I was visiting a scout shop the other day and took a look at the new Venturing Summit medal. I was taken back by the downgrade in quality in the construction of the medal. It is now just like the Varsity Denali award which is an emblem hanging from the ribbon which has the header bar glued to the top of the ribbon. I was quite sad to see this. Would it have cost BSA too much to keep it the same as the Silver or Ranger award quality?
Venturing Summit Medal - A Significant Step Down
Posted 03 January 2016 - 09:59 PM
Thanks for the report. As and advisor whose venturers have not pursued awards, it's good to know the opinions of folks for whom it matters.
Posted 10 January 2016 - 04:17 PM
I have been advising a crew for a few years and in spite of being enthused about the awards program myself, have gotten strong push-back from my youth. So I've dropped the discussion with them. They love meeting other venturers in the Area, they love challenges, they love service, but they couldn't possibly care less about the awards -- the exception being one young lady who earned her religious bronze.
I have, on the other hand helped other youth as they worked on these awards, but have yet to make a single court of honor. I also keep in touch with pro's and volunteers on a regional level. So, if they bring up the topic, posts like yours are about the only thing I have to go on.
I wish you had replies from other folks who were a little less ambivalent -- one way or the other. You didn't. That doesn't mean my reply constitutes a troll.
Posted 10 January 2016 - 05:34 PM
Here are my observations:
- I have yet to see a Venture award, new or old, of any level, that didn't look tacky/cheap.
- It seems a very small percentage of Venture scouts have any interest in awards. Almost all are as Qwazse described--they like the service and challenges, but zero inclination toward earning awards.
Edited by desertrat77, 10 January 2016 - 05:34 PM.
Posted 10 January 2016 - 07:27 PM
I was a Crew Advisor for 15 years and had absolutely no member ever consider earning a Venturing award or even wanting to try for one. Some people just aren't into bling. They serve for other reasons. It would have been nice, but it wasn't my call.
I did have dual-registered Boy Scouts as part of my Crew and it was expected they continue in the the troop to work for their Eagle. Most of them did, one or two didn't.
Posted 11 January 2016 - 11:17 AM
I think the step down began with the name. At least with the Silver Award, anyone who had seen an Eagle Award would make the connection. And folks from the military might make the association with "Silver Star."
I'm afraid not everyone makes the association between "Summit" something grand and glorious -- at least not until they've seen a 14k peak with their own eyes. If anything, given the "One Oath Initiative", I would think calling it "Venturing Eagle" or "Eagle Venturer" would have conveyed a greater sense of intrinsic value. But, the venturers who cared about naming awards also cared about being distinct from boy-scouts, thus the names we have.
I doubt the name-choice is precisely why the current medal might not look as noble as earlier awards. I suspect there was a change in manufacturer due to uncertainty in demand. On the other hand, the award now comes with a patch ... so it could have been cost containment. At the next Area summit, I will try to pay closer attention to what youth who actually earn the awards think.
Posted 15 January 2016 - 07:58 PM
Awards.... I am on the national committee for my faith, the Friends Committee on Scouting. Among other things, we plan, design and administer the religious awards for our faith. Two, three years ago, it was announced thru PRAY that our store of awards , by federal statute (!), had to be either tested for lead content (each one, individually!) or replaced in toto with new awards that could be certified by the manufacturer as being lead free. Why? Because they were deemed as "jewelry for children". Children might chew on them, or otherwise be in danger of somehow ingesting any lead (or other toxic substance) inherent in them. This did not apply to the adult awards, adults don't chew on their "jewelry", only to the youth awards.
I hope, (any way to check this?) that the official Scout/Venture metallic awards are equally 'safe' for our youth to wear, even if judged "tacky" in construction.
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