Crew Committee Challenge Part 1
- Aims and Methods of Scouting and Venturing
- The Chartered Organization
- Crew Leadership
- Crew Committee Organization and Responsibilities
- Selecting and Retaining Adult Leaders
As a result of this five part series you will be able to:
- Explain the nature of the Venturing program and its value to youth.
- Outline the specifics of the Venturing program.
- Explain the relationship between crew officers and adult leaders.
- Appreciate the role the committee plays in support of the Venturing program.
- Explain the relationship between the crew committee and the wards as the chartered organization.
- Identify the main functions of a Venturing crew committee.
- List qualities to look for when nominating a crew advisor to the bishopric.
- List additional resources for Venturing crew committees.
The new Crew Committee Challenge is streamlined to offer bishops and other committee members a course that flows from one subject to another that can be completed in an hour or in short ten minute bites. This first part explains what BSA can do for youth in your wards and how to get it done.
Venturing is a Boy Scouts of America program for youth from 14 (13 years old if completed the 8th grade) through 17 and young adults who are 18 to 20 years old. However, when used in the LDS Church, this program is for the Priests Quorum. Because Venturing is a program for youth and young adults of this age group, Venturers are able to do more and go further as a member of a Venturing crew than in other Scouting programs. Some wards make venturing a quasi-coed experience by including the Laurels class in some of their activities.
Each Scouting program—Venturing, Varsity Scouting, Boy Scouting and Cub Scouting—share one mission:
Mission and Vision of the BSA
It is the mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law; the vision is to prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law.
To accomplish this, every age group in Scouting uses a set of methods; but first let’s consider the three general aims of Scouting.
Aims of Scouting and Venturing
The BSA promises to its chartered partners and their members that Scouting provides life-changing experiences you can’t get anywhere else. We achieve that through our aims and methods. Formally, the BSA has three specific objectives, commonly referred to as the aims of Scouting, which are:
- Character development
- Citizenship training
- Personal fitness
Venturing joins the other families of Scouting—Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting and Varsity Scouting—to work toward these three aims.
The first is growth in moral strength and character. Character can be defined as the collection of core values by an individual that leads to moral commitment and action, and encompasses a person’s personal qualities, values, and outlook.
The second aim is participating citizenship. Used broadly, citizenship means the youth’s relationship to others. Scouts comes to learn of their obligations to other people, to the society they live in, and to the government that presides over that society.
The third aim of Venturing is development of physical, mental, and emotional fitness. Fitness includes the body (well-tuned and healthy), the mind (able to think and solve problems), and the emotions (self-control, courage, and self-respect).
In many Scouting circles, a fourth aim is mentioned: leadership development
These three aims can be achieved in a balanced crew program that uses the methods of Venturing.
Methods of Venturing
The methods of Venturing when used fully accomplish the aims of Scouting. The methods are:
- Leadership and Mentoring
- Group Activities and Adventure
- Venturing Recognition
- Adult Association
- Group Identity Dress
- Ideals ( the Scout Oath and Law)
You should read more about Venturing methods here and by following all of these methods in your crew program you ensure youth will get you the most growth toward stronger character, citizenship and fitness.
The Venturing Program
The Venturing program is carried out through a Venturing crew. Its purpose is to provide experiences that will affect the positive development of youth at a critical stage in their lives and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults.
Venturing has four areas of program emphasis that help to include all the methods. Many crew advisors don’t know where to start when it comes to planning activities, especially since advancement in Scouting is not interesting to most of their Venture-aged youth. The key a good program is to plan using ALPS:
Crews can build a solid program around these four areas, will have program that interests teens and gets to BSA’s aims.
The acronym “ALPS” might help you remember the areas of program emphasis—Adventure, Leadership, Personal Growth, and Service.
New experiences that push Venturers to new personal heights, adventures, and activities provide the social benefits youth crave at this point of their development. The level of difficulty is variable, may be tailored to your crew’s skills and experience, and is individual and crew‐defined. Adventure is the historic appeal of Venturing.
Venturers develop broad interpersonal leadership skills applicable to life situations and work toward meeting societal expectations of leadership qualities. For these youth, the level of difficulty in their leadership positions is escalating as they participate/follow, lead, and mentor. Venturing leadership positions leverage formal training and practical leadership experience (elected or appointed).
Venturers should grow in the skills and ethical/moral foundations that support economic independence, lifelong learning, and timeless values. The social/educational influences your teens face every day provide little positive guidance on key life, social, and moral and ethical skills; and youth know it. For Venturers, the focus is on goal development and personal planning, with small formal “trainings” that facilitate practical application. Youth will set personal goals related to Development of Self, Development of Others, and Development of Faith.
Venturers should develop behavior that leads to an ongoing sense of responsibility. Youth have limited control of their lives, so they enjoy the opportunity to assert their values through the choice to serve. These service projects can be done as a crew or individually and can have a Scouting and/or community focus.
Youth join the venturing program to gain insight through fun-filled programs and hands-on activities provided by your ward or chartered organization. The program is supported by adult committee member volunteers, youth member parents, and other consultants from the community.
The crew is led by elected youth officers but adult mentorship is critical!
The recommended uniform is the spruce green Venturing shirt with green epaulet tabs and gray pants. However, your crew’s uniform is the choice of its members (more about that in another article). While the uniform is their choice, Venturing youth should not be made to wear the Boy Scout tan shirt with green shoulder loops.
Our responsibility as crew committee members is to ensure we stay true to the aims of Scouting as we assist the crew in achieving the program-specific methods along age-appropriate guidelines.
Take a moment to reflect on this first session of training and comment in the section below.