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Girls in Venturing


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#1 TryingToMom

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 03:15 PM

I have a young lady who enjoys Girl Scouts, but who is disappointed with how little the girls physically do (too much arts and crafts when she wants to do more camping and rock climbing type things), and she's looking forward to being a Venture Scout in a few years.

 

The info I can find is sparse on girls in the program, but I've read girls can join Venture, Varsity, or Sea Scouting at age 14.  Does anyone have experience working with girls in these groups that might be able to give me the scoop?

 

Are girls welcomed at any Crew, even if there are no other girls?

Are you able to join more than one (for example, be a Venture and a Sea Scout)?

Do the girls work on rank only or are there merit badges (or similar) things that become available to them to earn?

Does anyone know any good websites that would be a good resource for girls in Crews?

 

 


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#2 Rover Scout

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 05:22 PM

Trying to Mom-

I would recommend getting a copy of the Handbook for Venturers.

The info I can find is sparse on girls in the program, but I've read girls can join Venture, Varsity, or Sea Scouting at age 14.
--Venturing or Sea Scouting, yes. Varsity Scouting is male-only.

Does anyone have experience working with girls in these groups that might be able to give me the scoop?
--The crews I have worked with had both male and female members. Your question is a pretty broad one - you might get better answers if you can be more specific.

Are girls welcomed at any Crew, even if there are no other girls?
--That is up to the crew- there can be all male, all female, and mixed gender crews.

Are you able to join more than one (for example, be a Venture and a Sea Scout)?
--Yes

Do the girls work on rank only or are there merit badges (or similar) things that become available to them to earn?
--The Venturing program dies not have merit badge-like units of advancement. Venturing does make use of a recognition system that helps Venturers design and lead their own program of youth-led adventure.

Does anyone know any good websites that would be a good resource for girls in Crews?
--Again, I would recommend reviewing the Handbook for Venturers to see what the program looks like. It is a gender-neutral document.

Best wishes,

Ken
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#3 qwazse

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 08:02 PM

http://www.scouting..../Venturing.aspxis the official line on venturing.
Youth may join at age 14, or if they graduated from 8th grade they may join at age 13.

The limiting of crews to boys or girls really boils down to the availability of male and female adult leaders.

I must say, at this age very few youth are interested in awards. They are interested in nationally recognized certifications (e.g. lifeguard, wilderness first aid, EMT, jr. .NRA ...). But, that interest depends on the crew you land in.

The best thing to do is find out about crews in your area, talk to some venturers, and see how they operate.

In the mean time, you may want to look up American Heritage Girls.
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#4 Hedgehog

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 09:39 PM

I'm in the process of working with a group of youth starting up a co-ed Venturing Crew.  Most of the young woman are in the exact same place as the young woman you reference.  Based on word of mouth we are up to 7 young woman and four young men that are interested.  

 

You've gotten two good answers so far.

 

The Venturer's Handbook is one of the best BSA publications out there.  It appears to have been written by one person who actually understood what they were writing about.  As mentioned above, there is rank advancement. You can download the requirements from the link @qwazse provided.  There also are the Ranger, Trust and Quest awards.  Ranger is the equivelant of 12 merit badges. Quest focuses on sports and fitness and Trust focuses on faith.  There are other BSA awards that apply to venturers such as the National Outdoor Award.   


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#5 qwazse

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 08:26 AM

... Do the girls work on rank only or are there merit badges (or similar) things that become available to them to earn? ...

 

One thing about the awards and recognition program in venturing, such as it is: The one venturer in my crew who worked on an award (Religious Bronze), was thrilled to not have to muck about earning patches for "every little thing" like her younger sister was doing in girl scouts. Truth is, GS/USA, for it's older scouts, also moves away from a badge-based model to a personal growth model for it's Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards.

 

As a counter-point to my venturers. There are young women who wish they could officially be awarded merit badges. I guess if yours is a heavily BSA family, those little round patches carry substantial value.

 

I guess one could think of our modern Eagle scout requirements as an amalgam personal growth challenges (service project, positions of responsibility) and discrete discovery challenges (merit badges) for the sake of today's youth. Or, perhaps, it was to simply give older boys some more "serious" things to work towards.


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#6 Lurking...

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 08:46 AM

A couple of years back a group of women (55-75 year old) kayakers came to me and wanted me to teach them about maps and compasses.  I went down to the Scout Shop and purchased a Orienteering MB book for each of them, taught them out of that book and they were thrilled!  They even got a book to keep!  Wow, if my boys where half that excited I'd be on Cloud 9.  Until then, is the little round patch what is important or is the knowledge gained the real reward.  There is nothing in the rules that says that Venturing crews can't use the MB program to enhance their adventures.  For some of the gals, the knowledge and adventure is what they are after.  I have bins full of patches in my garage they could have if it was really necessary.

 

Who's to say the S->FC requirements might be good for the Venturing gals to get them up to speed on outdoor skills.  Just because the gals can't get the diploma doesn't mean they can't get the education.


Edited by Stosh, 16 August 2016 - 08:49 AM.

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#7 TryingToMom

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 02:48 PM

Excellent information, thank you all!  I found out recently that our local Venturing Crew is called "dead" by the person who runs it, but my understanding is that they've done nothing to market the group towards any girls (and I know mine is not the only one who wants a more active Scouting experience!). 


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#8 Hedgehog

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 07:53 PM

Who's to say the S->FC requirements might be good for the Venturing gals to get them up to speed on outdoor skills.  Just because the gals can't get the diploma doesn't mean they can't get the education.

 

 

@Stosh, much of the Scout through First Class requirements are included in the Ranger award as are the core requirements for the outdoor merit badges.  Just looking at the requirements, I'd put a Venturer with the Ranger Award up against any First Class Scout any day.


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#9 qwazse

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 09:44 PM

Excellent information, thank you all!  I found out recently that our local Venturing Crew is called "dead" by the person who runs it, but my understanding is that they've done nothing to market the group towards any girls (and I know mine is not the only one who wants a more active Scouting experience!).

Well "dead" is quite the word for it. I prefer "inactive".
My crew was a reactivation of a unit that appeared from time to time, but couldn't sustain itself. Unless I stumble upon a half dozen committed youth, mine will soon go inactive.
A crew needs three things IMHO:
1. A CO who is enthused about their presence.
2. A quirky scouter foolish enough volunteer as an advisor (and a few scouters willing to come to his/her aid.
3. A group of youth who love each other and who see venturing as a way to extend their time together.

None of those come automatic. It takes a lot of stirring of coals.
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