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 of age.
Venturing's purposed 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
interest, to grow, to develop leadership skills, and to become
Venturing crews can specialize in a variety of avocation or
hobby interests. Venturing programs are developed around six
experience areas of emphasis.
Develop a Better Understanding
of America's Social Economic,
and governmental systems.
Encourage a pride in our
Develop leadership skills.
Prepare for giving leadership
and to fulfill responsibilities
to american society and to the
peoples of the world
Improve mental, emotional, and
physical fitness and an
appreciation for sports.
Develop ethical decision-making
Instill stable personal values
firmly based on religious
Develop skill in dealing with
all people and encourage a
sense of family and
Develop a degree of self-reliance
based on courage, initiative, and
Understand and appreciate the
wise use of resources and the
protection of our environment.
Encourage the skill and desire to
Gain a keen respect for the
basic rights of others.
Young adults involved in Venturing will:
- Engage in a program of activities centered on avocation interest,
life skills, service learning, character development, citizenship,
and leadership experiences designed to encourage the development of
the whole person.
- 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 aims of the Boy Scouts of America are to build character,
develop citizenship and foster personal fitness. The Venturing
methods listed below have been carefully designed to achieve
the aims of the Boy Scouts of America and meet the needs of
- 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.
- 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.
- Recognition. Recognition comes through the Venturing
advancement program and through the acknowledgement of a
youth's competence and ability by peers and adults.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 occupation
The program of every Venturing crew evolves around a special avocation
or hobby interest of the youth members and adult leaders. Youth
members have the interest and the adult leaders provide the resources
and expertise. There are hundreds of different specialties that a
Venturing crew may pursue. Venturing crews, depending on their special
interest, will be part of a specialty cluster. These specialty clusters
Outdoor, Sports, Arts/Hobbies, Youth Ministry, Sea Scouting
An important goal of Venturing is to help young adults be responsible
and caring persons, 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 will it effect others involved. Because an ethical controversy
is 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 crew -
sail the Caribbean, produce a play, climb a mountain, teach disabled
people to swim or attend the Olympics. All these adventures and many
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 youth - tomorrow's
Organizing a venturing crew is easy to do. Just follow these steps:
1. A survey is conducted annually in community high schools to
determine student's recreational, hobby and avocation interest.
2. A meeting is called to 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.
3. 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 on-year program. The crew's one-year
program is reviewed and adopted.
4. The originations top executive writes a personal letter to each
young adult selected form 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.
5. The fist 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
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 backgrounds.
- 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 is designing literature, audiovisuals,
training, activities, and awards to support Venturing crews and ships.
Literature and audiovisuals:
A variety of books, pamphlets, and videos are being developed to
assist with organization, program, leadership, and activities.
In particular, the Venturing Leader Manual will support Leadership
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 week
long high adventure skills course for Venturing Advisors is available.
Programs that enhance youth participation, such as the National
Leadership Conference, will be available to all Venturing crews and
youth and adult members.
Advancement Awards [Ranks]:
A variety of awards [ranks] 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
Those awards that are designed to provide recognition for youth
and adults include:
- Venturing Leadership Award
- Venturing Advisor Award of Merit
The BSA will offer 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.
The Venturing crew and ships are supported by local BSA councils
that provide staff and volunteer support, operate service centers
and camps, and conduct training and activities.
The Boy Scouts of America has liability insurance that covers
leaders and organizations to which Venturing crews and ships 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 or the Venturing division, National Office, Boy Scouts