Follow these 10 simple steps to get your crew fully functioning with a purposeful, exciting, interest-based, and youth-led program highlighted with unforgettable adventures.
Take your youth on an exciting adventure. When the setting is right ask them, “Would you like to fill the calendar with adventures like this and others that you are most interested in? Will each of you take your turn in preparing and leading these adventures? Do you know what it is when you’re doing high adventure and leading them?
This is Venturing. You are ready to move beyond earning merit badges. Let’s learn about Venturing and do it. Are you with me?”
Identify capable adults leaders to serve as advisor, associate advisors and crew committee members that will become the well-trained leaders your youth deserve, will help mentor youth to lead in crew operations, and are willing to provide support to the crew and you by helping with logistics, administration, budgeting, advancement, resources, and other crew business so that you can focus your time and efforts on the well-being of each crew member. Associate advisors, bishopric first counsellors, Young Men secretaries, and engaged parents make great Venturing committee members.
Utah National Parks Council Executive Dave Pack stated, “Scouting is the best place on the planet to teach youth to lead youth!”
- Follow the Learn-Act-Share pattern for youth leadership development in your crew.
- Equip them with leadership skills by conducting BSA’s nature of leadership courses- Introduction to Leadership Skills, Kodiak, and Kodiak X Challenge.
- Elect crew officers each fall, enable them to lead a year-long program they create, then encourage them to seek opportunities to mentor and teach others what they have learned through the Venturing Officers Association (VOA), Wood Badge model crew service, guiding younger Scouts, conducting reflections, and teaching leadership courses as junior staff.
4-Surveys & Preparations
Before conducting your annual crew seminar at the beginning of your program cycle each fall, utilize the Activity Interest Survey (AIS) and Program Capability Inventory (PCI) to determine crew interests and resources available to support those interests. Pre-calendar to avoid scheduling conflicts and update Trail to Eagle, Duty to God, and Silver Award tracking to better focus program planning ensuring that advancement is automatic in your well-planned program. Once the year-long calendar is established, remember to keep it flexible.
Typically held at the beginning of the school year, this is critical to the success of your crew. Elect new officers and let the previous officers train them in their roles as they conduct the ILSC. Utilize the information gathering during the seminar preparation stage to plan the program for the upcoming year. Plan an open house to share the upcoming program with parents and family.
Challenge youth to do hard things and finish the job by creating and completing a year-long calendar of balanced program activities that:
- include opportunities to implement the LDS Venturing methods (leadership, high adventure, recognition, service, character and social development)
- provide exciting and challenging activities, skills training, culminating in a high adventure experience
- reflect the interests of youth participating in and leading them.
Baden Powell taught that advancement is an automatic part of a well-planned program. Gather parents and family together to give recognition to youth for their accomplishments during the previous year’s program, then enable youth to present their vision and plans for the upcoming year. Invite other friends of Venturing age to join your crew.
Ensure a youth-lead program by helping your crew president prepare an agenda in advance to empower him to lead crew meetings. Make sure youth know they are expected to return and report and their adult committee mentors will help them to do so. Utilize Kodiak’s leadership tools (7-step decision making and 5-step planning) during planning meetings.
Ensure a youth-lead program by having adult committee mentors work with youth activity chairs. Encourage them to utilize activity planners to systematically prepare each activity with a purpose and involve other crew members in the planning process. Have activity chairs conduct reflections and compete the activity planner to create a written crew history that will help future youth leaders in planning similar events.
High adventure can challenge youth to do hard things and finish the job- preparing youth to face life’s challenges. Planning for high adventure, completing safety trainings, and developing skills in the outdoors prepare crews for outstanding high adventure experiences and keep them engaged throughout the year and determined to participate in the year-end super-activity. Include Kodiak leadership training during your super-activity. See WAKE consultations and Powder Horn to learn more.
Author: Utah National Parks Council Venturing Officers Association | LDS Stake Venturing (www.stakeventuring.com)