Maybe I am mistaken, but isn't Venturing ment to be HIGHER "Venturing" then normal scouts? Going on more challenging trips then local "car camping". In my mind, Boy Scouts from 11-14 would be time to work on merit badges and eagle, and assuming they get their eagle before 18, they would then join Venturing to stay motivated in Scouting. I have had a few 14 year old Eagle Scouts that drifted away because there was "nothing left" for them to do, I always promote Venturing as the next step.
Not "higher", but maybe "broader" activities. And for some of my boys venturing is attractive because they don't have to endure the grind of advancement. So, instead of "next step" think "side step" and all the pros and cons that come with such a notion.
But, I think you describe the motivation of Exploring at its inception.