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Venturing question

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#21 Stosh


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Posted 16 May 2016 - 11:04 AM

I understand what the councils were doing to help get Venturing off the ground, but I have seen too many train wrecks along the way and what it ends up with is Venturing with a bad taste left in one's mouth.


I have always advocated a Venture Patrol within the troop for the older boys, definitely a BSA protocol and policy for troops.  Then work on Venturing as a stand-alone program, not an add on, add girls program auxiliary of the troop.  When I wear the SM hat and the CA hat at the same time, both units are a long way apart.  As a matter of fact, as it stands and as it has stood, my Troop and Crew have always been in two different DISTRICTS within the council.  The distance between my current troop and the crew I am starting is 25 miles apart.  I run two different programs for the units and I would find very little compatibility between the two that would necessitate the merging of the two for an activity.


I was CA for 14 years.  I found out this weekend it went defunct a year after I left.  The new Crew I am starting is in the town where the old Crew went defunct (I may be able to pick up the old CO in the deal).  The first Crew was Civil War reenactors, the second Crew sill be all High Adventure/Outdoors.  If one can't adapt, they can't survive.  Being tied to a Troop would leave me with the impression adaptability would be at a premium.

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#22 Scourge


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Posted 16 May 2016 - 05:13 PM

Well the main reason the venture crew and troop are one is because venturing is not as nearly supported or known as boy scouts.  This gives us venturers a chance to do the activities we really want to do, but cannot do alone due to lack of support by the community or numbers.  There's no tension between crew and troop, and the troop still learns leadership in our present.  Last year I attended boy scout camp as a venturer and attended a high adventure out of bound program.  This didn't take anything away from the boy scouts and I got to learn and grow as well.  With anything new, problems arise.  But not every venture program disrupts or tears apart a troop.  

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#23 Stosh


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Posted 16 May 2016 - 05:35 PM



In no way did I mean to imply that the Venturing program disrupts or tears apart a troop.  Usually what happens is they blend to the point where it is Boy Scouts for girls.  One cannot be a servant to two masters, one of the programs will suffer as they try to create their own identity.  If they blend then it's no big deal they just have co-ed Boy Scouts.  Otherwise one of the two programs will not receive the full attention of the leadership.


What I see happening in our area is the Venturing program takes off full bore and then dies on the vine.  The goal now is to develop super Crews instead of multiple under-supported Crews.  The Crew I am starting will encompass a very large area of a single district.  This might sound a bit difficult, but my other crew that I had great success with covered multiple Councils in multiple states and operated just fine.


We're planning on starting out the new Crew with 20-25 charter members.

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#24 meyerc13


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Posted 18 May 2016 - 11:35 AM

I wonder if you've read "Rocks in my backpack" by Tom Sholes?  It's been a while since I read it, but he was a Scoutmaster for a successful Troop that over time incorporated more of Venturing into the program.  Might be a good and enjoyable read for a Venture Crew Adviser.

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#25 Stosh


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Posted 18 May 2016 - 12:32 PM

Nope, but I'll put it on my "to read" list.


I have found that by being a CA, it has done wonders with building leadership in the troop as well.  It's a bit easier to trust the decisions of Venturing youth than it is Boy Scout youth, but over the years I have loosened the reins in the troop and what I was finding in leadership in the crew was naturally developing in the troop then as well. 


With starting a new troop it is extremely important to develop leadership to boys as young as 11 years of age.  That's kinda dangerous, but if one gets over their own fears and lets the boys go, it's quite an enjoyable adventure to see it can be done.


It was kinda funny this past weekend with the AOL pre-cross-over Webelos boys.  One of the boys is on meds!  He interrupts, he's loud, he knows no social boundaries, he's perpetually moving, he gets up at 5:30 am and wants to start breakfast.  The adults were sitting around watching the boys pack up the camp on Sunday morning and it would seem that he consensus of them all wanted their boy to be more like this kid.  After all at any given time, there's at least one if not two other scouts in his wake.  If anyone wishes to know who's going to be the next natural leader for the troop, just sit back and watch.  :)


I had one Venturing boy that refused to accept any leadership in the crew.  Never ran for office, always turned it down if elected, fought me tooth and nail, even toe-to-toe.  Yet he begrudgingly wore the NCO rank of the crew and even took on a lieutenant position at a national event.  Went on to be squad leader in his ROTC group in college and is now a deputy with the county Sheriff's Department. 


One of the reasons after 45+ years I haven't burned out is because I am constantly renewed by people like this.  Shut up, sit back, watch and learn, these kids have taught me more than any BSA SM handbook ever could.  Too much leadership?  Yep, probably!  :)

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