed for all
Venturers and helps teach in an active way to effectively lead.
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
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 advancement
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 be faithful in religious duties, treasure their
American heritage, to help others and to seek truth and fairness.
High Adventure. Venturing's emphasis on high adventure helps provide
team-building opportunities, new meaningful experiences, practical leadership
application, and life-long 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 they 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
Ethics in Action
An important goal of Venturing is to help young adults be responsible and
caring people, both now and in the future. Venturing uses "ethical controversies"
to help young adults develop the ability to make responsible choices that reflect
their concern for what is a risk and how it will effect others involved. Because
an ethical controversy is a problem-solving situation, leaders expect young adults
to employ empathy, invention, and selection when they think through their position
and work toward a solution of an ethical controversy.
What a Venturing crew does is limited only by the imagination and involvement
of the adult and youth leaders and members of the crewsail the Caribbean,
produce a play, climb a mountain, teach disabled people to swim, or attend the
Olympics. All these adventures and more are being done today by Venturing crews
and ships across the country. All that is needed are concerned adults who are
willing to share a little bit of themselves with today's youthtomorrow's
Starting a New Venturing Crew
Organizing a Venturing crew is easy to do. Just follow these steps:
- A survey is conducted annually in community high schools to
determine students' recreational, hobby, and avocation
- A meeting is called of key people within an organization,
with a Scouting representative in attendance. The
representative explains the Venturing program, describes
the key volunteer leader positions, and plans the recruiting
of adult leaders.
- The crew committee and Advisors are recruited and meet with
the Scouting representative. Responsibilities of adult
leaders are explained. The Scouting representative also
discusses program ideas and helps develop a one-year program.
The crew's one-year program is reviewed and adopted.
- The organization's top executive writes a personal letter to
each young adult selected from the survey, or identified
through other recruitment efforts, and invites the youth and
their parents to attend an organizational meeting. This
letter is followed by a personal phone invitation from a
member of the organization to each prospective youth.
- The first meeting is held, involving young adults, the adult
committee, and selected consultants. Adult Advisors share the
program plans with the new Venturers (youth) and discuss member
involvement and leadership roles through the election of youth
What Youth Want
Research has revealed these major points:
- High school students have many vocational and avocational
- Teenagers want a broader experience that provides practical
"hands-on" experience and is tailored to their cultural
- Teenagers want to belong to a group that provides a "safe
haven" from which to address the youth development issues
that affect them. These issues include experimentation;
moving from dependence to interdependence, social
relationships, psychological changes and sexual maturity,
and a re-evaluation of values.
The Venturing Division has designed literature, audiovisuals, training,
activities, and awards to support Venturing crews and ships.
Literature and audiovisuals. A variety of books, pamphlets, and
videos have been developed to assist with organization, program, leadership,
and activities. In particular, the Venturing Leader Manual will support
leadership and planning.
Training. Basic and advanced leader training sessions along with
crew leader workshops, quarterly Advisor meetings, and program conferences
will be available to improve and enrich Venturing crew programs. A weeklong
high-adventure skills course for Venturing Advisors called Powder Horn is
Advancement Awards. A variety of awards are available to Venturers
who accomplish specific advancement achievements. These awards include:
- Venturing Bronze Awards
- Venturing Gold Award
- Venturing Silver Award
- Venturing Ranger Award
- Sea Scouting Quartermaster Award
Recognition Awards. Those awards that are designed to provide
recognition for youth and adults include:
- Venturing Leadership Award
- Venturing Advisor Award of Merit
Uniforms. The BSA Supply Division offers the traditional spruce-green
uniform shirt for Venturers. It is recommended that crews adopt a charcoal gray
casual pant and/or backpacking-style short for their uniform. However, each crew
may determine what, if any, specific uniform pants or shorts they will wear based
on crew activities.
BSA Councils. Venturing crews and ships are supported by local BSA
councils, which provide staff and volunteer support, operate service centers
and camps, and conduct training and activities.
Liability Insurance. The Boy Scouts of America has liability insurance
that covers leaders and organizations to which Venturing crews and shops are
chartered. Accident and medical coverage are not included but are available
through local BSA councils at a modest cost.
For additional information and support on organizing a new Venturing Crew or
Sea Scout Ship, contact your
local Boy Scouts of America Service Center
at the national office, Boy Scouts of America.